Chiasso

Mirrored and metallic objects such as this wall unit by Chiasso can brighten a room. Home fashions are aglow with metallic, pearl, acrylic and mirror finishes.

Home and garden checklist

Published: Saturday, Jul. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 8CALIFORNIA LIFE

HOME CHECKLIST

With the Olympics under way in London, it's time to go for the gold. Silver and bronze work, too.

Home designers again are finding inspiration from these classic metallic tones.

For example, nationally known interior designer Deborah Wecselman uses metallics to add a touch of high-shine opulence. These accent pieces catch the light (or create it as metallic lamps, chandeliers or wall fixtures) and add glimmering interest.

"I am inspired by metallics and want to create a futuristic space with a modern twist," Wecselman said.

She shared these tips for incorporating metallics into home decor:

• Think clean. Metallics can lend a clean and minimalist feel by adding a few striking accents. Cut out the clutter and add a little well-placed bling such as a silver-toned lamp or bronze sculpture.

• Accessorize with care. As in fashion, too much can be overwhelming and look gaudy. Purchase key pieces and use them selectively. Use one standout piece (such as wall art, ottoman, accent table or centerpiece) as the headlining embellishment in a room, Wecselman said.

• Add interest while refurbishing. Old chairs, chaises, couches and ottomans can be brought back to life by adding gold, silver or bronze grommets, or metallic arms or feet.

• Create light at the end of the tunnel. In a hallway, a shiny piece of wall art can be a foundation for creativity and a natural light source. It visually opens up a space.

Where does one mine for these? Wayfair.com, the home goods shopping site, compiled dozens of gold, silver and bronze suggestions from among its 5,000-plus brands. The list includes coffee and accent tables (including a gold foil-wrapped tree stump, a Frank Gehry twisted silver cube and a drum table in distressed English bronze) as well as lamps, pillows, rugs and accessories.


GARDEN CHECKLIST

• Clean up around fruit trees. Pick up dropped fruit to prevent brown rot.

• Keep your squash, peppers and eggplant picked. That stimulates more production.

• Feed vegetable plants bone meal or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting.

• Start thinking about fall vegetables. Transplant seedlings for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and celery.

• Sow seeds for head lettuce, parsnips, rutabaga and turnips.

• Remove spent flowers on daylilies, roses and other summer bloomers.

• After deadheading, fertilize roses to kick-start another bloom cycle. Remember to give them a deep watering before feeding.

• Dig and divide overcrowded irises and bulbs after the foliage dies back.

• Pick off caterpillars from tomatoes and other vegetables before they have time to do significant damage.

• Blast aphids off plants with a jet of water or squirt them with insecticidal soap. To make your own "bug soap," add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap (such as Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap or Ivory detergent) to 1 quart water. Put in a spray bottle and shake before using.

– Debbie Arrington

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