A Notch Above

After 150 years of making tabletop pieces, Gorham hasn't lost its design luster. Its newest offering, silver-plated accessories from the Maestri collection, is galvanizing attention. Tiny boxes that have been notched out of the metal contribute to the modern design.

Handle-less rectangular trays come in three sizes (large, 19 3/4 inches by 14 1/4 inches, $175; medium, 16 1/2 inches by 11 3/4 inches, $125; small, 11 1/2 inches by 9 inches, $75).

Circle-shaped coasters (4 1/4 inches in diameter, $150 for a set of six), service plate (12 1/2 inches in diameter, $85) and trivet (7 1/4 inches in diameter, $30) round out the collection.

Gorham, a division of Lenox, is available at finer department stores.

Petal to the Metal

Need a spot to fill clay pots? A covered bin to store tools? A way to transport soil? The Potting Cart is a portable workbench with a large surface to accommodate plant flats and a lower shelf to store garden necessities.

Handcrafted of Douglas fir then coated in green or white paint or natural stain, the sturdy cart (66 inches long and 30 inches wide, $995) has hand-forged wrought-iron fittings, steel wheels and removable sideboards.

Manufacturer Sher Fuller of Dana Point says the mobile potting bench is utilitarian and attractive. "Gardeners love how practical it is, while caterers and florist see it as a great way to display what they've made," she says.

Call (949) 240-1147 or e-mail marketsher@fea.net.

The Look of Love

Searching for ways to add sparks to your home life? Orange-based Romantic Homes magazine is dedicated to easy yet alluring decorating.

The latest issue ($2.95; six-issue subscription, $20) makes a case for books. Dog-eared ones with old-fashioned bindings can be stacked next to candles and a spray of white roses. Thin editions of "Walden" or other favorites can be opened and used as place mats. And sentimental passages can be reproduced onto picture frames and lamps.

Interior designer Carol Schalla suggests using botanical illustrations or nursery book drawings as wall art. It's not romantic, but she also recommends wallpapering an office wall with pages from a dictionary (a standard-sized collegiate dictionary will cover an 8-foot-by-12-foot wall).

Don't forget to create an inviting corner in which to cuddle up with a good read.

The magazine is available at most newsstands or call (800) 829-7830.

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