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The home front

Candle extinguishers with character

By Compiled by Homes Editor JUDY STARK

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 10, 2000

Candle extinguishers with character

Snuff your candles with a new product line from Department 56. The candle extinguishers come in three themed lines: Alice in Wonderland, Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz, with four to six porcelain figures in each collection, priced at $35-$45 each. (There's also a limited-edition bone-china line with 23-karat gold detailing, sold in themed sets of eight to 10 pieces for about $4,000.) The figures stand 31/8 to 41/2 inches tall. To find a retailer, call (800) 548-8696.

Murphy's does more

You're used to using Murphy's Oil Soap on wood surfaces, but here are some unexpected ways to use it. In the laundry, wet stained fabric and rub in some Murphy's to eliminate blood, grass, earth, grease, lipstick and ink stains. Use it outside to clean vinyl or wicker furniture. Murphy's will shine stainless-steel sinks and can be sprayed on the bathroom tile and countertop to help you wipe away grime.

Sleep in simplicity

Say goodbye to beds piled high with comforters, duvets, and dozens of pillows. What looks up-to-date is the minimalist bed: tucked-in, tailored, top sheet and blanket tautly wrapped around the mattress. (Just look at the ads for expensive linens such as Calvin Klein's in the home-design magazines.) Extravagant bed frames of wood or metal with elaborate headboards and footboards are starting to look date-stamped, designers say. Simple platform beds of beautiful wood with a mattress that looks like a futon evoke an image of zenlike calm and serenity. If you do prefer a bed with legs, suggests design dean Albert Hadley, let the spread stop short of the floor and skip the dust-catching bedskirts for a cleaner, lighter look.

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