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Very cool

Rubbermaid's new ice trays in fun shapes make ordinary cubes look, well, square.

The Sky Watch Ice Cube Tray creates stars, moons, planets and space. The Frozen Fruit trays form water - or fruit juices - into fruit shapes. And the Casino Ice Cube trays produce hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades, just perfect for refreshments during those weekly card games.

The suggested retail price is $2.49 for a pack of two.

Empty closets and more

It's Sneak Peek weekend, which means that visitors can take a walk through the undecorated 11th Decorators' Show House before local decorators and landscapers work their magic.

This year's show house, the Schoellkopf-Vom Berge Manor, is located at 121 Chapin Parkway. Doors will be open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sneak peek tickets, $4, are available at the door. Decorators' Show House 2001, co-sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News, runs April 28 to May 20. For more information, visit the Junior League Web site at

Favorite item of the week

While a home with a solarium or greenhouse is a special one, it doesn't take much to transform any room into a garden room, thanks to foliage-themed wallcoverings, outdoorsy furniture and green plants galore.

This time of year, a garden room is a very inviting place.

Indeed, after viewing this photo introducing Gramercy's new line of Garden Elements wallcovering, who wouldn't be ready to move right in?

Almost any room in the house can offer a garden-room effect. The kitchen. A bathroom or bedroom. You name it.

And the patterns you can choose from on fabrics, wallpapers and borders - from vines and berries to flowerpots and picket fences - will brighten even the darkest spaces.

After all, it's never too early to think spring.

Design tip

When shopping for furniture for your child's rooms, think safety.

Some suggestions from Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services: Look for automatic drawer stops that keep drawers from falling onto small feet; steel bolts that keep joints secure and provide extra support; smooth surfaces that won't splinter, and use of non-toxic stains, lacquers or enamels.

Also watch for moving parts that could pinch little fingers.

From the home front

"I'm sure that I was Roman in a previous life, because I like ruins. The house looked like ruins, the garden looked like ruins, and I loved it." Isabella Rossellini, describing her 150-year-old rural retreat on Long Island

By News Style Reporter Susan Martin, compiled from wire services and other sources.

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