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DESIGN NOTES

Whole new ballgame

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway has teamed with Bassett Furniture to create a line of furniture that is just perfect for kicking back and watching Sunday football games on the big-screen TV.

The new collection includes entertainment walls and consoles to accommodate today's large screen TVs and electronics as well as modular seating components -- recliners, rockers, chaise lounges, sofas, love seats and sectionals -- all displayed in October at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.

"I'm a homebody. I like having a comfortable home for my family. I'm still a rookie at this, but furniture has always been important to me," Elway told the Washington Post.

Look for it soon at Bassett Furniture Direct, Amherst. For more information, click on www.bassettfurniture.com.
Design tip

Looking for an inexpensive, easy centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table: Pile green and brown pears high into a bowl and add leaves -- a few tucked between the pears, a few scattered on the table. Walnuts make another nice addition.
Speaking volumes

If you properly handle the books you treasure, they could last for generations. Here are just a few tips for protecting them in a den, home library or office, from Knight Ridder Newspapers:

Block daylight with curtains, shades or plastic filtering films. Turn off lights when you're not in the room. Sun's ultraviolet rays can fade books and cause them to deteriorate.

Don't place books near hot air registers, radiators or fireplaces. Heat makes them brittle.

If you must place shelves on outside walls, leave at least a 1-inch gap between shelves and wall. Damp walls can cause mold to develop.

Stand books vertically, keeping books of about the same size together. Pack them closely, but not so tightly that they are difficult to remove.

Lay oversized books horizontally in small stacks.

Use solid bookends to keep books upright. Avoid bookends with metal inserts that go under books, as these can hurt bindings.

Dust books regularly, wiping away from the binding toward edge with a soft cloth or brush.

Avoid storing boxes of books in hot or damp attics, basements or garages.
Cutting edge

Here's something new to add to your utensil drawer: the Knork -- a fork that also cuts like a knife.

The Knork was invented by Mike Miller, a Wichita student, who devised a fork with curved tines just sharp enough to cut through most foods -- but not sharp enough to injure the mouth. A finger platform provides cutting leverage.

"We aren't trying to replace the knife," Miller, now 25, told the Washington Post. "We are just reinventing the fork so it's more comfortable to use."

The Knork comes in handy at cocktail parties, where people have to balance food plates and beverage glasses. Miller said it also is useful for people with limited motor skills. Several options are available, including disposables ($4.49 for a 24-pack) and stainless (four for $24.95). Check out www.knork.net.
And finally . . .

"A Shaker box is an excellent example of an object that is both beautiful and practical for storage."

John Wheatman, from "Meditations on Design: Reinventing Your Home with Style and Simplicity" (Conari Press, $24.95)