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This week's favorite object

The contemporary desk lamp is a sight to behold. Indeed, some of today's more outrageous designs seem to defy gravity.

Clearly, modern lighting has come a long way. In addition to utilizing new lighting technologies, today's designers create desk lamps that delight the eye while preserving their primary purpose -- to spread light on a specific area.

That's not to say that old-fashioned, brass-and-glass library table lamps don't better suit more traditional decors. Either way, a functional desk lamp is a must in home offices, dorm rooms and anywhere else there is work or studying to be done.

Keep in mind that desk lamps should be adjustable. The architectural table lamp shown here, available at Ethan Allen in Amherst, has an adjustable shade, arm and base, for example.

Desktop space scarce? An adjustable floor lamp with a sturdy, heavy base can also provide a good source of task lighting without taking up valuable desk space.
Design tip

When creating a well-coordinated room, remember that two patterns can work together as long as they are complementary in color and different in scale or texture, recommends Melanie Kaplan, vice president of design for the New York-based Dan River Home Fashions.

For example, a narrow stripe can be combined with a large-scale floral.

Getting personal

Are you an artisan? A visionary? How about an idealist or adventurer?

Whatever your personality type, there's now a book that will help you decorate your home in a style that reflects who you really are.

" 'The Domain Book of Intuitive Home Design' is the first book to identify the connection between personality and style," write authors Judy George and Todd Lyon in the introduction to their new book (Potter, $30).

The authors group people into the four categories above. Next, they present a personality quiz to lead the reader "on a very personal journey in which one's aesthetic choices are linked to childhood circumstances, deeply rooted tendencies and native talents."

Next they offer decorating ideas, images and answers to such questions as why adventurers tend to have the best party houses and idealists have such neat closets.

And what happens when someone has a split personality?

Well, if you ever walk into someone's house and see a Limoges platter filled with dog biscuits, let's just say you are dealing with an adventurer with visionary tendencies.

Things to do

It's almost time for the 57th Amherst Antiques Show & Sale, which is expected to attract 50 dealers from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada. It takes place Dec. 1 and 2 at Samuel's Grande Manor, 8750 Main St., Clarence.

Exhibitors will be selling furniture, jewelry, glassware, toys, books, prints, china, silver, linen, lace and more. In addition, the "Dropped Shop" will offer professional repair for chipped glassware and china.

Proceeds from the show go to support Haven House, a home and refuge for battered women and their families, and for special projects for Amherst Community Church.

Admission is $5, which is good for both days. The show is sponsored by Group 16, Amherst Community Church. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec 1, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 2.

Also mark down the Victorian Christmas event at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Dec. 4 to 12. Decorators -- amateur and otherwise -- will enjoy touring the decked-out house, of course, as well as attending such events as "The Enchanting World of Doll House Miniatures," presented at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 10 by George and Ursula Pfeiffer of Pied Piper Petites.

General admission applies -- $3 for adults, $2 for seniors. If you can't attend any of the other special programs scheduled for the Victorian Christmas week, don't fret. "You can still visit the house, take in the beautiful decor and experience the Victorian lifestyle through Dec. 30," said Executive Director Molly Quackenbush.

From the home front

"Color is an emotional gift. I lack the fear of the use of color. I take my inspiration from fashion and move it into home interiors. I believe if it works in men's wear and women's wear, it will work in the home."

Designer Alexander Julian, upon receiving an award for excellence from the Color Marketing Group

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

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