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Current / By Susan Martin

Up and down

Can’t make up your mind about hem length? High-low hemlines – shorter in front, longer in back – are sticking around for spring and summer. Found in both juniors’ and women’s departments, the look calls for a breezy fabric – either solid or patterned. Candie’s at Kohl’s, Material Girl at Macy’s and Nicole by Nicole Miller at J.C. Penney are a few brands that show high-low hemlines for spring, on either skirts or dresses.

Take your seat

Little Miss Muffet, are you listening? Poufs (and tuffets) are popping up all over this spring – in many colors and patterns. You’ll find these fun single seaters in the new Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection at J.C. Penney ( The spring Threshold collection at Target includes several styles ( Land of Nod ( has some adorable ones for little kids.

And you’ll find various versions at the now-open 2013 Decorators’ Show House, sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News. This year’s Show House, the Knox Summer Estate at Knox Farm State Park, continues through May 19. For Show House details visit

Brush strokes

The May issue of HGTV magazine offers a few tips from the HGTV pros on ways to use up leftover paint. Among the ideas:

» “Use leftover paint to make a pair of bookends colorful. It’s an easy way to brighten up shelves.” (Vern Yip).

» “Update a dresser with one thick stripe down the front – it’s bold and graphic.” (Casey Noble).

» “Take white ceramic vases and dip them in the paint. Don’t worry about taping off a line. An imperfect one makes the vase look more special.” (Cortney Novogratz).

And finally …

“Use color to energize your kitchen. A few well-placed accessories such as boldly hued mixing bowls, flowers or even fruit can instantly create an eye-catching focal point.”

From Consumer Reports “Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide,” a special publication.