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Current by Susan Martin

Wild or tame

One trend that shows no sign of fading: Animals on T-shirts and sweaters. They continue to be seen in back-to-school collections – a fox on a pullover sweater, cute kittens and puppies on graphic T-shirts – sometimes adorned with human accessories such as eyeglasses.

The look turns more sophisticated for women, however. At the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015 in Miami Beach, Fla., Buffalo native Mara Hoffman showed this wild design, below center. You can read more about swimwear trends on Page F4.

Talking pillows

Sometimes you have to crack up at the expressions that appear on throw pillows. A pair marked “His” and “Hers.” One for teens with the message: “Bed Head.” A third seen on the Bed, Bath & Beyond website, “My Second Home is Downton Abbey.”

Want to keep it brief? A decorative 16-inch square pillow from the Bar III bedding collection at Macy’s offers a simple “hi!” Find it on

Take a seat

One upbeat idea we have spotted in Better Homes and Gardens and elsewhere: Bright stools in the kitchen. Picture bright red ones in a gray and white kitchen. Or perhaps teal or yellow better suits your decor. You can buy colorful stools new, of course, or work some magic of your own by painting some boring old stools. Either way, it adds that all-important pop of color that makes a kitchen fun.

Shown bottom right: The Weldon Backless Barstool in red iron, regularly priced $99.95. Counter stools are available, too. See for information and other colors.

And finally...

“A plant is always the first thing to catch my eye when I enter a room. Want to see the impact that plants have in a space? Open up a shelter magazine and count the number of plants and flowers. Imagine each room without the plants. Would it have the same feel? Plants bring life to a room.”

Blogger Myquillyn Smith in her book, “The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful” (Zondervan, $19.99).