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New Jersey antiques stores: Golden Bee Antiques, Westfield

Golden Bee Antiques at 141A Broad St., Westfield Golden Bee Antiques

Pat Vivinetto didn't come into the antiques business with the passion of an avid collector of old things. In fact, she says she knew nothing about antiques.

"I had not even thought about them," she says of the days before she became owner of Golden Bee Antiques in Westfield.

That changed 13 years ago when two husbands, one of whom was hers,  decided their wives should go into the antiques business together.  And so they leased the 1,700-square-foot store at 141A Broad Street.

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Sabrina Soto discusses new book, approach to home design  

Sabrina Soto Home DesignSabrina Soto is a total-package type with the beauty, brains, presence and personality to make it in the competitive world of home design television. Her scrappy ability to create wow-factor spaces without a knock-out budget has made her a reliable expert as the host of HGTV's “Get it Sold, Real Estate Intervention” and “The High-Low Project.”
Soto, who also reaches a multitude of quality-conscious bargain hunters as Target's style expert for home, has a new book. In “Sabrina Soto Home Design,” she demystifies the do-it-yourself decorating process by breaking up a project into eight sequential layers. Starting with an evaluation of the space and what can't be changed about it – good or bad – Soto moves the reader through a discussion of color; surface treatments – walls, floors, countertops; storage and organization; furniture; textiles; lighting; and accents.
Soto, who lives in a small but luxurious Manhattan apartment took some time out of her schedule to answer my w questions about her approach to design in the following Q&A. Read on for more insight.


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Winterhill Antiques: High-style home decoration and designer fashions

Furniture and art downstairs from Winterhill's main level.

Anyone who reads home décor magazines knows the role antiques and collectibles can play in a well-appointed home.

From the stunning showpiece sofa to colorful ceramic figures that lend a bit of whimsy, old items can personalize a home by recalling childhood memories or illustrating our present tastes and interests.


In Union County, a number of wonderful antiques shops are concentrated in Scotch Plains and Westfield, or nearby in Garwood and Cranford.


We found numerous home design ideas at Winterhill Antiques in Scotch Plains

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Window fashion trends: Silk is a natural for high-end interiors

Silk fabric is stitched into an elegant pleated valance by Metropolitan Window Fashions Flowing draperies stitched from yards and yards of fabric are among the most beautiful and luxurious elements of home decorating. Cover the windows in silk, and the effect is magnified.
As more consumers seek eco-friendly options for the home, window treatments made of natural fibers such as linen, cotton or bamboo become increasingly popular. And silk holds its place as the natural standout for high-end interiors.

“Silk always lends an air of luxury,” says Lois Croce, design director of Metropolitan Window Fashions at Fabricland in North Plainfield. “But these are not the silks from your grandmother’s ‘don’t-go-in-there’ living room.” Here, it’s luxury to live with — in a variety of colors and designs, from big ballroom stripes and patterns to bold plaids. For inviting texture, try silk shantungs, dupionis or taffetas.
Silk prices have come down over the years thanks to increased production. “Good quality Chinese silk that used to be $70 a yard is now about $35,” says Croce.

Whether your decorating style is clean-lined minimal or lavishly draped and dripping with passementarie, the fabrics and ornamentation that outfit windows add the finishing touch to a room.

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Home fragrance: Make the house smell as sweet as a rose

Geenleaf offers a variety of home fragrance options that range from potpourris and sachets to oils, candles and scent diffusers.If you’ve ever encountered a person who always smells wonderful, ask his or her secret. In almost every case, you’ll learn that they use their chosen scent in several forms. They’ve likely bathed or showered with the brand’s scented bath gel, slathered on companion lotion and then dabbed or spritzed on the cologne or perfume.

Known as “layering,” this technique for maximizing the power of fragrance also can be used to create a sweet-smelling home. Many home fragrance makers, including Caldrea, Fruits & Passion and Thymes, offer a variety of options for using their scents around the house. For the greatest effect, don’t pick just one. You might wipe down the kitchen counters or launder the sheets with one pleasing scent and then light the matching candle (Caldrea). Tuck sachets into drawers and closets, or disquise fragrance delivery with faux-flower fragrance diffusers (Fruits & Passion). Mist the house with a room spray before company comes, and delight guests with the same scent in liquid soap for the powder room (Thymes).

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