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1980s are back again: New generation discovers dhurries

In the 1980s, dhurrie rugs from India, with their bright colors, geometric designs and sturdy flat weaves, were all the rage. In 1983, one of the first things my husband and I selected for our new apartment in Washington was a $499 red and white 9-by-12-foot dhurrie rug from the Kellogg Collection. I wish I still owned it.

Mistletoe musings sure to impress this holiday season

I think it’s likely safe to say we don’t usually think about mistletoe except during the holidays (unless you live in Oklahoma, where it is their state plant). In the 18th century, mistletoe was hung during holiday festivals and men would steal kisses from women under it. One berry was removed for every kiss received. When the berries were gone, so were the kisses. Yet beyond this timeless tradition, I suspect most of us take for granted the backstory to this fascinating and very real plant.

Covered drinking vessel created to ward off illness

Tradition claims that it was the bubonic plague in the 14th century that inspired the creation of beer steins. Many people had noticed that there were more deaths in filthy places in town than in clean sections, and that there were clouds of insects along with the illness in Central Europe.

Old wine rack repurposed as shoe rack

Dear Heloise: I was going to toss out an old 18-bottle wine rack. My husband took it to the garage and filled the rack with old golf shoes and tennis shoes. It’s nice to have all those shoes in a neat place and easy to locate. Guess wine racks can hold more than just wine! — Mary Anderson in Las Vegas

Right holiday decorations won’t overwhelm small spaces

There’s no doubt that a majority of the fun and joy of the holidays comes from decorating your abode. Picking the right Christmas tree, pulling out your grade-school ornaments that still leave traces of glitter everywhere, hanging lights that make your electric bill skyrocket … it’s all in the name of the holiday spirit. But how do you push, shove and stuff all of that good cheer into a 300-square-foot studio or teeny-tiny one-bedroom apartment?

Add sparkle to your holiday decor with these design tips

The holiday season is truly about entertaining and going all out. So why not add a little bit of sparkle and bling while still being true to the traditional spirit often associated with the holiday decor? When it comes to being creative, I suggest experimenting with some new materials this holiday season such as materials that have high sheen, tactile materials, reflective surfaces and nontraditional color palettes such as black and white.