Bungalow Pros; 229 North St. , Madison; 608-241-9243; www.bungalowpros.com; 10 am-5 pm Wed.Fri., 11 am-4 pm Sat.
If you live in a bungalow, new construction with Craftsman styling, or just adore the decorative arts movement of the early 20th century, you'll find plenty to interest you at this thoughtful shop. Designer Jill Kessenich, who formerly operated Clark House Design in Fort Atkinson, has pulled up stakes and moved to the near east side.
On display: Ephraim Faience pottery (from Deerfield, Wis.), Motawi tiles (from Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Stone Hollow Tiles (from St. Croix Falls, Wis.), letterpress cards, unique antique framed litho prints, and other decorative pieces. Kessenich also sells Devine Color, an environmentally friendly interior paint line, and period-friendly flooring options, among them Armstrong's Vinyl Composition Tile, with patterns recalling the 1940s and '50s. Reminiscent of linoleum patterns, it's certified for low VOC emissions, too.
Unearthed; 2501 University Ave. , Madison; 608-441-1993; 1-6 pm Thurs.-Sun.
Heidi Anderson moved her store Unearthed, which specializes in "architectural and vintage finds for the home," from Monroe Street to old University Avenue across from Lombardino's in April. Anderson spends half the week combing salvage yards, antique store back rooms and other dusty spaces for her finds, which she cleans up ("cleaning and gluing is my thing") and then features in the store. She's transformed seed sacks into footstools, antique wallpaper rollers into lamps and industrial containers into tables: "I like to learn the stories behind these objects, and share them with people, who'll carry the story forward." Anderson is attracted to strong colors and sculptural shapes, objects with utilitarian pasts and the working tools of artisans or farmers. While some pieces are functional - like the State Capitol fire hose box that acts as a cabinet - others are purely character pieces. And Anderson likes to keep items in stock that won't break the bank - like the vintage traffic light covers ($25-$50) that can serve as birdbaths or just "a shot of color inside or in the garden."
You've purchased your hardy mums, but hardly expect them to survive the fall. But it is possible, with a bit of effort, to overwinter your mums. First, if you haven't already done your planting, stick them in the ground, someplace where they can soak up the sun. And, like you always hear about roses, mums hate having "wet feet." They need to be in very well drained soil, says Irene, my local planting guru at Jung's Garden Center on Northport Drive: "They can't have any ice on their heads or even packed snow." Irene recommends the top of a hill or in a raised bed, sandy soil, or, if your soil tends to compact more, "add organic matter," such as compost. To keep mums in good shape over the winter, don't cut them back - or, only do so enough to cover the plant with a nursery pot, much in the way you would roses. Leave air space at the crown. Add mulch around that, says Irene. Come spring, fertilize.
The Swedish furniture giant and meatball purveyor's modular furniture is everywhere, it seems. When a pre-owned or found IKEA piece enters your life, but isn't quite right for your purposes, it's an opportunity to create. Websites like IKEAhacker feature posts by amateur decorators for whom straight-out-of-the-box is not good enough - like the poster who found herself sick of her IKEA coffee table. So she disassembled it, cut the top in half, and wall-mounted the wide side on three brackets to form a breakfast bar. Or the new condo owner whose sofa wasn't going to be delivered for another two months, so crafted a temporary one from four "Jeff" folding chairs at $9 each. "Necessity is the mother of invention" has never been truer than at Ikeahacker.