Home GROWN

Translating Style

Imagine a combination of Ralph Lauren’s taste level with Saturday Night Live’s sense of humor. That’s Leon Morrison’s idea of a men’s accessory store-The TieCoon Trading Company, which has been indispensable to the sartorially sensitive for as long as it’s been open. If you’re ever inspired to ask a guy where he got his tie, chances are the answer is “The TieCoon.”

The TieCoon is a store with “themes” instead of departments: the money and greed theme, the designated cowboy comer for wannabe Westerners and The TieCoon1 s sports section with golf, tennis and fishing paraphernalia. The thing is, these themes might be evident on anything from neckwear to glow-in-the-dark boxer shorts or handmade jewelry. Now TieCoon has moved into a twice-as-large space and added the best theme yet: Translations. Morrison’s unfailing eye for style led him into a part-time partnership with Mary Bloom and Debbie Tompkins, whose line of spiritual objects and last year’s seasonal store, called Translations, were big retail hits. This year, Translations will be a holiday home accessories department in TieCoon emphasizing arts, crafts, the exotic, the antique and the whimsical-in other words, something for everyone who has everything or even for those of us who don’t. 4015 Villanova in Preston Plaza; 369-TIES.

-Mary Brown Malouf

Sittable Art

Dawn Petty, 33, who wait restes at Deep El lu m Cafe, also paints the colorful wooden chairs that sit in both restrooms. Petty started painting chairs last summer, when she pulled some down from the restaurant’s attic for a party and noticed that they were In bad shape. She took a couple home and began painting. “I was really surprised when I looked at the first one I did,” says Petty, her blue eyes timidly peeking out from behind her thick, blond hair. “I thought, ’I did that?’ “

Potty’s husband, a carpenter and musician, sometimes helps repair the broken legs. Petty says she doesn’t mind that her work stays behind closed doors. “Everyone that goes to the bathroom sees them,” she says. “And I change them sometimes so the one in the men’s room is in the ladies’ room.” Potty’s chairs start at $100 and can be ordered directly through the artist. S23-340G.

-Eittse Pierce

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