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Back in Ralph and Alice's day on "The Honeymooners," it was all pretty simple. A bare table, a couple of chairs and a bureau, and the room was pretty much furnished.

Maybe there was dinner service for three -- did anyone ever see more than that many people eat at the same time? -- and the icebox was, well, it was actually an icebox, complete with drip pan.

Window coverings? Forget about it. Floor covering? Linoleum would do fine, thank you. Cyclonic, bagless vacs? Alice figured if there was nothing to clean, she didn't need anything more than a broom. And a TV set? Ralph was holding out, waiting for 3-D television.

But even a blabbermouth like Ralph would be speechless when confronted with the home furnishings choices that consumers have to deal with these days. Walk into the home department of any major store in the country, and you are practically bombarded with products, everything from the functional to the frivolous and from the decorative to the delirious.

Yet, picking up a new set of sheets, maybe some new glasses, a bedroom rug, a new toaster oven or even springing for some new chairs -- those are the ways most of us redecorate. We might get ambitious and repaint, maybe we'll put up new wallpaper or go crazy and replace the windows.

But the kinds of major remodeling projects that we read about in most decorating magazines are pretty much rare occurrences for most of us -- read-only, if you will. Putting up new rooms, converting the attic into a master bedroom suite or gutting the kitchen and putting in new everything are only dreams for most of us.

So, in creating this first-ever issue of HFNow, the consumer magazine version of the business newsweekly HFN, we tried to focus on what we know the best and what you end up dealing with the most: the products themselves.

More often than not, this is how you truly redecorate, so here's where you really need the most help. Our editors -- who write about these products every week for the manufacturers and retailers who make and sell them -- are just about the best people around to give you the inside track on what's new and what's hot when it comes to home furnishings products -- everything from furniture and rugs to dishes and appliances to towels and lamps.

Read about the trends in these products and what's just hitting the shelves of the stores you shop in. Plus, get the lowdown on the designers who create all of these products.

Alice would have liked reading about all of this, even if Ralph never made enough money ($62 a week, if you remember your TV trivia) to afford much of it.

Of course, Ralph and Alice proved you can still love each other without all of this stuff. It's just a whole lot nicer with it.

Warren Shoulberg, Editor in Chief
COPYRIGHT 2001 MacFadden Communications Group LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Shoulberg, Warren
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Nov 19, 2001
Previous Article:NEWS BRIEF.

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