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YOUR PLACE.

BLOOMS 101: Take a behind-the-scenes look at the history, business, science and cultivation of flowers with Amy Stewart's new book ``Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers'' (Algonquin; $23.95). Does it matter that the tulips at your local supermarket stem from South America and are covered with pesticides? Are we being tricked when a scientist engineers a lily that doesn't shed pollen? Stewart travels the world to answer these questions and more so that you can have detailed statistics on the floral industry and what goes into growing the ``perfect flower.'' The book includes a crash course in flower-buying for men, how to obtain the most exotic and eco-friendly blossoms, designing the perfect bouquet and easy ways to make your bouquet last longer.

POWER CLEAN: For more two-in-one cleaning action, check out the super-absorbent MysticMaid PowerPad. Part dish towel, part sink sponge on steroids, the 7-by-7-inch microfiber cleaning cloth is filled with high-density urethane foam that drinks up kitchen and bathroom messes. The machine-washable cloth is quilted in four sections, making it easy to fold in half or fourths to get hard-to-reach places. Surfaces dry streak-free and lint free in seconds. Available in blue or port red, the cloth can be dampened with plain water or other cleaning solution. The $10 pads are available by calling (877) 468-0888 or visiting www.mysticmaid.com.

FRESH AND CLEAN: What took them so long? The new Fresh Scents Air Freshener & Antibacterial Deodorant Soap dispenser is an ingenious two-in-one product that helps keep hands clean and rooms smelling fresh. Fragrance pearls in a discrete air-freshener at the bottom of the bottle emit a continuous, sweet-smelling scent for up to 30 days. The antibacterial soap, meanwhile, may help fight off colds, influenza and other diseases as it gently removes contaminants. Regular pumping or shaking helps amp the fragrance even more. Choose from sun-ripened raspberry, cucumber-melon, tangerine, plum-mango, white tea & ginger, cotton blossom and honeysuckle. The suggested retail price is $2.79. Available at local stores such as Target, CVS and Albertson's. For more information, visit www.freshscents2in1.com.

SUPERMODEL STYLE: Malibu Designs has announced a deal with Cindy Crawford Home Licensing to market a line of home decor items inspired by the catwalk queen. The line will feature home decor accessories for the tabletop, kitchen, outdoors and other areas of the home. ``I've always loved home design and am thrilled to have the opportunity to develop an entire line of home decor accessories that embodies my personal taste and sense of style,'' said Crawford, whose company also has a furniture deal with Rooms To Go. ``I've been working with Malibu Designs to create beautiful designs at affordable prices that I believe people will love,'' she said. The line is expected to be released to retailers nationwide beginning in the spring and summer.

-- Simone Schramm Trimm

ASK THE EXPERTS

Q: My question is about resale value: Should kitchen appliances be brand consistent, or should dimensions and functionality rule the day?

-- Jason Middleton, North Hollywood

A: I would say look, feel, style and functionality are more important than going with a single brand. Just make sure the different brands match, so they're all stainless steel or all one color. But appliances are not a high-value item in terms of resale. If your home is mid-priced or lower, I would go down to Home Depot and buy reputable but reasonably priced appliances and then spend my money on the countertops, custom cabinets or a custom window.

-- Michael Trust, real estate agent, San Fernando Valley

Got a home design question of your own? Please send us an e-mail at dnlalife@dailynews.com and check back every Saturday for more answers from home experts.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 3, 2007
Words:669
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