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A wool runner that goes the distance . . .

. . . hot glasses for cold soups


(Click on links to view images)

Summer Stock
What the flute did for champagne these glasses may do for cold soups. They're just the right size -- and have just the proper sparkle -- to show off, say, a gazpacho or pea soup to perfection. They were designed by Rise Dimson and Robert Homma and are hand-blown by Elliott Rosenstein, a local artist, who meticulously folds the molten glass to form the lip ($60 each).
DIMSON HOMMA/20 East 67th Street/212-439-7950

Weather Proof
Determining the outside temperature from the fifteenth floor of a high-rise is a bit of a joke. Sure, the radio will give you the anticipated highs and lows -- maybe the current temperature in Central Park -- but how hot or cold it really is when you're trying to decide coat or no coat remains a mystery. This clever outdoor thermometer attaches to the window with a removable adhesive and was designed so dew doesn't collect on the face. It's the bright idea of Danish product designers Egeborg, Thing, and Weilborg ($40).
THE MOMA DESIGN STORE/44 West 53rd Street/212-767-1050

Hot Seat
Knockdown furniture has never looked so stylish -- or so playful. The minimalist Ivo Bufalini, an Italian furniture designer, uses just four handcrafted birch circles and three stainless-steel pins to create his whimsical Ivo chair. It's a snap to put together -- and dismantle. Recently, Bufalini created this scaled-down kids' version, which he lacquers either a snappy red or a sedate blue ($300).
ZAO/175 Orchard Street 212-505-0500

In Praise of Snail Mail
Who would have thought that the computer would get us hooked on letter-writing again? In the hopes of making our newfound love of epistolary intercourse a tad more permanent, Crane -- a maker of fine papers since 1801 -- has opened a handsome outpost in Rockefeller Center and outfitted it with everything a scribe might need. There's engraved and thermographed stationery, personalized sheets, initialized thank-you notes, Christmas cards, inheritance albums, leather journals, party invitations, and, for kids, kits with animal-printed cards, colored pens, stickers, and a journal. There's a tempting array of pens, too, but for those who find such writing instruments anathema, Crane's papers are printer-friendly (from $9.50 for a box of note cards to $148 for 50 personalized correspondence cards and envelopes to $324 for 50 monogrammed sheets and envelopes engraved in gold ink).
CRANE & CO./59 West 49th Street, at Rockefeller Plaza/212-582-6829

This eighteenth-century American quilt design looks as good on the floor as it once did on a bed. Though the hourglass pattern is Early American, the hand-hooked eight-foot wool runner is so graphic it could pass for retro -- even modern -- and, given its broad mix of colors, there's no limit to the decorating possibilities ($275).
WILLIAM-WAYNE & CO./846 Lexington Avenue, at 64th Street/212-737-8934; and 40 University Place/212-533-4711

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