Welcome Mat: Latest home happenings

Donate to

The Arc, get discount at Gorman’s

Call it the gift that gives back. Shoppers at Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design who donate $50 to The Arc of Oakland County will receive $200 off the price of any recliner from Gorman’s 10 best brands, or $400 off select Stressless recliners. “We are committed to providing help to those in our community who most need it,” says Tom Lias, Gorman’s president. The Arc of Oakland County helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; it’s the largest community-based organization in Michigan. To make a donation, visit any of Gorman’s four southeast Michigan locations in Novi, Troy, Southfield or Shelby Township through Jan. 19.

New book is visual guide

for LEGO architecture models

If you or someone you love is a LEGO aficionado, you probably have it on your to-do list to visit The Henry Ford Museum’s LEGO city on display, featuring replicas of several prominent Detroit buildings. It runs through Jan. 4. There’s also a new book out for LEGO lovers, “LEGO Architecture: The Visual Guide” (DK Publishing, $40). Written by Philip Wilkinson, it breaks down models in LEGO’s Landmark Series and its Architect Series, including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the United Nations Headquarters and even the Eiffel Tower. It shows you piece-by-piece how the model was put together, challenges, and details about the original structure. It’s glossy, detailed and insightful.

Italian Dish offers fun host, hostess gifts

Looking for just the right gift for the host or hostess with the most-est? The Italian Dish in Birmingham offers an adorable dip set, which includes a ramekin with a vintage holiday scene and a spreader, that would be perfect for any foodie friend or family member this holiday season. The set is from the Juliska Winter Frolic Collection; it costs $44. The Italian Dish is at 288 E. Maple in Birmingham. Call (248) 593-8299.

Hugh offers fun gifts for the man in your life

Is there a harder person to shop for than your Dad, son or brother? I don’t think so. And my brother — who got four wrench sets one Christmas from my befuddled parents — would probably agree. Hip store Hugh on Cass in Detroit offers a slew of fun gifts for the man in your life, from shaving kits to home accents. Hugh’s Bar Starter Kit ($95) is a fun gift for any aspiring mixologist. It includes a Parisian-style two-piece shaker; a stainless steel Japanese 1 ounce and .5 ounce jigger; a stainless steel Hawthorne strainer; a stainless steel spoon; and a copy of Charles Schumann’s “The American Bar” book (the “drink mixer’s bible,” according to Hugh). Hugh is at 4240 Cass. Call (313) 831-4844.


candles help holiday smell linger long

after New Year’s

It’s one of the biggest reasons most people buy a real Christmas tree: the pine scent. If you want that wonderful scent wafting through your home long after the holidays are over, below are some of my favorite tree-scented candles. They’d make great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts.

■Thymes’ Frasier Fir (pictured above): I discovered this scent at Haven, 111 North Center St. in downtown Northville, and it immediately put me in the holiday mood. “It’s our best-seller at both stores,” says owner Martha McMeekin, who has another store in downtown Plymouth at 863 Penniman. Prices start at $13 for a votive and up to $64 for a double wick.

■Green Daffodil’s Holiday Tree: More than two years ago, this scent stole my heart. It’s $7.50 for a 4-ounce candle and $12.50 for an 8-ounce one. It’s also available in room spray. Green Daffodil is at 624 Livernois in Ferndale.

■Kristin & Company Pure Soy Candles’ Pine Needles scent: These hand-poured soy candles made by T.R. McTaggart in Standish, Michigan, have a rustic look and feel to them, from the jars to labels. They’re available at Matter of Taste, 105 South Main St. in downtown Romeo.