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Homework: Spring decor; prom dress contest

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Friday, March 15, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Artistic prints dominate spring collections

Visiting this spring's decor previews often felt like exploring an art gallery. There was an artistic vibe to everything from dinnerware to drapery, art photographs to textiles.

Manufacturers are now able to reproduce artwork with impressive detail and precision. Originals that may have been painted or inked retain evidence of brush and pen. Computer-generated designs have greater depth of color and pattern than in the past.

Zara Home has a bouquet of throw pillows for spring with vintage prints or botanical ones reminiscent of paintings by the Masters. “Mariposa” features a flock of Edouard Travies-esque exotic butterflies on a white background; “Lula” evokes a Renoir still life; “Spring” has a sweet cottage floral; “Lannion,” “Hawaiana” and “Hojas'” tropical motifs have a retro vibe. ( )

A spring walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden inspired artist Matthew Lew to create an exuberant burst of white and tan blooms on a bright orange background, rendered at CB2 on a hand-tufted rug. The retailer's got another modern rug featuring a graphic brush stroke of linen white on tonal carbon gray. And artist Katherine Finn-Gamino's colorful multi-media geometric pillow is abstract art for the sofa. (

Photographic art is an excellent way to bring a creative or unusual element to your room. Pottery Barn continues to expand its wall-art series this spring with a coterie of photo artists who have made intriguing works at a price point not easily matched in the market for great photography.

At Crate & Barrel, there's the Monet-like watercolor floral of the “Myrtle” pillow, while the dramatic “Landscape” pillow features a winding road through wild countryside. (

Prom-dress contest offers $5,000 prize

It's time to get Stuck at Prom.

Duck Tape is sponsoring a contest for high-school students to make their prom outfits from the sticky home-repair staple, which comes in hundreds of colors and prints.

Entries must be submitted by June 10. The winners will be announced on or about July 11. The grand-prize winners and the school that hosts their prom will each receive $5,000.


— Staff and wire reports

Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email

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