The Item: January 2012 | Home Improvement | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Hot Box
A key element in modern interior design and decorating is finding home décor that is both attractive and functional. While this sleek, modern firewood box serves its purpose well, it is also an unobtrusive piece of furniture that aids in organization; by keeping logs stacked tall, as opposed to wide, the box is an attractive space-saver. In addition, its flat top serves as an extra side table, ideal for placing fireplace accessories, decorative pieces, or even stacked books. Sold exclusively at Hammertown (locations in Rhinebeck, Pine Plains, and Great Barrington), this simplistic statement item was designed and constructed by home styling consultant Wanda Fuhrman in collaboration with sculptor Tim Jones, an artist who is best known for his nature-inspired works made of solid steel.

Breakfast to Go
If you’ve got a grassy yard, you can raise your own free-range chickens and have farm-fresh eggs with the Front Yard Coop. The brainchild of Katonah couple Peter and Nancy Zander, this portable cage is part coop, part henhouse, and can be easily relocated either manually or by a self-propelled drive system that moves the enclosure slowly across the property, allowing your chickens to eat fresh grass and bugs while in turn spreading manure to feed the yard. The coops comes in different models, from a simple stationary birdhouse to a motorized coop powered by a solar panel-charged battery that also maintains an electric fence on the outside to keep predators at bay. The exterior is also outfitted with bumpers and sensors in case it travels into a tree—or your house. When activated, the sensors send the coop into reverse. Other features include a self-contained food dispenser, a large self-sustaining water chimney, and easily accessible nesting boxes for egg collection.

Keep Your Teak Sleek
A high-quality wooden cutting board is necessary for foodies and home chefs who enjoy spending hours in the kitchen. But to ensure longevity of wooden boards and utensils, it’s imperative to take proper care of them; this means no soaking, no chemicals, and plenty of mineral oil. While Black Creek Mercantile and Trading Company in Kingston is known for its solid, handmade carving boards, they also create a unique oil to treat wooden kitchen items—from spoons to blocks and everything in between. It’s made of the finest food-grade wood-preserving ingredients, including bee propolis—an antiseptic varnish made naturally by honeybees to maintain the health of their hive—and white mineral oil, a petroleum-based oil that prevents water absorption and doesn’t leave a flavor or scent.

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