From Halloween to Thanksgiving, these versatile fall decor pieces will see you through | Home/Garden

Spiff up your space with versatile fall decor.

Season opener

Dress up this classic autumn wreath with something black and spooky for Halloween, followed by something abundantly golden to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The Plant Gallery, 9401 Airline Highway, New Orleans, (504) 488-8887, theplantgallery.com. Handmade 16-inch orange pinecone wreath, $98.



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Bugging out

Because Louisiana mosquitos don’t have an offseason, an all-natural citronella candle is a must for alfresco family dinners. Tie an orange ribbon around it and you have an instant Halloween decoration.

Phina, 3717 Veterans Blvd., and 2561 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 827-1605, phinashop.com. 12-ounce insect-repelling citronella eucalyptus candle with 90-hour burn time, $32.



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Leaves at home

For anyone foregoing a fall foliage pilgrimage this year, this leafy, welcoming mat might just make you happy to be safe and sound in your Southern home.

Lucy Rose, 3318 Magazine S., New Orleans, 600 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 895-0444, shoplucyrose.com. Falling Leaves doormat made of natural coir and grass, $36.



Cool fall skulls

A living reminder

Memento mori desk decor with living plants inside? A healthy reminder of one’s mortality never looked so fresh. Display these geometric skull planters more prominently — perhaps by candlelight — as chic Halloween accents.

Etsy, etsy.com. Handmade geometric skull concrete planters (available in six colors) by You Concrete Me Shop, $29.74 each.



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Fall, softly

If you’re on the hunt for understated autumn accessories, this velvet throw pillow is top-notch. It features designer Lasse Kovanen’s Aspen autumn leaves pattern embroidered with shimmering gold thread.

FinnStyle, finnstyle.com. Pentik Haapa velvet throw pillow (17.75 inches) in mustard yellow, $45 for pillow cover only, $55 for cover with insert.

For local stores, call to check availability before you go.

Multilevel and nesting pieces offer built-in variety and flair.

Keep things interesting with colorful patterns and prints.

Functional decor for seating, storage and more

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Maintenance of the Kitchen’s Most Versatile Equipment – Tilting Pan

Versatility of the Equipment

The tilting pan can be used for almost any task that has to be done in the kitchen. Foodservice operators use it for cooking, pan-frying, browning, roasting and much more. One has to name the cooking style needed and the tilting skillet is all ready for use. Whether it is cooking stews, soups, pasta, rice or sauces or pan frying food-dishes like fish fillets, donuts, fried chicken or French fries, the skillet does it all. Browning foods or simmering foods in large quantities in it becomes very easy. It can be used as an oven too to roast or bake several poultry or meat varieties of menu items. Steaming, thawing or using it as a griddle to prepare grilled vegetables, burgers, bacon, sausages, pancakes and many more items is another aspect of its functionality.

The tilting skillet comes in several capacities and several finishes. Though normally, it is made of stainless steel, other materials can be used for the cabinet components. One can go in for the countertop models or choose from the ones that rest on the floor. Floor units come with crank or electric tilting mechanisms while those of the countertop models are manual. However, when the tilting skillet is present in the kitchen it is very necessary to have an adequate number of kitchen storage bins and industrial storage bins so that you have ample space for its placement and functioning. Considering its versatility, it is but quite natural to ensure that this workhorse of the kitchen is kept in top shape all through its working life.

Maintenance Tips

Simple tips that will help to extend the working life of this equipment are given below:

• Never use high heat on the skillet when it is empty. Repeated use of high heat will compromise the heating surface or cause warping to occur.

• New tilting skillets have to be seasoned with oil before regular use. The bottom of the skillet has to be covered with oil and heated at few minute intervals as this will help to avoid sticking issues and make for easier cleaning.

• The food debris should be cleaned off from the bottom of the skillet by warming water in it using residual heat.

• Cleaning can be done effectively by using a nylon brush and warm, soapy water. At no times, harsh cleaners or rough materials to be used as this can damage the pan.

• During the cleaning, care has to be taken to ensure that water does not get sprayed on the mechanical components of the equipment.

• It is better to use the appropriate shaped utensils that go with the pan so as to avoid the pitting on the skillet.

The tilting pan is a very important piece of equipment of every commercial kitchen and has to be given the appropriate care and consideration it deserves.…

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The Versatile Ranch Style House

Over the years I've designed and drawn many different styles of homes for clients. I've had the honor of making plans for stately Colonial Manors, Cottages, Modern Contemporary, Federal Style, Mediterranean, etc., but the most versatile of all these layouts is the American Ranch Style home.

Conceived in the US in the 1920s, and patterned after the Midwestern homes use by ranchers and farmers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Hence the name: "Rancher". The Rancher was also known as the "Tract House" because this was the style of choice for developers creating large sub divisions. Thousands of these homes were built in subdivisions across the nation. If you've ever watched the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart at Christmas time, about 45 minutes into the move you'll see a whole bunch of these Ranch styles in the back ground.

Simpler because of its single story design, the Ranch House can be made into a large rectangle with a long central hallway. But the house can also be built in a "T" or "C" shaped configuration, a "L", and even an "E" or even a double "E" layout. This gives this design an ability to adapt to the needs of the family living in it and fit the terrain, no matter what the topography of the lot it's built on.

The foundations or basements are also a simple matter for these homes. That's because we have the simple rectangular design. With a rectangular layout, there's always an easy way to support the floor system with all the piers or post evenly spaced.

Roofs on this style also can vary in shape. The most common roof for the main rectangle of the home is the simple gable, hip, half hip, or even a flat roof. But if the other appendages are added, you can have multiple roofs in whatever direction the homes extensions happen to go. I've seen some built with angled appendages at 30 to 45 degrees.

But the design even lends itself to more class by adding a steep roof pitch that another ½ story can be added to the house making it a story and a half. From that steep roof, dormers can be placed to add even more beauty to the home. One of the prettiest Ranchers I've ever seen had this steep roof configuration with a large center dormer and smaller dormers on each side of the large one. It was also decorated out with many of the classic brick work, columns, and trims of the colonial homes. It was a sight to behold and the owner was very proud.

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