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Don't be afraid of adding color to your kitchen
By Deborah Donovan | Inside & Out

Color in the kitchen need not be scary.


Courtesy Diamond Cabinets

This year it's the big city for sculptures like this, but they will be at the Morton Arboretum next year.


Courtesy Morton Arboretum

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Published: 5/16/2009 12:01 AM

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If it's time to build a new kitchen, how about colored cabinets?

New colors from Diamond Cabinets, based in Indiana, include a blue-gray called Tidal Mist; creamy Honeysuckle; and Oasis, an antiqued blue. Existing colors include moss and crimson.

These are semi-custom cabinets and thus are supposed to be less expensive than custom ones. And, of course, many homeowners mix color with more traditionally stained cabinets. So, you could add color to the island or the upper cabinets or a "hutch," for example.

Diamond offers a line of cabinets, many of which have been judged easier to use for people with arthritis.

Information is at

Save water-buy me a new dishwasher

You know how some say we have to sacrifice if we are going to save the planet from pollution and global warming?

Not Electrolux. The word from their fun web site,, is that an electric dishwasher uses less precious water than hand washing. Who'd have thought it?

They quote figures from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program.

If you have a full dishwasher that meets Energy Star guidelines, it uses 5 gallons of water. Washing the same number of dishes by hand takes 27 gallons. Wow.

So the company lets you see how much water it would save if everyone in Chicago or the city of your choice had an up-to-date dishwasher.

Let's say you make the sacrifice and switch from dunking dishes to an energy-efficient dishwasher. You would save 4,730 gallons of water a year. That's 75,680 cups of coffee.

I love my dishwasher, but washing dishes by hand is easier than beating those clothes against a rock. That's for sure.

Rush Street Tangos with suburban roots

The Morton Arboretum is about as suburban as it gets. It's 1,700 acres of open space and lush plantings in Lisle.

But every now and then even the most suburban of us gets an urge for the bright lights and big city.

So the arboretum plunked two sculptures by Steve Tobin near Michigan Avenue at Huron and Rush streets and in Lincoln Park at Fullerton Avenue and Cannon Drive.

These steelroots are designed to get folks ready for an exhibit of Tobin's work in a year at the arboretum. He is known for the Trinity Root sculpture near ground zero of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

"By making icons from tree roots I am highlighting the power and mystery of trees and introducing a formal abstraction of roots in the modernist tradition," said Tobin.

Tango - the one taking in the sights on Rush Street - weighs 5,000 pounds, and the second unnamed one is even larger.