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Welcome Mat: Chinese New Year, book sale and more

Year of the Rabbit starts Sunday

You don’t have to wait until Easter to add rabbits to your décor. The Chinese New Year that begins on Sunday will celebrate the Year of the Rabbit that symbolizes longevity, positivity, auspiciousness, wittiness, cautiousness, cleverness, deftness and self-protection. This Botanical Bunny-Shaped Coir Doormat from Grandin Road that retails for $99.50 lets the sweet creature make a great first impression. Go to

Rebel Walls, Lars Wallin pair up to create new wallpaper

Rebel Walls recently teamed up with Swedish fashion designer Lars Wallin for a striking new wallpaper collection. Known for his hand-sewn couture dresses worn by celebrities and royalty, now Wallin will deliver that custom touch to the home with wallpapers that feature remarkable attention to detail with hand-sewn originals. Sequin by sequin and pearl by pearl. “A new world opened up when I started designing wallpapers with Rebel Walls. The creativity made possible through wallpapers was inspiring,” said Wallin in a press release. The collection that includes five captivating patterns in various colors will launch on Jan. 26. Go to

Winter used book sale in downtown Rochester

The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library will hold its winter used book sale from Jan. 25-29. (Facemasks are recommended, but currently not required.) Presale opportunities for Friends members will be from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Jan. 25. (New member signups and renewals are available at the door.) Sale hours differ slightly from the library’s operating hours: 10-8 on Jan 26, 10-5 on Jan 27 and 28 and 1:30-4:30 on Jan 29, which is Bag Day where all you can fit in a standard grocery bag is $5. “We will have over 40,000 items, with a fine selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction, for adults and children of all ages. We also have a large selection of DVDs, CDs, puzzles and games,” said chairperson Ann Gruenewald. The location is 500 Olde Towne Road in downtown Rochester. Go to

Monique Lhuillier offers inspiration at Pottery Barn

The latest collaboration between Pottery Barn and Monique Lhuillier captures relaxed elegance at its finest. Inspired by her travels to the Amalfi Coast, Lhuillier, an internationally acclaimed bridal and fashion designer, said on the Pottery Barn website, “From the embroidered linens to the Lily of the Valley Glassware, I wanted to showcase the beauty of what nature has created.” Lemon trees are among the lovely motifs that are featured in the 2023 spring collection. Go to

Readying your pest patrol

Frozen pipes and downed trees are not the only threats when temperatures decline. A warm house stocked with food is the ultimate destination spot for pests seeking refuge from the cold. Research conducted by the Harris Poll found that one in eight U.S. homeowners have had a rodent infestation. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following seasonal tips: 

--Seal cracks and holes outside the home and check areas where utilities and pipes enter the building, as rodents can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. 

--Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to pest infestations. 

--Screen vents to chimneys and attics and replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows. 

--Keep storage areas like attics, basements and crawl spaces well organized, ventilated and dry. 

--Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and store trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas or use animal-proof lids.  

If pests become an issue, contact a licensed pest professional. Go to for more information.