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Home Front 

News and other information for the home and garden.

Decked Out Digs

See some of the season's most exquisitely decorated homes on the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans Holiday Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9-10. There will be performances by local musicians at each of the seven Garden District residences on the tour. Enjoy lunch at the cafe and shop at the holiday boutique in Trinity Episcopal Church's Bishop Polk Hall (1329 Jackson Ave.).

Advance tickets are $22 for PRC members and $27 for non-members; $32 at the door for everyone. Group rates are available. There will be a black-tie-optional patron party on the evening of Dec. 8 at a private St. Charles Avenue residence, with ticket prices starting at $90 (includes a ticket to the home tour). For more information, call 581 7032. -- Nelson

What's in a Home?

If disaster struck, would you have proper proof of your property? Could you write a list of every item in your home -- from memory? Not an easy task. Just ask the thousands of homeowners affected by Hurricane Katrina, many of whom still haven't settled with their insurance companies.

If you've resolved to be better prepared for hurricane season in 2007, there's a new computer application that can help you get organized. It's Quicken Home Inventory Manager (, a user-friendly product that offers an easy way to fully document everything you own.

You will need a digital camera with images of items throughout your home, but you won't need a tutorial to get started. Simply enter a description for each item, what you paid for it, and your current estimated value. After that, there are no other required fields to deal with, but you do have the option to record where you bought the item and any serial, make, or model numbers to help expedite insurance claims. You can drag and drop photos into each record and, if you wish, scan and attach price tags, receipts, warranties and appraisals.

Such a thorough record would be useless, however, if your computer is under water, right? That's where the double backup feature comes in. You can easily put all of your information onto a removable disk or flash drive that you can take with you. For extra security, you can also keep a backup file online using Quicken Online Backup. Beyond disaster preparedness, the Home Inventory Manager can help keep track of your belongings when you change residences. It's also a good estate planning tool that allows you to record each item and note its beneficiary. -- Nelson

Fresh Designs

Interior Designer Chet Pourciau has served as the steady hand guiding many interiors -- both residential and commercial. But now he's doing double duty as both designer and merchant. Last month, he opened Chet Pourciau Design, a retail space where he sells directly to the public.

Located in Agora Galleries (2240 Magazine St., 525-2240) -- the marketplace where shoppers can browse the wares of 30 different vendors -- Pourciau's ever-changing trove is a reflection of his fresh, signature look, which mixes refurbished antiques, vintage finds, streamlined contemporary lighting, extraordinary yet affordable art and more. For the holidays, Pourciau's inventory includes custom-designed and handmade gifts like uber-luxe Christmas stockings made of real mink.

Also relocated to Agora is GB Interiors, a downsized version of the popular Magazine shop that closed after Katrina, and St. Gertrude, another Magazine Street favorite. -- Cutrone

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