Practical purchases at home

Is this both affordable and multipurpose?

In recent years, the simple living room went out of style. Homeowners traded in entertainment centers with TV consoles for flat screens and bought sectionals with power outlets to charge laptops. The most popular trend was to turn modest common areas into modern media spaces. And then we hit the economic plunge, and everyone’s aims changed.

Now, furniture buyers “are more conscientious and looking for a great value,” said Leigh Siegel, the marketing director for Mealey’s Furniture. “They want to buy quality furniture that’s in stock and affordable.”

For example, people are ditching the traditional dining sets in favor of informal pub sets. These units stand at an average of 42 inches high, and they’re considered a bargain because they can be used for more than just eating meals.

“With today’s hectic lifestyle, these tables are used for cooking, catching up on mail and kids finishing homework,” said Mealy’s vice president of merchandisisng, Bill Levine.

But that doesn’t mean buyers want to sacrifice style, so those in-demand practical pieces also need to be affordably on-trend.

Eileen Kelly, Mealey’s head designer, revealed what’s hot this upcoming season. “Industrial revolution has really taken hold, and it has evolved to something more off-the-factory-floor than Victoriana,” Kelly said, also noting big trends involving baseball stitching, chunky knits, Greek chic, plush fabrics and tie dye.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.