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Turkey Time

November 10, 2014

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HOME RULE has always been known for its cheerful housewares and terrific display window. The current Thanksgiving window features a plump “paper-bag The pre-Thanksgiving display window at the 14th Street retailer Home Rule. / MyLittleBird photo.turkey” made from Kraft paper, its frilly little feet sticking out from  an “oven.”

Co-owner Rod Glover says his inspiration for the window came from co-owner Grace Allison and . . . Martha Stewart. Last year Grace was helping her kids make paper-bag turkeys (they’re stuffed with popcorn for plumpness), based on a segment in which Martha had a young crafter show viewers the ways of, well, paper-bag turkeys. A year later Rod is upstairs in the storage area and thinks, Well, we have all this brown paper, may as well use it.

“I use limited resources, found items and our products,” explains Rod, who opened Home Rule with Greg Link in 1999 (Grace joined the team a decade ago). Greg has since moved to California, but, Rod points out, Greg does all the company’s accounting, which he can do remotely. Rod, who has a fine-arts background, does the displays and shares the buying for the store with Grace, who also heads up the store’s operations (making sure there’s enough staff and that the things they buy have a place to “live” in the long, narrow shop).

The display has its promotional aspects: The turkey is flanked by white ceramic bowls filled with torn-brown-paper “vegetables,” a white ceramic pie dish has a brown-paper upper crust, and upside-down white soufflé dishes act as cakes, with holiday messages written on their brown-paper tops. “We always have a lot of whiteware,” Rod says of the sleek modern white plates and bowls. The display lets Home Rule remind visitors of this dining-room staple.

But the crafty turkey will be gone long before Thanksgiving, in place only until November 18, to make way for the ever-earlier holiday displays. “I like to wait till the day after Thanksgiving to put up the holiday display,” Rod says. But everyone else is doing it earlier, right? “Right.”

–Nancy McKeon

Home Rule, 1807 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-797-5544, www.homerule.com.

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