With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24x36 pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Declared a 2011 finalist for the area's Best Mattress Store by readers of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mattress Outlet has culled an extensive arsenal of mattresses from top-brand manufacturers for more than 30 years. At eight locally owned locations throughout the Tennessee Valley, its knowledgeable staffers navigate showrooms that brim with cushy memory-foam slumbering surfaces from brands such as Serta and Tempur-Pedic. The staff procures the store's inventory from top manufacturers, who have partnered with Mattress Outlet for years, working to keep the prices affordable and to ensure no under-the-bed monsters are damaged during travel.
For more than 30 years, MurMaid Mattress has culled an extensive arsenal of mattresses from both top-brand manufacturers and from its own, onsite factory. The shop has garnered the title of Best Mattress Store from readers of the Chattanooga Times Free Press multiple times. At seven locations throughout the Tennessee Valley, its staffers navigate sprawling showrooms that brim with memory-foam mattresses and adjustable beds from brands such as Serta and Tempur-Pedic. It procures its inventory directly from such manufacturers, working to keep its prices affordable and to ensure no under-the-bed monsters were damaged during travel. The store's immense stash of products also includes MurMaid Mattress’s own creations, assembled at an onsite factory affixed to the Cleveland location. Staffers produce custom, made-to-order mattresses from materials used by national brands.
During her history of irrepressible creativity, Rhonda Wilkins has dabbled in fabric painting, woodcrafts, scrapbooking, stenciling, and more. She hoped to turn her passion into a career a decade ago by starting Fabulous Finishes, a decorative painting business, which eventually added a social concept: the painting party. Rhonda’s Create and Celebrate Studio now hosts easygoing classes that extend this variety of creative therapy to students of all ages and skill levels with step-by-step instruction. The focus of each session runs the gamut of art history, from serene Tuscan landscapes to iconic mustache graffiti. Groups of neophyte artists can also organize group and kid’s parties, which include materials, instruction, and time for cake and presents.
It's hard not to feel a little sleepy upon entering Mattress & Furniture Expo. The retail space showcases mattresses that like snakes, come in three types: coiled, latex, and memory foam. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers select the sleeping surface that's best for them. They can also help patrons browse a selection of furniture from brands such as Coaster and Largo.
Voyaging through the mountains in search of a red rome beauty might sound like a hero's legendary quest, but in Ellijay, Georgia, anyone can do it—as long as they wait until September. That's when B.J. Reece Orchards opens its orchard for public picking. There, rows of trees hold edible jewels ready to be plucked, from the fabled red rome beauty to the golden delicious and the gala, which appears on the branch in full formal wear.
As visitors fill their baskets in the shadow of the North Georgia Mountains, aromas from the nearby country bakery drift on the wind. Chefs take inspiration from the season and setting to create apple-cider doughnuts and butter-crusted pies to the delight of parents and children alike. But kids take center stage at the petting farm. There, they can meet animal friends and lead wonderfully accurate renditions of "Old McDonald" before hopping on a wagon and riding through the hills.
Gallery owner Kirk Carlisle doesn’t just sell art—he protects it. In addition to showcasing his self-curated collection of century-spanning paintings that deck the walls of Carlisle Gallery, he also helps newer art battle the forces of time with artistic framing services. The gallery’s custom-framing specialist draws on more than 30 years of experience as he pairs diplomas, paintings, and finger-painted replicas of Bayeux Tapestry with complementary matting and outlines before securing them in their new glass-covered homes. Frames make aesthetic statements of their own, with edging chosen from more than 10,000 frame styles ranging from hand-carved Italian moldings to sleek metallic boundaries.
Bedzzz Express facilitates the best night’s sleep possible by taking inventory of customers’ sleeping habits to help them choose the perfect mattress. President Keith Krininger credits this practice with Bedzzz Express success, which has resulted in 32 store locations sprinkled across three states. In the showroom, models from Sealy, Serta, and Simmons cushion bodies at rest with a range of comfortable materials including foam and pillow tops that help lull customers to sleep. Mattresses and mattress sets are available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes and can be delivered locally.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work: handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a double-domed glass-door cabinet ($284), or in a hefty, finely trimmed kitchen hutch ($410). Or, display a new moving picture box on a delicately polished TV stand/buffet ($500). Small console tables ($160) and storage chests ($224) come in a myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces, such as an immaculately carved chest of drawers ($548), are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables ($435–$548) and chairs ($80 each). Pieces are always fully assembled, ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
Mattress King's wide selection of mattresses from well-known brands such as Sealy Posturepedic, Embody, and Stearns & Foster run the firmness and texture gamut, giving sleepers of all shapes and sizes a shot at a good night's rest. Sealy's Posturepedic queen-sized Spirited supports dreamers with a comfortable durability ($409 for the mattress, $699 for the set). Dozers with a penchant for luxurious expediency snooze on the Stearns & Foster Bradenburg queen-sized bed, which lends backsides a plush surface and a patient ear as they complain about lousy desk chairs ($719 for the mattress, $1,169.10 for the set), or opt to bounce to another to decide which size fits the mold.
Giving gifts is its own reward, but at The Gifted Ferret, get-well cards, trinkets and candles accompany a robust collection of boutique wines so gift-givers can reward themselves as well. The shop's wine racks brim with vino crafted by vintners who treat winemaking not just as a business but also as a passion as well as the best way to teach grapes a lesson. During onsite wine classes, industry experts regale attendees with information while pouring samples from among the shop's dozens of varietals. For those seeking an intoxicant-free fix, the staff brews Newman's Own coffee and Green Mountain Naturals apple cider. In the gift area, patrons peruse handmade cards and Arthur Court pewter home-decor items alongside gift bags and an expanded array of gourmet food items.
The cooks at Restaurant 83 keep their menu simple, featuring classic American dishes such as barbecue ribs, meatloaf, and fried chicken. Sides of collard greens, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes round out the dine-in or delivered meals.
Standard Furniture traces its origins back to 1912, when a local family began traveling through Birmingham, peddling fine household furniture out of a wagon. Four generations later, the business has blossomed into 13 retail stores throughout Alabama and Tennessee, and its century-long commitment to quality furniture and customer service won it the Alabama Retail Association’s Silver Award as one of the Retailers of the Year in 2011. Each gallery abounds with bedroom, living-room, dining-room furniture from top designers, including Lane, along with mattresses in a range of shapes and styles from brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, and Jamison. At each location, a knowledgeable staff awaits to offer design counsel, suggesting pieces that best suit a household’s style or will hold up against a disobedient pet woodchuck.
True allegiance to a sports team can’t be expressed with cheers alone. Devotees of Auburn and the University of Alabama’s sports programs can take their fandom to the next level at Sportsmania, with locations on the first floor of Parkway Place Mall and in the Carl T. Jones Target Shopping Center near Pier 1 Imports. The shop outfits visitors with a comprehensive array of team paraphernalia, including hats, goalie masks, magnets, flags, and even checkerboards and saltshakers. Daniel Moore prints and other pieces of home décor, meanwhile, help households demonstrate a passion for sports without having to hire a football player to sit on the mantel.
Ron Hogan Stained Glass Design Center preserves Old-World artistry and educates students on contemporary processes in classes devoted to the craft of building custom stained-glass pieces. During each three-hour sun-catcher class, the studio's dedicated professionals unveil tips for selecting, cutting, and soldering glass. Students wield the provided tools to assemble colorful pieces of glass into light-capturing traps capable of plunging the Earth into darkness.