One of the largest furniture retailers in the country, RoomStore offers furnishings for all tastes and budgets. Browse elegantly practical seating for the dining room such as a Manhattan side chair with a faux leather seat ($129.99) or a Hancock bench, a classic medieval trestle form that welcomes soul sacks with dignity ($199.99), like the moon welcomes a handsome astronaut. Bedroom pieces are sturdy beauties, such as the Montpelier nightstand ($199.99), that have matching mirrors ($75+) to boast your own beauty. A selection of kids’ furniture, accent tables, and armoires proves RoomStore's forest of furnishings has the makings to feather any nest, birdhouse, or airy loft apartment. Reliable delivery teams ensure furniture is placed and assembled in the preferred spot, be it on the roof or nestled inside a kitchen cupboard.
Short of creating physical clouds to hold people aloft, Mattress Warehouse stocks almost every imaginable furnishing to help customers catch a few Z’s. Rows of name-brand mattresses from Sealy, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic entice customers to replace their worn pad for new bedding, such as a standard mattress, a fluffy pillowtop unit, or a memory foam piece that conforms to bodies. Beyond mattresses, the warehouse also carries an ample collection of box springs, full bed sets with rails and headboards, and even premium futon mattresses that revitalize foldable couches.
Counter Intelligence’s expert countertop agents have installed alluring, high-end kitchen surfaces since 1986. Skilled counter connoisseurs can visit homes during free in-home consultations, wielding digital templating equipment to ensure that new countertops fit perfectly into every nook and cranny. Once the complimentary kitchen template is ready, clients may select materials from a factory showroom, deciding on new counters, sinks, faucets, and edging. Grade-A, first-cut granite travels from quarries all over the world, bringing unique colors, patterns, and souvenir postcards, and arrives coated in IntelliGuard to ward off invading spills and stains ($1,995+ for 2 cm. thick slabs & installation in a 10’x10’ kitchen). Homeowners can also opt for nonporous, color-consistent Silestone quartz or more than 60 shades of robust Cambria quartz. After clients finish perusing a variety of undermount sinks, Moen faucets, and complimentary countertop edging, Counter Intelligence will begin its two-day kitchen overhaul.
Each of Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations overflows with thousands of plants throughout the year, encompassing such variety that a reporter for CNN’s Eatocracy claimed “I might as well endorse my paychecks straight to them…because I always want to grow what they've got.” Knowledgeable garden experts, 25 of whom have been with Merrifield for 25 years or more, guide customers through row upon row of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants, or help them sort through an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds. Visitors may also bump into the founders themselves, or their children and other family members, 38 of whom still work at the thriving business that started 40 years ago.
Merrifield doesn’t just proliferate plants, however; amenities such as cafes in Gainesville and Merrifield and a dog park in Gainesville make each garden center into a leisure destination as well. Three of its garden gurus run an hourlong TV show that's been going for more than two decades, and other staff publish gardening advice on the website and Facebook.
The staff also work to protect the environment with a variety of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides stocking native plants and water-saving devices for their customers, they also compost more than 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush left over from their comprehensive landscaping services every year. The Gainesville location also gathers old concrete, metal appliances, and rusted Optimus Primes for recycling free of charge.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.