Grand Frame Inc, an Arlington Heights establishment since 1974, corrals more than 3,000 frames, posters, and display museum cases in its 8,000 square-foot space. Gary Grana, the framery's cofounder, holds two patents in framing technology and has passed his passion for the industry to several members of his family who now guide customers through framing options for sports memorabilia, wedding photos, and lovingly audited tax documents. In addition to carefully inspecting every project that goes through the shop, Gary's expert staff also doles out frame-hanging services to help complete customers' decor. Over the years, the store has continuously evolved its services by offering LCD TV framing and Grand Gone Green products, a signature line that embraces an eco-friendly approach to picture framing.
Established in December of 2000, The Framers Edge aims to safeguard artwork, photographs, and keepsakes to be cherished for generations. Using museum-grade, conservation-quality materials, the owners design and hand-craft custom framing projects that can range from a child's drawing to an autographed guitar. With thousands of mouldings and matboards, customers are in complete control how their heirlooms are preserved and cherished. The owners work onsite, taking on framing projects starting from $125 and specialty jersey framing, custom acrylic cases, and shadowboxes starting from $325.
Winner of the 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence, Lowe's has been helping customers conserve energy and expletives with home improvement, gardening, and hardware solutions for every budget. With the store's friendly handypeople as their guide, nail-pounding novices and seasoned remodelers alike can outfit their toolbox for any undertaking with more than 6,000 products between $25 and $50. Impress spouses and annoy car-pooling coworkers by ably installing ceiling fans into your car roof. Add lighting fixtures to darkling domiciles, or finally finish your back yard's Super Mario Bros. level with Lowe's garden tools. The store can also mix together a rainbow of hues for painting projects involving dining rooms, nurseries, and sweat lodges. Afterwards, you can clean up the dust with a 6-Gallon HP Wet/dry Shop Vac ($44.97), or rinse off caulk-covered corpuses under the Moen Brushed Nickel 7 Spray Pattern Shower Massager ($49.98). Regardless of your mission, the accommodating staff at Lowe's will offer expert advice for completing your home's improvements.
Threaded with dramatic marble patterns or shimmering quietly in zinc, Precision Stone Designs' countertops are eco-friendly and backed by a one-year warranty. Slabs of granite, marble, quartz, and engineered stone—all available in about 200 colors—await choosy renovators, as does 3D design software that helps homeowners realize their design dreams. Technicians typically install countertops and cabinets themselves, but industrious customers can opt for customizable DIY packages.
Matt Puchalski set himself up early for a career in the arts, working as a framer at a nationally renowned studio in high school and enrolling at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. When his workplace unexpectedly went out of business, 20-year-old Matt shrewdly bought up the equipment and customer list, set himself up as the sole proprietor, and decamped to the safety of his parents' basement, where he balanced his coursework with the demands of a small-business owner. Matt's determination and hard work paid off, with streams of repeat customers and corporate clients paving the way for three subsequent business expansions and the company's current success.
A far cry from the shop's humble roots, the current studio shows off the talented staff's technical skill with projects such as a framed flat-screen television or 75-gallon aquarium. Technicians touch up and bring to life faded photographs with restoration projects, and the store's designers craft stunning framing compositions that decorate homes, corporate offices, and even the walls of the White House.
Now that he no longer has to juggle frame crafting and school with the rigors of owning his own business, Matt has time to return to his art, employing brilliant splashes of color to create impressionistic depictions of the stately granite structures, glistening skyscraper lights, and active volcanoes along the iconic Chicago skyline.