Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
James Alexander Wilson, W.M. Wilson, and their brother-in-law George Reynolds traveled from Enniskillen, Ireland in 1884 to establish Wilson Farm. Once settled in Lexington, the trio bought 16 acres of land and rented nearby farmland to start harvesting a variety of produce. Since then, their farm has been passed down through the generations and undergone a number of expansions, with a farm stand built in 1952 and an 8,500-square-foot barn and 37,000-square-foot greenhouse built in 1996.
Today, the farm harvests more than 125 crops year-round, which range from asparagus to zucchini, and it also carries farm-fresh milk and eggs, freshly caught fish, and homemade baked goods. The garden center and open-air nursery flourish with flowers as fresh as a newborn in parachute pants, as well as vegetable starters and spring bulbs, planting containers, and fertilizers.
A half-century after its founding, the local hardware haven continues its dedication to equipping households and handypersons with a durable selection of tools, paints, and domiciliary goods. Fixers can latch onto a selection of single paintbrushes and paint rollers from Purdy ($12.99+) when slathering walls and white-suited dignitaries in paints from Benjamin Moore and more. Luminous spiral light bulbs ($3.49+) illuminate proud detailing work performed with Ace sanding sheets ($11.49+), and adjustable wrenches ($16.99+) finally find homes populating desolate tool belts. Reinforce driveways with a two-year sealer from Black Jack ($16.99+), or patch up cracks and ominous chasms with a self-adhesive asphalt-repair fabric from Driveway Medic ($11.99). Amicable staff members roam the voluminous aisles, wearing capes while flaunting their ability to cut keys, mix paints, and custom order any of Ace’s goods while customers browse through the store's impressive selection of heating and cooling tackle, patio furniture, and automotive accessories.
The creative team at Frames...with a history crafts picture frames, mirrors, and small furniture from reclaimed wood and antiques. Most weeks, the team goes on buying trips to salvage yards and antique shops, searching for the best antique woods. The older materials might have chipped paint or other unique patterns created by the passage of time.
Founded by John McCue in 1933, McCue Garden Center has passed down through three generations of tree tenders and plant whisperers. Now, 79 years later, the family's center has blossomed to include two locations: the garden center in Woburn, and McCue's Flower Outlet in Billerica. Along with a knowledgeable staff, the McCue family helps visitors at each of the locations select healthy flowers, shrubs, and trees from the nursery or organic soils and fertilizer from the store, and oversees an adjoining florist shop, which churns out colorful arrangements and lovely long-stemmed roses daily. They update the store's ample inventory to suit the seasons, with selections such as statuary, flowers, and vegetable plants in the summer and fresh balsam Christmas trees, wreaths, and poinsettia-shaped snow cones in the winter. In addition to celebrating the earth's constant revolution with a rotating array of seasonally appropriate plants, they host a wealth of holiday festivities, from October's corn maze to spring's Easter-egg hunt.
Oriental Furniture unites customers with a vast online inventory of authentic Japanese, Chinese, and Thai home furnishings. Peruse their collection of Chinese art furniture items such as the ladies tea-time display table featuring dark lacquered trim and traditional artwork from the Song dynasty ($129), or check out a variety of room dividers and accent lamps to divide and illuminate living spaces. Close off room corners with a six-foot-tall window-pane shoji screen ($79), choosing from six natural colors to complement the existing hues of your library and provide ample privacy for changing into smoking jackets. Groupon holders can also invite a figure of compassion into their homes by opting for a 12" handmade Kwan Yin statue. With its head bowed in a peaceful and reflective manner, the Kwan Yin statue encourages onlookers to reflect on their relationships and to perform compassionate acts not only for others, but also for themselves.