An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. A Conrad backless barstool ($48) commands shoppers’ attention with its sleek, contemporary design, and Kira furnishings provide stylish sites for storage, studying, or snoozing. A Bulkman pub table with four chairs ($399), sofas, and barstools anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
Father-and-son team Robert and Fred Lee worked as homebuilders for years before going into business selling lights in 1965, so they knew how quickly something impressive could rise from a humble foundation. Sure enough, Lee Lighting, their small family company, grew to include a vast online retail shop and one of the largest lighting dealers in Texas. They've even purchased Savoy, a company that designs fixtures to bring cheer to dining rooms and make rooms full of ventriloquist dummies less terrifying.
Lee Lighting stocks shelves with a diverse selection of indoor lamps from brands including ELK Lighting, Quoizel, and Hudson Valley. Staffers certified by the American Lighting Association move beneath the dazzling crystal sprays and faux candles of chandeliers. They suggest outdoor lighting to transform backyards into regal terraces. They also stay abreast of lighting trends to help patrons select lights that will stay in style.
At Nuts and Bolts Hardware, the official STIHL outdoor power-equipment dealer, a friendly staff of handyfolk and hardware experts help clients patch-up pipes, cut glass, or select power tools for an upcoming DIY project. For jobs that need an expert's eye, the shop keeps a handful of technicians who repair small engines, sharpen kitchen knives, and cut keys as guests enjoy complimentary popcorn and coffee.
The thoroughly trained staff members at each My Oreck Store direct customers toward the proper housecleaning accouterments while doling out customized services plus 30-day money-back guarantees on returned items. Tidy up living spaces with a new vacuum by Oreck or Miele ($149.99+), or outfit a vacuum with a new bag ($5.99–$50 for all brands) to complement its date-night outfit. Air purifiers ($149.99) help to rid the surrounding atmosphere of contaminants, and industrial-strength cleaning supplies ($5–$79.99) utilize powerful ingredients that perform constant bicep curls and lunges to vigorously sanitize soiled surfaces.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.