Sam Flax South outfits artists and designers with supplies and furniture from top industry brands such as Herman Miller, Humanscale, and Steelcase to produce masterpieces on any scale. Easels grip canvases as painters blanket them in polychromatic oils and acrylics, just as drafting tables, rulers, and protractors help architects draft the blueprint for the first home built entirely of discarded totem poles. Guests can leaf through paper products and readymade gifts including delicate cards, journals, and calendars. Treasured prints also find displayable homes in Sam Flax’s custom-framing department, where artisans design hangable enclosures that accentuate a picture with a contrasting mat color or an oversize neon arrow that points directly to the image. The in-house framing center applies acid-free matting and seals art in airtight materials to preserve pieces.
Kathy Antar opened The Sewing Studio planning to provide sewing services for design professionals and event producers, but was soon flooded with phone calls and emails from people who simply wanted to know how to use their sewing machines. To meet that need, The Sewing Studio began to offer a selection of beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewing classes. During each 2.5-hour session, students learn how to thread machines, wind the bobbin, and practice various stitches using their own machines. In addition to classes, Kathy custom-designs furniture upholstery, bedding, and window coverings and supplies expert design-consultation services, which can transform a client's dream design into a tactile reality.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
All Fired Up!'s homey studio invites artists of all ages to participate in kiln-fired activities. Whether perusing the shelves laden with blank pottery or cutting and arranging colored glass to design their own plate, visitors get the chance to create personalized mementos and dishware. Classes let students try their hands at a pottery wheel, and kids' parties keep birthday guests distracted with painting while their parents wrap last-minute gifts.
The Furniture Bank collects furnishings from area donors and stores them in a fully secured storage house, from which the items can be delivered to households in need. Through its Furniture Distribution Program, the organization provides on average 14 pieces of furniture to each of its client families, including a bed for each family member, a sofa, and items such as dressers, bookshelves, and coffee tables. Every year, it distributes furniture to more than 3,000 people, more than 1,700 of whom are children. But despite the generosity of the Furniture Bank's donors, the need for children's bedding often outnumbers donations, as most donated beds are full- or queen-sized. The Furniture Bank purchases twin mattresses to fill the void, ensuring each child who needs a bed receives one.
Rooms To Go offers a large, constantly updated inventory of stylish furniture at stores nationwide. Many pieces and accessories rest in complete room-display scenarios, making it easier for bedroom embellishers, den adorners, and budding playwrights to make fine design decisions and coordinate their choices with existing furnishings at home or in off-Broadway shed theaters. Customers can even choose to purchase entire room sets as a package, saving time and stretching wallets. The Krista cocktail table features a cherry finish and graceful curves ($250). The West Bay Kyoto Stool ($95) can seat guests stylishly at household bars, or be paired with the warm brandy finish of the Inglewood Dining Table, equipped with a glass top and primavera veneers ($370).