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.
American Factory Direct Furniture’s Comeaux family elucidates the principles of style and value through a host of furnishings for every household room. Pieces from designers such as Hooker, Samuel Lawrence, and others migrate about the floor, reeling in eyes with a 60-day price guarantee. The Wisteria chairside end table by Ashley sports inlays of maple and cherry veneer over solid hardwood ($148.88), and Hillsdale Furniture's Dennery counter stools swivel from side to side, dazzling onlookers with their cherry and black finishes ($148.88). In the corner, a Lane Furniture rocker recliner ($398.88) and Lane Furniture leather stationary sofa ($898.88) quietly plot beneficent takeovers of living rooms. Dreaming of the day it will embrace a plasma television with its carved moldings, a towering Fairmont Designs wall unit ($1,498.88) proudly displays a plethora of cabinets and drawers in which to stash Blu-ray players, accessories, and the lost scrolls of ancient Alexandria.
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.
To aid both those who need to decorate a whole room or seek just one standout piece, the knowledgeable consultants at Simcolifestyle find answers to design voids with comprehensive furniture collections and eye-catching accessories. Their business was designed to provide clients with luxurious window treatments, furniture, and fireplaces at an affordable price without having to sacrifice style and functionality. In addition to helping clients pick out pieces in their showroom, the consultants and their staff create custom bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, closets, and audio-visual installations.
By Design Furniture offers to accent homes with sleekly styled chairs, sectionals, and shelves that marry European chic with classic American comfort. The modular Synergy bookcase ($98) is bathed in dark walnut and a modernistic fix for storing office supplies, shelving paperbacks, or displaying a glass bust of Ray Bradbury. Admire well-dressed reflections in the espresso-enclosed Pasadena mirror ($198), or entertain a date at the Duetto snack table ($118), featuring two stainless-steel arms holding round glass faceplates. Orbed Jensen chairs ($198) beam with retro-futurism, sheathed with plush microfibers harvested from green, black, orange, and red Mork farms.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.