The specialists at Mr. Frame It take pride in preserving and enhancing memories in all of their physical embodiments—from artworks and photographs to prized sports souvenirs. They draw on more than 1,000 samples from brands such as Larson-Juhl to create custom frames that either serve as focal points or blend in with room decor. In addition to encasing children’s artwork and family portraits, the staff stretches canvases, mounts mirrors, and builds shadow boxes to house awards and first-edition time-share brochures.
At Home adorns humans and their domiciles with an elegant spread of beach-inspired accents. Mounted wall art and snapshot-hungry picture frames cling to the boutique’s creamy walls ($18–$80), bracketing caches of artisanal gifts ($10+) and reclaimed-wood furnishings. Delicate hand-painted sea creatures frolic across glazed platters and stemware ($30–$100), and clusters of Archipelago bodycare products coddle and moisturize sun-kissed land-dwellers ($20+). Fragrant rainbows of Trapp candles peer out of a-framed boxes, mustering their forces for up to fifty hours of ambrosial incineration ($25). Crown a favorite hostess or visiting auditor with wreathes of eclectic jewelry ($20–$200) or rifle through treasure troves of baby apparel for giggle-inducing gifts. After a rousing browse, shoppers can throw on sartorial cover-ups ($30) and strut six blocks to the sandy catwalk.
Cottage by the Sea beautifies abodes with cottage-style furniture and beachy accessories. Seafaring shoppers can infuse their homes with ocean accents such as seashell-framed mirrors and coral prints without having to barter with miserly mermen.
Once visitors reach the point of mosaic or brush-stroked satisfaction, veteran staffers crank up the heat in the kiln, with finished pieces ready in about a week’s time. All products are nontoxic and lead-free, making each piece fully functional for dinner or as a makeshift helmet during a couch-fort takeover.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
The friendly staff at Paula's Fine Fabrics unspools more than 2,500 bolts of fabric for do-it-yourselfers, equipping them with stylish fibers for sewing, quilting, and smocking projects. With Amy Butler and Michael Miller fabrics at their disposal ($10.99–$11.99/yd.), crafters can string together silky new blankets or reupholster the family dog. Miller's Baby Girl collection contours shades of pink into baby-friendly formations including dots, stripes, elephants, and bicycles. Specialty fabrics for heirloom sewing ($6–$20/yd.) lend a vintage look without having to add inseam pince-nez or lapel wainscoting. As an authorized dealer of Bernina products, the team of fabric aficionados retails and repairs a variety of sewing machines. Paula's Fine Fabrics fosters a tightly knit community by participating in such events as Quilt Fest 2011 and hosting a range of classes for both novices and masters.