Ace Hardware's supply-savvy staff leads homeowners through well-stocked shelves, provisioning them with all manner of property-preening products. A fresh can of Ace Paint or Benjamin Moore paint brightens up a sad room or adds the necessary darkness to a nonscary horror closet; to calculate the number of gallons they'll need, shoppers can simply use Ace's helpful paint estimator. Homeowners can illuminate secret projects with a Cooper Lighting halogen work light ($24.99) or mount wall adornments and poltergeist eviction notices using the potpourri of screws cuddled up inside the Walldog decorator kit ($14.99). Embrace outdoor living with Ace's exterior accouterments, which range from grills to outdoor lighting and pest-repelling equipment. Customers with questions need only summon an Ace employee for advice and suggestions, whether they require assistance finding nuts and bolts or adding another basement to the house.
For more than 60 years, Kwal Paint's team has designed colors to complement almost any décor, continually refreshing the palette of more than 1,600 shades to reflect trends and advancements in interior decorating. To wit: EnviroKote paints are made from eco-friendly, raw materials and contain no VOC. Additionally, online virtual color-visualizing applications help homeowners realize the abode of their dreams. As ever, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide customers through common issues such as blistering or how to revamp garden gnomes stuck in last season's styles.
The lawn-maintenance professionals at Yard Sharks keep outdoor spaces orderly and attractive through a wide range of yard-work services. The outfit specializes in mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing leaves, and can add on services such as aeration, fertilizer, and seasonal cleanups. Seasonal cleanups during spring and fall include gutter cleaning and power-raking of the lawn, followed by a removal of all debris to keep the landscaping attractive and prevent freeloading beavers from stealing building supplies.
Sheba Wheeler thrives even when faced with the unexpected. It was a tragic death in 2005 that sparked her passion for photography; today, it’s her photography that captures the spontaneous smiles and silly faces of the customers she shoots. As the lead shutterbug at Picture Your World Photography, Sheba has published work for the Denver Post and the Wall Street Journal. She blends 15 years of journalistic experience as a Lifestyles reporter with contemporary portraiture, enabling her to fetch unique shots and—as she shares on her website—preserve the “magic of the moment.”
At African Grill and Bar, owners Osei and Adowa Ford-Wuo strive to make everyone’s African dining experience fun and unintimidating, personally attending to guests and making suggestions from the menu of beef and goat stews, fried snapper and grouper, and fragrantly spiced spinach and vegetable plates. Unlike traditional American starches such as boring white bread and canisters of uncooked biscuit dough, even the carbs of West African cuisine lend distinct flavors to plates. Fried plantains, ground cassava, and tender spheroids of pounded yam accompany dishes, which range from groundnut soups to chicken curries. Fried-rice pilafs pop with the vibrant colors of spinach, tomato, and spices, complementing the décor of dark red tables, wicker chairs, leafy plants, and walls bedecked with African woodworking and weaving.
The staffers at Memories Photography foster a relaxed and welcoming environment during boudoir photo sessions. They encourage women to let loose and be themselves in front of the camera, whether they're dressing up or down. With the same relaxed approach, photographers also shoot weddings and engagement sessions as well as high-school-senior portraits.
At Urban Mattress, patrons can sprawl out on comfy, soporific mattresses from brands such as Sherwood, Tempur-Pedic, Lumina, and Urban Organics in search of firm billows. The owner-operated stores also offer sustainable options that leave little to no carbon footprint and are biodegradable, making future archaeologists' jobs easier when they go to uncover the cans of peas hidden under our beds. Two percent of all proceeds finds its way to local nonprofits, ensuring that customers can sleep better at night in more ways than one.