Sears Portrait Studio's original photographers committed their first family photos to film more than 60 years ago, and the studio's digital photographers continue the tradition of taking high-quality portraits at more than 1,000 U.S. locations open today. Each professional photographer completes a rigorous training program before they begin composing and shooting digital photographs, adopting styles ranging from formal portraits to passport photos. Their all-digital system lets customers access their photographs online, where they can add graphics before ordering prints for collages, greeting cards, mugs, and broken-mug collages.
For more than half a century, McCorkle Furniture has bedecked dull domiciles with room-enhancing furniture and flooring. Liven up a lackluster room before even setting foot in McCorkle’s showroom with a free in-home interior-decorating consultation, which assists in selecting furniture and choosing room-appropriate décor, including paints and flattering fabrics. Adorn empty living rooms or space stations with solid-wood black-finish end tables ($189), modern oval lamps ($169), and a variety of decorative vegetation ($49–$349). Those looking for an appropriate place to store their budding collection of commemorative Corgi sweaters can opt for a Lang Furniture five-drawer chest ($159) or store them proudly on a Butler Specialty wall shelf ($199).
The Rockford Art Museum has more than a century of creativity hanging from the walls in its galleries. It acquired its first piece in 1913 and has since collected more than 1600 pieces from local and international artists. Glass sculptures, 20th century American photography, and impressionist paintings vie for attention alongside the dynamic images of the American southwest from the Taos Society of New Mexico. The collection houses the detailed work of regional artists trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Royal Academy of Arts and the earthy, meaningful paintings of outsider art, such as Richard Burnside’s untitled painting of a cat made from paint and pinecone pieces.
Standing apart from the main collection, the museum’s RAM Art Annex houses educational programs and the museum store stocks an inventory of jewelry and glass pieces by local artists. The annual Greenwich Village Art Fair also shares art appreciation with the community. The fair gathers more than 100 artists in an atmosphere filled with live music.
Village Green Home and Garden provides domicile decoration for indoor and outdoor needs, stocking its showrooms with patio furniture, gardening supplies, and plants. Choose from an array of annuals and perennials so dizzying that even bumblebees must pay cartographers for flowerbed maps. Pluck a potted plant ($1.99–$49.99) for use on porch steps, garden paths, or heads during archery practice, or select hanging baskets ($19.99–$49.99) to sway alluringly in sweet spring breezes. Village Green also carries more than 200 varieties of roses to charm princesses and tango dancers and a vast array of varietals for sun and shade, ensuring that every lawn and garden can be studded with colorful, fragrant blooms.
Just A Second stocks its cozy cottage with carefully chosen antiques, flea-market treasures, and more. Window displays highlighting the seasonally shifting wares welcome shoppers into an emporium of vintage housewares, furniture, and accessories that can provide homes with a hint of class without having to hire an aristocratic ghost. Prepare for a feast by stocking up on elegant stainless-steel serving dishes from Japan and Denmark ($4.50+) or delicate coffee cups ($3+). Past items have included old-timey desk accessories, such as a 1970s-inspired letter holder ($3.50). On sunny days, the patio springs to life with an array of garden accessories, where guests can sip sun tea as they browse outdoor décor, potted herbs, and flower bouquets branching from collectible vases. Just A Second is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GCO is a flooring fairground offering a wide variety of area rugs curated by a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Peruse brands such as Metropolitan (5' x 8' for $149, 8' x 10' for $225), Premium Milano (5' x 8' for $249, 8' x 10' for $325), Laila (5' x 8' for $79, 8' x 10' for $149), and more. GCO's collection of floorccessories may inspire an indoor decorating spree more life-changing than the time you swore off kitchen cabinetry. For those concerned with making a new area accent stick, area rug purchases of more than $300 receive a free 5' x 8' area rug pad or 50% off an 8' x 10' pad (a $20 value).