FastFrame of LoDo's showroom houses more than 2,000 frame samples. Wood and metal boarders wait to enclose artwork, photographs, and 3-D items, from sports jerseys to musical instruments to Abe Lincoln's stovepipe-hat polish. The showroom also houses thousands of matte samples—including fabric, suede, and genuine leather.
All these options are on display to help customers find the exact frame and matte combination they want. But FastFrame of LoDo's professionals also recognize that not everyone can make a final decision without seeing what the finished product will look like. So they rely on Frame Vue, a computer program that snaps a photo of the client's artwork and then shows what it will look like with different frame and matte combinations.
Services like this earned FastFrame of LoDo the title of Best Custom Framing by the Denver A-List in 2010, 2011, and 2012. And people like Jarrod Perrott earned it 5280 magazine's Top of the Town award for customer service. The magazine's editors said: "The finished products FastFrame of LoDo puts out are spectacular—and, as a bonus, after picking up your wall-hanging, Perrott will send you a handwritten thank-you note (a wonderful, thoughtful touch). ..."
When he was in college, Brian Hart didn't own any furniture, but he lined his walls with framed art. He'd always loved art, so moving into the framing industry—a service geared toward showcasing everything from great masterpieces to sentimental items—was a natural step. After graduation, he spent six months working at local framing stores for free, studying the business and framing Vermeer's The Concert on the sly.
With help from his mom, Brian opened Frame de Art over 23 years ago. Though technology has changed—with industry innovations including the advent of computerized mat-cutting and visualization software—the store still takes pride in meticulous attention to detail, winning it a spot on ABC 7's A-list in 2008 and 2009 and was voted best custom framing by Denver A-list in 2013. An inventory of over 1,000 moldings encompasses diverse styles from modern metal pieces to rustic wood or bamboo frames. The staff helps customers give their works museum-quality looks and protection, finding the acid-free frame that best compliments each piece of fine art, photographs, sports memorabilia, or 3-D mementos.
Luxe de Vil Salon owner Jenny is a quadruple threat: entrepreneur, Aveda Institute alumna, massage therapist, and rock 'n' roller. When Jenny set out to open a studio, she wanted it to reflect her personality, which resulted in Luxe de Vil Salon: a space that celebrates the glam of pinup curls, the edginess of tattooed skin, and an appreciation for individual style. Here, Jenny and her staff of Savants specialize in hair treatments, performing customized haircuts and coloring and highlighting services using products from brands such as Moroccan Oil, Enjoy, and Schwarzkopf. Dermalogica and Aveda lotions and unguents lather skin during facials, scrubs, and body polishes, and waxing and massages keep corpora as slick as a buttered bowling ball.
At HW Home, owners Jim Hering and Ron Werner curate a luxurious collection of living-room, bedroom, and dining-room fixtures that have earned a slew of industry awards, including a Retailer of the Year title from the National Home Furnishings Association in 2013. Friendly, knowledgeable staff members guide shoppers through the selection of contemporary and classic chairs, sofas, beds, and tables from collections such as HW Interiors, Ralph Lauren, and DwellStudio. Their insight can help create ornate interiors filled with mahogany tables and leather upholstery or modern settings decorated with metal, glass, and nanobots. After purchasing their artisan buffet cabinet or bedroom set, customers can enlist the help of handy movers, who deliver, unwrap, and assemble all pieces.
The dozens of plush mattresses that fill InnoMax’s vast show room call to customers like song-less sirens, enticing patrons onto their comfortable coils and springs with the promise of restful slumber. These dream-inducers support the lumbar with a range of fillings, including beds plumped by air, liquid, memory cells, and natural latex, which conforms to bodies and proves more hygienic and durable than a bed made of collapsed pizza boxes. Knowledgeable sales associates take stock of customers’ sleep styles to offer mattress suggestions or guide customers through InnoMax’s host of accessories including bed frames, sheets and comforters, and hardwood furniture.
Behind the windows of the Sipping n? Painting Highland studio lies an intimate workshop where soft hanging lanterns spotlight guests laughing, chatting, and sipping wine as they paint canvases. Seasoned instructors stroll across the rustic hardwood floors, offering step-by-step guidance and tips to painters as they complete vivid reproductions of majestic mountains, beautiful flowers, or plucky sausage vendors. Each night, classes focus on a different featured painting, though participants who feel comfortable doing so are encouraged to work on their own original pieces. The instructors keep classes lively and fun, encouraging socializing and providing each guest with a complimentary glass of beer or wine and light snacks.