Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Winner of the 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence, Lowe's has been helping customers conserve energy and expletives with home improvement, gardening, and hardware solutions for every budget. With the store's friendly handypeople as their guide, nail-pounding novices and seasoned remodelers alike can outfit their toolbox for any undertaking with more than 6,000 products between $25 and $50. Impress spouses and annoy car-pooling coworkers by ably installing ceiling fans into your car roof. Add lighting fixtures to darkling domiciles, or finally finish your back yard's Super Mario Bros. level with Lowe's garden tools. The store can also mix together a rainbow of hues for painting projects involving dining rooms, nurseries, and sweat lodges. Afterwards, you can clean up the dust with a 6-Gallon HP Wet/dry Shop Vac ($44.97), or rinse off caulk-covered corpuses under the Moen Brushed Nickel 7 Spray Pattern Shower Massager ($49.98). Regardless of your mission, the accommodating staff at Lowe's will offer expert advice for completing your home's improvements.
The DeRonne family continues its seven decades of hardware heritage by stocking life-simplifying hardware and home goods in the largest of the DeRonne True Value Hardware stores. Overcome childhood fears of the Canadian flag to eradicate autumn leaves and spruce-up down-spruced lawns with the help of a Green Thumb 24-inch rake ($9.49), 3-pound bag of fall-mix grass seed ($9.49), or weed and feed fertilizer ($10 for 5,000 sq. ft. of coverage). A Master Tradesman 8'x10' multipurpose tarp shelters moisture-sensitive goods from the elements ($8.99), and the shop's selection of Michigan-made products, such as Carhartt clothes, helps support and promote in-state manufacturers.
Handy employees help customers navigate shelves stocked with home-improvement implements, household appliances, and domestic essentials at Ace Hardware. Prepare for autumn with a sturdy leaf scoop ($6.49) and a package of five 30-gallon paper bags ($2.99), or reduce power consumption by purchasing compact fluorescent bulbs ($0.99 each), as an alternative to housing relatives inside an energy-efficient hamster wheel. In addition to its wide selection of hardware, paint, plumbing, and electrical supplies, Ace Hardware dedicates ample space to gifts, home décor, and housewares.
Cranbrook Art Museum opened its current Eliel Saarinen-designed building in 1942. Today, its collection features original exhibitions and educational programming on modern and contemporary architecture, art, crafts, and design. A recent $22 million renovation added a Collections Wing, making their rich collection accessible to all visitors.
Permanent mainstay: Tours of the museum's Collections Wing, with more than 6,000 items by artists such as Eames, Knoll, and Saarinen, are all housed in a vault designed to make the collection visible and accessible.
Don't miss: The curator's talks give more in-depth detail about current exhibitions.
Hands-on experiments: In the outdoor sculpture treasure hunt, families seek up to 18 sculptures on the grounds, while learning more about the artists, other works, and which pieces make the best nesting areas for birds.
Future exhibitions: Laura Kalman: Coveted Objects; Theater of the Mind; The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders: Artworks, Objects, and Natural Curiosities; Iris Eichenberg: Bend; MR. MDWST - A REAL GOOD TIME by BEVERLY FRESH; and Alloyed Visions: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia
The building: a meticulously restored structure designed in 1942 by Eliel Saarinen
While you?re in the neighborhood: Nearby on the Cranbrook campus is Saarinen House, the art deco masterwork of renowned architect Eliel Saarinen. The house served as his residence as Cranbrook Academy of Art's first president and has been restored with its original furnishings.
Foster the next generation of artists: at monthly Drop-In Art Sundays, where children explore the kids' gallery and create their own masterpiece inspired by featured artists
One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning hires its technicians selectively, a process that speaks to its high standards, which permeate virtually every aspect of the business. Before performing any work, they assess each repair and maintenance service and quote a price. And once they've fixed furnaces or air conditioners on the fritz, they back up their work with a guarantee of quality.