A family business since 1873, Patrick & Co. matches mindful office workers with hard-to-find and eco-friendly items. Tree coddlers can choose a Kraft 1-inch binder, with covers fashioned from dye-free recycled material ($3.83), and cubicle conquerors can cocoon their phones in invisible tape to muffle any obnoxious Citizen Kane–inspired ring tones ($13.95/dozen). Fashion ink-penetrable armor for brave accountants from yellow Post-It notes before sending them out to take on the dreaded office copier ($14.35/12 pads). To support typing-taxed joints, an Innovera mouse pad's gel cushion conforms to the shape of any wrist ($17.13).
GardenShop owner John Harmeier brings passion and potted pageantry to soils with his vast collections of succulents, herbs, and locally sourced plants. Sprinkle sprite showers of fresh cilantro, basil, or rosemary ($3–$7) in home-cooked creations, or try your luck cultivating tomatoes ($3–$7) large enough to throw at Paul Bunyan on karaoke night. Gardens glean nourishment with vitamin-rich meals of Dr. Earth organic plant food ($8–$12), and abodes hone natural instincts with GardenShop's selection of indoor greenery, oft-stuffed into a variety of pots ($6–$15) dressed in bright colors or crafted from clean wood ($6–$15). The green-thumbed can tend to flowery broods of locally grown plumerias ($8–$35) with sets of sparkly garden tools ($6–$32) or cater to avian acquaintances with al fresco cafes ($6–$40).
Drill bits twist, measuring tape unfurls, and saws chomp through two-by-fours in ACE Hardware, where shelves dangle with scores of tools and other home-improvement essentials. Wall pigment by Ace Paint and Benjamin Moore beams across the color spectrum as faucet parts and cabinet hardware retool aging abodes and jury-rigged time machines. Large appliances, such as Honeywell space heaters, Perfect Aire air conditioners, and Cadet thermostats, keep indoor air at a comfortable temperature. Outside, bags of seed and compost join charcoal grills to brighten backyard celebrations as rolling hand trucks heft heavy lumber purchases or prefab doghouses for socialite canines. Tools, electrical tape, and other handyman essentials round out each location's array of fixative and creative supplies.
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.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch container plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Sit 'n Sleep stuffs its showroom with brand-name mattresses such as Sealy, Sherwood, and Simmons in a variety of sizes and firmness, from twin to California king and Euro tops to ultra plush. Sleepers slumber effortlessly atop the plush Sherwood Fremont pillow top, designed exclusively with sustainable, organic fibers and powers of clairvoyance ($399.99 for queen). Avoid tossing and turning on the Sealy Balboa Island's firm layers, replete with patented posturepedic technology stoutly supporting finicky spines throughout the night ($859.99 for full). The half-bed, half-machine Simmons Kings Cove, imbued with hybrid spring technology, struggles with its identity while its BeautySleep memory foam cuddles bodies for maximum sheep-counting.
With roots that stretch back to 1927, the Oakland Flower Market stretches across 10,000 sq. feet, with one-third dedicated to the floral department, and houses three walk-in coolers that store aesthetically pleasing ground-sprouts imported from countries as far reaching as the Netherlands, Thailand, and Australia. The large coolers keep floral varieties such as lilies and tulips (market price) from breaking a sweat. Patrons may also take home a phalaenopsis orchid ($15.99+) or cymbidium orchid plant ($29.99) to add an exotic flair to dull living rooms or drab ovens.