In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of ?hard-to-find tools,? and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone?s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Porcelanosa’s journey from mom-and-pop design firm to world leader in kitchen and bathware began in 1970 on the Mediterranean coast of Castellon, Spain. Today, the company’s founding family oversees more than 400 showrooms in 70 different countries, exporting the latest in European home design to the rest of the world. Its minimalist, modern designs play on clean lines and muted colors, incorporating elegant accents such natural stone bathtubs or rectified porcelain tile, which mimics the Carrara marble used to build the Pantheon, sculpt Michelangelo's David, and construct the world's first paperweight. Its engineered hardwood flooring draws eyes to smooth planks of white oak in a spectrum of stains, vying for attention against tiled mosaics made of stone, ceramic, or brick.
In addition to turning kitchens and bathrooms into walk-in works of art, Porcelanosa adheres to its founding principles of care for the environment and reducing ecological impact throughout its production chain, using water recycling and gas-burning technologies at its plants to reduce its carbon footprint.
Since 1975, Helm of Sun Valley has outfitted outdoor enthusiasts with seasonal supplies, rentals, and gear from brand-name manufacturers. Prepare for a snow- surmounting winter with a trove of cold-weather essentials ($20+), including gloves, socks, hats, and metronomes that keep chattering teeth on a steady beat. Ski- and snowboard-rental packages ($20+) equip thrill seekers for the slopes, whereas thorough tune-ups ($35) and an array of other services ready personal planks for airborne adventures. Patrons can also mine the store's racks for specialty items such as snowboarding pants ($100+), or attempt to impress neighbors and fanciful pool floats with high-end outdoor furniture for summer months.
The Futon Shop specializes in organic convertibles. They pull this off with 100% chemical-free mattresses stuffed with USDA-certified organic cotton, pure Dunlop natural latex, and soy-based foam. Best of all, all mattress, including their memory foams and gels are handmade in San Francisco, cutting down on The Futon Shop's carbon footprint by eliminating lengthy shipping journeys.
Bliss Leaf's design consultants work with furniture manufacturers to recreate pieces from the drawing boards of the best contemporary designers. They've pulled together an ultra-modern collection of furniture inspired by the pragmatism of Zen Buddhism and the clean lines of contemporary architecture.
During complimentary consultations, the design consultants share their savvy to revamp homes and reimagine blanket forts to express each homeowner's style. They draw from an assortment of furnishings, artwork, and accessories in design traditions such as Swedish style, Italian contemporary, and loft.
The Teak Patio designs and imports its own line of outdoor furniture using high-quality woods and a closely monitored construction process. Fashioned from high-quality timber free of knots and uneven coloring, all Teak Patio timber is thoroughly dried in a kiln oven to reduce cracking and warping and then machine-cut to ensure precision. The Teak Patio then fashions its durable teak pieces using precise mortise-and-tenon joinery techniques, sanding each wood surface three times to increase its aerodynamics. Bedeck backyards with a five-position reclining chair ($359.20) or gather around a 60-inch outdoor dinner table ($1,276) to discuss whether mayonnaise or mustard makes a better adhesive when constructing a 60-inch sandwich.