Colori's vibrant paint hues are created with eco-friendly recipes that nearly eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can damage ozone layers and pollute indoor air. Low-VOC paints from Mythic (starting at $48.99/gallon) and C2 ($55/gallon) blend finely ground pigments into a plethora of vibrant colors to adorn walls and life-size plaster friezes of the first Arbor Day.
In the aquamarine pool of paint of at the center of Thai Lagoon's circular sign, red and yellow koi swim in circles, forming, in essence, the shape of a yin and yang symbol. The symbol describes interplay and balance between two opposite forces, such as light and dark or salty and sweet.
Thai Lagoon's chefs seek this balance in their dishes, both in terms of texture and taste. In the crispy rice namsod, savory chicken and peanuts harmonize sweet flashes of ginger; in mussaman curry, soft chunks of meat and potatoes reside amidst crispy bell peppers. In beef broccoli, a velvety sauce offsets the crunch of fresh broccoli crowns.
Best Cabinets fashions custom furnishings, built-ins, and more using handpicked lumber from the company's 100 acres of Wisconsin woodlands. Each log is cut at Best Cabinets' in-house sawmill, where wood is air-dried, then placed in a dehumidifier kiln to reduce it to 6%–8% humidity—the optimum moisture content for cabinet making. From these carefully prepared raw materials, Best Cabinets' well-trained plank whisperers build custom furniture ($200+) and kitchen cabinets ($200+) using decorative hardware ($5+) to create handsome hiding places for stashes of collectible Funyuns.
Aquarian New Age Cleaning and Decorating cares for both the physical structure of the home and the flow of its natural energy. The company combines diligent housecleaning techniques with feng shui and decorating services to promote harmonious, open living spaces. Teams of screened and background-checked employees traffic in only high-quality cleaning products while injecting the air with gentle wafts of natural aromatherapy scents. Aromatherapy is available in spritzes of jasmine, lavender, and vanilla—reminiscent of the milk shake the Fonz shared with his first date in 1952.
The Painted Lady's owner, Beth Brace, scours antique markets, estate sales, and private collections throughout the Midwest to locate and reincarnate one-of-a-kind items through artful restoration. She specializes in giving furniture and decorative accessories a new lease on life using various restorative procedures, such as fresh-paint makeovers, classical distressing techniques, and skillful placement of googly eyes. In addition to decorative vases ($5–$65) and twinkling chandeliers, The Painted Lady is stocked with vintage frames and original artwork by local artists. Lamps ($35–$235), candle holders ($12–$75) and candles ($19–$39) infuse drab dens with a luminous glow capable of lighting romantic meals or illuminating shadow-puppet reenactments of The Battle of Little Bighorn.
ReBuilding Exchange's staff salvages usable building materials from landfills and tutors resourceful crafters in transforming castoff pieces into treasured items. The schedule of workshops includes the Make-It/Take-It class—a hands-on lesson that introduces simple building techniques. Unschooled furniture-makers cut their teeth on reclaimed pine under the tutelage of creative builders Will Holman and Blake Sloane—featured by re-nest for his woodworking prowess and ability to tell pine from Pine-Sol with a single whiff.