With more than 6,000 square feet of showroom space, Consignment Furniture Depot offers an ever-changing inventory of new and lightly loved home furnishings and features brand-name designers including Drexel, Lane, Bassett, and Ethan Allen. Consignment Furniture Depot shoppers can peruse its photo directory to get an up-to-date sampling of available lighting, rugs, and mirrors, as well as Marcia's collection of refurbished furniture. Outfit rooms with leather couches ($200+), love seats ($125+), and a tall wooden dresser-and-mirror combo ($140) or give mattresses some regal outerwear by grabbing a modern black queen-bed set ($105). With a computerized inventory system, Consignment Furniture Depot promises simple, straightforward pricing and offers periodic markdowns based on how long pieces have been living in the showroom and whether or not they come to life after hours.
Rooms To Go offers a large, constantly updated inventory of stylish furniture at stores nationwide. Many pieces and accessories rest in complete room-display scenarios, making it easier for bedroom embellishers, den adorners, and budding playwrights to make fine design decisions and coordinate their choices with existing furnishings at home or in off-Broadway shed theaters. Customers can even choose to purchase entire room sets as a package, saving time and stretching wallets. The Krista cocktail table features a cherry finish and graceful curves ($250). The West Bay Kyoto Stool ($95) can seat guests stylishly at household bars, or be paired with the warm brandy finish of the Inglewood Dining Table, equipped with a glass top and primavera veneers ($370).
Socially conscious crafters can take home a hand-stitched measuring-tape cat (Vietnam, $8) from Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, while frugal fashionistas can sport dancing-girl earrings made from recycled soda cans by KICK Trading Ltd. (Kenya, $12) or a marbled bead choker from TARA Projects (India, $16). Decorate the great outdoors with Manos Amigas' ceramic bird wind-chime (Peru, $44), or beautify the indoors with the world children wall hanging (Haiti, $84) from Comité Artisanal Haitien. Fair-trade staples, such as Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolates, make tasty gifts for Father's Day, Secretary's Day, or Father's Secretary's Day.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.
With humble beginnings in 1924, Ace Hardware now comprises 4,600 stores in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries, guiding everyone from seasoned do-it-yourselfers to novices through its massive inventory. Enlist the aid of a knowledgeable pro while sifting through tools, lawn and garden supplies, electrical equipment, and outdoor-living accessories that simplify the hosting of backyard barbecues and the hanging of Christmas lights on zoo animals. Holiday accessories such as 100-count lights ($9.99) and portable fireplaces ($29.99) aid and imbue celebrations with seasonal spirit. During any time of year, a hatchet ($18.49–$36.99) helps forest visionaries see the wood for the trees, and a second mailbox ($13.99–$84.99) doubles the amount of fan mail homeowners can expect to receive.