Most people probably don't consider the television to be a danger to their fresh bouquet of flowers. But because it's an appliance that gives off heat, it can easily wilt or dry out blooms. This is the kind of expert advice doled out by the women of Valentin Occasions, who in their years of flower-shop ownership have perfected the challenging art of ensuring flowers last as long as possible. Their experience has made them adept at handling a variety of jobs—they can put together everything from bridal bouquets and corsages to birthday vases and casket sprays. They also deliver weekly to businesses after an onsite visit to determine the appropriate size and shape for reception or boardroom bouquets.
With 20 years of experience greenifying yards with a vast selection of wholesale plants, Landscaper's Market Wholesale Nursery gives aspiring green thumbs the tools they need to turn their outdoor spaces into jungles of flourishing foliage. Planters can fill yards with Knock Out roses, which are specially bred to resist disease, perfect for low-maintenance gardens and worry-free outbreaks of rose zombie viruses ($21.75/3-gallon container). Soft-touch holly lines walkways with dense evergreen shrubbery ($12.75/3-gallon container), and Encore azaleas brighten up dreary yards with multiseason-blooming buds ($26.25/3-gallon container). Pine straw can be used to cover muddy paths during planting ($3.99/bale), and Crape myrtles can be planted for flowery privacy, blocking nosey neighbors' views of backyard games of strip Axis & Allies ($87/15-gallon container).
Kelly Ballentine Colacioppo is a third generation appliance salesperson. Her father owns a restaurant equipment store, so it’s fitting that her store, The Cook's Station, outfits home kitchens with professional-quality equipment. The selection of top brands includes GE Profile, Bosch, and BlueStar, whose 22,000-BTU gas ranges feature extra-large ovens and custom-configured burners modeled after those found in professional kitchens. Cookware from the Culinary Institute of America’s Masters Collection is designed by certified master chefs, and bakeware from Nordic Ware aims to create the perfect bundt cake. Unique gift collections from Nora Fleming, Beatriz Ball, and Casafina are also available. For those starting completely from scratch, the staff includes a licensed kitchen designer, a licensed contractor, and diagrams that illustrate the differences between forks and spoons.
However, The Cook's Station is not just about prepping kitchens—it’s also about prepping the people who use them. A full calendar of foodie events includes cooking and equipment demos, and an online cache of recipes gives chefs new meals to experiment with. Monthly Uncorked events explore wine and tapas pairings, and a knife sharpening service ensures blades are always ready to slice up veggies or that frustratingly impossible soufflé recipe.
For the green thumbs at Roots, trimming and arranging plants isn’t enough to sate their floral passions. That’s why they hold regular workshops where patrons can partake in wine and refreshments while learning how to design their own decorative arrangements, then take them home. Amid the store’s oxygen-rich confines, the staff talks about everything from indoor potted plants to holiday-wreath decoration.
If you spot something you like at 4Rooms, the sister shop to gardening store Roots, you should scoop it up quickly. Despite having only opened in March of 2013, 4Rooms often turns over new pieces of contemporary, transitional, and traditional home decor within hours of receiving them. The sought-after furniture and accessories marry style and whimsy, perhaps best epitomized in a chic lamp with driftwood as its trunk. Some other unique pieces might include a powder-blue armchair and a bedside table made of mirrors.
Old Colony Furniture, which has been family owned since 1946, inspires interior-design compositions with a 30,000-square-foot show room, showcasing both contemporary and classic pieces. Upon entering the expansive show room, guests will feel as though they're walking through an expertly designed home as they peruse rich, opulent furniture from more 50 respected brands, such as Sherrill and Hancock & Moore, artfully arranged in inviting vignettes. With a collection of dining chairs ($269+), patrons can strategically seat guests in vulnerable positions should a mashed-potato fight break out. A nightstand ($449+) provides optimal access to water glasses and bedside reading materials, and an upholstered occasional chair ($475+) coddles fatigued appendages. Shoppers glance into mirrors ($225+) to admire the way a shirt complements their pants and for instant reassurance of their non-gorilla status.