While chatting on the phone with a friend, Katrina Uhls had a startling realization: her kids had been playing video games for hours. She discovered that by effectively “unplugging” her kids, she could steer them toward more creative, introspective pastimes.
Now, as the owner of Unpluggits Playstudio, she fosters a safe, welcoming space where all kids can "unplug" and explore their artistic sides. Kids will find shelves stocked with play-doh, stamps, stencils, and other craft supplies. They can don smocks and wield nontoxic paints at miniature easels. Paint’n take projects give them personalized crafts to take home, such as picture frames and piggy banks useful for saving up to buy new toys or a gold-plated piggy bank. For more active playtime pursuits, kids can gambol toward the indoor playground, which features slides, a pirate ship, and air-hockey tables.
As kids explore the 3,000-square-foot studio, parents are welcome to cruise free WiFi or monitor tykes from the snack bar, which serves freshly ground organic coffee, juices, and soda. Special workshops open the space for toddler-specific activities, adults-only craft time, and parents' nights out.
LifeStyles’ showrooms brim with upscale light fixtures and accessories that send style and faux sunlight streaming throughout abodes. Single pendants ($44.95 for a 9-in. pendant, $139 for a 20-in. pendant) with nine interchangeable lampshades add festive colors and patterns to rooms, and tortoiseshell sconces ($89.95 each) illuminate dark spaces or permanent couch forts. Patrons can brighten a dim dining room with a five-bulb walnut chandelier ($119) or julienne a piñata with the blades of a lighted ceiling fan ($64.95+). An array of outdoor fixtures ($4.29+) resist weather damage, and an assortment of knobs and drawer pulls ($1.69+) in pewter, bronze, or nickel finishes give furnishings refined style.
One of the country’s largest independent paint dealers, Spectrum Paint furnishes contractors, Fortune 500 companies, and homeowners with a vast variety of paints, stains, and specialty wall coatings from respected brands. A gallon of pastel PPG Pittsburgh Paints WallHide Ceramic ($24.28) decks nursery walls in stain-resistant hues, and 1-inch FrogTape ($7.97) protects windowsills with the music of hundreds of croaking amphibians. A wistful 2.5-inch AllPro Mako poly/nylon paintbrush ($7.97) dreams of the day it will dip its bristles into the nearby PPG Pittsburgh Paints sample quarts ($6.79). The absorbent AllPro 3/4-inch Gold Pro roller cover ($5.69) ensures the even, universal application of paint to walls, cabinets, or reprints of the Mona Lisa. The shop's staff provides excellent service, aiding customers in product selection and answering questions.
Paper might be two-dimensional, but the gifts from Paper Concierge are anything but flat. They pop with vibrant colors, photographs, and fonts that spell out personalized messages, lending flair to paper goods such as notepads and stationery. Customers can create invitations and announcements for almost any special occasion, from baby births to weddings.
But the staff doesn't stop at paper?they also create customized household items in more than 15 categories. Monogrammed tablet and phone cases protect valuable devices, whereas luggage tags marked with initials save travelers from having to take every bag home until they find the right one. Other goods include cutting boards, mousepads, and towels, all of which customers can design online.
Target Portrait Studios are operated by professional photographers who aim to help you capture special moments. The studios can be decorated for most any type of shoot, whether you're celebrating a mom-to-be, a graduation, or an upcoming holiday. Subjects also have the opportunity to choose their own backdrops or props, and they can even bring in their favorite toy or invisible friend. The customization doesn't end with the shoot, though?digital files can be personalized with borders, designs, and quotes and then printed in a variety of sizes.
The old west is alive and well in World Imports' spacious storeroom, where rustic leather rocking chairs rub aged wooden elbows with embroidered fabric sofas and intricately carved cupboards. Even their modern living-room and office furnishings retain an antique, southwestern aesthetic, including elegant roll-top desks and aged-wood entertainment centers capable of supporting both flat-screen TVs and vaudevillian barroom brawls. The constantly updated stock carries pieces for every room in the house, showcasing everything from stone-topped kitchen islands and rough-hewn bedroom sets to reclining leather love seats and dining-room sets made from handcrafted wood.