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.
The staff at Precision PDR works to reverse the damage done to cars by Mother Nature. They specialize in repairing the dents caused by hailstorms; this informs their paint-less dent removal service, a quick treatment that can often be completed as customers wait. To complete a car’s new look, they also hand-wash and detail rides inside and out.
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.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.