Unique Arts head product designer Ati Goknur and his staff handcraft a diverse ecosystem of outdoor accouterments using carefully chosen processes and materials, such as Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood. Ati also personally visits Unique Arts’ overseas partners before deeming their products eco-friendly and genie-absent enough to sell. Olympia solar lights illuminate walkways and remote property areas without enlarging carbon footprints ($49, six per set). The plug-less bulbs recharge automatically during the day and blink on when the sun slips into the horizon’s fanny pack at night. Enliven summer barbecues with wafts of charcoal from a stainless-steel screened fire pit ($99). The avian flutterings around a tall birdbath ($99) give patio populations something to look at as they lounge on a honey-brown Birmingham bench constructed from FSC-certified eucalyptus and do the New York Times crossword tattoos on their arms.
Morningwood's idyllic hilltop environs bloom with a staggering selection of vibrant perennials, lush conifers, and towering trees, as well as custom landscape services ideal for enlivening ailing gardens. Disarm sweethearts and flower-loving assassins with a vivid bouquet of multihued geraniums ($5.99–$11.99), or indulge sniffers with the aroma of a hearty herd of hostas ($7.99–$16.99). Stately conifers ($14.99+) render respectability to sun-parched yards, and fruit trees bursting with apples, cherries, and plums ($8.99+) provide ample sustenance during pestilent Cheez Wiz droughts.
When it began in the 40s, Ayers carried everything from hardware supplies to carpeting. Over time, the three brothers who ran it??W.J., Leroy, and Gordon??turned their attention to helping people outfit their homes in traditional furniture and accents. Today, Ayers Furniture carries a variety of national brands including Sealy, La-Z-Boy and Lane, with products to fill the entire house stretched out over its 52,000 square-foot location. Now owned by a second generation of Ayers brothers, the shop continues to deliver quality furniture with a traditional look. You can redesign an entire living room with neutral colors and hardwood tables, chairs, and cabinets, or purchase the perfect bed to help you hunt down sheep in your sleep.
A family gathers in front of a fire to watch flames dance inside a teepee of logs. After several moments, a uniformed staffer walks over to ask whether they have any questions, and, startled, they stop telling ghost stories or reminiscing about bygone summer bonfires to think about whether they'd like that very model in their own home. Fireside Hearth & Home's cozy design room has that effect. Several staged but comfortable living rooms, kitchens, and patios revolve around fireplaces and stoves, letting customers really imagine life around the hearth. The inventory of gas, wood, and electric fireplaces, as well as stoves and inserts come out of the workshops of top brands such as Heat & Glo, Heatilator, Quadra-Fire, and Outdoor Lifestyles. The knowledgeable staffers can explain the variances of styles and features, as well as install new fireplaces and convert wood fireplaces to gas ones.
Dedicated to celebrating family rituals, traditions, and customs in life, White Jasmine dedicates itself to the most popular ritual of all: food. Beyond offering a variety of spices, teas, and flavored gouda cheese in the store, the staff conducts cooking classes in which they impart skills in everything from handling traditional Pakistani woks to converting staples such as rice and bigger rice—also known as potatoes—into gourmet meals. The store's president, Huma Siddiqui, also produces a half-hour cooking show, Everyday Cooking, seen on Madison TVW every Sunday morning.