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.
At Art & Soul Tattoo and Gallery, artists decorate more than bodies. They also adorn the walls. In addition to its staff of talented tattoo, piercing, and permanent-makeup artists, the business also welcomes local painters and sculptors to showcase their work in the gallery. So on their way to commission some fresh ink, customers can peruse and purchase a slightly less permanent form of art.
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.
Clean Carpet Professionals' staffers uproot grime from carpets, tile and grout, and hard surfaces with their commercial-grade, truck-mounted Hydramaster system. Technicians inject dingy floors with hot, soft water and cleaning tonics, aiming to banish stains spawned from foot traffic, spilled food, or full-scale reenactments of last year's Kentucky Derby. A soft-water rinse and suction expunge dirt from debris-susceptible carpets, helping to rid them of dust mites, allergens, and microscopic pollutants. An enclosed high pressure wand blows cleaning agents with high PH levels onto tile and grout to oust unsightly build-up caught in its crevices, while vinyl and concrete floors and thoroughly washed and rinsed to rid them of dirt and chemicals that can't be rid by mere mopping.
With more than 1,000 pieces of pre-framed art and a skilled staff of Certified Professional Framers on board, Madison Art and Framing combines its vast selection and expertise to fulfill the aesthetic needs of each customer. The shop’s sophisticated framing services can enhance any work of art with mats, frames, and glass put together by a crew also skilled at canvas-stretching, repair, and restoration work. During custom-framing consultations, each frame maker works one-on-one with the customer to ensure the work performed is exactly as envisioned, keeping incidences of satisfaction high and Hulk transformations low.
Since 1989, designers and framers at the locally owned and operated The Great Frame Up have covered artwork and photos with thousands of frame and mat combinations and prevented 3-D keepsakes and sports memorabilia from selling themselves on eBay by enshrouding them in shadowboxes and acrylic cases. Framing jobs take place entirely on-site, ensuring a speedy turnaround on projects and a personal guarantee on all craftsmanship. The Great Frame Up’s website offers tips and trends to help customers navigate the process, from choosing frames to hanging and arranging finished pieces.