Standard Furniture traces its origins back to 1912, when a local family began traveling through Birmingham, peddling fine household furniture out of a wagon. Four generations later, the business has blossomed into 13 retail stores throughout Alabama and Tennessee, and its century-long commitment to quality furniture and customer service won it the Alabama Retail Association’s Silver Award as one of the Retailers of the Year in 2011. Each gallery abounds with bedroom, living-room, and dining-room furniture from top designers such as Lane, along with mattresses in a range of shapes and styles from brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, and Jamison. At each location, a knowledgeable staff awaits to offer design counsel, suggesting pieces that best suit a household’s style or will hold up against a disobedient pet woodchuck.
Dedicated to a next-day turnaround for many assignments, Thompson's encases everything from diplomas to completed jigsaw puzzles within the ornate borders of more than 2,000 customizable frames. Guests can also peruse a collection of 300 ready-made frames that will fit snugly around standard-size pictures, or commission custom tabletop frames to showcase unconventionally sized posters. More than 100 framed, beveled mirrors further populate the store, silently reflecting the reversed T-shirt graphics and snarky grins of each shopper's personal doppelgänger. Frames and mirrors are complemented by a collection of original oil paintings, which help homeowners adorn their walls with a colorful still life, a muted landscape, or an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the human condition.
For more than three decades, the framing specialists at The Framin' Shoppe have preserved memories behind glass. They build custom frames for flat items such as diplomas or photographs and build shadow boxes to contain three-dimensional items such as quilts or football jerseys with the athletes still wearing them. The shop also purveys DIY framing materials; posters; prints commemorating Alabama, Auburn, and other SEC football teams; and a wide selection of mirrors. Conveniently, the company operates at four Birmingham locations.
Supplying artists of all ages since the 1960s, Alabama Art Supply thrives off of a network of artists that connects interested visitors to classes, workshops, art associations, and other opportunities. The store's staff assist budding artists in choosing painting necessities from a vast selection of paints which include professional quality brands such as Winsor & Newton. They can also recommend products including canvases, clay, and fine art supplies that suits both professional and amateur artists.
With a stylish selection and an expert team, EyeCare Associates stocks frames by designers such as Kate Spade, Nine West, Hugo Boss, and Guess. Comprised of doctors and eyewear specialists, the team can screen for eye disease, administer eye exams, fit contact lenses, and repair old frames.
Night Owl Paper Goods makes all of its modern yet folksy hand-crafted paper goods by hand from sustainably harvested wood, letterpress, or a hybrid of the two. The Pup with Leaves design ($6), for example, blends Night Owl's eco-friendly yellow birch cards with an aww-inducing hand-drawn illustration. Stock up for the traditional round of holiday cards and break-up letters to Santa with the Pine Penguin ($16 for box of six), or regale a moody teenaged girl with a broad range of journals, jotters, and other gifts. And Night Owl's many customizable cards give the vicariously creative a one-of-a-kind way to announce birthdays, births, bar mitzvahs; formal raves, or a button factory promotion to Assistant to the Regional Hole-Puncher.