The tour guides at H&L Enterprises of WNY LLC love showing people around town. But instead of introducing them to sights from a bus, boat, or Segway, they give tour-goers a spectacular bird's-eye view of western New York, the Southern Tier, northwestern Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio through the windows of a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter.
In addition to soaring over sparkling lakes and rolling meadows to wow visitors and help them capture stunning aerial-photography shots, helicopter flights also serve the more pragmatic purpose of patrolling pipelines or surveying the land. This allows farmers to count their livestock and entrepreneurs to scope out land they plan to purchase.
Mattress King's wide selection of mattresses from well-known brands such as Sealy Posturepedic, Embody, and Stearns & Foster run the firmness and texture gamut, giving sleepers of all shapes and sizes a shot at a good night's rest. Sealy's Posturepedic queen-sized Spirited supports dreamers with a comfortable durability ($409 for the mattress, $699 for the set). Dozers with a penchant for luxurious expediency snooze on the Stearns & Foster Bradenburg queen-sized bed, which lends backsides a plush surface and a patient ear as they complain about lousy desk chairs ($719 for the mattress, $1,169.10 for the set), or opt to bounce to another to decide which size fits the mold.
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.
Lighting Concepts stocks ceiling fans, lamps, and accessories in its show room. Its staff and electronic search tool can help customers select the right lights for their homes. Install a chandelier or pendant lamp over a dining-room table for an elegant look, pair lights with fan blades to cool off damp locations, or place spotlights at strategic points around your house to illuminate distinctive furniture.
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.
Stocking lauded furniture brands, including Lloyd Flanders and Brown Jordan, the adept designers at Blackjack Gardens help chic-seeking customers find couches, chairs, and trimmings to outfit their roofless retreats. Among the extensive collection are simple and stylish sling seats such as the Crimson Casual Bayside chair ($159). The shop's array of accessories, including Vietri Aladdin outdoor silverware ($20–$99) and planters, primp patios. Deck dwellers will also find myriad ways to spruce up dining digs with seat-soothing cushions and Treasure Garden outdoor umbrellas, which offer protection from the harsh sun and privacy from the eavesdropping moon.