Contributing to local commerce isn’t new territory for the Howard family. In 1925, Edwin Howard’s in-laws founded a small grocery in Doraville, which he took leadership of 30 years later. After gaining experience in that business, he decided to expand the family’s venture, and in 1972, he opened the first Howard’s True Value Hardware right next door. Now, after more than 35 years and currently under the ownership of Howard brothers John and Doug, the hardware store keeps shelves stocked with more than 100,000 hardware items, tools, and home-garden accouterments from the likes of Carhartt and Honda, as well as charcoal grills from Big Green Egg, wood pellet grills from Traeger, and a line of propane grills with tanks they can fill in-store. For sports enthusiasts, they're an authorized YETI Cooler and Tifosi Eyeglass Dealer.
Building materials, including adhesives and mason tools, lighten the burdens of home-improvement projects, and a constellation of hand tools relieves the hassle of hiring a beaver to chew its way through 2”x4”s. A full stock of interior paints helps customers brighten the hue of living quarters, while a sturdy pair of jeans from Carhartt helps them to withstand the wear-and-tear of maintenance projects or slow dances with rose bushes.
Staffers at America's Mattress stores stock showrooms with sleep-inducing products to fit any preference, whether that's soft and pillowy or solid and firm. Many of the beds are made in Georgia, helping money stay in the local economy. These three shops are locally owned, though they are part of a large national network of mattress stores.
The teams there helps customers upgrade saggy sleeping situations with insomnia-tonics such as Serta perfect sleeper mattresses and Dr. Greene Sleep System beds, which were designed with input from an orthopedic surgeon. Other factory-direct mattresses from Serta include iComfort and Sertapedic. They compliment their vast selection of top-of-the-line mattresses with other bed-related accessories, including deluxe mattress protectors and headboards.
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.
The friendly tool experts at Direct Tools Factory Outlet help customers to negotiate the store's huge inventory of new, reconditioned, and factory-blemished hardware from brands such as Ryobi, Homelite, and Milwaukee. Items are priced at a reduced rate, giving purchasers extra money and a brand-new stockpile of hardware to construct a time machine to go back and impress an early hominid with a Dirt Devil Scorpion 7-amp hand vacuum ($29.99) or a factory-blemished Ryobi One+ Lithium-Ion compact drill ($127.99). Each product carries a warranty of at least one year, even the reconditioned items, which had to get back in shape with pushups and burpees to earn their warranty ribbon.
Ben's Brands for Less houses a selection of overstocked name-brand home furnishings and mattresses at discounted prices. Household relaxation units from Simmons, Lane, and Broyhill complement any style or space, from art-deco dining rooms to children's bedrooms to ornate home mission-control centers. Dads can stage rest-offs on a dual reclining sofa ($499+) or survey a den outfitted with an entertainment center ($149+) and Simmons leather rocker recliner ($349+). Restless hibernators can return to goodnightliness with Ben's compendium of Beautyrest and Southern Cross slumber chariots. Affix frames with a Southern Cross luxury firm mattress ($248–$548) or a Simmons Harley plush mattress ($398–$798) to soften dreamscapes.
Matte, Satin, or Gloss? Lighting Up a Room with Paint
Is there a difference between satin and eggshell? Is latex paint less shiny than oil-based paint? How do you measure gloss, anyway? Find out with Groupon's look at paint sheen.
Velvet. Platinum. Pearl. Suede. These aren’t paint colors—they’re levels of sheen, which have fancifully proliferated since the days when interior paint came only in flat, semi-gloss, and gloss. The truth is, assigning sheen levels isn’t an exact science. A 2003 study in PaintPro found that, when checked with a gloss meter (a tool that measures reflection from a surface), paints placed in the same category of sheen in fact varied considerably between brands, with latex paints in particular tending to reflect less light than their counterparts. From lowest to highest sheen, here’s a look at the most common categories along this slippery continuum.
Flat/Matte: At the lowest end of the sheen spectrum, matte paints do wonders to hide the surface imperfections that glossier paints can highlight. Because they tend to hold dirt, they’re most often used on low-traffic surfaces such as bedroom walls or the ceilings of non-lizard households.
Eggshell/Low-Luster: Named “eggshell” because their slight sheen evokes that of a freshly painted egg, low-luster paints create an elegant look that is easier to wash than flat paints. As with all paints that fall somewhere between matte and semi-gloss, eggshell paints can create a subtle sense of warmth and depth in a room.
Satin: Satin paints are easier to clean than eggshell, and thus ideal for higher-traffic rooms, such as kids’ bedrooms.
Semi-Gloss: Paints with glossy qualities tend to show nicks and uneven surfaces, but they can also stand up to a lot more scrubbing. These paints are ideal for wet or messy environments such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Gloss/High Gloss: The shiniest paint variety, high-gloss provides a look reminiscent of enamel or even plastic. It’s most often used to highlight smooth and carefully prepared surfaces such as trim, woodwork, cabinets, and doors.