With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $8.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $1.99 a pop, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine ($30 a day to rent).
Toque Blanche supplies home chefs with a selection of fine cookware for fashioning domestic delectations, earning it the best kitchenware title on the 2010 San Francisco Baylist. Cuisine artists can kit out kitchens with clay La Chamba pans, made of mica-infused black clay that absorbs and diffuses heat (starting at $19.95). Mandolin slicers from Kuhn-Rikon ($19.99) cut veggies into perfectly sliced 1/8-inch pieces and keeps fingers intact. Gadget collectors can evade metric-system mind games with a stainless-steel, seven-piece measuring-cup set from RSVP ($32.99), and opt for an ovenproof meat thermometer from CDN ($10.99) to monitor the fevers of fire spirits.
Since 1972, the farmers at Santa's Tree Farm and Village have grown one crop: evergreen trees. Today, they cultivate six species—douglas fir, grand fir, white fir, noble fir, redwood, and monterey pine—on 22 rolling fields spread across 487 acres. They equip visitors with saws, and either send them out to cut their own Christmas trees or come along to train local bears to do it instead. The farm's operators also cultivate holiday cheer—a gift shop stocks handmade wreaths, tree stands, and other decorations ranging from mistletoe to garlands and twinkling baubles. In a central square, performers organize weekend activities such as puppet shows and visits from Santa Claus. A trackless train ferries visitors on tours of the farm as they savor complimentary hot apple cider.
Blossoms Flower Shop is hard to miss. Surrounded by unassuming storefronts, the shop’s windows extend into the sidewalk to greet passersby with views of the colorful blooms inside. Many of those blooms, which arc in clusters toward the sunlight, trace their origins to the nearby San Francisco Flower Mart’s local growers. Inside the shop, florists busily arrange orchids, lilies, and exotic flowers into bouquets to celebrate special occasions such as weddings or pet bees’ birthdays.
Edible Arrangements crafts colorful, elegant, and tasty bouquets of fruits and fine sweets for all occasions that arrive fresh at your door. Carefully cut juicy pineapples, honeydews, cantaloupes, strawberries, and grapes grace each of the fruit baskets and can be doused in gourmet chocolate or personalized by adding balloons, bears, fudge, and more. Usher in harvest season with autumnal displays such as the Delicious Fruit Design, which brings together cinnamon-chocolate apple wedges, skewered produce, and a ceramic pumpkin bud vase ($79 small, $89 regular), or inject healthy spirits into a decadent Halloween candy binge with the fruity Ghost Party, boasting pineapple phantasms ($110 regular). Edible Arrangements' wide variety of scrumptious themed selections runs the gamut from birthday and get well to Harley Davidson and Stomp Out Breast Cancer.
Featured in Apartment Therapy and the Los Gatos Observer, Whole House purveys salvaged furnishings, fixtures, and raw materials. Recycling these items diverts resources from landfills and keeps human technology out of the paws of junkyard dogs. Whole House's inventory changes frequently, but if Groupon holders shop soon, they can rescue a claw-foot bathtub ($200) and a pedestal sink ($220) from bathroom purgatory, or enhance an empty entryway with a 30"x80" beveled glass door ($199). Alternately, homeowners can hoard reclaimed raw materials, such as tongue and groove flooring ($3/sq. ft.) and Douglas-fir two-by-fours ($0.25/ft.) for a variety of home-improvement projects.