When he was in college, Brian Hart didn't own any furniture, but he lined his walls with framed art. He'd always loved art, so moving into the framing industry—a service geared toward showcasing everything from great masterpieces to sentimental items—was a natural step. After graduation, he spent six months working at local framing stores for free, studying the business and framing Vermeer's The Concert on the sly.
With help from his mom, Brian opened Frame de Art over 23 years ago. Though technology has changed—with industry innovations including the advent of computerized mat-cutting and visualization software—the store still takes pride in meticulous attention to detail, winning it a spot on ABC 7's A-list in 2008 and 2009 and was voted best custom framing by Denver A-list in 2013. An inventory of over 1,000 moldings encompasses diverse styles from modern metal pieces to rustic wood or bamboo frames. The staff helps customers give their works museum-quality looks and protection, finding the acid-free frame that best compliments each piece of fine art, photographs, sports memorabilia, or 3-D mementos.
FastFrame of LoDo's showroom houses more than 2,000 frame samples. Wood and metal boarders wait to enclose artwork, photographs, and 3-D items, from sports jerseys to musical instruments to Abe Lincoln's stovepipe-hat polish. The showroom also houses thousands of matte samples—including fabric, suede, and genuine leather.
All these options are on display to help customers find the exact frame and matte combination they want. But FastFrame of LoDo's professionals also recognize that not everyone can make a final decision without seeing what the finished product will look like. So they rely on Frame Vue, a computer program that snaps a photo of the client's artwork and then shows what it will look like with different frame and matte combinations.
Services like this earned FastFrame of LoDo the title of Best Custom Framing by the Denver A-List in 2010, 2011, and 2012. And people like Jarrod Perrott earned it 5280 magazine's Top of the Town award for customer service. The magazine's editors said: "The finished products FastFrame of LoDo puts out are spectacular—and, as a bonus, after picking up your wall-hanging, Perrott will send you a handwritten thank-you note (a wonderful, thoughtful touch). ..."
At Urban Mattress, patrons can sprawl out on comfy, soporific mattresses from brands such as Sherwood, Tempur-Pedic, Lumina, and Urban Organics in search of firm billows. The owner-operated stores also offer sustainable options that leave little to no carbon footprint and are biodegradable, making future archaeologists' jobs easier when they go to uncover the cans of peas hidden under our beds. Two percent of all proceeds finds its way to local nonprofits, ensuring that customers can sleep better at night in more ways than one.
You don't have to be a professional painter to make beautiful art. At Arts on Fire, customers purchase their pottery and transform it into a one-of-a-kind decoration or tool using the studio's colorful, non-toxic paint. Ceramic figures include piggy banks, fanciful creatures, doll-like figurines, and wall decorations such as mirrors and picture frames. They also offer the chance to create fused-glass mosaics and canvas paintings of yourself as a minotaur.
Before looking through the camera lens, the expert photographers at Picture People spend time getting to know their subjects and establishing a strategy for conveying their personalities in print. Then, film-ready clients pose in the bright camera room, airing teeth amid colorful backdrops and creative props. Following snapshots, subjects make their way to the selection station to choose their favorite poses from their session, which may be treated with sepia tones, color accents, and decorative borders to suit any wall, wallet, wallpaper pattern, or trophy walleye.
Picture People offers a variety of creative tips to help enhance mantel-dominating final results. The studio ensures satisfaction with a 100% guarantee on finished products.
Furniture Row Shopping Centers host four home-apparel stores in a single convenient location. The quartet of specialty stores—Sofa Mart, Oak Express, Bedroom Expressions, and Denver Mattress Co.—is designed to accommodate every room in the house. Espresso leaning shelves ($88) are fully caffeinated yet provide remarkably steady support for books, picture frames, and knickknacks. Soothe summer nights with a Perfect Harmony Isocool mattress pad ($69–$109) atop a new mattress set ($219+); top it off with an attractive brocade duvet set ($44–$68). A new lamp set ($148+) atop an end table ($118+) is a great way to encourage sofas to use more light when they read.