Inside Ultimate Exposure Tanning Centers' 30 Chicagoland locations, a full lineup of UV- and spray-tanning equipment infuse skin with a healthy summer glow year-round. Individual sessions in the automated spray-tanning booths—such as VersaSpa—or UV beds gild bodysuits for nights on the town, and unlimited monthly packages fashion a continuous golden hue previously only available to sunbathing satellites. The salon stocks a variety of tan-accelerating lotions from Swedish Beauty, Australian Gold, and Designer Skin, which deepen bronze hues and moisturize skin to fashion a long-lasting radiance.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.
Owned by a friendly family of flora lovers, Olde Schaumburg Flowers creates memorable floral arrangements for special occasions and everyday expressions of gratitude. The shop flaunts its bloom-chopping chops for each florist-designed bouquet ($39.99+), drawing from two decades of experience, a collection of the season's most stunning specimens, and a supply of fresh flowers that arrive daily. Shoppers can treat birthday girls to pink Poetry corsages, made of heather and orchids ($25.99), or can convey sympathy with a Warm Embrace bouquet of white calla lilies and blushing roses ($94.99+). Snag an FTD Festival of Color vase ($59.99+) to announce new love more boldly than a pack of tuba-playing elephants.
Lighting living rooms for more than 30 years, Littman Bros. stocks stylish wares from more than 200 lighting, furniture, and home-accessory manufacturers, as well as fashionable, energy-saving options. Littman's luminous 10,000-square-foot showroom features an incandescent collection of bathroom, outdoor, under-cabinet, and wall-lighting fixtures, including Trans Globe flush-mount fixtures ($124.20) and rattan table lamps ($82.80). Homeowners can dress domiciles in a fetching and phantom-free Metropolitan chandelier ($1,592), or illuminate outdoor grub-digging sessions with an ornate Dolan wall lantern ($184).
Threaded with dramatic marble patterns or shimmering quietly in zinc, Precision Stone Designs' countertops are eco-friendly and backed by a one-year warranty. Slabs of granite, marble, quartz, and engineered stone—all available in about 200 colors—await choosy renovators, as does 3D design software that helps homeowners realize their design dreams. Technicians typically install countertops and cabinets themselves, but industrious customers can opt for customizable DIY packages.