Silver Star Hardware’s friendly staff skillfully proffers advice for home improvement while helping to outfit and accessorize homes with an eclectic, frequently updated array of functional and decorative accents. Troves of hardware promise to grease the wheels of domestic efficiency, from a menagerie of elephant hooks ($9) and butterfly hinges ($6.50/pair) to toggle and outlet-flattering switch plates ($21.50–$27.50) and twig-shaped toilet-paper holders ($49.50). Fulfill metal urges with a spangling of cast-iron star knobs ($4.50) or copper house numbers ($11.75 each) that ambidextrously emblazon either addresses or pi, or pin households’ hearts on their façades with vivid peace-dove banners ($12). Once residential shopping lists are dispatched, customers can browse the gift shop or treat their own soul habitats to a cup of steaming java at the on-site coffee bar.
A fluffy cat and an elephant stand side by side opposite a terra-cotta warrior who sternly glares at an Asian sea dragon. A scene like this can only exist in Hunter S. Thompson’s dreams or at Cast in Stone, where cast-concrete garden figures arrange to form whimsical, imaginative lawn scenes. The artistic concrete smiths shape and sell each product at their retail facility, creating wondrous, durable works in the shapes of animals, religious icons, and classical figures. Molded benches and planters can make a backyard more welcoming to guests, and fountains and birdbaths can provide an alternative place to bathe when the shower is in use.
Entering one of The Framing Establishment's locations is like walking into an art gallery. Large traditional landscapes and contemporary abstracts hang on the walls, and shadow boxes housing portraits and collectibles line the shelves. Amid this modern decor, professional framers scuttle about, sizing objects and answering customers' questions. They help their patrons pick out ready-made frames and art or consult with them to determine flattering custom mouldings and mats for their photos or most impressive parking tickets. They also help customers transform their TVs into works of art by providing frames and fabrics that complement home furnishings.
A 3.5-acre horticultural haven, Millcreek Gardens gives bloom-seekers a means to realize dreams of colorful, lush outdoor spaces by presenting a wide array of shrubs, trees, and assorted flowerpot inhabitants. Stroll amid verdant rows of plant life, perusing prettified foliage ranging from the serene cerulean hues of a delphinium to the cheerful, bubbly blooms of a hydrangea. Accent a lovely lawn with a classic apple tree ($40+), make the bed for a plot of fragrant flowers ($2–$20), or cover up barren yards with a symphony of shrubbery ($6.50–$50). The one-stop shop also stocks organic plant foods, soil amendments, and fertilizers for keeping growing greenery as strong as a box of oxen.
Forsey's Furniture Galleries gussies up living quarters, stocking its two stores with furniture, art, and home accessories from high-end designers such as Stickley, Copeland, Dale Tiffany, and Global Views. A Fred and Ginger sculpture ($105) pays tribute to the human form with an abstract rendering of two dancers in midtwirl, and the Aarhus box ($147) stylishly protects documents and jewelry from dust, light damage, and thieves who don't know how to open boxes. Customers can cast a multichromatic glow over living spaces with lamps from Dale Tiffany ($197), each channeling the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright with geometric patterns forged from richly hued stained glass.