Simplified Designs founder Melissa Airey Perkins lends a keen eye to interior design, comfort, and functionality as she spruces up living spaces. Transparently self-conscious windows can boost self-esteem with help from Simplified Designs' Hunter Douglas line, a selection of custom window treatments that assuage ailing wall-holes. The Hunter Douglas 2-inch alternative wood blinds, in either 30"x30" ($143) or 36"x36" ($176), deliver a streamlined wooden covering that blurs the line between blinds and shutters. Airy apartments or overheated hovels can find relief with the 3/4-inch Duette honeycomb shade, which traps heat and cold in three separate internal air-pockets and is available in both 30"x30" ($230) and 36"x36" ($256). Cater to safety with the Hunter Douglas LiteRise, a cordless operation mechanism designed for children's rooms and the string-phobic. Simplified Designs’ regularly priced products include a full line of fabrics and furniture to fill out barren homes.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
For more than half a century, Mill Stores has dispensed an enormous array of high quality, ready-to-finish wood furniture and accents to enhance homestead comfort. As a factory-finished solid-oak rocker ($249.99) supports reclining spines, a three-step stool ($19.77), crafted from solid eastern white pine, aids customers in accessing difficult to reach shelves filled with stashes of candy and bacon fat. Stockpile bottles of grapey goodness in a solid wood Tuscany wine box ($39.99) or artfully arrange CDs and DVDs in the sliding separators of a solid pine rack ($23.99). A shingled-roof doghouse ($179.99) shelters canines in safe, cozy pine, and a cast-stone scroll birdbath ($49.88) cleanses neighboring loons and fallen airplane peanuts in its stylish cement surface. Shoppers unable to find their desired décor in stock can request customized designs, which Mill Stores crafts in two weeks or less.
Neo Interiors looks for modernity in both form and function, culling furniture with contemporary shapes that also boast multi-functionality. Shoppers travel throughout a 15,000-square-foot showroom, alighting on pieces imported from Italy, Belgium, and Spain. The large and ever-changing inventory hails from approximately 15 distributors, each of which represents anywhere from 10 to 20 manufacturers.
All-purpose design pops up everywhere, from updated takes on the sleeper sofa to wall-mounted storage units, whose glossy drop-down doors double as a makeshift bar or a stage for impromptu puppet shows. Italian Magniflex mattresses wrap soy-based memory foam in linen or organic cotton covers, some of which feature reversible designs that alternate between soft and firm support. Eco-friendly elements also ignite the shop's selection of freestanding bio ethanol fireplaces, whose smoke-free flames are powered by fuel harvested from grains and potatoes instead of gas, electricity, or magic spells.
Cutie Patutie's reigns as one of New England's largest children's consignment stores, stocking scores of gently used clothing, shoes, toys, and books generally priced 50% below retail value. Guests can zigzag through aisles that brandish dozens of name-brand items, including Gap, Old Navy, Melissa & Doug, and J. Crew, to outfit any pintsize brood. While inventory constantly evolves, Cutie Patutie's maintains a list of featured items, such as teen formal dresses ($36+), educational puzzles ($2.75+), and children's bedroom dressers ($45+), and some items decline in price the longer they stay on the floor. Mommies in waiting may also deck out their dermis in a wide range of maternity selections or furnish their crib from a wide range of home décor and housewares.
Tucked inside historic Cider Mill Sterling, New Horizons Massage Therapy guides clients toward an increased state of relaxation with an array of therapeutic services. Nimble hands ease tension from torsos and limbs, deploying techniques from Swedish and Kriya massages, or lessen pain with joint, sciatic, and neuromuscular work. Services also include full-body green-tea or mud wraps, paraffin dips, and ear candling. Guests waiting for their appointment can pass the time shopping or bull-back riding within nearby antique and art shops.