In 1910, Harry Offner opened his first hardware shop on South Rampart Street in downtown New Orleans, setting the foundation for a local network of three retail stores with more than 27,000 items in stock and 90,000 more available through catalogs or the Ace Hardware website. Like a treasured heirloom or the gene for double-jointed elbows, the business has passed through three generations as Harry's grandkids currently mind the store to help homeowners and handy folks find cleaning and painting supplies, lawn-care implements, housewares, and tools from well-known brands. The knowledgeable staff also assists shoppers with a variety of services, from cutting keys and threading pipes to minor household repair jobs performed by licensed and insured handymen.
The professional consultants at Compass Furniture have been steering bewildered patrons through a labyrinth of contemporary and traditional styles, finishes, and fabrics for 35 years. Avoid an empty nest by filling it with top brands, including Broyhill, Schnadig, Bassett, and Serta. The 80,000-square-foot showroom helps decorators envision the final floor plan, displaying entire sets arranged as if they were already in the home. Pick a proper dinner setting with a four-piece dinette ($199.99+) so that you no longer have to wait for the tranquilizers to kick in just to entertain in the neighbor's dining room. If morning brings the frustration of having to wrestle an onslaught of rebellious springs, consider a new mattress ($139+), or give up on bedding altogether and pledge allegiance to a sofa ($299+).
Pullen Air Conditioning, Inc.'s experienced technicians have helped keep New Orleans homes temperate and efficient for more than 40 years. Two seasonal inspections, one for air conditioning and one for heating, ensure domiciles maintain comfortable climates and fend off potential invasions from snowmen solicitors or needy sun gods. With the aim of increasing efficiency, staffers clean ignition assemblies, check thermostat calibrations, and inspect evaporator coils for potential problem areas. Tests of safety controls and starting capabilities suss out system difficulties, and a cleaning or replacement of standard air filters keeps oxygen free of contaminants and kamikaze pollen. Moving parts benefit from lubrication, and flushing of the condenser coils and condensation drain sheds unwanted liquid from otherwise stellar systems.
An affordable and monumental selection of plush beds, sturdy end tables, and stylish home accessories mingles good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. Pick up an Aero ivory armless chair ($216.77) and use it to accent your next book-club meeting’s discussion of Lego Star Wars. Augment somnolence with mattress sets from household brands such as Sealy and Simmons and finish flooring your sleep space with a Roarke Masai 5'x8' rug ($162).
With more than 50 years in the business under its belt, Banting's Nursery continually colludes with Mother Nature to smuggle extra oxygen into the air with an array of fresh plants. Twig and vine enthusiasts looking to foray into gardening will delight in exploring a wide selection of adoptable flora, from citrus trees and tomato plants to colorful flowers. The shop's knowledgeable shrubologists can explain the sunlight preferences and water lifestyle choices of beauties ranging from the tropical hibiscus ($12.95 for a 3-gal.) to the plumbago ($5.95 for a 1-gal.). Three gallons' worth of knockout roses ($19.95) double as a flying-fisted home security system, and the fragrant, pale-petaled frost-proof gardenia rolls its eyes blithely at winter's advances ($14.95 for a 3-gal.).