In 1971, Michael Sowers taught himself how to throw clay in a high-school art class. The classroom had a functioning pottery wheel, but the instructor didn't know how to use it, so Michael began checking out instructional books from the library to support his fledgling interest.
Ever since, he's been molding masses of clay into plates and vessels, preserving their shapes with the heat of a 2,350-degree kiln. His work is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing—subtly hued french butter dishes hold a quarter pound of butter in water, keeping it fresh for up to a month, and grater plates come equipped with a built-in shredder for garlic, ginger, parmesan cheese, or CIA documents. Sowers seals each piece with a lead-free glaze used by potters since the time of the Ming dynasty, ensuring that customers can safely send his pottery through a dishwasher or heat them in a microwave or oven.
Like fancy suits, sofa sets are sewn from the same cut of fabric. These matching sets provide a well-rounded look in living rooms, but near misses tend to clash due to their small differences. At 20 show rooms throughout the western US, Mor Furniture for Less arranges complete-room sets so customers can envision the collections in their own homes. Furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, and children's rooms can be found in each store along with individual lamps, tables, and entertainment centers. The stores also carry complete sets of beds, dressers, and nightstands so that homeowners don’t receive criticism from design bloggers in their dreams.
Entangled in the luscious leaves of the landscape and nursery business for 40 years, Franz Witte and its gardening gurus help flora fans improve personal outdoor spaces with a variety of plants and products. Landlubbers with burning shrub-related questions can consult Franz Witte's knowledgeable staff, which offers advice on gussying up personal gardens and the dietary restrictions of man-eating ferns. Pick up an annual hanging basket ($34.99) to add some panache to a pallid patio, or plant a bare-root fruit tree ($29.99+) for tasty pickings and fruitful physics experiments. Five-gallon shrubs ($32+) or evergreens provide protection from nosy neighbors or garden gnomes, and a 15-gallon shade tree ($135) casts a captivating, cooling shadow.
The sleep experts at Boise Mattress understand that customers in need of quality rest must select a mattress that encourages natural spine alignment and eliminates the need to toss and turn for a comfortable position. After asking specific questions about your sleeping patterns and highest sheep count, they present a showroom stocked with memory foam and coil-based mattresses from trusted brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Simmons, and Englander. They welcome shoppers to test out potential purchases by lying atop spring wire mattresses or Primo’s memory foam, which isolates each sleeper’s overnight movements to prevent awakening partners or napping sandmen.