The craftsmen at Blueberry Meadows Interiors know a solid piece a furniture can be the difference between a house and a home. With that in mind, they've made it their mission to pair people with well-built, designer imports through a hassle-free process that cuts out the middleman and his dreaded scheming. From beds and chests to chairs and coffee tables, furnishings come in several timbers, stains, and paints, so guests can match new additions to the rest of their home decor.
Bean Around Books connects curious minds with literary gems in a tidy, friendly atmosphere awash in the aromas of freshly brewed teas. The shop shelves an array of new and used books—from romance and mystery to sci-fi and self-help—that currently include page flippers such as the Star Trek Titan series ($5+) and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code ($15) in a special illustrated edition. Customers hunting for a rare first edition of Chicken Soup for the Salad-Shunning Soul can enjoy more than 25 loose-leaf teas in the seating area, or take home infusions that include varieties such as luscious mango ($11.99/100 g), green ginseng ($11.49/100 g), and Ilam artisanal oolong ($15.99/100 g) from Nepal. In the seating area, guests enjoy plentiful room in which to sip their earl grey while practicing Sherlock Holmes impressions or surfing the shop’s free WiFi. Bean Around Books also features the work of local artists and visiting writers, and an assortment of handcrafted jewellery.
Sterling Bedding hand selects a diverse collection of mattresses and other bedtime essentials to fill its network of North American show rooms. Through appointment-only shopping, patrons can get a one-on-one tour of traditional, pillow-top, and memory-foam mattresses organized conveniently by price point, as well as a selection of fashionable bed frames and bedroom furniture. By setting up shop in warehouses and forgoing the high rents associated with flashy retail spaces or shops set inside limousines, Sterling is able to keep operating costs low and set competitive prices that allow the savings to trickle down to the customer.
Trends are ephemeral by definition. But the proprietors of Bedroom Shoppe and Modern Home Furnishings look beyond designer fads to focus on the anchor of timeless furnishings—solid wood. Alongside the occasional cushy sofa or hammock woven from repurposed slinkys, their showrooms exhibit well-made pieces for every room of the house, reliably crafted from woods including pine, alder, and parawood. Most of the sturdy furnishings—from stools to bed-frames—can be customized with a choice of 16 shades of wood stain and hardware accents.
When photographed just right, the bend of a wrought-iron beam or the curve of a stalk of wheat can look just like a letter of the alphabet. This creative observation captured the attention of photographer Crystal Copeland?a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography?who became inspired to seek out more outdoor features that could double as letters. With the help of her business-savvy husband, Lee, Copeland strung these letters into words and began selling them at an online store?Frame the Alphabet.
The site's interactive letter bank houses a vast collection of Crystal's photos, which can be used to spell out names and words. You may wish to work in visual thematics, crafting names entirely out of sports images for the family athlete or creating an ironic counterpoint to words such as nature with images of city signs, industrial faucets, and spinning cogs. The selected word is then encased within a brown or black 39.5"x15.5" frame made from real pinewood or printed onto a single, wooden gallery block, which comes ready to hang. The signature-board option further customizes the piece with a blank matte board and an 8"x10" space where you can insert a personal picture.