Start by selecting a shapely canvas from more than 250 different varieties of bare bisqueware. Hot Pots' exhaustive catalog of clay creatables includes mugs, plates, frames, and figures. Prices average from $4 to $50, with a studio fee of $8 per person ($6 for kids ages 10 and younger). Use Hot Pots' design center to crib inspiration for mastery, or take the piñata approach by donning a blindfold, grabbing a brush, and hoping for a masterpiece or a pile of Smarties and pennies. Once you're ready to put paint to plaster, select from more than 70 shades of paint (including speckle style), as well as a line of glazes to accomplish an earthy look. Leave your finished creation in the skilled hands of the kiln masters after you're satisfied. Finished and glazed pieces are ready for pick-up in about one week's time.
At HW Home, owners Jim Hering and Ron Werner curate a luxurious collection of living-room, bedroom, and dining-room fixtures that have earned a slew of industry awards, including a Retailer of the Year title from the National Home Furnishings Association in 2013. Friendly, knowledgeable staff members guide shoppers through the selection of contemporary and classic chairs, sofas, beds, and tables from collections such as HW Interiors, Ralph Lauren, and DwellStudio. Their insight can help create ornate interiors filled with mahogany tables and leather upholstery or modern settings decorated with metal, glass, and nanobots. After purchasing their artisan buffet cabinet or bedroom set, customers can enlist the help of handy movers, who deliver, unwrap, and assemble all pieces.
In true family style, brothers Nick and Kirby Kuklenski own and operate two “sister” Ace Hardware stores in Colorado Springs, keeping local homes beautiful with name-brand products and services. Lawns grow thick and colorful with Scotts fertilizers, plants, and seeds from the shops’ lawn departments, whereas computerized color matching in the paint aisles keeps outsides as vibrantly hued as flowers in a garden or a house fly strolling across an artist’s palette. Collections of DeWalt and Craftsman hand and power tools help homeowners assemble Weber grills, with staffers standing at the ready to build any piece bought at the store. Even autos can get in on Ace Hardware’s helpful services: keys are cut onsite, with Sidewinder keys including built-in chips that interact with car computers to ensure proper starts without feeding vehicles buckets of floppy disks.
At Urban Mattress, patrons can sprawl out on comfy, soporific mattresses from brands such as Sherwood, Tempur-Pedic, Lumina, and Urban Organics in search of firm billows. The owner-operated stores also offer sustainable options that leave little to no carbon footprint and are biodegradable, making future archaeologists' jobs easier when they go to uncover the cans of peas hidden under our beds. Two percent of all proceeds finds its way to local nonprofits, ensuring that customers can sleep better at night in more ways than one.
With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home and lawncare projects underway. Reclaim the yard from winter's occupation with Adams Adirondack stacking chairs ($14.99 each) and an Ace Flexogen 50-foot garden hose ($19.99). Illuminate outdoor living spaces with a 6-pack of Solar Walk Lights ($12.99) or the welcoming blaze inside a Living Accents portable firepit ($29.99). Ace also covers indoor bases with products and services for tree-free areas of the home. If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge.
Furniture Row Shopping Centers host four home-apparel stores in a single convenient location. The quartet of specialty stores—Sofa Mart, Oak Express, Bedroom Expressions, and Denver Mattress Co.—is designed to accommodate every room in the house. Espresso leaning shelves ($88) are fully caffeinated yet provide remarkably steady support for books, picture frames, and knickknacks. Soothe summer nights with a Perfect Harmony Isocool mattress pad ($69–$109) atop a new mattress set ($219+); top it off with an attractive brocade duvet set ($44–$68). A new lamp set ($148+) atop an end table ($118+) is a great way to encourage sofas to use more light when they read.