A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.
Winner of the 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence, Lowe's has been helping customers conserve energy and expletives with home improvement, gardening, and hardware solutions for every budget. With the store's friendly handypeople as their guide, nail-pounding novices and seasoned remodelers alike can outfit their toolbox for any undertaking with more than 6,000 products between $25 and $50. Impress spouses and annoy car-pooling coworkers by ably installing ceiling fans into your car roof. Add lighting fixtures to darkling domiciles, or finally finish your back yard's Super Mario Bros. level with Lowe's garden tools. The store can also mix together a rainbow of hues for painting projects involving dining rooms, nurseries, and sweat lodges. Afterwards, you can clean up the dust with a 6-Gallon HP Wet/dry Shop Vac ($44.97), or rinse off caulk-covered corpuses under the Moen Brushed Nickel 7 Spray Pattern Shower Massager ($49.98). Regardless of your mission, the accommodating staff at Lowe's will offer expert advice for completing your home's improvements.
Ashland Ace Hardware stocks its shelves with a wide variety of products to improve automobiles and abodes. A liquid rainbow of Benjamin Moore paints coats interiors, exteriors, and neighbor's cars with hues expertly blended in-store. Customers tidy up homes with eco-friendly Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, and accommodate extra dinner guests with Living Accents folding chairs ($12.99 each). The shop also stocks holiday accessories such as 100-count strings of LED, icicle, or heavy-duty lights in addition to thousands of other essentials.
Richmond Fencing Club has molded budding fencers since JFK was president and humankind had just turned its eyes to the moon. Today, three instructors—each with their own titles from the Virginia Division Championships—helm the educational efforts, overseeing a program that educates students as young as 6 in the foot- and bladework required to wield a fencing foil competitively.
They teach in a no-nonsense facility, its cinderblock walls decorated only with pegs to hang fencing equipment, its smooth hardwood floors interrupted only by well-worn fencing lanes. The fencing-dedicated space keeps elaborately uniformed students cool with central air conditioning instead of replacing helmets with ice buckets like lesser establishments.
A beacon of global, ecological, and culinary change, Farm to Family provides local farmers and their customers with a simple, more sustainable means of transporting food from source to stomach. Because of the market's communal roots, the staff is able to keep a keen, green thumb on what's seasonally fresh, what's regionally rich, and what's soon to be needed for noshing, carving, and squashing. The seasonal selection currently includes succulent yellow squash and zucchinis ($1.89/lb.), sweet potatoes ($1.69), and most everything else that can be harvested within the region, including unmodified, unexpressive proto-jack-o-lanterns ($1–$15, ranging from mini to giant and fancy pumpkins). To see a complete list of what's sprouting up in the market, feel free to check out the weekly selection online.