Simplified Designs founder Melissa Airey Perkins lends a keen eye to interior design, comfort, and functionality as she spruces up living spaces. Transparently self-conscious windows can boost self-esteem with help from Simplified Designs' Hunter Douglas line, a selection of custom window treatments that assuage ailing wall-holes. The Hunter Douglas 2-inch alternative wood blinds, in either 30"x30" ($143) or 36"x36" ($176), deliver a streamlined wooden covering that blurs the line between blinds and shutters. Airy apartments or overheated hovels can find relief with the 3/4-inch Duette honeycomb shade, which traps heat and cold in three separate internal air-pockets and is available in both 30"x30" ($230) and 36"x36" ($256). Cater to safety with the Hunter Douglas LiteRise, a cordless operation mechanism designed for children's rooms and the string-phobic. Simplified Designs’ regularly priced products include a full line of fabrics and furniture to fill out barren homes.
Neo Interiors looks for modernity in both form and function, culling furniture with contemporary shapes that also boast multi-functionality. Shoppers travel throughout a 15,000-square-foot showroom, alighting on pieces imported from Italy, Belgium, and Spain. The large and ever-changing inventory hails from approximately 15 distributors, each of which represents anywhere from 10 to 20 manufacturers. All-purpose design pops up everywhere, from updated takes on the sleeper sofa to wall-mounted storage units, whose glossy drop-down doors double as a makeshift bar or a stage for impromptu puppet shows. Italian Magniflex mattresses wrap soy-based memory foam in linen or organic cotton covers, some of which feature reversible designs that alternate between soft and firm support. Eco-friendly elements also ignite the shop's selection of freestanding bio ethanol fireplaces, whose smoke-free flames are powered by fuel harvested from grains and potatoes instead of gas, electricity, or magic spells.
Using one of the most advanced fabrication workstations in the world, CounterEdge harnesses digital design technology to forge stone countertops. Proliner digital templating equipment lets technicians capture dimensions and surface points for your countertop space, then create a fully rendered digital template that will be imported into the Fabcenter fabrication workstation. One of only five in the world, the Breton Fabcenter cuts, edges, and polishes each slab of igneous artwork, and can outfit countertops with sink cutouts that can accommodate sinks that spout water or sinks that dispense melted chocolate.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
After devoting years to protecting precious pictures and keepsakes from environmental harm, the Middlesex Framing crew has amassed an inventory of highly protective materials. Acid-free matting keeps photographs and certificates from deteriorating over time, UV-protection glass guards against sunlight’s discoloring rays, and museum glass deters bandits who somehow made it across the living room’s laser alarm grid. Partnering with Larson-Juhl, the crew is able to access more than 1,500 molding samples and matting combinations—ensuring that each piece is both protected and enhanced by its border.
Alan J. Gardner opened his Salem factory in 1933, winning over generations of loyal customers with custom-made and odd-sized mattresses in a wide range of styles. Massachusetts-made pallets support sleepers with hand tufted construction and fluffy cotton fillings catered specifically to each client's specifications. The company's direct manufacturer-to-customer supply chain erases the influence of bothersome middlemen or arrogant, cigar-chomping mattress barons. Sleepers select from a variety of comfy cushion styles, such as latex, plush top, tufted, or pocket coils, with options for all-natural materials such as Joma wool and layers of thick cotton-knit fabric.