Dedicated to rewriting the traditional furniture-store formula, the well-edited shop eschews the sales in sales in favor of a friendly, pressure-free approach. Here, customers can bed-flop and couch-surf to their seat's content without interruptions from a sales-hungry staff. The hassle-free environment––coupled with a policy to only stock first-line releases and brand-new inventory––gives the 50,000-square-foot facility showcasing more than 350 manufacturers a comfortable, shoppable feel. With items running the gamut from recliners and lighting to the bathroom sink, Brandon Home Furnishings is a one-stop fix for any painfully plain corner, closet, nook, cranny, or dollhouse cranny.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving a favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
Most Popular Service: Custom picture framing
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: Be patient. It takes times to design a frame that enhances a piece of artwork and suits your taste.
Maryland China Co. has a long tradition of ordering fine china pieces from around the world: over a century long, in fact. Today, the staff maintains the shop's reputation by carefully vetting every item in the 1,250-piece collection, which comes from eight countries and four planets. Quality is paramount, so the shop demotes items to the seconds room for minute imperfections, such as slight color variation. A single piece of hand-painted china, such as a cup and saucer decorated with intricate loops and whorls, can take hours to complete. Full tea sets, then, celebrate the careful craftsmanship and leisurely traditions of the Old World.
Despite the large selection of hand-painted wares, undecorated white china and porcelain vases, pots, cups, and bowls dominate the shelves. Sometimes designed with ornate details, such as scalloped edges or antique-style handles, the items are otherwise blank slates for artists. Customers can purchase a small paint set with their china to transform it into a modern work of art with colorful chevrons or 2011 1040 forms.