In 1958, Guy Day and Dale Williams founded their mattress store with a focus on high-quality products and excellent customer service. After 10 years, the partners unveiled their line of handcrafted, personalized mattress sets under the name Verlo, a combination of their wives' names—Verna and Lois. After more than 40 years, the company has perfected its craft, manufacturing customized mattresses and selling them directly through their show rooms. The stock ranges from plush pillowtops to firm sets, both capable of supporting healthy sleeping patterns and cutthroat pillow fights for years to come.
A family walks down a lane cut into a sprawling field of corn, striding confidently until they reach a fork. After a debate, they turn left, and eventually left again. A wooden bridge leapfrogs them to a new path, lined with rows of eerily similar corn stalks. Luckily, it's a balmy day, the blue sky striated with wispy clouds, and they're not in a hurry to emerge from the green ocean of corn.
From an observation deck nearby, the 33-acre cornfield looks like a postage stamp inside the 450-acre farm, which grows soybeans, corn, and more than 50,000 Christmas trees. Homesteaded in 1840, the land is now owned and worked by a third generation of Richardsons. The family wanted to welcome visitors to the farm to enjoy the rural, outdoorsy fun that could only fit on such a sprawling space. They planted the corn maze?among the world's largest?and devised other attractions such as a zipline and paintball gallery. Visitors can also cheer on racing pigs, pet animals in an interactive zoo, and participate in different maze games. In autumn families come to pick pumpkins and in winter they cut their own Christmas trees.
At Back to Bed's South Loop location, manager Kip Wilkinson puts customers at ease with a friendly attitude, helping them find a bed that fits their individual needs and budget. The experienced delivery staff also sets up new beds and removes old ones, with a variety of delivery options available. At the show room, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, and Simmons Beautyrest mattresses await rigorous testing, and the sleep-savvy employees help shoppers determine if they're more suited to a firm or soft mattress or to creamy or chunky peanut butter. Aside from a wide selection of mattress types and brands, Back to Bed also offers accessories such as ergonomic memory foam pillows.
The showroom at O'Reilly's Stained Glass is hectic but mesmerizing. Stained-glass creations glimmer in the windows, dangle from the ceiling, and sprout from the floors. These panes are the work of masters—particularly Suzie O'Reilly, who began glassworking in 1977. Since opening the storefront in 1999, Suzie has popularized the ancient art form, both through custom artwork and classes. In addition to tutoring students of all levels, she repairs damaged stained-glass pieces and designs one-of-a-kind works for weddings and businesses.
The Barn Nursery & Landscape Center's landscape architects, horticulturists, and construction crews regard any stretch of dirt and grass as blank canvas. Upon that canvas, they paint vistas of domestic bliss, blending beautiful plants raised in their 10-acre nursery with elaborately designed custom patios, decks, and pools. They capably incorporate any elements into their design that a homeowner might desire, including built-in fire pits for old-fashioned pig roasts or new-fashioned ritualistic sacrifices of cell phones. They draw not only on their artistic eye to inform their designs, but also upon more than 50 years of experience turning backyard dreams into practical realities.
Green thumbs gain inspiration from garden furnishings and decorative wrought-iron pieces stockpiled inside Ingrid’s Secret Garden. Mini roses, indoor bulb arrangements, and topiaries bloom as shoppers peruse eco-friendly gardening accessories and organic products including pottery and planters, gardening tools, and organic teas and spices. A selection of ornate birdhouses sport curved balconies, miniature french doors, and other decorative flourishes to welcome chirping birds and garden fairies discussing which mythical crew member of the Dawn Treader is the cutest. Once customers have inspected the indoor inventory, they can follow the path behind the family-owned shop and discover a Tudor-style greenhouse packed with hanging baskets, annuals, and other vibrant plants.