Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Inside a tiled sanctuary, puffs of perfumed steam swim through the air, hovering just above the surface of a Japanese soaking tub. This is no ordinary bathtub. It’s the site of Fusion LifeSpa’s curative bath, a treatment that helps clients unwind in tinctures of hot mustard, spicy ginger, or lavender. Inspired by holistic Asian medicine and therapeutic European techniques, services such as curative baths embody Fusion LifeSpa’s eclectic influences.
In the front waiting area, staff members welcome clients with warm cups of organic green tea, a fitting complement to the spa’s feng shui decor. Inside the treatment rooms, European spa treatments—such as massages and facials—contrast Asian-inspired services, including the jasmine facial mask, which makes use of the spa's proprietary skincare line. Other services, such as a footbath inspired by a Moroccan hammam, cleanse the body with natural assistance from organic coffee, tangerines, and figs. And for holistic care, the spa’s acupuncture services can realign energy lines faster than an electrician trained in heart surgery.
Lotus's plant products have all been preferentially purchased from vendors who practice sustainable techniques. Harden your garden with colorful flower four-packs filled with wide-ranging bloomers such as begonias, marigolds, impatiens, petunias, pansies, and more for only $1.99. Or go on a tree spree with nearly 125 varieties of deciduous and evergreen trees, including Honeycrisp apple trees for $69.99 and autumn blaze maple trees starting at $89.99. You can even spawn beautiful roses—those symbolic flowering shrubs so often associated with romance and Burton Gilliam—from your home turf for $29.99. The yield from pots of hearty herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, $3.99) will spice up one's daily diet of boiled gruel and potato ice cream. For something that comes back each spring, unlike icicles and NBC sitcoms, load up on perennial flowers. For $6.99, you can choose from varieties such as Salvia (not the kind that makes you see stuff, the other kind), Rudbeckia, Phlox, and Veronica or, if you prefer, Betty.
The crackle of Fireside Hearth & Home's fireplaces have filled the soundscapes of households across the country for more than 60 years. Today, their well-stocked showrooms feature a variety of advanced gas, electric, and wood-burning models from top designers such as Quadra-Fire, Heat & Glo, and Heatilator. In addition to fireplaces and accessories, they offer a number of decorative surrounds and mantels built with stone, wood, or casted material to gussy up any new or existing hearth. At attractive display areas fashioned to look like natural household settings, attentive staffers stand by to answer any questions, offer installation guidelines, or share tips on repelling pesky Santas.
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($4.99 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.