With more than 25 years of experience, Patio.com oversees a wicker- and wood-framed stockpile of rugged and refined game-room and outdoor furnishings to outfit open-air play spaces with tables, chairs, cushions, hammocks, barbecue grills, and billiard tables. Shoppers can peruse a variety of styles from teak and aluminum to adirondack, sling, strap, and nougat-centered.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
An interior-furnishings emporium, Design Solutions houses a cache of wares that can embellish walls, floors, and ceilings with a fresh vibe. Cushion a spontaneous backflip with a solidly colored Fatboy ($284), a sleek update on the classic beanbag, or punch up a drab wall with the Dottlicious designs by Wallcandy ($59)⎯80 removable dots ranging from 1 inch to 10 inches in diameter and ideal for a game of antigravity Twister. Continue the colorific cacophony in the kitchen with melamine plates ($10), trays ($23), and salad bowls ($24) by French Bull. Design Solutions also campaigns against interior doldrums by purveying pottery, toys, and lamps, which, like rays of sunlight or a 15-foot-wide heap of glow sticks, can light up a room.
Four brothers from the Lodato family founded United House Wrecking in 1954. While taking apart old buildings piece by piece to make way for Interstate 95, the brothers salvaged one-of-a-kind accents, windows, and furnishings. Today, Mario and his brother Ross Lodato oversee the family business, helping customers brighten up their homes with an extensive, constantly updated collection of antiques and new furnishing, stained glass, and architectural accents. Homeowners can consult with UHW's in-house design team to fill new and renovated homes with luxurious antique furniture, decorative accessories or sturdy old-fashioned doors, posts, and railings.
Hands On Pottery equips artists with an assorted stockpile of unmarked pottery and food-safe paints so they can fill china cabinets and gift boxes with hand-decorated dishes. Feel free to pair up lonely flatware with plates of multiple sizes ($13–$19), give flowers a place to rest their laurels in a glazed vase ($13–$32), or let incontinent coffeepots drain into one of several styles of mug ($13–$17). Guests can also affix a refrigerator magnet ($3) to prop up reminders to close the refrigerator, or decorate a piggy bank as a reminder to save up to buy a real pig ($13).