The design consultants at Henson's Lighting stock their showroom with fixtures that illuminate a home both inside and out. Cast warm glows into dim corners of the room with the help of a double-glassed wall sconce ($93.06), or grant modesty to three unclothed bulbs with a mini chandelier's ($90.99) amber glass shades. The decorative, boxy casing around an outdoor sconce ($110.92) also adds a touch of class to late-night games of Pin the Tail on the Garage.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
The licensed technicians of Zachary Carpet Care have spent 13 years honing their handyman skills, ridding carpets and upholstery of stubborn stains and sweeping air ducts clean of debris. They extend their expertise to a variety of home-improvement services, including carpet stretching, floor installation, and water-damage restoration. The technicians take an eco-friendly approach to their practice, eschewing harmful chemicals in favor of natural and nontoxic products. After finishing up jobs, they provide their clients with tips for maintaining clean-and-healthy carpets and floors.
For more than two decades, skilled textile technicians at Rugs by Suggs have cleansed carpets and mattresses of allergens and grime using eco-friendly methods. An extensive carpet-cleaning process safely banishes deep-ground grime from indoor walkways, combining preconditioning and disinfectant with steam cleaning and optional Scotchgard protectant. Each rug-scrubbing?s pH-balancing solutions and biodegradable chemicals effectively clean fibrous surfaces and prevent unnecessary environmental damage. Since human beings spend one third of their lives sleeping and another third building mattress forts, Rugs by Suggs's mattress-cleaning package thoroughly purifies cushions with a six-step process that removes accumulated dust mites and bacteria.
Within a spacious showroom brimming with stylish-yet-functional furniture, La-Z-Boy’s knowledgeable staffers and design experts work tirelessly to help shoppers select accoutrement suited to their individual tastes. To do so, they harness the in-store Screen Test system, which allows patrons to envision the store's signature recliners and sofas in a full spectrum of fabrics and colors. A fleet of harmonizing furnishings—including tables and ottomans—make any room a home’s most popular one, guaranteeing it a date to the basement’s prom. As an added bonus, a complimentary in-home design service sends a designer to homesteads to create a room layout based on homeowners’ personal style and the flight patterns of resident closet-dwelling monsters.