Fast Frame originated in Europe and now has more than 300 locations worldwide. With the understanding that people are prone to changing their minds, the teams at these 300 Fast Frame stores back up all their custom-framing projects with a 30-day design guarantee, giving patrons a month to decide if they want to swap their memorabilia for one of more than 2,000 other frame styles, paying the price difference if applicable. For each project, a team with more than 60 years of combined experience performs the work onsite, generally completing designs in less than a week and sometimes on the same day. In addition to photos and diplomas, customers can commission shadowboxes or framing of bulkier items, such as jerseys or baby’s first rap sheet. For all finished projects, Fast Frame secures its craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
The employees at Unique Furnishings Boston shepherd patrons through 10,000 square feet of antique, new, and preowned furniture and appliances encapsulating the evolving tastes from the 1950s to today. Staffers habitually refresh their inventory—which ranges from traditional, American-made furnishings to eclectic masterpieces—with new additions, such as a vintage armoire with an artfully framed mirror. Unique Furnishings Boston embraces a philosophy of sustainability by buying or trading quality used items before owners relocate or completely refurbish apartments due to a newly prescribed diet of entirely edible furniture.
Open seven days a week, City Housewares outfits stuff-starved kitchens, pantries, and cleaning closets. Craft cups of first-class java in a Bodum french press ($12) or blend refreshing cocktails with a Silex electronic juicer ($17). City Housewares also helps homeowners organize out-of-control caftan collections with Sterilite storage containers and quell cutlery cravings with an assortment of Oxo knives and cooking tools ($4–$25). Stock up on spring-cleaning supplies, such as Mrs. Meyers cleaning products ($5–$16) and True Blues kitchen gloves ($9.50), or give attention-starved dishtowels a place to preen with a wooden drying rack ($15–$30).