With more than 6,000 square feet of showroom space, Consignment Furniture Depot offers an ever-changing inventory of new and lightly loved home furnishings and features brand-name designers including Drexel, Lane, Bassett, and Ethan Allen. Consignment Furniture Depot shoppers can peruse its photo directory to get an up-to-date sampling of available lighting, rugs, and mirrors, as well as Marcia's collection of refurbished furniture. Outfit rooms with leather couches ($200+), love seats ($125+), and a tall wooden dresser-and-mirror combo ($140) or give mattresses some regal outerwear by grabbing a modern black queen-bed set ($105). With a computerized inventory system, Consignment Furniture Depot promises simple, straightforward pricing and offers periodic markdowns based on how long pieces have been living in the showroom and whether or not they come to life after hours.
By Design Furniture offers to accent homes with sleekly styled chairs, sectionals, and shelves that marry European chic with classic American comfort. The modular Synergy bookcase ($98) is bathed in dark walnut and a modernistic fix for storing office supplies, shelving paperbacks, or displaying a glass bust of Ray Bradbury. Admire well-dressed reflections in the espresso-enclosed Pasadena mirror ($198), or entertain a date at the Duetto snack table ($118), featuring two stainless-steel arms holding round glass faceplates. Orbed Jensen chairs ($198) beam with retro-futurism, sheathed with plush microfibers harvested from green, black, orange, and red Mork farms.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work: handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a double-domed glass-door cabinet ($284), or in a hefty, finely trimmed kitchen hutch ($410). Or, display a new moving picture box on a delicately polished TV stand/buffet ($500). Small console tables ($160) and storage chests ($224) come in myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces, such as an immaculately carved chest of drawers ($391), are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables ($435–$548) and chairs ($80 each). Pieces are always fully assembled, ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.
With humble beginnings in 1924, Ace Hardware now comprises 4,600 stores in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries, guiding everyone from seasoned do-it-yourselfers to novices through its massive inventory. Enlist the aid of a knowledgeable pro while sifting through tools, lawn and garden supplies, electrical equipment, and outdoor-living accessories that simplify the hosting of backyard barbecues and the hanging of Christmas lights on zoo animals. Holiday accessories such as 100-count lights ($9.99) and portable fireplaces ($29.99) aid and imbue celebrations with seasonal spirit. During any time of year, a hatchet ($18.49–$36.99) helps forest visionaries see the wood for the trees, and a second mailbox ($13.99–$84.99) doubles the amount of fan mail homeowners can expect to receive.