A certified wall specialist, professional faux finisher, and master plasterer trained in Italy, Laura Howard oversees a team of professional designers to harness artistic expertise and advise clientele seeking faux finishes, custom paints, and ornamental accessories for their own home-renovation projects. The store also stocks a bevy of paints in hundreds of colors. Decorative Designs specializes in an array of more than 200 personalized faux finishes and offers home-décor items to accent vivacious, creative designs. An official Modern Masters Platinum training center, Decorative Designs hosts a number of educational courses, during which Laura imbues pupils with her in-depth knowledge and skills for glazing, cabinet-design textural faux finishing, and counseling feuding garage doors and clickers.
Housed inside an historic Victorian home, Blakely House Bakery and Cafe can easily be mistaken for a private residence. Yet, three enterprises share the elegant two-story space. In the café and bakery, Chef Kandt piles fresh baked bread with homemade lobster-crab salad, grilled chicken and crisp bacon, or Boar’s Head pastrami. After lunch, guests can enjoy decadent baked goods—such as banana-bread muffins and nearly 40 types of cupcakes—on the house’s wraparound porch. Meanwhile, hairstylists and skin specialists man a full-service salon and spa, where they push customers into relaxation mode with massages, mani-pedis, and full-service hair treatments. Once fed and beautified, clients can peruse the onsite gift shop, teeming with unique gifts, such as scarves and jewelry, alongside women’s clothing and pet accessories fit for dogs, cats, and large pieces of coral.
The experts at Ocala Art and Frame believe in the beauty of choice. They invite their customers to choose from more than 1,000 frame styles and dozens of mat textures and colors. Browsers can ask the staff’s board-certified framer to help determine if a needlework masterpiece should be outfitted with a mahogany, oak, or pine outline or if a watercolor should be safely ensconced behind UV-protective glass or a clear Jello mold. Those looking to purchase pieces to decorate their walls can peruse the gallery of more than 10,000 prints, lithographs, and posters, as well as original sculptures. The selection of artwork focuses on equine subjects because of Ocala's designation as the Horse Capital of the World.
Jess and Dano Kinnee love cycling, whether on mountain or road terrain. Drawing on a lifetime of work in bike shops, Dano opened Greenway Bicycles to help spread his cycling pastime deeper into central Florida. Today his shop deals in a diverse array of bikes from Mongoose to Schwinn. As a certified bicycle mechanic, he can also perform tune-ups and install modifications on any bike, from adding new chains and trueing wheels to replacing the playing cards in the spokes. When cyclists need new gear, Greenway has a selection of bike gear from sunglasses to cycling shoes to choose from. The shop is also located right on a Florida Greenway trail, making it a convenient stop for cyclists before or during scenic rides.
For more than eight years, Liquors at the Marketplace has decorated area bar carts and cellars with a staggering selection of hard-to-find liquors and more than 300 varietals of wine. Patrons can take center stage at cocktail parties, mixing up mojitos from bottles of premium 10 Cane rum, pouring glasses of wine developed by golfer Greg Norman, or smash bottles of Kendall Jackson chardonnay on strangers' boats in guerilla-style christening ceremonies. For Friars Club–style tea parties, the shop also stocks cigars and smoking accessories, and stays open on most holidays.
Lina Beth Fine Consignments delivers top-notch, classic clothes at budget-friendly prices, dressing women to the nines in brands such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren. Around 450 new items pop up on the boutique racks every week, allowing browsers to pick from fresh harvests of blouses ($12–$48), sweaters ($20–$75), shoes ($18–$125), and dresses ($25–$275). If an item lingers on the chic shop's racks without finding an owner, a brigade of discounters will make it more appealing by reducing its price by up to 75% or teaching it a sad puppy-dog face. Meanwhile, the storefront's accessories come sourced from quality markets such as New York and Atlanta; stylishly store checkbooks in purses ($20–$1,000) or sneak into treaty signings without adding Roman numerals to your surname by wearing regal costume jewelry ($20–$200).