Museums typically showcase art in carefully curated rooms. At Mattress Factory, however, the room itself is the art. Since 1977, the museum's two buildings have housed a permanent collection of contemporary installation art—room-sized works that engulf the entire space. In Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, mirrored ceilings and walls infinitely reflect a trio of fluorescent dots painted on a white formica floor. In Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You, astroturf lines a floor covered in artful arrangements of grotesque dolls that form shrines to artists such as Patti Smith and Candy Darling.
To further immerse guests, Mattress Factory's exhibitions are paired with educational programs that range from lectures to hands-on art projects. Along with stimulating the public, the museum stimulates the growth of artists through its residency program, which invites participants to create installations while living near the museum, a much more practical alternative to hiding a secret cot in the coatroom.
Nestled in a turn-of-the-century Dutch-colonial home, Flowers in the Attic combines a flower shop, a daytime caf?, and a gift shop under one roof, creating a charming and eclectic experience that was once profiled in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The gift shop's floral arrangements, antiques, and trinkets from brands such as WoodWick Candles and Sid Dickens make for special multi-occasion tidings and fun perusal as guests explore the house. In the caf?, servers bring to tables brunches replete with eggs and waffles and lunches of sandwiches and salads that overflow with greens and chopped fruit. On balmy days, a wraparound front porch seasons fare with fresh air that flows in through crisp white balustrades and pillars. Special teatime events at the house include spreads of sandwiches, pastries, and pots of tea to share among adults or little ones. Flowers in the Attic is also a unique space to have a special event, ranging from bridal showers to bar mitzvahs.
The Coury family has been adorning Pittsburgh's bedrooms since 1950, when the first Coury Furniture opened its doors. Since 1988, Mattress World has carried on the family tradition of quality with a selection of more than 20 mattress brands, including Simmons, Sealy, and Tempur-Pedic, in more than 100 styles. Factory-trained sales associates escort guests to cushions that fulfill their needs in terms of firmness, durability, size, and ability to withstand being dropped off a 10-story building. In addition to traditional innerspring and memory-foam mattresses, customers choose from a selection of waterbeds, futons, and iron and brass frames. Accessories such as bedding-protection kits help shield mattresses from bed bugs, dust mites, and allergens while preventing already-counted sheep from nibbling the sheets.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Guardian Storage offers customers a variety of indoor and outdoor storage units that range in size from 5'x5' to 20'x30'. Along with its storage space at locations in Pennsylvania and Colorado, the company offers patrons complimentary use of its carts and dollies and has various packing and moving supplies available for purchase. With the help of a LEED-accredited architect, the facilities implement environmentally conscious practices that include building storage units with partially recycled steel and using heat-reflecting roofs capable of tanning birds' pale underbellies.
The secondhand building materials, home furnishings, and antique treasures residing within Construction Junction's 30,000-square-foot warehouse all dodged a trip to the landfill in order to be repurposed in construction or decorating projects. Twenty departments come stocked with items ranging from major appliances and plumbing accessories to lumber and wardrobes that lead to Narnia. The crew of staff, volunteers, and interns at this nonprofit company cares not only for the environment, by finding a new home for functional wares, but also for the community, by supporting organizations such as Goodwill.