After spending years as a salesman for top mattress lines, Steve Shore needed a new mattress himself. Rather than opt for a steep employee discount on one of the mattresses he sold, the enterprising Mr. Shore collected various natural materials and had them assembled into a mattress that met his exacting specifications: a comfy sleep cushion made with no potentially toxic components. The result was such an improvement over the big-name mattresses he sold that Mr. Shore and his son eventually decided to produce a line of organic mattresses based on the prototype, on which Mr. Shore slept soundly for more than a decade.
Now, the Shore men sell their mattresses under the Eco-Cloud name in The Natural Mattress Store. Made from high-quality steel coils topped with natural latex, Eco-Cloud mattresses resist accumulating allergens and nightmare blueprints and retain their shape and support for years. Organic wool and cotton covers help keep sleepers cool and snug in bed by deflecting body heat and wicking away moisture. Each Eco-Cloud mattress comes with a 12-year, nonprorated warranty. In addition to the Eco-Cloud line, The Natural Mattress Store carries more than 20 organic mattresses, as well as eco-friendly, solid wood bedroom furniture from Pacific Rim Woodworking, Bedworks of Maine, and Vermont Furniture Designs.
Over the past 25 years, Cheap Pete’s framers have honed their technique to a science, creating high-quality framing for any type of artwork, document, or object. Four Bay Area locations stock a huge selection of ready-made frames, including environmentally friendly options crafted from sustainably harvested pine or bamboo. Collage frames display a multitude of photos, showcasing favorite family memories or charting the development of a tiny infant into an adult-size infant. Customers can also create DIY frames with a large selection of framing tools and supplies.
Cheap Pete’s custom-framing services give customers the choice of more than 300 styles of mouldings, five types of glass, and a rainbow of mat colors. Shadowboxes display three-dimensional objects such as sports jerseys, matchbox cars, or exhibitionistic human beings. The shop also stretches canvases onto canvas bars, readying them to be hung at home or on the walls of a gallery.
As an artist, Jay Joya views frames as pieces of art in and of themselves. He salvages old barn wood and rustic scraps to craft frames that he paints by hand. In addition to the details he puts into his custom borders, Joya's acid-free matting and high-quality glass and acrylic ensure works of art remain preserved for years. A stock of more than 80 sizes of ready-made frames is always at hand to frame pieces in any style, from landscape to portrait to panorama. Beyond art and photography, Joya and his staff help clients frame or shadowbox items such as mirrors, heirlooms, and perfectly cooked steaks.
For nearly 30 years, Sun First! Solar has freed abodes from fossil-fuel dependence with hand-picked solar power equipment. Manufactured by green-energy titan SunPower, these durable photon slurpers can remain effective for up to 40 years, shaving down utility bills for decades to come.
Green-certified Jackson's Hardware, named Marin County's Best Hardware Store by Pacific Sun in 2011, buzzes with home-improvement experts who help visitors accessorize and maintain their domiciles with functional pieces and handyman tools. New showerheads ($3.95+) douse vertical bathers in smooth, aqueous streams, and door locks ($13.95+) and window screens ($9.95+) protect them from becoming horror-movie clichés. A new smoke detector senses the first waft of smog and alarms homeowners to ensure a quick evacuation ($7.99+). When finished flexing home-improvement prowess, follow the trail of sawdust crumbs leading to a trash can where construction carnage lays to rest ($22.99+). Invest in a hammer ($9.99+) to expand DIY capabilities, such as hanging up shelves or paint-by-number portraits of Charles Martel.
Many of FoamOrder's organic mattresses swaddle sleepers in Natural Sense organic foam crafted from rubber-tree sap and free-trade clouds. The all-natural fibers of the mattresses—which come in five levels of firmness—encourage restful, stress-free slumber by resisting dust mites, mold, and the temptation to cheat on the SATs. Customers can clothe skinny twins ($850.07–$1,698.50) in certified-organic-wool mattress protectors with water-resistant, needle-punched fibers ($59.95–$98.85 for a twin), and teens sleep in style with full bed sets that include a headboard ($129), box springs ($195), and a bed frame ($54.95). Floorboard-phobic foam-lovers can hoist beds out of harm's way with a Captain’s bed frame ($780.80 for a queen), which stands 15.25 inches off the ground, eliminating the need to memorize lengthy levitation spells.