"Funky" isn't a word typically associated with hardware stores, but that's exactly how Amy and David Doyle describe Sunset Ridge Home & Hardware. Upon opening the place in 1995, the pair envisioned a one-stop hardware and home-improvement haven that shook off the sawdust and embraced the unconventional in ways that didn't include slapping googly eyes on every two-by-four. That's why the San Antonio Express-News' $hopGirl can cite a unique selection of Curly Girl wall hangings, hooded towels, and Texas cookbooks beside traditional tools and housewares sourced from Ace Hardware. An epic spread of Benjamin Moore paints and Breville kitchen products create an ocular feast for fixer-uppers as handcrafted soaps and fragrant candles ignite olfactory senses. Seasoned staffers roam the aisles, touting talents that include knife sharpening, key cutting, and lamp repair in addition to several other services.
Gourmet Body Treats’ beauty products are made from all natural, fair-trade ingredients, making them as friendly to the earth as they are to the body. Lather up with the organic coffee soap, a dense square of vegan, nontoxic oils infused with ground coffee and raw chocolate for extra antioxidants and a skin-loving lift ($10.50). Tress-tenders and yetis in need of pampering can lather hair with the vanilla-mint shampoo, a fragrant concoction bubbling with rosemary, nettle, peppermint, and yucca and packed with proteins to moisturize stressed strands ($24.00 for 8 ounces). For a finishing touch, slick on liquid eyeliner, a mixture free of synthetic preservatives or colors, complete with organic sunflower oil and vitamin B5 to smoothly highlight sultry eyes or quickly doodle on lightweight reading glasses ($13.99).
All three stores serve platters of furniture and home accents in an assortment of colors, textures, and designs. House outfitters can use Furnish 123's Create Your Own Space online service to see how the furniture might look at home or inside a private jet. For under $200, the three-piece table sets include clean lines and the classic dark wood of the Ripley collection or the softer curve of the Aspen collection. Three-piece bedroom sets keep sleeping a realistic goal and include a headboard, dresser, and mirror. Living rooms can be accessorized with bookcases ($199), recliners ($299), and more than 40 sofas ($399) plus a host of colorful, decorative pillows that are not filled with batteries.
Garage Door Solutions' technicians make lifting the biggest door in any home as simple as pressing a button. They install and repair both the doors – hardware, springs, and hinges – and the motorized devices that move them. They even offer same-day service, for those times when the door quits closing and a flock of wild pick up trucks is in the neighborhood looking for a place to roost.
Olympian Fencing Club's coaching team, helmed by U.S. Olympian and award-winning fencer Velizar Iliev, shepherds students of all skill levels through rapier-swinging sessions that bolster balance, agility, and strategy formulation. Neuvieme novices can orient themselves in beginner-level classes—which teach proper swordsmanship, basic attack and defense tactics, when to invoke the sword during roommate disputes, and point scoring. Equipment for these classes is provided by the club.