Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.
The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.
The largest manufacturer and supplier of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint enables new-hue-craving customers to roll and brush fresh coats of luscious pigments onto formerly drab and dreary household surfaces. To reinvent interiors, several options await including the semigloss Wall Glow ($34.27/gallon) and the Velva Kolor ($30.59/gallon), with a less-reflective eggshell finish. Parker Paint also carries a selection of weather-scoffing exterior paints, such as the flat-finish Flextron 100 ($33.03/gallon) to help homeowners paint a realistic yet unflattering outdoor mural of the neighbors.
In 1979, a job repairing and restoring church windows illuminated Richard Heath's passion for glass art, which is now embodied in his design and teaching studio, Glassique. Working with the church's leaded glass spurred Heath to earn a certificate in the restoration of Tiffany works and delve into other fabrication methods such as fusing and foiling. Thereafter, he opened Glassique's first incarnation in San Diego and announced the event by making the stained-glass sign that still decorates the shop.
Missing family, Heath relocated Glassique to be with his four children in Seattle, settling the business in a 2,000-square-foot showroom with a studio for the creation of original commissions and custom reproductions. He and a small team of artists also hold comprehensive 2-D glass art classes. Heath's intricate commissioned work—including a glass portrait of John Wayne—proves that he thinks big. “We don’t teach little things,” Heath told Maple Leaf Life in 2011. “We teach the real art of stained glass.”
Mattress Depot USA unites a team of bedding experts to help customers end restless nights with a mattress that meets their individual sleep specifications. The sleep store's plenitude of private-label and national brands include Sealy, Restonic, and Lady Americana. Memory-foam mattresses, like sociable elephants, never forget a human form, cradling silhouettes in a firm, spongy embrace. Customers have up to 120 days to evaluate their mattress for its comfort capacity, and can consult with one of the shop's sleep consultants prior to purchase, reducing the likelihood of an imperfect fit.
Countless do-it-yourself projects would never have seen the light of day were it not for Aurora Rents—gardens would remain untended, furniture unsanded, bedrooms unpainted. Luckily, the locally owned and operated business has rented tools and equipment—all properly cared for—to northwestern craftspeople for 50 years. Equally as vital, each employee carries industry expertise around in his or her tool belt, and delights in providing insights, safety tips, and techniques for refinishing floors or shellacking homemade Trojan horses.