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.
With a degree in landscape architecture from Washington State and more than 20 years of experience, Chris McAuslan crafts custom designs for both residential and commercial properties. When he isn't stocking his nursery with beautiful trees and shrubs, he installs landscape lighting, waterfalls, synthetic grass, and eco-friendly, solar-powered flowers.
One of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint has been sprucing up interiors and exteriors since 1945. The company has evolved over the years to keep up with the latest advancements in painting technology. Among the multi-hued fruits of this evolution are weather-ready exterior paints, whose modern formulas scoff at the elements and prove ideal for realistic yet unflattering outdoor murals of the neighbors. With more than 1,600 shades to choose from, painters will find it nearly impossible to settle, like a bowl of jello during an earthquake. Luckily, customers can take advantage of the handy virtual decorator to narrow their choices and forecast what color schemes should be applied to which room, such as aquamarine themes for the exotic-fish room, bright primary colors for the inflatable fire escape, and a variety of yellows for a basement filled with antique butter churns.
Sprouting orchids fill the nursery at Emerald City Orchids and enchant visitors with a colorful bouquet of rare, imported, and locally grown specimens. Staff members deftly navigate the canopy of petals, helping hobbyists or green-thumbed experts pick out a particular species and arranging individual stems within decorative pots. Education is also a priority for the shop, which features informative reading materials on how to properly care for orchids and how to tell whether she loves you or loves you not without actually damaging a flower. Surrounded by the tropical ambiance of fragrant orchid blooms, the nursery's café area stimulates senses with the scent of percolating coffee, sweet pastries, and a selection of beers and wines.
We’re passionate about working in partnership with customers to formulate architectural paints, industrial coatings, automotive finishes, water-proof coatings and wood-care products that achieve desired results and set the industry standard for excellence.
When to Go: Cafe Flora is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Stop in during the day to enjoy the airy glass-enclosed atrium, or take a seat at dinner in the cheerful, art-filled dining room.
Awards and Acclaim
Pot de crème: a French dessert with a custard-like consistency, traditionally served in a porcelain cups.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse gently worn women’s merchandise from the likes of Banana Republic, Nine West, and Chanel at Fury (2810 E Madison Street).
After: Sip on a cocktail or beer at The Bottleneck Lounge (2328 E Madison Street).