Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
For more than half a century, Mill Stores has dispensed an enormous array of high quality, ready-to-finish wood furniture and accents to enhance homestead comfort. As a factory-finished solid-oak rocker ($249.99) supports reclining spines, a three-step stool ($19.77), crafted from solid eastern white pine, aids customers in accessing difficult to reach shelves filled with stashes of candy and bacon fat. Stockpile bottles of grapey goodness in a solid wood Tuscany wine box ($39.99) or artfully arrange CDs and DVDs in the sliding separators of a solid pine rack ($23.99). A shingled-roof doghouse ($179.99) shelters canines in safe, cozy pine, and a cast-stone scroll birdbath ($49.88) cleanses neighboring loons and fallen airplane peanuts in its stylish cement surface. Shoppers unable to find their desired décor in stock can request customized designs, which Mill Stores crafts in two weeks or less.
Opening its doors in 1782, Elwood Adams Hardware honors its long hammer-peddling heritage by stocking general hardware, supplies, and hard-to-find tools. Shoppers can nab toolbox necessities such as a 100-piece screwdriver bit set ($16.99) or Nashua all-weather duct tape ($6.89), a must-have for hushing overly chatty androids. Knowledgeable staff of industry experts can help carpenters choose high-caliber lumber cutters, including a 12-inch high-tension hacksaw ($23.99), or cheerfully supply homeowners with a Weller 40-watt soldering iron ($20.99). Skip shopping bags by tossing purchases into a bucket wrapped with a LeatherCraft tools and parts caddy ($23.99), a handsome carryall that fits snugly over five-gallon buckets for easy toting or a romantic picnic in a construction pit.
In the mid 1960s, Murray and Ida Rotman gave the family name to their growing furniture and carpeting business, confident that it would hold employees accountable and remind them to interact with customers as one community member to another. Throughout multiple expansions and a change from the "7 Stores on 5 Floors Under 1 Roof" slogan to "New England's Largest Furniture and Carpet Store," the Rotman family has stayed true to its promise of treating people with honesty and respect. According to Furniture Today, the National Home Furnishings Association named the company a Retailer of the Year in 2011, remarking on its "outstanding customer service and involvement in community services and activities." To that end, the Rotmans have helped raise $1 million for the local Walk for the Homeless, and cofounded a furniture-exchange program that allows customers to donate their gently used furniture to a family in need.
The award-winning business owes its success not only to a commitment to core values, but to an eye-popping assortment of furniture, mattresses, and televisions—all arranged in curated displays that inspire home-decorating ideas and make people believe they’re in a house built for a hundred families. The helpful staff measures and installs carpeting or flooring and fleshes out creative plans with the design-a-room service: a free in-home consultation with a computerized analysis. The store also stays ahead of the latest industry trends and innovations, offering, for example, pieces from Paula Deen’s furniture line and budget-friendly clearance deals in a space known as the Attic.
Cosmetologist Natasha Torres could hardly have found a more fitting name for her spa than Garden of Eden. After all, there’s something paradisiacal about Natasha’s beauty treatments, which restore skin to an immaculate state with custom-blended serums. Natasha draws on Bioelements products during her exfoliating facials, though she can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and acne with microdermabrasion treatments and organic lactic peels. When she isn’t restoring skin’s glow, she pampers her clients with natural and hot-oil manicures, paraffin dips, and creative nail designs that help make counting to 10 less of a chore.
The horticultural experts at Perreault Nursery delight gardeners with a bountiful harvest of blossoms, shrubs, mulch, and outdoor ornamentation. The garden gurus accompany each rose bush or Japanese maple with helpful advice on how to care for the plant before sending it off to college. In addition to its blossoming blooms—grown in Perreault’s own greenhouse—and a plethora of trees and shrubs, the garden depot outfits yards with mulch and stone, custom planters, and ornamental pottery or statuary, including fountains and bird baths.
After picking out their new plants, visitors can drop by the nursery’s butterfly house, where hundreds of butterflies flutter amongst babbling brooks, flowers, and benches. Or, for clients who would rather use a trowel to comb their hair instead of raking mulch with it, the professionals offer landscaping services to transform yards into lush oases with creeks, pathways, and beautifully designed flower beds.