Louis W. Mian cloaks counters, vanities, and fireplaces in flat, shiny garments made from different types of natural stone and tile. Shoppers can visit the showroom to seek out inspiration from artful displays of stone furniture or to arm themselves with hundreds of removable sample boards to beat back the Tupperware gremlins living inside their kitchen cabinets. All staff members have experience with natural stone and can help counter coveters pick from more than 200 material options, including 1.25" thick white Carrara marble ($39/sq. ft.), 1.23" thick absolute black granite ($45/sq. ft.), and week-old pizza dough. Prices for custom jobs vary, but cutting and materials for a countertop, vanity top, or fireplace usually costs around $29 to $50 per square foot.
Blue Cloud Gallery has a focus on local art. That’s the principle laid out by owner Betsy Lenora, an art aficionado and photographer who has been curating New England’s best local art for some time. She currently oversees the influx of art from more than 100 local artists at Blue Cloud Gallery. The walls, shelves, and tables are covered with unique crafts including ceramics, jewelry, glass, woodwork, fiber, and graphics. Resident artist Marshall injects some modern art methods into the gallery, as well. Using digital techniques to add depth, color, and tone to original photographs, Marshall produces digital paintings that are collected by clients from all over the world.
Born in Taxco, dubbed the silver capital of Mexico, Tis * tik's owner Perla Brito Cuevas spent her youth rubbing shoulders with local designers at her family's jewelry store. From there, Perla’s love of artisanal jewelry manifested itself in the creation of a Boston boutique where she imports wearable works of art from Mexico's most creative designers, many of whom share her Taxco birthplace.
Named for a Mayan term meaning, "a warm welcome to you," Tis * tik amasses the masterpieces of artisans such as Pavel Perez, who twists pure silver into intricate earrings and rings, and Leticia Rayas, who molds real fish scales into colorful necklaces that fit into decorative boxes hand-painted with birds and flowers. Perla rounds out her accessory arsenal with vibrant handbags, some of which have been molded from recycled candy wrappers by jail inmates as part of a rehabilitation program.
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.
It isn’t Christmas until you hang the poinsettia above the door as a clever ploy to baffle guests and kiss them while they’re distracted. With today’s deal, score an 8-inch holiday poinsettia for $17 (a $31.88 value), plus a 20% discount on same-day additional purchases at Coady Florist. You can purchase up to five Groupons, putting enough plants in your pocket to spread to family and friends with a prowess unseen since the legendary Bonnie Poinsettia Seed. The percentage off doesn’t compound with each successive Groupon, so give up on those sugarplum visions of 100% off.
Oriental Furniture unites customers with a vast online inventory of authentic Japanese, Chinese, and Thai home furnishings. Peruse their collection of Chinese art furniture items such as the ladies tea-time display table featuring dark lacquered trim and traditional artwork from the Song dynasty ($129), or check out a variety of room dividers and accent lamps to divide and illuminate living spaces. Close off room corners with a six-foot-tall window-pane shoji screen ($79), choosing from six natural colors to complement the existing hues of your library and provide ample privacy for changing into smoking jackets. Groupon holders can also invite a figure of compassion into their homes by opting for a 12" handmade Kwan Yin statue. With its head bowed in a peaceful and reflective manner, the Kwan Yin statue encourages onlookers to reflect on their relationships and to perform compassionate acts not only for others, but also for themselves.