In 1993, interior designer Evon Kirkland McAngus founded Evon Kirkland Interiors, through which she transformed homes with an eye for classic and sophisticated design. In 2007, she opened Westend to spread that passion and curate a show room filled with her favorite finds. She and her designers help shoppers navigate the 5,000-plus-square-foot show room to find pieces from reputable high-end lines such as Baker, Henredon, Oly Studio, and Vanguard Furniture. Because they've all honed their design chops, the staff can expertly advise shoppers on purchases.
As shoppers explore the show room, they'll also find antiques from the United States and Europe, as well as plenty of pillows and linens, artwork, and accessories, including candles and kitchen items. The staff also curates a lighting selection that includes table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers, which emit more sophisticated glows within homes than dangling light bulbs or half-opened barrels of toxic waste.
While artwork may gain immortality by challenging traditional aesthetics, the life of a painting or photograph is only as secure as the frame that contains it. This dedication to preservation is what inspired Michael and Ellen Mintz to open Frames Unlimited in 1979. That same spirit extended to their business itself: when Hurricane Hugo took its toll on their original shop, they gutted it and reopened, this time with more square footage for a gallery and design space. They remain in that space today, helping their staff members create custom frames and matting. In addition to paintings and photography, the staff helps customers guard heirlooms and specialty items such as sports jerseys or athletes still wearing their sports jerseys. Their services also extend to museum-quality archival framing, with special UV-filtering glass to protect art from light’s harmful rays. No matter the job, their shop stocks the materials to match it. Thousands of mouldings run the style gamut from very traditional to ultracontemporary, and colorful frames include hand-finished Italian designs and water-gilded gold leaf.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
When it came time to design The Coastal Cupboard?s demo kitchen, owner Brad Pitner shied away from industrial-grade appliances, opting instead for the kind of layout you?d find in your average home kitchen. That decision reflects the Cupboard?s mission to make gourmet cooking accessible to all.
To that end, Mr. Pitner and his staff of gourmands stock a vast selection of cooking gadgets, bakeware, and cutlery by top-tier brands such as Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, and Kuhn Rikon. Staff members are happy to walk customers through each product?s function and share their own favorite gadgets and dish towels with sentimental value. They also stock gourmet foods such as small-batch wines, baking mixes, sauces, and rubs.
Customers have a chance to see those tools and ingredients in action during the store?s weekly cooking classes. Most are led by in-house chef Bryan Breland, who tailors his class offerings to suit the interests of customers. Bryan has a heart for people and a passion for food. He makes classes fun, relaxed, and approachable. He brings a french twist to Lowcountry classics, while also mastering southwestern and asian-inspired dishes.
It’s hard to determine if a mattress is comfortable just by lying on it for a few minutes or keeping a picture of it under your pillow. The Bed Store has rethought the mattress-shopping experience from the ground up. Its has replaced the typical showroom feel with a spa-like atmosphere that removes distractions and allows thorough tests of Serta or Tempur-Pedic mattresses to take place in peace and quiet. At its other locations, The Bed Store and its employees also foster sound sleep decisions, helping shoppers choose from a wide array of mattress features, such as memory or temperature-regulating foam tops or eco-friendly sleep surfaces with bamboo-fiber covers and soy-based foam.
Mattress Source's knowledgeable staff pairs customers with one of a wide selection of firm and flexible beds that augment deeper slumbers. Sealy luxury firm mattresses ($449.99+) allays stressful nights by supplying supple support, manufacturers' warranties, and a cache of warm kittens to rest at the end of each bed. Silk woven jersey knit surrounds a layer of memory foam on the Stearns & Foster x-firm mattress, which gently pillows joint pain and absorbs excess body heat ($1,219.99+). At 26 Charlotte-area showrooms, shoppers can take inventory of each mattress' aptitude in hypnosis or chat with affable staff members about desired levels of firmness.