Relying on customer testing and a comfort-scale rating, A Goodnight Sleepstore's accessible retailers pair patrons with cushioned name-brand mattresses that coax them into a restful torpor without overnight aches. Staff have coded the shop’s pillow-top, memory-foam, and firm mattresses on a comfort scale of one to six, allowing customers to quickly gauge which mattresses will offer the firmness needed for back sleeping and which are soft enough to conceal stockpiles of pilfered marshmallow crème. The shop also showcases accessories such as bed frames, pillows, and sheets, allowing customers to fully assemble the requirements for their new sleeping situation. Free delivery is available for bed sets $599 and higher, and a 30-day money-back guarantee ensures clients won’t have to toss and turn over whether they made the right decision.
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 Stephen Harman, who tailors his class offerings to suit the interests of customers. ?He?s ridiculously talented?he?s just fearless,? says owner Brad Pitner of the inveterate chef. That fearlessness has motivated Chef Harman to master dishes from paella to pad thai. But his true passion is for Lowcountry farm-to-table items. ?He?s obsessed with local agriculture,? says Mr. Pitner. ?If he can get it local, he?ll get it local.?
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.
Old Colony Furniture, which has been family owned since 1946, inspires interior-design compositions with a 30,000-square-foot show room, showcasing both contemporary and classic pieces. Upon entering the expansive show room, guests will feel as though they're walking through an expertly designed home as they peruse rich, opulent furniture from more 50 respected brands, such as Sherrill and Hancock & Moore, artfully arranged in inviting vignettes. With a collection of dining chairs ($269+), patrons can strategically seat guests in vulnerable positions should a mashed-potato fight break out. A nightstand ($449+) provides optimal access to water glasses and bedside reading materials, and an upholstered occasional chair ($475+) coddles fatigued appendages. Shoppers glance into mirrors ($225+) to admire the way a shirt complements their pants and for instant reassurance of their non-gorilla status.