Unique Arts head product designer Ati Goknur and his staff handcraft a diverse ecosystem of outdoor accouterments using carefully chosen processes and materials, such as Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood. Ati also personally visits Unique Arts’ overseas partners before deeming their products eco-friendly and genie-absent enough to sell. Olympia solar lights illuminate walkways and remote property areas without enlarging carbon footprints ($49, six per set). The plug-less bulbs recharge automatically during the day and blink on when the sun slips into the horizon’s fanny pack at night. Enliven summer barbecues with wafts of charcoal from a stainless-steel screened fire pit ($99). The avian flutterings around a tall birdbath ($99) give patio populations something to look at as they lounge on a honey-brown Birmingham bench constructed from FSC-certified eucalyptus and do the New York Times crossword tattoos on their arms.
A family gathers in front of a fire to watch flames dance inside a teepee of logs. After several moments, a uniformed staffer walks over to ask whether they have any questions, and, startled, they stop telling ghost stories or reminiscing about bygone summer bonfires to think about whether they'd like that very model in their own home. Fireside Hearth & Home's cozy design room has that effect. Several staged but comfortable living rooms, kitchens, and patios revolve around fireplaces and stoves, letting customers really imagine life around the hearth. The inventory of gas, wood, and electric fireplaces, as well as stoves and inserts come out of the workshops of top brands such as Heat & Glo, Heatilator, Quadra-Fire, and Outdoor Lifestyles. The knowledgeable staffers can explain the variances of styles and features, as well as install new fireplaces and convert wood fireplaces to gas ones.
Jung Garden Center's five verdant locations flourish with a multitude of seeds, bulbs, and live plants to spruce up windowsills and landscaped yards. Customers can transport spring to flora-starved yards by sprinkling the seeds of the Alaska shasta daisy ($2.25/200-seed packet), or ward off colds and close social interaction by planting 10 200-seed packets of garlic chive herbs ($15). Lady Mix marigolds ($3.45 for a 50-seed packet) permeate spaces with citrusy hues, and the bright red Lizzano hybrid tomato ($5.50 for two 10-seed packets) tries to sneak out of backyard gardens disguised as a clown nose.
The Kitchen Gallery features around 2,000 products in its diverse and expansive store. All manner of kitchen utensils and accessories are available from TKG to aid chefs throughout all stages of food preparation and consumption. Practice your speedy onion dices with a Kershaw Shun Wasabi Santoku knife ($34.95) on a brand-new bamboo Hana grooved cutting board ($12.99), both ideal for menacingly polishing in a front-porch rocking chair. Mix and mash to your heart's content with a Duralex Lys nine-piece nesting-bowl set ($25). Use the 11" barbecue wok/stir-fry non-stick pan ($9.50) for Asian-infused meals or as a highly ineffective canoe paddle. Finish your fabulous feast with a chocolate-dipped delicacy made with a 12-piece Fest chocolate-fondue set ($28), along with some after-dinner caffeine from a Chambord 32 oz. French press ($39.95).
Bedecking bedrooms, living rooms, and home offices for almost a century, the furniture fiends at Rubin's seek out the finest in formal, casual, classic, and chic furniture design and manufacturing. Peruse the haute hoard of home furnishings, which range from area rugs, futons, chairs, and patio furniture to accent pieces such as trunks, coat racks, and cocoa-flavored candelabras.