Standard Furniture traces its origins back to 1912, when a local family began traveling through Birmingham, peddling fine household furniture out of a wagon. Four generations later, the business has blossomed into 13 retail stores throughout Alabama and Tennessee, and its century-long commitment to quality furniture and customer service won it the Alabama Retail Association’s Silver Award as one of the Retailers of the Year in 2011. Each gallery abounds with bedroom, living-room, dining-room furniture from top designers, including Lane, along with mattresses in a range of shapes and styles from brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, and Jamison. At each location, a knowledgeable staff awaits to offer design counsel, suggesting pieces that best suit a household’s style or will hold up against a disobedient pet woodchuck.
Stocking lauded furniture brands, including Lloyd Flanders and Brown Jordan, the adept designers at Blackjack Gardens help chic-seeking customers find couches, chairs, and trimmings to outfit their roofless retreats. Among the extensive collection are simple and stylish sling seats such as the Crimson Casual Bayside chair ($159). The shop's array of accessories, including Vietri Aladdin outdoor silverware ($20–$99) and planters, primp patios. Deck dwellers will also find myriad ways to spruce up dining digs with seat-soothing cushions and Treasure Garden outdoor umbrellas, which offer protection from the harsh sun and privacy from the eavesdropping moon.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. Sydney accent chairs command shoppers’ attention with woody legwork, while minimalistic Cubit ottoman sets do captivating belly dances to bedazzle bored sultans. Matrix accent chairs, sofas such as the Victory chocolate sectional ($699), and beds including the Keytown panel bed ($499 queen) anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
With a stylish selection and an expert team, EyeCare Associates stocks frames by designers such as Kate Spade, Nine West, Hugo Boss, and Guess. Comprised of doctors and eyewear specialists, the team can screen for eye disease, administer eye exams, fit contact lenses, and repair old frames.
Continental is more than an ordinary blossom abode; it also stocks a full selection of house and tropical plants, all waiting to be adopted by loving humans who won't be embarrassed when photosynthesis happens in front of houseguests. The selection includes bright magenta azaleas, fluffy hydrangea globes, delicate orchids, and many leafy wonders. Surprise a special somebody with simple yellow daisies and wispy willow in a small Gerber vase ($35). Say happy birthday to a sweet-toothed coworker with a candy bouquet ($35), or send a healthy basket of fresh fruit ($45) to the aging superhero down the street. Beyond that, gift baskets can be customized to include just about anything, including chocolates, cheeses, themed gifts, or bottled genies with a few remaining wish-grants.