Nestled between bay windows with verdigris awnings, Just Paper & Tea’s bright-red door serves as a cheery invitation to enter the store. Behind the cardinal-hued portal, happy sighs cut through the rustle of paper as patrons riffle through the shop’s hand-picked assortment of stationery accented with custom designs and elegant lettering. Perched at their workstations, calligraphers artfully emblazon blank cards with birth announcements or legally binding grocery lists, and staffers help brides- and grooms-to-be draft up dream wedding invitations. Along with lavish paper wares, Just Paper & Tea’s shelves also brim with a vast selection of teas that call to mind distant landscapes with smoky darjeeling and herbaceous green matcha.
Amicus Green Building Center brings an eco-friendly approach to the building process with its inventory of green and sustainable materials. Each product in the store undergoes extensive review to determine its potential energy savings, environmental integrity, and ability to intimidate smog that shows up unannounced to dinner parties. New initiates into the world of healthy eco-living may wish to start with a safety test kit ($10.95 each) to discover just how much asbestos, lead dust, or radon lurks in the shadowy recesses of their home. Said shadows can be banished with the efficient lighting of compact fluorescent light bulbs ($5.19 each for small bulbs), which offer long life and warm light quality, or light-emitting diodes ($60.40 each for recessed bulbs) that pack an average 40,000 hours, or approximately 80,000 equally illuminating episodes of Frasier, of light.
Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & What Not keeps customers coming back with their “blast from the past” apparel and furnishings. Large windows draw customers into the granite floored shop with neon pink walls and unusual chandeliers. The massive vintage store on 14th Street carries everything from old photographs and lunch boxes from the 1950s to vintage mirrors and old lamps to old-school rotary phones, and that’s only the beginning. Miss Pixie’s also has Matchbox cars, old beer glasses and used books and records. Aside from these exercises in knick-knack nostalgia, the store is also a home decorator’s dream. Between the vintage furniture and the unexampled artwork, there’s enough funk here to furnish the most whimsical crib.
Design shops are a rarity in colorful Adams Morgan, but the eclectic nature of Skynear makes up for the dearth. Located in a Victorian townhouse built in the 1890s, Skynear Designs Gallery offers a modern and cool take on everything from furniture and artwork to jewelry and iPad accessories. While most of the handmade products are local, Skynear does sell one-of-a-kind, silk-screened Cuban movie posters, along with art from nationally-known painters. While not part of Skynear proper, a wander up the stairs will lead shoppers to a gallery featuring art from artists of various origin including South America. Skynear hosts once-a-month curated evening events, which often feature artists whose works are sold in the space.
Sleek hardwood floors. An earth-toned tile backsplash. A stone fireplace that matches the stone floor of a refinished basement. These are just a few of the many customized remodeling options that Lofft Construction Inc. offers up to its customers. It does so by working directly with architects and each client to design new additions, update a kitchen, or make a basement a livable space for the family members who aren't ghosts.
The approach has paid off. In addition to making customers happy, the company has racked up awards, including the COTY Contractor of the Year Award in 2009, 2011, and 2013. It also gives back to the community, donating unused building materials to Habitat for Humanity and hosting meal nights to feed those without homes.
For more than two decades, Alexandria Art and Framing's knowledgeable staffers have meticulously enveloped and conserved images with expert framing services that transform personal memorabilia into elegant artwork. Elegant rectangles line store walls in an array of shapes, colors, and styles—including gold frames with antique appearances and stained wood etched with ornate motifs. Alexandria Art and Framing's artisan picture enhancers put their passion into practice to beautify each image with mat boards, mouldings (from such brands as Larson-Juhl and Roma Moulding), and box frames, a specialty of the frame shop. From valuable baseball cards to blue ribbons from hot-dog-eating contests to poster-size family portraits, any piece of artwork can be skillfully encased before proudly displayed.