Kaleidoscopic ribbons of fabric, including cotton, canvas, silk, and satin, unspool across Colchester Mill Fabrics’ expansive aisles, enveloping crafters in vivid designs from the industry’s most revered manufacturers. Hundreds of quilting books and patterns incite celebratory bellkicks beneath more than 5,000 bolts of cotton fabrics that dazzle retinas with soul-warming batik, oriental, and novelty prints from the wonder weavers at Hoffman, Timeless Treasures, and Moda ($8.98 - $11.98/yd.). Decorative fabrics (starting at $4.98/yd.), including tapestries and canvas coveralls from Barrow and Robert Allen, reanimate one-note living spaces, and cushion foam and upholstery fabrics soothe threadbare seats ravaged by sandpaper skirts and pantsless porcupines. Cozy crafters find knitting tackle lines and crochet hooks lining aisles alongside felt, stencils, and beads and complementing oblong tubes of yarn, and brilliant bundles of faux flowers wait to be gathered into a festive holiday centerpiece or a chic everyday bouquet.
Voted Connecticut's Scariest Haunted House by the Norwich Bulletin, The Dark Manor fills visitors with terror and keeps hearts pounding throughout two floors of haunted rooms, a spooky cemetery, and a haunted village. Thrill seekers stalk through chambers teeming with haunting sights, shrieking at decrepit skeletons in electric chairs and hordes of giant, wall-clinging cockroaches. After surviving the manor's mind-bending set pieces and horrifyingly neglectful housekeeping, adventurers must wander through the cemetery and village. Amid the graveyard's tombstones roams a chainsaw-wielding freak offering free haircuts, and the denizens of the haunted village lurk amid shadows as masked horrors seek to startle the souls out of passersby.
Longtime resident of northeastern Connecticut, Carly Martin founded Silver Circle in 2008 with the belief that art is the glue that keeps communities together, granting local artists a space to exhibit their masterworks, hosting classes for aspiring Picassos to hone their craft, and providing a venue for jewelry makers to sell their crafts. The original pieces in Martin's gallery––which have included works by Jean-Paul Jacquet and George Chaplin––rotate on a four- to six-week schedule, and featured exhibits can be viewed in the main hall every Tuesday through Sunday, or through an enchanted mirror on Monday. Rather than having a decorative mindset while choosing the pieces for the gallery, Martin takes a more spontaneous approach, telling the Putnam Villager, “We don't concern ourselves with 'matching'... If a piece of artwork speaks to us, it can change our whole space and add energy and interest in unexpected ways. Art truly breathes life into a home.”
Over the course of 20 years, family-operated Just Like New has inspected apparel, accessories, and home furnishings from thousands of consigners, accepting only the pieces that meet strict quality and style standards. At the start of each fashion season, the family treks to New York City to gather enough designer duds to restock two 5,000-square-foot locations. Clothing, shoes, and accessories by classic brands such as Coach and Ann Taylor adorn shelves and keep mannequins from being charged with public indecency, and a children's section outfits youngsters in apparel purchased exclusively from catalog brands and specialty stores. Just Like New's jewelry selection glitters with 14-karat gold and sterling silver; vintage and costume jewelry occasionally makes the cut by way of jingling the shop owners' favorite songs. Vintage glassware, furniture, and artwork make unique design accents for the home.
Inside Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s sprawling warehouses and showrooms, friendly staffers stock plush beds, sturdy end tables, and stylish home accessories. Expert designers craft these dwelling fillers, testing raw materials' durability and basic arithmetic skills before transforming them into classy furniture items that mesh with any decorating style. They build many tables and chairs to meet eco-friendly business standards, using recycled engineered wood to reduce landfill waste and slow down deforestation. Ashley also stocks nonwood items, including a selection of state-of-the-art body-cushioning mattresses from brands such as Sealy and Tempur-Pedic.
For an additional charge, Ashley Furniture HomeStore transports its furniture using its own fleet of semi trucks and fighter planes, which ensure that comfortable couches and slick dining-room tables are never damaged and always fresh smelling. Each location is locally owned and operated, meaning staffers are friendly residents who know which couches best complement regional design trends and indoor weather patterns.
For 18 years, foodies at For the Kitchen have stocked their shelves with premium pots, pans, cutlery, and kitchen accessories. Striving to stock items "customers will only have to buy once," shopkeepers source brands known for durability and high performance. All-Clad, Berndes, and Scanpan pots and pans quickly heat up meats, veggies, and frozen archeological artifacts atop the stove, and French-made Staub dutch ovens equipped with self-basting lids leave slow-cooked items tender and brimming with flavor. In addition to the big-ticket items, smaller kitchen accessories such as Microplane graters, cookie cutters, and vegetable peelers ease everyday cooking. Regardless of the size of the item they grab, shoppers can count on free gift-wrapping to make a present extra special or a utensil holder extra colorful.