Operated by a family with more than 80 years of experience in furniture retail, Artis Home Gallerie outfits homes with opulent chairs and tables from upscale brands such as Stickley and Harden. Elegant interiors find the ideal appointments with leather or stylishly patterned sofas ($3,000–$3,600), and bodies weary from holding floors in place find comfort in chairs with intricate Morris upholstery and tiger-print styles ($1,900–$2,500). Knowledgeable designers squire visitors around geometric coffee tables bearing colorful glass vases and fluid sculptures, and a fanciful wine-barrel lamp ($625) illuminates abstract paintings and landscapes. Meanwhile, dining room tables admire their silky dark-wood reflection in mirrors framed by metallic curlicues.
Sticks sprung from humble origins when, in 1992, Sarah Grant began carving ornaments and candlesticks from birch, poplar, and driftwood in a small studio in Des Moines. As her work began to attract national interest and demand for it grew, Sarah enlisted the aid of other local artists and expanded her inventory to include handcrafted heirloom-quality furniture, whimsical sculptures, and intricate keepsakes.
Today, the artists’ work is showcased in more than 100 galleries across the country. Their installation projects have even decorated the walls of Blank Children’s Hospital, the Animal Rescue League of Central Iowa, and the student center at Iowa State University.
Sticks artists can often be spotted by the shores of local rivers, gathering driftwood for their work. They assemble the wood into custom-designed tables, beds, and armoires within their spacious, light-filled studio before painting them with colorful, whimsical designs, from smiling suns and moons to lush landscapes. The versatile artists even take their tools and paintbrushes to homes, businesses, and underground mad-scientist labs to craft custom art installations and interiors.
At Glazed Expressions, a large stock of pristine canvases await a painter's touch. Owner Laura Riegel and her knowledgeable team of artists encourage creativity during studio sessions, when visitors spend time designing and painting their own works of art as experienced and helpful staff members offer advice on the best painting techniques. Alternatively, fused-glass projects meld shards into kaleidoscopic pendants or clients can decorate pottery items such as vases, picture frames, and animal figurines. A BYOB policy enhances a festive atmosphere within the studio, keeping the mood as bright and colorful as the decor.
Born of a marriage between Wright Tree Care and Heard Gardens, Wright Outdoor Solutions corners yards with a wide range of outdoor services and industry expertise stockpiled since 1928. Boasting a cornucopia of professional affiliations, including certification by the Iowa Society of Landscape Architects and the International Society of Arboriculture, the team handles a range of greenery groundwork. Landscape design starts via tree care, which can include pruning, controlling disease and infestation, or cleaning up after a treehousewarming party. The company's garden center lets green thumbs choose from many flower, shrub, and decorative options, and proffers expert advice to help bring envisioned environs to fruition.
Iowa Outdoor Products harbors a staff of experienced landscape designers and nursery staff to guide yard sculptors through various aesthetic accessories that can beautify their outdoor space. Customers can opt for a free design consultation for their yard, whether they’re hoping to fill an empty pot with a rainbow of perennials ($3.95+), or help the dog hide car keys under a new selection of shrubs ($34.95+). More ambitious lawn design can benefit from the panoply of hardscaping and waterscaping supplies. Meanwhile, fragrant bags of hardwood mulch ($35/cubic yard) protect against pesky weeds, and a soft cushion of topsoil ($35/ton) can help rusticate bedrooms.
Mattress Firm's large selection of beds from such brand names as Sealy, Simmons Beauty Rest, and TempurPedic ranges from the soft, cushy Direct Milan pillow top (starting at $398) to the firm-and-supportive Direct Havana (starting at $178). Browse the full selection on Mattress Firm's website using an Internet connection and Internet-ready navigation device.