Bromwell’s has been serving Cincinnati’s fireplace and hearth needs for generations, as they’ve been in business since 1819. Yes, almost 200 years. The showroom displays more than 10,000 square feet of fireplaces, home design options and a new second-floor art gallery. It’s getting cold outside — time to warm up the house.
117 W. Fourth St., Downtown, 513-621-0620, www.bromwells.com
Long treasured for its inspired designs and hometown quality of service, Closson’s has offered fine art and furnishings for more than 100 years. Here you can find great hostess gifts, like wine decanters, serving trays, candles and gift baskets. One such gift basket is from Agraria ($95) and includes a luxury bath bar, tassel and diffuser with mirrored tray. This entire gift is encased in a beautiful gift box. Visit their store or their Web site for more gift ideas.
3061 Madison Road, Hyde Park, 513-762-5500, www.clossons.com
Fun Factory Roller Skating
Think about hosting your next birthday party, group event or late night fundraiser at Fun Factory Roller Skating rink. Regularly $139.95, the Legend Plus Skate Package ($119 plus tax) applies to up to 10 birthday guests and includes admission, skate rental, 2 1/2 hours of reserved seating, party themed place settings, invitations and 50 game tokens. The birthday child receives a Happy Birthday balloon, glow stick, song request, the chance to lead all skaters in a dance and a chance to spin the prize wheel. Plus each guest receives one cup of ice cream, two slices of pizza, unlimited soft drinks and a free pass to return for another fun adventure.
1631 Sherman Ave., Norwood, 513-631-1311, www.funfactoryrollerskating.com
House of France
While I was there, the store featured two different kinds of dining chairs, both equally beautiful. First, the scrolled back, print dining chair was $579 and would look mighty elegant at my mom’s dining room table. Next to that was a slatted dining chair ($479) that could match either a fancy dining room or an upscale breakfast nook. Accent your interior design with a Rooster light ($69). If you need help designing your own style of room, ask for help from one of their many talented interior design consultants.
3225 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-871-9800, www.houseoffrance.com
This local shop is a local artist’s haven, filled with art work of various styles and mediums from artists all over the Tristate and beyond. My favorite was a 3-foot high metal climbing monkey statue ($650) with three fun-loving monkeys climbing all over each other. Another unique piece was Heather Zimmerman’s vampire-themed shadowbox ($200). Also check out Karim and Nawal Motawi’s painted tiles ($45), perfect to use as focal pieces in kitchen or bathroom displays.
2010 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, 513-321-3750
A Lucky Step
I like perusing A Lucky Step for the latest, less-traditional home furnishings.
For instance, a bright red “diva chair” ($1,599) caught my eye as soon as I entered the door. The bottom of this blood-red furniture piece was shaped like a circular ottoman, but the back arched higher on one end than the other, giving it a royal flair. Also grandly sized was an oval wall mirror ($255) with oval metallic rings circling the mirror. As for unique lighting, try a tri-pod table top with three lights shining brightly ($250) or its larger cousin shaped the same, but crafted for floor lighting ($600).
1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-5825
Morrison & Me
For an upscale clothing and shoe shop, look no further than this small shop that’s big on customer service. While in there during a recent Saturday, the saleswoman helped me pick out a dress that fit my skin tone and pair it with chunky heels that weren’t too different yet still allowed me to stand out from the norm. While perusing their shoes and purses (downstairs) and clothes (upstairs), I saw the perfect moss-colored oversized purse ($250). Pair that with brown knee-high boots (appropriately titled Benjamin Button due to their extensive button detail; $205) and you’ll have two interchangeable accents to your existing wardrobe. Other, more mainstay pieces include a tri-color blue and purple dress ($70) and faux leather jacket ($85) with side buckles.
1979 Madison Road, O’Bryonville,
Quince and Quinn
If you can’t afford to redecorate your entire place or don’t want to step on someone’s toes if they’re trying to update their own style, invest in illumination. Quince & Quinn offers a variety of household goods, including lighting, furniture, vases and accessories. I saw two lovely lime green Brussels lamps ($225 each) dyed in a retro green color and curved for the ultimate conversation piece. Or choose the white-washed artichoke lamp ($195) to add to your kitchen or dining room décor. Add to that faux green apples ($3 each) as a centerpiece, and you’ll feature a holiday meal to delight. For off-season selections sure to be conversation pieces, check out their poodle bookends ($60), paired with exquisitely bound leather books ($48-$68).
3235 Madison Road, Oakley,
Richter & Phillips
Did he just get that raise at work? Become a new dad? Wash the dishes and do the laundry? Treat your man to a high-quality wristwatch, a gift that shines with style and exudes class while peeking out from underneath a new work shirt. The Gents Tissot PRC200 Quartz watch ($350) fits the bill, thanks to its silver wristband and stunning black dial. You can also choose a blue, brown or silver dial. For her, choose a sleek .18 carat diamond pendant ($418). Find more options online or at their store.
202 E. Sixth St., Downtown, 513-241-3510, www.richterphillips.com
Segway of Ohio: Cincinnati
Segway manufacturers believe that their two-wheeled vehicles are the future of green transportation. Our local store sells several models and also offers guided tours of Eden Park and Downtown. You can buy or lease these bad boys, with the Segway PT i2 going for around $5,350. Cincinnati Police officers use them, so you know they’re tough.
1150 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-225-1583, www.segwayofohio.com
Stonebridge Inn & Spa
For many couples, the holiday season means rushing from family to family, making sure you see all the cousins, trying at least two slices of Aunt Pam’s delicious pie and toasting to the New Year with your extended family. But to ensure some time alone, give your significant other a Stonebridge Spa Day ($300, including gratuity). This day includes a 60-minute massage of choice, 60-minute body treatment of choice and a spa pedicure. Stonebridge stands 40 minutes west of Cincinnati, and you can also take part in local Christmas events in the area, including a Christmas Open House on Dec. 13 at the Decatur County Historical Society Museum.
509 North Walnut St., Batesville, Ind., 800-966-5914, www.stonebridgeinnandspa.com
This funky lighting store has both hardwired lighting and expressive wire wall art by Karlos McAfee. I was drawn to a soothing light that featured an outer circular ring around the light with what looked like shards of amber cut glass ($210). More interesting was a “drop light,” an elongated light bulb that appeared to have drooped a bit on one end ($540). One of my favorite art pieces from Karlos was a woman’s face complete with large hairdo protruding from the wall ($575).
1207 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-8100, www.switchcollection.com
Trek Bicycle Store of Cincinnati
Bikes have traditionally had a place under the tree. Whether they’re for your youngsters just off training wheels, your mom who enjoys riding easy trails in spring or your high-tailing teenager bent on zooming down mountains, the Trek Bicycle Store has options for you. Their selection of high-end bikes includes the Madone 4 series, starting at $1,999. This introductory bike features a carbon fiber frame and high-quality components. Or work with Trek staff to customize the perfect bike for your giftee (starting in the low $3,000’s).
7594 Voice of America Dr., West Chester, 513-755-3773, www.trekstorecincinnati.com
Visual History Gallery
Recently moved, the Visual History gallery presents prints from acclaimed photographer Sarge Marsh. A graphic rendition of Union Terminal ($100) made for a stunning photograph that acts as the focal point of any room. You can select any photo seen in this gallery and ask for prints varying in sizes from an 8-by-10 ($25 unframed, $50 framed) to a 40-by-48 ($210 unframed).
1989 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, 513-871-6065, www.visualhistorygallery.com