Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2010

Our readers and critics pick their favorites.

(page 11 of 17)

Custom Residential and Corporate Furniture: Paul Downs Cabinetmakers
In Paul Downs Cabinetmakers’ 33,000-square-foot workshop, woodworkers hand-craft everything from dining and bedroom furniture to display cabinets and coffee tables. For the office, their breathtaking standard-, premium- and ultra-grade conference tables offer personalized features like logo inlays and electrical wiring. Clients include Harvard University, the New York Jets, NASA and the Pentagon (to name a few). 401 E. Fourth St., Building 8, Bridgeport; (610) 239-0142,

Custom Shirts for Men: B. Gross Menswear
While men’s fashion hasn’t changed drastically over time, there are a few finer details that do evolve with the trends. Enter B. Gross, which allows patrons to select fabrics, stitching, cuffs, pockets and collars for everything from short-sleeve pop-overs to modern dress shirts. Production takes about four to five weeks, but the handcrafted look and feel is worth the wait. State and Jackson streets, Media; (610) 566-7990,

Eveningwear: Sorella
Everyone already knows Sorella is the go-to boutique for prom night. Lately, it’s also been attracting an older crowd with its gowns from the likes of Jovani and La Femme. The varied inventory works for every occasion, from black-tie galas to captain’s dinners. And for those with wedding bells in their future, Sorella is up to the task. 23 E. State St., Media; (610) 566-2393,

Fashionable Frames: Rose Tree Crossroads Eye Care
Often, the wider the selection of frames, the tougher it is to pick the right pair. Fortunately for bespectacled Main Liners, Rose Tree Crossroads Eye Care offers the best of both worlds: wall upon wall of frames for kids and adults, and frame stylist Marianne Dolente. Dolente’s got a few things up her sleeve (including an esthetician’s license) to expertly match the best set to a client’s face shape, skin tone and personality. 1315 N. Providence Road, Media; (610) 566-6484,

*Florist (Readers’ Pick): Accents by Michele
4003 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square; (610) 356-5683,

Best Flower Stand with European Flair (Photo by Jared Castaldi)Flower Stand with European Flair: Pushing Daisies
Forsythia branches, tulips and daffodils in early spring; peonies in May; peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers and zinnias in summer; and mums, poinsettias, amaryllis and paperwhites over the holidays. No matter what time of year, there’s something to catch your eye—and nose—at Pushing Daisies. Ardmore Farmers Market, 120 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-4600.

Funky Fashion Finds: Styche
Sometimes a girl needs to inject a little extra funk into her wardrobe, and Styche has numerous options for anyone looking to jazz up a simple outfit with fun accessories, along with labels like the vintage-inspired Tulle and sexy Red Engine jeans. And the cherry on top: complimentary alterations. 57 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore; (610) 645-6562,

*Garden Accessories (Readers’ Pick): Waterloo Gardens
200 N. Whitford Road, Exton, (610) 363-0800; 136 Lancaster Ave., Devon, (610) 293-0800;

Handbags: Ellie Boutique
For every outfit, there’s a handbag. For every handbag addict, there’s Ellie. The Wayne version of this trio of boutiques features a choice selection of hobos, wallets, clutches and totes. For a bit of Hollywood-meets-Main-Line glamour, check out the collection by Rebecca Minkoff. 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 293-6822,

Best Handcrafted Furniture (Photo by Jared Castaldi)Handcrafted Furniture: UpHome, Ltd.
After years in Glenmoore, Linda Ritter has found a more visible presence for her home furnishings shop in downtown Malvern. Tired of mass-production furniture stores, where everything looks like something you’ve already seen? Then UpHome is for you. The new location has two floors filled with impeccable handcrafted 18th- and 19th-century reproductions custom-made by Linda’s husband, Bryce. His armoires, farm tables, sideboards and vanities are made with pine that’s more than 150 years old, along with square nails. No two pieces are alike. 138 E. King St., Malvern; (484) 318-7109,

Hardware Store: Paoli Hardware Center
Who needs a national chain when you have a gem like Paoli Hardware Center at your disposal? PHC has everything the big guys have and much more, including a third floor dedicated to toys and sporting goods. Whether its flowers for the garden or a quick fix for a leaky faucet, PHC’s friendly, knowledgeable staff is there to help. 16 Paoli Shopping Center, Paoli; (610) 644-2013,

*Home Accessories and Furnishings (Readers’ Pick): The Finer Things in Life
711 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 687-9500.

Home Accessories: Chez Georgette
Congrats to Erin Jackson for hitting a home run with her first venture into retail. Chez Georgette boasts a wide selection of chic home accessories, including ornate miniature picture frames, delicious-smelling candles and decorative lamps. Don’t miss the super-charming tabletop room in the back, where brides and others can mix and match sets of unique dishware by Portmeirion, Baking Days by Spode and Shiraleah, along with French glassware and vintage silverware. 129 W. Market St., West Chester; (610) 431-2829,

Hometown Jewelry Designer: Marlyn Schiff
You may have seen Marlyn Schiff’s jewelry on the pages of InStyle, Marie Claire and Bazaar, or perhaps in recent photos of Bethenny Frankel and Rachael Ray. The Bryn Mawr resident’s trendy bangles, rings, necklaces and earrings—adorned with pearls, semiprecious stones, crystals and glass beads—are top-sellers at boutiques around the country. Locally, you’ll find them at Skirt, Patricia Adams and the Finer Things in Life, plus online at Neiman Marcus.

*Hostess Gifts (Readers’ Pick): Patricia Adams
379 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford; (610) 642-0585,

House Cleaners: Busy Bee Cleaning Co.
The pros at Busy Bee Cleaning Co. treat your home like it was their own, covering everything from the blades of your ceiling fans down to the baseboards. They do it right the first time, so there’s never any do-overs. And, yes, they do windows. West Chester, (610) 430-6888,

Best Independent Bookstore (Photo by Jared Castaldi)Independent Bookstore:
Wellington Square Bookshop

You’ll need time to absorb the ever-changing inventory at this friendly shop. Serious bibliophiles can peruse the collection of first and signed editions, while bargain-hunters will love the selection of used literary fiction, nonfiction and children’s classics. The selection of new books is small, but sure to surprise. There’s also a cozy kids’ reading area and a café. Eagleview Town Centre, 549 Wellington Square, Exton; (610) 458-1144,

Jeans Selection: Denim Habit
Not all premium denim is created equal—and for that, and many other reasons, we’re thankful for Denim Habit. The shop boasts an immense selection of high-end brands, including Citizens of Humanity, Joe’s, Paige Premium Denim and Dylan & George. The accommodating staff will tell you honestly (and nicely, of course) how those True Religion legging jeans really fit—or whether those Hudson Bermuda shorts that looked so cute on the hanger translate to your body. Suburban Square, Ardmore; (610) 645-0920,

Kids’ Birthday Entertainer: The Great Holtzie
Adam Holtz—a.k.a. the Great Holtzie—isn’t your typical kids’ entertainer. And that’s what we love about him. He’s not a clown; he’s not a magician. He’s simply a laugh-out-loud-funny comedian with a gift of understanding a child’s sense of humor (we’re talking silly, slapstick stuff). And parents should stick around for this guy, as they’ll inevitably find themselves laughing, too. (267) 879-0090,

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