By staff January 1, 2008


Transparent or opaque, glass can be the most eye-catching feature of a living room and can make or break a storefront. The oldest family-run business in Sarasota, Downs Glass Company, has been providing premier glass services to Sarasota and surrounding cities since 1923. From spectacular plazas for businesses to shower enclosures for homeowners, Downs Glass meets needs both big and small, offering windows, mirrors, frames, shower enclosures and much more.

The company’s lengthy tenure, built on a reputation throughout both commercial and residential markets, has allowed it to grow and expand its services. Once occupying a small downtown office, Downs Glass now operates two warehouses and a large showroom on Ashton Road.

Downs Glass is a preferred glass supplier for a number of interior designers in the area and also provides services to some of Sarasota’s most reputable home builders, including John Cannon Homes, Arthur Rutenberg and Lee Wetherington Homes.


Magnificently crafted homes with impeccable landscapes deserve equally beautiful lighting designs. That’s where Sarasota’s Nightlites comes in, creating quality nighttime illumination that enhances the beauty of the home and its surroundings while providing increased security and safety.

Providing free estimates, the Nightlites sales staff will visit your property and develop a custom lighting plan to showcase your property’s best features after dark. Nightlites systems come with an exclusive “no-hassle” written lifetime warranty that is even transferable to a new owner if you decide to sell your home in the future.

Should you need service on an existing lighting system, even if it was created by another company, Nightlites has a full-time service department ready to come to the rescue. The company has been serving the Sarasota area for more than 20 years.


As the market for new homes tightens, builders are categorizing more and more traditional “upgrades” as standard features of a home, according to realtor Marie Monsky. That change in mindset means luxury accoutrements are being included in the home’s base price. Prospective homebuyers are negotiating pool packages, wood cabinets, high-end appliances and granite countertops without paying anything extra. “No longer is there a base price that then has upgrades added on to the point where a $500,000 home becomes $700,000 by the end of the deal,” Monsky says. “Competition for the few buyers out there is making it mandatory for builders to work harder to close the deal.”


The latest in the ever-evolving spa-like bathroom experience can be found at Hill’s Showcase of Designer Plumbing: audiotherapy, which treats the ears and soothes the mind while the body relaxes in the tub. Audiotherapy is the next logical step in therapeutic home spas, after aromatherapy, which calms and energizes through scent; thermotherapy, which utilizes heat to stimulate the body’s functions and activate the sweating process; and light therapy, which helps synchronize your internal clock.

Audiotherapy is designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain and promote physical rehabilitation. MTI, a leader in this technology, has found a way to integrate an audio system in the baths it produces. The new tuneful tubs, called Stereo H2O, feature speakers that are applied to the shell’s exterior near the waterline and integrated into the tub structure. Sound is evenly distributed throughout the entire environment, surrounding the bather with invigorating or relaxing sounds or music of choice. You may never want to leave your bathroom again.


A professional designer with 30 years experience, Raymond Boorstein has begun offering packaged interiors, developed to meet the needs of the homeowner. And don’t balk at the word “packaged.” Boorstein’s packages are each unique interiors based on the specifics of each home and its environment. Depending on budget, packages can come with a varying number of furnishings for a range of tastes.

The professionally coordinated interiors may include beds, window treatments, paint upgrades, lighting fixtures, fans, towel bars, rings and paper holders, area rugs, patio furnishings, artwork and accessories, bed coverings, bathroom and kitchen accessories. From there, clients may choose additional options for the kitchen, with dishes, silverware and basic tools, or a selection of linen, including bedding, shower curtains, bath and table linens, appliance package and specialty faux finishes.


Museums, galleries and art collectors invest a great deal of time and money in lighting their sculptures just right. Now, Sarasota’s Light Up Your Life offers a line of sculpture-like products that combine art and illumination. Combining form and function, Lumalight—a sculpture by day, a lamp by night—brightens interiors by infusing dynamic lines and shapes with light. Designed by Roland Simmons, Lumalights are available in three different designs and a range of colors: white, red, beige, gold or yellow. And whether you need a table lamp for the study or a grand sculpture to center your great room, Lumalights come in heights from 36 inches to more than nine feet tall. Simple assembly is achieved through an innovative zipper, and they’re easy to store, too: The lamps are packed in a box no larger than five inches by five inches by 44 inches. Each comes with a guarantee of authenticity and quality confirmed by the designer’s signature. 

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