I used to go to City Mill and buy misc tools and material to fixed up my apartment. The service was not great but I heard they have changed their reputation. City Mill has a lot to offer - hardware, paint supplies, curtains, shelves, even gardening. The prices are much cheaper than other big chain stores.
Everytime I go to City Mill, I always get ideas on how to make things. The guys there, if you can get a hold of them, are very knowledgeable and can help you with your project. I'd recommend you going to City Mill first before Lowes or Sears.