Ladies of the House

312 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-292-0900; 61A Central St., Wellesley, 781-239-0025;

DESIGNING WOMAN Having earned her cred at L.A.’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, one-time actress Jill Goldberg has launched two retail shops (in the South End and Wellesley) and a design business in less than two years.

THE NEWS The recently opened Wellesley outpost, the interior design arm, and exclusive new imports including high-end Festoni lamps and Matteo bedding.

SIGNATURE STYLE Vintage country with a modern twist. (“And not that dried-flower kind of country,” says Goldberg.)

HOUSE CALLS As Hudson became a showcase of Goldberg’s design savvy, the question started coming: “Will you do my home?” Her waiting list is now more than a dozen names deep; she hopes to hire a staff soon.

EXCLUSIVE OFFERINGS Lucite boxes by Albrizzi, soft Swans Island blankets, and Hudson’s own line of pillows and decoupage plates.

BIG-TICKET ITEM A massive $6,000 BoBo console made of new and reclaimed wood.

BEST SCORES UNDER $50 Artfully wrapped, sweetly scented Seda France candles at $28 each, and (Goldberg’s favorite) a lightly fragrant $45 candle from Oscar de la Renta.

FREQUENT BUYERS On-the-go city-dwellers with a craving for laid-back accents, as well as suburbanites seeking less-cookie-cutter décor. Also, ESPN reporter-vixen Wendi Nix. Says Goldberg, “She’s hip, with-it, well dressed, and on the forefront. Our clients just get it.”


Koo de Kir
65 Chestnut St., Boston, 617-723-8111,

DESIGNING WOMAN Kristine Irving opened her first décor store at age 19. Since then, the soft-spoken MassArt grad has made a name for herself through Koo de Kir and a thriving interior design firm.

THE NEWS The conversion of the former Bump space on River Street into a design studio, and a renovation of the store this summer to expand its bedding and kid-friendly offerings.

SIGNATURE STYLE Casual elegance with an emphasis on streamlined design—European sensibility meets Brahmin practicality.

HOUSE CALLS Irving’s interiors have been featured in countless design magazines. At the moment, she and her team are juggling more than a dozen projects.

EXCLUSIVE OFFERINGS One-of-a-kind vintage pieces, and jewelry from Brooklyn-based artist Lisa Levine.

BIG-TICKET ITEM A pair of matching 1970s loveseats for $6,400 (reupholstery not included).

BEST SCORES UNDER $50 Salt and pepper shakers, mini teapots, glass tumblers, and a $10 copy of Letter to a Young Poet by German great Rainer Maria Rilke.

FREQUENT BUYERS Beacon Hill mommies and flush design acolytes. Plus, Hollywood: The set director from Kate Hudson’s upcoming Bachelor No. 2 filled the actress’s “bedroom” with Koo de Kir wares.


OUR VERDICT: A tie: They have equally strong design chops, but whereas Goldberg’s Hudson feels more eclectic and distinctively American, Irving’s Koo de Kir is all about international high design. Put another way, one channels jeans-and-T-shirt living, while the other evokes the life of an urban sophisticate.