Best of Boston Home 2011

KITCHEN & BATH
The most expensive rooms are also the most difficult to design.
But in the right hands, kitchens and baths can look effortless.
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Appliances:
Yale Appliance and Lighting

Unless you happen to make a constant- study of the appliance industry, replacing a dishwasher, oven, or refrigerator- can easily turn into an intensive project. That’s why Yale makes our “Best of” list year after year—because they educate, they take the time to listen, and they do their homework. Schedule an appointment with one of the enlightened -associates, or just come in to see what’s new. You’ll -discover a wide range of products to suit every buyer, from $600 Frigidaires to $15,000 Sub-Zeros.
296 Freeport St., Dorchester, 617-825-9253, yaleappliance.com.

Bathroom fixtures:
Billie Brenner
Billie Brenner is the premier -bathroom resource for Boston architects and designers for one
simple reason: It carries everything extraordinary. The showroom overflows with cloisonné basins from Linkasink, Swiss vanities- by Laufen, and lavish gold-plated -faucets imported from France—exotics balanced with a host of solid standbys such as American Standard and Kohler. The shop is now operated by Robin Brenner, daughter of the late, great -Billie Brenner—a pioneer who believed in bringing real beauty to our most functional of rooms.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 429, Boston, 617-348-2858, billiebrennerltd.com.

Cabinetry, classic:
Dalia Kitchen Design
Not everyone goes to Dalia Tamari for kitchen design. Then again, not everyone can afford her exquisite custom cabinetry. For the select few who can, however, this 5,000-square-foot Design Center showroom provides relief from shoddy workmanship and questionable taste. Tamari only carries lines built to last—heirloom-quality, in other words—and her own designs are just as timeless.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 635, Boston, 617-482-2566, daliakitchendesign.com.

Cabinetry, modern:
Bulthaup
Do contemporary kitchens belong in -Boston’s historical homes? If they’ve been fashioned by Germany-based Bulthaup, the answer is a resounding Yes. All of Bulthaup’s models are engineered to be installed in older European manses, so they’re quiet, streamlined, and -ergonomically designed to minimize cooking clutter while maximizing space. The result? A thoroughly -innovative kitchen that steals zero thunder from your home’s architecture.
200 Boylston St., Boston, 617-830-2345, bulthaup.com.

Countertops:
Cumar
Designers and builders rely on one rock-solid resource for stone, and Cumar is it. They love this Everett-based supplier for its dizzying array of marble, granite, and onyx, hand-selected by Italian-born owner Angelo “Ivo” Cubi. But it’s the company’s dedication to craftsmanship that makes Cumar our top choice. With advanced cutting machines and its own installation team, it offers the most streamlined way to get the stone you want, when you want it.
69 Norman St., Everett, 617-389-7818, cumar.com.

Kitchen fixtures:
WaterSpot
With its well-stocked showroom of fine kitchen fixtures, bathroom -furnishings, hardware, and—bonus—lighting options, Natick’s WaterSpot marks the Rhode Island–based Ardente -family’s most comprehensive move into the design trade thus far. The Natick -location is the newest of the company’s- five outlets (and the only one that doesn’t sell wholesale plumbing -supplies, WaterSpot’s original trade). Kitchen offerings run the gamut, from hammered-copper farmhouse sinks by Native Trails to elegant French Herbeau faucets. Meanwhile, the 60-year-old business’s experienced staffers provide the kind of expert design consultation you’d expect from such a well-established plumbing operation.
575 worcester st. (rte. 9), natick, 508-651-2200, water-spot.com.

Lighting:
Wolfers Lighting
Illuminating task-oriented spaces like bathrooms and kitchens requires -serious know-how: You need to avoid glare, get the light where you need it most, and stay within your budget. Luckily, Wolfers’s employees are to lighting design what MIT grads are to -calculus. Whether the company is designing lighting for residential or commercial -projects, its in-store demo labs, large -inventory, and at-home consultation service guarantee that you’ll be able to look (and cook) your best.
103 N. Beacon St., Allston, 617-254-0700; 1339 Main St., Waltham, 781-890-5995; wolferslighting.com.

Tile:
DiscoverTile
There’s more to DiscoverTile than meets the eye. After scanning the walls (they’re literally covered with samples), open the drawers—dozens of them—and find still more styles in glass, stone, metal, and ceramic. Owner Jill Adler, driven by a longtime passion for tile as functional art, takes understandable pride in her offerings, which include handmade bronzes, custom stones, glass mosaics, recycled glass (some made from -vandalized bus stops), and a dozen types of -genuine Spanish terra cotta. Use Adler’s incredible knowledge to help guide you
through your renovation.

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 647, Boston, 617-330-7900,
discovertile.com.

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