Best of Boston Home 2010

Let’s face it: Construction and renovation are not for the faint of heart. Unless, that is, you’ve got expert guidance on your side. That’s where the Best of Boston Home comes in.

Kitchen & Bath


As room makeovers go, revamping a kitchen or master bath comes with some of the steepest price tags around. What lessens the sting is knowing that this kind of overhaul can both improve and integrate the surrounding living spaces. And when it’s time to sell, the “move-in ready” appeal of your updated amenities will make potential homebuyers drool.

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Shaker-front cabinets provide functional elegance in this layout by Dalia Kitchen Design. (Photograph by Michael J. Lee Photography)

Cabinetry, Classic
DALIA KITCHEN DESIGN

Don’t be fooled by the Design Center address—Dalia is open to the public. Offering their own custom lines and several top-drawer brands (Christopher Peacock and Chalon, to name two), the folks at this 10,000-square-foot showcase welcome neophytes and veterans alike to the joys of kitchen design. One insider notes of owner Dalia Tamari, “Clients feel very confident with her.” No blueprint yet? No problem. The Dalia pros will gladly work with you to bring your dream kitchen to life. Fancy one of their cabinets but wish it came in another finish? They’ll come to your home and handpaint it the desired color.

One Design Center Place, Ste. 635, Boston, 617-482-2566, daliakitchendesign.com

Appliances
YALE APPLIANCE & LIGHTING

Whether you’re looking for a single soap dispenser or an entire kitchen package, this megastore is one-stop shopping, says one local kitchen design professional. And given that the lineup runs from Viking refrigerators to GE washer/dryer sets and backyard grills, you’ll probably end up browsing longer than you’d planned. Fortunately, staffers are thoughtful enough to offer crayons and paper to any kids in tow.

296 Freeport St., Boston, 617-825-9253, yaleappliance.com

Bath Accessories
MONIQUE’S BATH SHOWROOM

Local experts agree that excellent customer service is what makes this Watertown showroom stand out. “It’s like a personal relationship—you just really connect with the people there,” says one insider. Adds another pro, “They can source anything and get things quickly. And if there’s a problem, they can solve it.” After taking in the array of Decolav sinks, Valsan towel bars, and Toto toilets, spend some time with a staffer. You’re likely to find that he or she has memorized every product and catalog number. At Monique’s, they also know which fixtures meet Massachusetts code—not always the case at other suppliers—and offer objective advice on all their products.

123 N. Beacon St., Watertown, 617-923-1167, moniquesbathshowroom.com

Cabinetry, Modern
MODA CUCINA

Moda Cucina’s expert crafters turn out European-style cabinetry right here in Massachusetts. Using premium millwork equipment, they customize cabinets, doors, and countertops. Select from a range of beautifully displayed woods and styles in the company’s Boston Design Center showroom, or work with an in-house designer to create something completely unique.

One Design Center Place, Ste. 628, Boston, 617-361-2400, modacucina.com

Countertops
GERRITY STONE

“Gerrity has good relationships with their clients. That’s why they’re the best,” declares one professional. Unlike other suppliers, which merely show you a sample of the stone you can purchase, Gerrity has a huge warehouse filled with actual slabs (a critical factor, since no two pieces of granite or marble are alike). After choosing the stone you want—and working with Gerrity to lay out the pieces—you’re all but guaranteed precisely the look you’re after. For a truly one-of-a-kind countertop, Gerrity carries a collection of rare stones from around the world.

225B Merrimac St., Woburn, 781-938-1820, gerritystone.com

New England Home/Intercontinental Res., Leslie Fine, designer

A kitchen illuminated by Light Insight Design Studio. (Photograph by Richard Mandelkorn)

Lighting
LIGHT INSIGHT DESIGN STUDIO

Lighting can make or break a kitchen: Too much, and the space will feel harsh and clinical; too little, and you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Knowing which fixtures to use—and how—requires years of experience and a keen eye, both of which Light Insight Design Studio owner Lana Nathe has in spades. (And once you see what she can do for the heart of your home, you’ll be happy to unleash her on the rest of it, too.)

318 W. Second St., Ste. 2, Boston, 617-268-1122, light-insightdesign.com

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Samples from DiscoverTile’s vast inventory. (Photograph by Michael Piazza)

Tile
DISCOVERTILE

While DiscoverTile’s selection may seem less exotic than what you’d see in other Boston Design Center showrooms, don’t be fooled: Its enormous inventory encompasses tile styles aplenty. (“It’s more like a department store than a boutique,” says one architect.) It also offers concrete vanities and custom mosaic designs, as well as a staff that is “tried and true,” in the words of a local designer. DiscoverTile’s pros pride themselves on finding imaginative ways to combine items in their plentiful stock to create custom backsplashes, master baths, and foyers.

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

Fixtures
SPLASH

When the city’s top designers need the latest in luxury fixtures (think cutting-edge German Dornbracht faucets and deep Duravit soaking tubs), they head to this Newton-based mecca of all things kitchen and bath. “It’s very comprehensive—not just on paper, but in reality,” says one interior designer. “It’s where I can see all the options in one place.”

244 Needham St., Ste. 4, Newton, 617-332-6662, splashspritzo.com