Best of Boston Home 2008
Kitchen & Bath
BOSTON DESIGN CENTER
What the Louvre is to art, the Boston Design Center is to Boston residential design. If you like numbers, try these: 20 showrooms of bathroom fixtures, tiles, hardware, countertops, and vanities spread over seven floors; an astounding array of styles; and more than 1,200 different product lines. (Highlights include Waterworks, Ann Sacks, Billie Brenner, and Urban Archaeology.) The BDC also offers a Designer on Call program, which links you with a design professional who can help you refine your search and navigate the center’s immensity.
One Design Center Pl., Boston, 617-338-5062, bostondesign.com
YALE APPLIANCE AND LIGHTING
A hands-down winner for its impressive (and massive) selection, Yale carries hundreds of ranges, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washer-dryer sets. Comparison shopping is easy, especially when the staff can quickly run through the pluses and minuses of every Electrolux, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and GE in stock. Bargain hunting? Yale’s discount specials offer unbeatable prices on floor models and overstocked items.
269 Freeport St., Boston, 888-827-9109, yaleappliance.com
Looking for a gadget to fill that last bit of empty counter space? Have a few lonely kitchen outlets in search of a plug? Kitchen Arts has just about every electronic doohickey you can imagine, like immersion blenders, knife sharpeners, and coffee frothers. With all these modern, specialized appliances, the toaster may have to go below deck.
161 Newbury St., Boston, 617-266-8701, kitchenarts.biz
GF RHODE CONSTRUCTION
At the helm of this high-end residential construction company is the erudite Grant Rhode, a Ph.D. who loved working with his hands so much that he abandoned his academic career 25 years ago and began building some of the finest homes in the area. Invite members of his team to make over your master bath, and fall in love with their gentle manner and design sensitivity. Then start eyeing that kitchen, because, yeah, they’ll fix that, too.
1666 Hyde Park Ave., Boston, 617-364-2700, gfrhode.com
Granite isn’t the only counter-topper in town. Take a tour with owner Mariette Barsoum and discover nontraditional choices like glass, stainless steel, concrete, and a range of new sustainable materials (including paper-based products). Along with standbys like Corian, she also sources the glittering, quartz-based Cambria and luxurious Craft Art wood countertops from Georgia.
S + H CONSTRUCTION
Any competent contractor can install a line of off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets, but the millworkers at S + H are true craftsmen, seemingly from another age. They thrive on executing intricate cabinetry finished with fine hardware and smooth woods for a prize-worthy, custom-built canteen, all the while treating you with the utmost gentility.
26 New St., Cambridge, 617-876-8286, shconstruction.com
If coveting a beautiful kitchen is a sin, then don’t go to this 3,600-square-foot showroom, where you will be utterly corrupted by all the tempting design possibilities. The selection of cabinets, including French provincial by Wood-Mode and slick Italian by Pedini, will induce a culinary apotheosis—in a good way, of course.
1069 Washington St., Newton, 617-244-3993, designercabinetry.com
Okay, so you’d like to make that luscious recipe in Cook’s Illustrated for French macaroons, but you don’t have a double boiler, poly pastry bag, offset spatula, or instant-read thermometer. We’ve got one word for you: Gadgets. Owner Robyn Michaels stocks every cooking implement you can dream of in this jam-packed Jamaica Plain emporium. If you can’t find it here, it might not exist.
671 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-6800