Best of Boston Home 2008
Our top picks for architects, designers, furniture stores, kitchen suppliers, and more.
FARROW & BALL
Bold, traditional, modern, or fancy, Britain-based F & B’s patterns are lovingly manufactured using old-world techniques, water-based inks, and the highest-quality papers. Stocking 13 collections in up to 60 different colorways, the local showroom has the look you want in the colors that will let your rooms strut their stuff, with or without furniture.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Pl., Ste. 337A, Boston, 617-345-5344, farrow-ball.com
BANG & OLUFSON
You can find cheaper, but you won’t find better quality or sexier design than at this venerable Danish company. B & O has been honing the cutting edge of light and sound since 1925. All components are designed to integrate seamlessly so you can control your whole house with just one remote, and they look as great as they sound.
30 Newbury St., Boston, 617-262-4949, bang-olufsen.com
MOD GREEN POD
Gone are the days when “eco” meant “ugly.” Thanks to design pioneers like Mod Green Pod (motto: “Taking organic from hippie to hip”), amateur decorators can invest in sustainable chic. The Boston-and-Austin-based company’s silkscreened organic cotton fabrics are soft enough for cushions and sturdy enough for couches. Founders Nancy and Lisa Mims have also launched a line of vinyl-free wallpaper along with their fabrics, which come in a host of modern floral patterns such as Butterfly Jubilee, Adelaide, and Atticus. No additives necessary.
Webster & Company, One Design Center Pl., Ste. 144-242, Boston, 617-261-9660, modgreenpod.com
Fabric, Window Treatment
Tough and pretty—it’s a hard-to-come-by combination. But Donghia has it. The high-end American company, housed locally in the Boston Design Center, has been purveying durable, decorative fabrics for three decades. Its fabrics are handcrafted in hundreds of materials, textures, and colors, from plain threaded silk to heavy multicolored chenille to kid-friendly designs sprinkled with polka dots or fish. Standout window treatments include trendy open-weave curtain fabrics—see-through materials that let light filter in—and classic Belgian linen.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Pl., Ste. 401, Boston, 617-574-9292, donghia.com
YANKEE FIREPLACE & GRILL CITY
Home is where the heart is. Inside the home, Yankee would say, the hearth is where the heart is. And its 10,000-square-foot showroom backs that up, housing 70 live-burning fireplaces and stoves for personal test-toasting. Among the 20-brand selection, you’re certain to find a model to fit your décor.
140 S. Main St., Middleton, 800-445-2760, yankeefireplace.com
Williston Weaves’ showroom is a floor-covering mecca—carrying everything from hardwood to Oriental rugs—but it’s the namesake woven carpeting that interior designers from all over New England are obsessed with. The Newton company offers custom broadloom carpeting made from lush materials like chenille and silk, as well as eco-friendly choices such as bamboo and seagrass. It ain’t cheap, but unquestionably high quality is apparent in the look, feel, and longevity of every carpet.
1240 Chestnut St., Newton Upper Falls, 617-969-5550, willistonweaves.com
Shopping for flooring rarely rocks. But when you’re in need of a custom concoction beneath your feet, you’ll love Stone Source’s unrivaled passion for, well, rocks. Its stone connoisseurs travel the world in search of the finest natural materials. Almost every inch of the showroom is covered in high-quality tiles, as well as other, more exotic specimens, made from materials such as metal and recycled construction-site debris.
691 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-666-7900, stonesource.com
When it comes to new flooring, the greenest choice isn’t new at all. Longleaf specializes in salvaging antique wood from homes, mills, and barns. With old wood, there’s no cutting down trees or energy-intensive processing of new synthetic materials. Longleaf spruces up vintage pine, oak, chestnut, and maple to create floorboards boasting plenty of character—and making minimal impact on the earth.
115 Fawcett St., Cambridge, 617-871-6611, longleaflumber.com
DESIGN WOOD FLOORS
Don’t go to jazz pianist/flooring enthusiast John DiPonzio for any old hardwood floor; commission him to create the horizontal surface of your dreams. DiPonzio performs his best music in exotic woods. Using herringbone patterns and complex inlays, he’ll transform your floor into a piece of furniture almost too nice to tread upon. After DiPonzio is finished, get Rover a manicure and leave your shoes at the door.
55 Main St., Blackstone, 617-967-4071, designwoodfloors.com
Tile has come a long way from its terra cotta days. At DiscoverTile, options include silver leaf, leather, and stone squares from the Artistic Tile collection; glass and mosaic pieces from Oceanside; and handcarved shapes from Sonoma. They all work for floors—or showers, walls, kitchens, bars, or living rooms—to give any space a punch of color and texture. (And just in case you want it, DiscoverTile has terra cotta, too.)
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Pl., Ste. 647, Boston, 617-330-7900, discovertile.com
CHARLES STREET SUPPLY COMPANY
The vibe of yesteryear’s hardware emporiums—shelves crammed with every imaginable practical item and an old-school staff that knows how to find it all—meets modern amenities like energy-efficient light bulbs and Benjamin Moore paints in a Beacon Hill storefront. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the impressive inventory.
54-56 Charles St., Boston, 617-367-9046, charlesstsupply.com
No matter what sort of illumination your house requires—antique reproduction sconces for a powder room, reading lamps for a bedroom, energy-efficient lighting for a patio—Wolfers has just what you need, plus a real-life-
simulating lab so you’ll know what the light will look like in your home.
103 N. Beacon St., Allston, 617-254-0700; 1339 Main St., Waltham, 781-890-5995; wolfers.com
JOHNSON PAINT COMPANY
Johnson first showed its colors more than 65 years ago, establishing itself as the local paint master. With Farrow & Ball, Pittsburgh, Benjamin Moore, Pratt & Lamberg, and California brands on the palette at three area locations, it continues to rival any national superstore in selection—and service. Beyond paint, stop in for tools, finishes, and instructions (just ask).
355 Newbury St., Boston, 617-536-4244; 32 Warren St., Waltham, 781-891-7199; 11 Henshaw St., Woburn, 781-376-9191; johnsonpaint.com
LANDRY & ARCARI
A rug can make or break a whole room—but don’t let that intimidate you. Perhaps your décor calls for an antique Oriental, handwoven in Persia, or a bright, geometric wool number. Or maybe you want something custom? The people at Landry & Arcari can create a rug based on your wildest imaginings. There are even eco-friendly rugs to satisfy your green needs. The entire inventory is astoundingly sophisticated, so that any way you go, you won’t be wrong.
333 Stuart St., Boston, 617-399-6500; 63 Flint St., Salem, 800-649-5909; landryandarcari.com
Windows & Doors
HADCO WINDOW & DOOR
For nearly a hundred years Hadco has been outfitting Hub homes with windows and doors, building the products in its company-owned factory and using its own crews to install them. In addition to energy-saving custom windows, Hadco offers siding, storm doors, and commercial-grade insulated exterior doors, plus built-to-fit eaves and overhangs to protect your brand-new views.
21 Drydock Ave., Ste. 1, Boston, 617-443-9400, hadcowindowanddoor.com