Best of Boston Home 2008
Our top picks for architects, designers, furniture stores, kitchen suppliers, and more.
KOO DE KIR
Beacon Hill, land of brownstones and Brahmins, could have stayed stuffy. But Kristine Irving shook it up a decade ago when she opened this contemporary home shop, finally making cutting-edge design safe for bluebloods. Here you can find sleek Eva Zeisel vases, sheepskin rugs, and photographer Jefferson Hayman’s work. Irving’s avant-garde accessories continue to keep the Hill au courant, and she’s added an interior decorating business next door, too.
65 Chestnut St., Boston, 617-723-8111, koodekir.com
LEKKER UNIQUE HOME FURNISHINGS
Germans have mastered engineering and, apparently, tippling, as evidenced by the Teutonic-designed barware that we found at Lekker. Owner Natalie van Dijk Carpenter stocks her hip, loftlike South End shop with stainless steel accessories like the obligatory five-piece tool set, wine chillers, and openers. You’ll also find elusive olive spoons, wall-mounted wine holders, and high-style foil cutters, not to mention the coolest-looking glassware around.
1317 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-6464, lekkerhome.com
Cambridge, of all places, lacked a first-class, eco-friendly home accessories shop until Greenward arrived last year. Owner Scott Walter, a former urban planner, curates the selection of tapered soy candles, sleek bamboo serving pieces, and chic recycled stationery with a keen design eye. He also offers hard-core environmental wares like kitchen composters and nontoxic cleaners.
1776 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-395-1338, greenwardshop.com
ENERGY UNLIMITED OF NEW ENGLAND
If the season’s first snowfall sends you slinking toward the couch (rather than sprinting for your skis), head to this cozy shop to browse a wide collection of andirons and grates while basking in the warmth cast by dozens of hearths. The upscale options—including made-to-order marble mantles and Design Specialties glass fireplace doors—will have your Killington-loving friends begging to come to your lodge instead.
303 Boston Post Rd., Wayland, 508-358-7358, energyunltd.com
Accessories, General Excellence
Rather than making your usual beeline for Louis’s higher levels, linger on the first floor, a veritable candy store for those seeking rare décor and design treats. Vintage glass and silver tableware mingle with soft Unfed sheets and Côté Bastide soaps. Indulge in Fauchon chocolates among the antique, the extraordinary, and the ultraluxurious.
234 Berkeley St., Boston, 800-225-5135, louisboston.com
Accessories, Home Office
LEKKER UNIQUE HOME FURNISHINGS
Who says office supplies aren’t sexy? Anyone who’s browsed Lekker’s ever growing collection of sleek trash cans, paperweights, and desk clocks will tell you: If these items don’t sharpen your pencil, you’re missing the point.
1317 Washington St., Boston, 617-642-6464, lekkerhome.com
Beware, spare minimalists: The warm, relaxed furniture and accents at Wishbasket—like Cisco Brothers furniture, Dash & Albert rugs, Pine Cone Hill bedding (in unexpected patterns and bold, punch-drunk colors), and Stonewall Kitchen treats—may seduce you into reconsidering your décor tactics.
The Tannery, Mill No. 1, 50 Water St., Newburyport, 978-465-1515
LA PETITE MAISON
Magnifique! La Petite Maison in Hingham is a little bit Provence and a little bit Paris. The owner travels regularly to France to shop the markets, bringing back only the best of the best. Antique silver and Avignon ceramics adorn Garnier Thibaut table linens. Its Yves Delorme sheets would look très belle in any maison.
142 North St., Hingham, 781-741-8393, lapetitemaison.us
Susanne Csongor brought offbeat preppy style to the area when she opened her colorful home shop in 2006. Her pastel tartan throws and Day-Glo pillows are ideal for risk takers. More conservative decorators can stick with Csongor’s collection of burlwood bowls, silver sand dollars, and porcelain trays.
264 Bay Rd., South Hamilton, 978-468-1228, bluepeacock.com
NESTING ON MAIN
Weave vintage into your decor at this second-floor shop perched above Concord’s charming town center. Antique signs, tables, cabinet knobs, and hundreds of other treasures will transform an ordinary house into a history-rich home in minutes.
44 Main St., Concord, 978-369-4133
LAVENDER HOME & TABLE
Lavender, science tells us, is excellent for promoting rest and relaxation, which perfectly describes the European luxury goods in this eponymous Newbury Street shop. The resident Jack Russell terrier, Ginger, asleep in her basket, demonstrates the soporific effect of Lavender’s genuine linen sheets by Libeco, damasks by Le Jacquard Francais, and joyful printed cottons by Beauville.
173 Newbury St., Boston, 617-437-1102
Exquisite blooms need not come wrapped in attitude. Nor should they be masked by feathery fillers. The cheerful artists at Twig keep each arrangement classically clean. This neighborhood flower shop’s two Boston locations always stock dewy seasonal buds and plants, and they cater to both preorders and walk-ins.
558 Tremont St., Boston; 506 Commonwealth Ave., Boston; 617-292-8944
The floral artists at J. Wrobel have spent more than a decade creating alluring nosegays for parties and weddings. These petal purveyors are well known for innovative—but not over the top—arrangements. Their bold, color-themed bouquets and sculptural bunches of white roses interlaced with berries exude grace and sophistication.
77 Turnpike Rd., Ipswich, 978-412-7710, jwrobel.com
Impeccable service and nicely situated shops have given Winston a well-deserved reputation. Known for uncomplicated (yet gorgeous), modern arrangements, it also features an exceptionally knowledgeable staff. Anyone looking to impress—or send a heartfelt “I’m sorry”—will hit the mark with a bouquet from this local institution.
8 Main St., Hingham, 800-457-4901, winstonflowers.com
FLOWERS AT THE DEPOT
The perennially fresh blossoms at Flowers at the Depot run from kaleidoscopic Gerbera daisies to elaborate rose, hydrangea, and lily constructions. The amiable, savvy designers are nimble—most arrangements can be picked up within 24 hours.
10 Muzzey St., Lexington, 781-863-1108, flowersatthedepot.com
A mind-boggling array of china and flatware gives Bliss top registry status in Boston, while unconventional pieces like geometric salt shakers and sculptural cake stands make the shop a go-to for those who thought they had everything. Be sure to ask owner Panamai Manadee to steer you toward her newest follies—you’ll be surprised at what you missed the first time around.
121 Newbury St., Boston, 617-421-5544, blisshome.com