Best of Boston Home 2013
Every year we consult with dozens of local experts, then hit the pavement ourselves to create a list of talented, trustworthy pros ready to make your dream project a reality. Happy nesting!
Renovating? Building from scratch? Or just looking to give your living room a facelift? With so many talented designers and craftspeople in our midst, there’s never been a more exciting time to turn your house into a home. All of those choices, however, can also be overwhelming. That’s why every year we consult with dozens of local experts, then hit the pavement ourselves to create a list of talented, trustworthy pros ready to make your dream project a reality. Happy nesting!
Kitchen | Bathroom | Bedroom | Family Room
PAYNE/BOUCHIER FINE BUILDERS
There’s a reason why so many renovations in Boston’s toniest neighborhoods have a Payne/Bouchier sign out front. The company’s beautiful millwork, historical reproductions, windows, and cabinetry (all of which can be completely customized) is matched only by its staffers’ superior project-management skills. No matter what the request, the personable crew produces results that are consistently breathtaking.
173 Norfolk Ave., Boston, 617-445-4323, paynebouchier.com.
CUMAR MARBLE & GRANITE
The key to an efficient kitchen renovation? Finding a shop that can not only source and fabricate gorgeous stone, but also install your countertops with incredible precision. Look no further than Cumar. Owner Angelo Cubi—whose family has been in the stone business for seven generations—travels the world to find the finest slabs of granite, marble, limestone, and white quartz,then finishes them with his crew of skilled artisans. No wonder demanding designers seek out this shop first.
69 Norman St., Ste. 4, Everett, 617-389-7818, cumar.com.
The team at this Jamaica Plain shop can panel your library or build you a bar—the city even enlisted them to fix Faneuil Hall’s signature round windows. But kitchens are their specialty: Cabinets are designed in a range of styles—Arts & Crafts, French country, contemporary—all of which are remarkably well made.
179 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-6883, kenyonwoodworking.com.
Since opening his studio near Woodstock, Vermont, in 1981, Simon Pearce has built a mini glass-and-pottery empire. His many collections of handmade stemware, glasses, dishware, and accessories share a signature look—elegant and contemporary, with a touch of traditional flair. And now that he’s added linens, flatware, and pendant lights to his repertoire, Pearce has turned his name into a full-on lifestyle brand.
103 Newbury St., Boston, 617-450-8388, simonpearce.com.
POIRIER SALES & SERVICES
When it comes to buying and repairing refrigerators and ranges, service matters, and Poirer, with more than 50 years of experience in the industry, offers its customers the absolute finest. Its in-house service department has pull with the manufacturers, meaning repairs are just a call away. Bonus: The company will match the prices of other brick-and-mortar retailers.
244 Needham St., Newton, 617-558-5500; 1015 Washington St., Norwood, 781-769-2446; poiriersales.com.
Choosing the right cookware is all about feel: the way a knife fits in your hand, the heft of a sauté pan, the angle of a peeler. Which is why a visit to Eurostoves’ Beverly showroom and its adjacent test kitchen is worth the trek. There you can try out the goods—from Shun knives to Capresso coffeemakers—or take them for an in-depth test drive during one of the many cooking classes offered.
45 Enon St., Beverly, 877-232-0007, eurostoves.com.
RAYBERN DECORATIVE HARDWARE
Every kind of door hardware, handle, and knob imaginable is on display at this vast Charlestown showroom, so make sure you have plenty of time for browsing. Raybern also offers a kitchen design center that showcases nifty hinges, gadgets, and corner cabinet solutions for custom jobs.
24 Roland St., Boston, 617-666-3000.
MEICHI PENG DESIGN STUDIO
Having dreamed up designs for the city’s top penthouses and her eponymous handbag line, Meichi Peng can do, well, just about anything. But her contemporary, global aesthetic is particularly suited to that most personal of spaces: the bathroom, which, with her help, is sure to become the most breathtaking and serene room in your home.
460 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-521-8660, meichipeng.com.
LINENS ON THE HILL
Here you’ll find the Platonic ideal of a linens shop: a cozy Charles Street space in which thick, plush towels from Matouk and Yves Delorme mingle with fragrant soaps and luxurious robes. For a terrific hostess present (or, even better, a spa gift for yourself), pick up one of the shop’s lovely beeswax candles.
52 Charles St., Boston, 617-227-1255, linensonthehill.com.
CHIMERA LIGHTING DESIGN
Just a stone’s throw from the Innovation District, Chimera leads the pack when it comes to illumination for the washroom, featuring hard-to-find designs by Hunza, stunning Bocci glass spheres, and magical Murano chandeliers from A. V. Mazzega. The showroom also handles custom orders, meaning your bathroom will be anything but ordinary.
327 A St., Boston, 617-542-3233, chimeralightingdesign.com.
Alongside an elegant selection of faucets and furniture, this Connecticut-based company offers all the details that make a bathroom feel both luxe and intimate: sleek shower curtains, artisan-inspired trays and wastebaskets, richly textured rattan storage baskets, and hardware in styles from Edwardian to modern, much of it made in the U.S. and France.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 147, Boston, 617-951-2496, waterworks.com.
If high-end tile is jewelry for your walls, then this store is Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and David Yurman rolled into one. The displays are dazzling: shimmering vintage glass from Walker Zanger, ethereal “Climbing Vine” mosaics by Ravenna, and traditional Delft fireplace surrounds. Book an appointment with a consultant, lest you go down the design rabbit hole—all of those choices can be overwhelming.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 639, Boston, 617-426-6515; 291 Arsenal St., Watertown, 617-926-1100; tileshowcase.com.
F. H. PERRY BUILDER
You could order your bathroom cabinetry out of a catalog, but the custom work produced by F. H. Perry, crafted in exquisite walnuts and cherries and built precisely for your space, is well worth the extra wait. This woodworking shop turns out some of the finest cabinetry available, carefully finished to withstand everyday use.
90 Elm St., Hopkinton, 508-435-3062, fhperry.com.
Stroll through this 10,000-square-foot Newton showroom, and you may be inspired to build another bathroom (or two). Television mirrors, air-massage baths, artful glass sinks—they’re all here, and they’re all fabulous.
244 Needham St., Ste. 4, Newton, 617-332-6662, splashspritzo.com.
The big-box stores have nothing on this Newton shop, launched by a mother and daughter dedicated to sourcing eco-friendly, domestically made baby furniture. Think lines like Hiya (which builds toddler beds from formaldehyde-free FSC wood) and NurseryWorks (a California company dedicated to sustainable practices), as well as a broad range of green toys and accessories that’ll let you (and your baby) breathe easier.
188 Needham St., Newton, 617-467-5860, baby-koo.com.
Offering a respite from chemical-laden sheets and blankets of suspicious provenance, this South End boutique stocks Maine-made Brahms Mount throws, linens from Fall River–based Matouk, and Belgium’s Libeco textiles, among other luxe accessories.
8 Union Park St., Boston, 617-424-6700, michellewilley.com.
MASTERWORK PAINTING & RESTORATION
High-end contractors know a well-executed paint job is the proverbial icing on the beautifully built cake. That’s why so many of them trust the finishing touches to Masterwork. Owner Rich O’Neil’s main focus is on quality: Employees sand, prime, and pay special attention to moldings, resulting in flawlessly painted rooms. O’Neil is so dedicated to the industry, he even created a national group that sets training and education standards for painters around the country.
10 Draper St., Woburn, 781-275-3050, masterworkpainting.com.
Whether your dream sleeping space is a romantic boudoir or a modern masterpiece, Stark, in business since 1946, has the fabrics to make it a reality. Find inspiration aplenty at the company’s Boston Design Center showroom (open only to designers and their clients), which features demure damasks, bold patterns, and intricate floral prints from the likes of Missoni, Old World Weavers, and Fonthill.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 101, Boston, 617-357-5525, starkfabric.com.
OSBORNE & LITTLE
What began more than 40 years ago as an elegant handprinted wallpaper collection designed by London brothers-in-law Peter Osborne and Antony Little has emerged as an international, trendsetting design studio. The Boston showroom features more than 2,500 patterns of luxury wall coverings, including the glamorous Cabochon series, a metallic-ink wallpaper line inspired by jewelry and fashion, and unique offerings from designers like Christian Lacroix and William Yeoward.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 551, Boston, 617-737-2927, osborneandlittle.com.
Like the national outfits, this local, family-owned space-saving company designs and installs everything from bedroom closets and armoires to wall units and garage-storage systems. But unlike the big chains, ClosetCraft offers its customers completely custom work—at a very fair price.
20 Bridge St., Watertown, 888-371-6232, closetcraftboston.net.
If your favorite Gustavian square-back armchair has good bones but is in serious need of fresh fabric, let the craftspeople at Second Life give it some TLC. Recognizing that the inherent value of your favorite pieces extends well beyond their monetary worth, they’ll meticulously repair—even rebuild—wooden frames and hand-tie springs at their Charlestown workshop.
50 Terminal St., Charlestown, 617-242-0015, secondlife.net.
LDA ARCHITECTURE & INTERIORS
In business since 1992, the team at LDA approaches each project with a uniquely Bostonian sensibility, combining a respect for historical authenticity with an appreciation of high-tech, sustainable solutions. This translates into homes with warmth, flow, smart storage, and just the right modern touches for busy families.
222 Third St., Ste. 3212, Cambridge, 617-621-1455, lda-architects.com.
YANKEE FIREPLACE & GRILL CITY
You want gas? Wood-burning? Pellet? Electric? Or simply a facelift for your ’60s-era hearth? Yankee—which displays more than 50 lit fireplaces and stoves in its 10,000-square-foot showroom—has it all. If you’re still undecided after browsing the selection, have one of the company’s design consultants come to your house to determine the best option for your space, budget, and environmental concerns.
140 S. Main St., Middleton, 978-774-1621, yankeefireplace.com.
Let the techies at Audio Concepts help create the soundtrack to your life. Offering a comprehensive engineering approach to all things audio and visual, they’ll set you up with high-performance systems for virtually every room in the house—from garage to master bath—and home-theater systems with acoustics that rival those of commercial cinemas.
870 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-734-1800; 90 Commonwealth Ave., North Attleboro, 508-699-8819; audioconcepts.com.
KOCHMAN REIDT + HAIGH
Can cabinetry be as artfully made as the finest furniture? When Kochman Reidt + Haigh is the company crafting it, the answer is a resounding yes. Since 1976, the shop has designed, produced, and installed a dazzling array of built-in bookcases, cabinets, desks, and more, all made locally of exquisite woods. Comfortable working in both contemporary and traditional styles, the team here brings a rich luster to any interior.
471 Page St., Stoughton, 781-573-1500, cabinetmakers.com.
Sofas, Sleepers, and Daybeds
Tight urban living quarters demand tailored couches and proportionately sized sectionals—a challenge given that most shops around here deal only in overstuffed, overtufted numbers. Addo Novo, by contrast, stocks Blu Dot’s refined pieces (the pride of the American modernista), Fritz Hansen’s Italian-designed sectionals, and streamlined Knoll classics. The store also offers a full range of accessories and lighting to match.
1313 Washington St., Boston, 857-284-7071, addonovo.com.
Relative newcomers to top-shelf design, sisters Maureen and Sue Walsh have nailed the suburban-with-edge aesthetic better than anyone in the business. Housed in a former Belmont car dealership, their airy shop showcases an eclectic collection of home décor, including blown-glass terrariums filled with succulents, organic throw pillows splashed with black-and-white photographs of dogwood petals, and pink-resin antler accents. In other words, all things inspired.
1000 Pleasant St., Belmont, 617-993-3347, artefacthome.com.
A. J. ROSE
Whether you’re looking for rustic, hand-scraped hardwoods, smooth, high-gloss boards, or environmentally friendly cork and bamboo flooring, A. J. offers something beautiful to stand on. Add in the superb customer service—starting with their prompt and professional attention and ending with a follow-up thank-you letter (complete with a list of common stain removers and a Red Sox schedule)—and this family-owned business walks all over the competition.
136 Cambridge St., Rte. 3A, Burlington, 781-272-7600; 599 Worcester Rd., (Rte. 9), Natick, 508-652-0770; ajrosecarpets.com.
Living & Dining
Over the past 17 years, Will Ruhl and Brad Walker have proven that inventive, contemporary design can work particularly well in older homes. They’re especially skilled at transforming wild, wide-open lofts into inviting spaces with surprisingly clever details and elegant finishes.
60 K St., Boston, 617-268-5479, ruhlwalker.com.
Operating under the philosophy that “good design is good design,” mother-daughter team Pamela Watts and Nicole Rueda Watts offer an eclectic mix of out-of-production vintage furniture from modernist designers like Knoll and Eames, pieces from the Arts and Crafts movement, and everything in between.
1409 Washington St., Boston, 857-350-3594; 266 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-2929; resideinc.com.
KRISTIN PATON INTERIORS
Kristin Paton spent a decade living and working abroad, an experience that has imbued her work with a distinctly European style. Because she’s a native New Englander, though, she also brings a pragmatic sensibility to the homes she designs, layering rooms with approachable materials and rich but welcoming tones.
152 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, 617-491-9000, kristinpatoninteriors.com.
Rugs & Carpet
LANDRY & ARCARI
Landry & Arcari goes a step further than most carpet retailers, hosting lectures on antique rugs, weaving, and repair, and even helping build a school in a weaving community in India. Their gallerylike space showcases stacks of Turkish Oushaks, Persian Gabbehs, and Moroccan rugs made in the Atlas Mountains, as well as a vast broadloom collection featuring pieces from Louis Dabbieri.
333 Stuart St., Boston, 617-399-6500; 63 Flint St., Salem, 978-744-5909; landryandarcari.com.
Trust your limited-edition Naoki Honjo print to a shop that has framed museum collections for more than 40 years. Committed to minimizing its environmental impact, Stanhope avoids exotic woods and employs only water-based finishes for its frames, which are crafted by artisans in the company’s Somerville workshop. Once you’ve chosen between options such as gold-leaf, French matting, and high-quality glazing, take advantage of Stanhope’s speedy delivery and installation service.
411 Marlborough St., Boston, 617-262-0787; 55 Bow St., Somerville, 617-666-2000; stanhopeframers.com.
THE BOSTON SHADE COMPANY
Decked out with motors, timers, and sun sensors, today’s shades are smarter than ever before, and Boston Shade Company sells only the top of the class. Here you’ll find just about every type of window treatment under the sun—some even regulate temperature when you’re not home—not to mention eco-friendly shades that are halogen-, formaldehyde-, lead-, and mercury-free.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 627, Boston, 617-268-7460, bostonshadecompany.com.
This well-curated South End showroom is the interior designer’s choice for sourcing hard-to-find Italian lighting. Many come in to take advantage of owner Zhanna Drogobetsky’s vast knowledge of fixtures. Ask about her current illumination obsessions, and she’ll show you a bevy of creative pieces, including energy-efficient “Happy Apple” lamps by Pedrali, Lzf’s “Spiro” suspension lamps, and Foscarini’s reinterpreted “Birdie” lamp.
460 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-654-2974, casadesignboston.com.
CHRISSIS & COMPANY INTERIORS
Too often staging jobs end up looking like a study in mediocre interior design, but Julie Chrissis’s work is the exception. A former Rhode Island School of Design faculty member, Chrissis creates rooms with enough elegance and energy to motivate buyers to make an offer. Careful, though. Once Chrissis is done staging your home, you may fall in love with it all over again.
Need to be in two places at once? Call on one of Fini Concierge’s highly organized staffers to wait at your home for the cable guy, shop for a special gift, organize a party, plan your next vacation, or close your summer home down for the season. Someone can even water your thirsty ferns when you’re away.
877 Beacon St., Boston, 617-247-0043, finiconcierge.com.
Paul and Gail Nelson began operating Marathon Moving out of their garage in 2000, and since then countless satisfied clients have given the company an A-plus BBB rating, not to mention a Super Service Award from Angie’s List, no small feat for a moving company. Marathon also maintains a 23,000-square-foot temperature-controlled storage facility, so if the move requires a temporary layover, your belongings will remain packed safely away until you’re ready for them.
129 York Ave., Randolph, 877-424-1976, marathonmoving.com.
HENRY SCOPA HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Sometimes it’s the small jobs—fixing a porch, regrouting a tub—that are the toughest to schedule with a contractor. That’s where Henry Scopa comes in. His crew of builders will respond quickly, then get to work tackling any project you throw at them efficiently and professionally.
16 Shetland St., Boston, 617-921-2127, bostonbuildersandremodeling.com.
When Tom Grant founded his construction company in 1991, few homeowners were looking for eco-friendly building solutions. Undeterred, Grant kept up with the latest trends in insulation, glazing, and systems technology. Now that just about everyone is looking to save energy, he’s able to take advantage of that knowledge, constructing extraordinarily weather-tight homes with exquisite details.
Norfolk, 508-541-4108, ecostructures.com.
AWAY IT GOES
The adage “tidy house, tidy mind” might sound old-fashioned, but given the speed at which life moves these days, it’s never been more true. Trained as a social worker, Debby Fenn of Away It Goes has the knowledge and experience to help you through a major move or a minor home-office decluttering. She works quickly, leaving a bevy of happy clients in her orderly wake.
Belmont, 617-913-0734, awayitgoesbelmont.com.
Your family deserves better than a home cleaned with toxic chemicals. Thankfully, this Cambridge-based team of grime-busters will arrive at your abode armed with all-natural cleaning solutions; HEPA-filter vacuums; and environmentally friendly microfiber towels, then get to work scrubbing germy sinks and dirty floors till they sparkle.
Cambridge, 617-981-9294, ecocleanboston.com.
Lawn and Garden Service
A BLADE OF GRASS
While most landscapers simply aim for curb appeal, the crack team behind this Wayland-based company—founded by landscape designer Jim Douthit and archaeologist Heather Lashbrook Jones—also considers the views from inside the house when transforming a neglected patio into a Japanese garden, or a soggy side yard into a colorful perennial patch. Now that’s perspective.
129 Boston Post Rd., Wayland, 508-358-4500, abladeofgrass.com.
Seasons Four’s 14,000-square-foot Lexington showroom displays a veritable rainbow of umbrellas; tables and chairs in every weatherproof material imaginable; cushions with customizable fabrics and finishes; and finishing touches like fire pits, fountains, and lanterns, many made right here in the U.S.A.
1265 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-861-1200, seasonsfour.com.
RELIABLE FENCE BOSTON
Who says fences have to be completely utilitarian? Not the guys at Reliable Fence, who construct cedar barriers that are both functional and beautiful—white-picket fences, folksy post-and-rails, classic arbors, and English garden lattices, to name a few. But it’s not style over substance here: Professional and personable, these fencing experts will get the job done quickly and efficiently—without crushing your hydrangeas.
283 Salem St., Woburn, 800-321-9363, reliablefenceboston.com.
O’HARA & COMPANY
If you’d rather cool off in a spring-fed swimming hole than a concrete parallelogram, Nick O’Hara can make it happen in your own backyard. His crew harvests boulders from local farmland and forests to create beautiful structures that evoke images of his native Ireland. They’ll even help design features beyond the water’s edge—from patios to fencing—to complete your personal aquascape.
11 Cordaville Rd., Ashland, 508-881-6851, oharacompany.com.
STEPHEN STIMSON ASSOCIATES
Whether they’re working with a rambling, rural estate, a rooftop terrace, or a postage-stamp-size urban backyard, landscape pro Stephen Stimson and his team pay tribute to the historical context of the land, taking inspiration from geology and vegetation to make sure their designs blend seamlessly into the surroundings.
189 Main St., Falmouth, 508-548-8119; 288 Norfolk St., Cambridge, 617-876-8960; stephenstimson.com.
Specializing in luxury enhancements, this South Shore company helps discerning clients create their very own Garage Mahal, offering everything from sleek European-style cabinetry for tools and gardening supplies to overhead storage and wall racks for paddleboards, golf bags, and bikes. They’ll even coat the floor with a stain-resistant finish that shines like polished terrazzo.
145 Webster St. #2, Hanover, 781-836-5145, bostongarage.com.
MATTHEW CUNNINGHAM LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Working with master masons and reclaimed local materials, Maine native Matthew Cunningham creates lush, natural landscapes that look instantly mature. His lovely stone walls, terraces, and pathways complement carefully chosen plants to celebrate New England’s many moods.
106 Mount Vernon Ave., Melrose, 617-905-2246, matthew-cunningham.com.
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