Best of Boston Home 2014

Our annual guide to the local designers and resources that dazzled us this past year.

By | Boston Home |
best-of-boston-home-2014

Natural light spills into this luxurious dining room designed by Kristin Paton. (Photograph by Eric Roth)

Design excellence doesn’t simply bubble forth from the ground. It takes months, and sometimes years, after the architect and interior designer begin their work for the seed of an idea to blossom into a lush garden. Between that first notion and the completion of a project, countless decisions need to be made, often in intense collaboration.

We believe that the success of the work depends on the success of that collaboration. Therefore, we decided to put projects in context—and honor those who achieved beauty as much through their innate talents as through their ability to work well together.

The following showcase 11 spaces, indoor and out, that represent the collaborative work of more than 75 local professionals. While the styles of the rooms themselves range from traditional to ultra-modern, all are carefully considered and lovingly crafted, and in that way, are testaments to the skills of the myriad hands that brought them to fruition.

Bedroom | Dining Room | Living Room | Kitchen

Spa Bathroom | Services | Entry | Mudroom

Library | Kids’ Room | Office | Landscape


The Bedroom

best-of-boston-home-2014-bedroom

Photograph by Gordon Beall

WHY WE LOVE IT

With crisp white linens and orange accents set off by velvety cocoa walls, this room is a bold and sophisticated tribute to our most private of spaces. To tie the classic yet contemporary palette together, designer Gary McBournie used David Hicks fabric from Lee Jofa for the headboard, bed skirt, and drapery trim. Dreamy art depicts faraway places and epochs, and includes a watercolor by artist Wendy Artin, a collection of framed intaglios found at a Paris flea market, and a pair of plaques purchased on West Palm Beach’s Antique Row.

. . .

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Gary McBournie

. . .

BLINDS
Back Bay Shutter Co.

CARPETING
Stark

FABRICS
Lee Jofa

FRAMING
Lussier Lajoie Custom Framing

LAMPSHADES
Blanche P. Field

MILLWORK
Abbas Woodworking

WINDOW TREATMENTS
Drape It

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The Dining Room

best-of-boston-home-2014-dining-room

Photograph by Eric Roth

WHY WE LOVE IT

Sometimes the most exciting projects spring from modest beginnings. Case in point: Interior designer Kristin Paton was originally asked to give this dining area a fresh coat of paint and outfit it with Georgian antiques. But inspired by her “smart, strong, confident, and contemporary” client, she went above and beyond the initial request, lacquering the classically paneled walls in a rich chocolate brown and pairing an art deco–inspired dining table with butterscotch-leather Louis XVI chairs and an irreverent Jean de Merry brass chandelier. The result is an elegant, incomparably sexy space for dining and entertaining.

. . .

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Kristin Paton Interiors

. . .

ACCESSORIES
Kristin Paton Home

FABRICS
Lee Jofa

FLOORING
JJ Hardwood Floors

FURNISHINGS
The Martin Group

MILLWORK
Furniture Design Services

MIRROR RESTORATION
North Bridge Glass

PAINTER
Bopas

RUG
Stark

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The Living Room

best-of-boston-home-2014-living-room

Photograph by Eric Roth

WHY WE LOVE IT

Like much of designer Liz Caan’s work, this room has plenty of drama without taking itself too seriously. To bring “fun and energy” to the living space (part of a complete renovation of an older home), Caan played all the angles, adding splashes of color—chartreuse, amethyst, and raspberry pink—for a look guaranteed to spark lively conversation. The genesis of her palette? The bright-green glass-mosaic fireplace surround she found before the renovation began.

. . .

ARCHITECT
Abeles & Associates

BUILDER
RSS Construction

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Liz Caan Interiors

. . .

ACCESSORIES
Liz Caan Interiors

ELECTRICIAN
Driscoll Electric

FABRICS
Osborne & Little

FLOORING
Design Wood Floors

FLORAL DESIGNER
Winston Flowers

FURNISHINGS
Ailanthus

PAINTER
Kevin E. Carlson Painting and Decorating

RUG
Williston Weaves

TILE
Tile Showcase

UPHOLSTERER
Lousso Designs

WINDOW TREATMENTS
A.R. Steers Associates

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The Kitchen

best-of-boston-home-2014-kitchen

Photograph by Michael J. Lee

WHY WE LOVE IT

This design beautifully addresses an age-old dilemma: We want our kitchens big and open, but we don’t want dinner guests to see our mess. Architect D. Michael Collins’s solution? An 18-foot-wide, sliding-glass-door system that, when closed, completely hides the kitchen without putting up a wall. When open, the three translucent panels neatly stack away out of sight. Collins cleverly hung these doors to avoid building a floor track, a potential tripping hazard in such a high-traffic area. We also love how his team approached the large ventilation hood—the bane of every designer—turning it into a custom painted-wood-and-natural-walnut piece that hovers lightly over the island and complements the room’s sublime natural palette.

. . .

ARCHITECT
D. Michael Collins

BUILDER
Brookes + Hill Custom Builders

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Beauchemin Grassi Interiors

. . .

CABINETRY
Herrick and White Architectural Woodworkers

COUNTERTOPS & TILE
Progressive Marble Fabrication

GLAZIER
Architectural Glazing Systems

FLOORING
Hunt Custom Milled Wood Floors

FURNISHINGS
Webster & Company

LARGE APPLIANCES
Yale Appliance and Lighting

PLUMBER
T & J Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing

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The Spa Bathroom

best-of-boston-home-2014-spa-bathroom

Photograph by Greg Premru

WHY WE LOVE IT

Amenities abound in this envy-worthy home spa, which boasts a sauna, a steam room, and a generous shower. What sets this design apart, however, is its tremendous warmth and exquisite detailing. Finely crafted vertical bamboo slatted panels serve as a screening device—when closed, they create a sense of privacy without feeling claustrophobic. The sauna enclosure within echoes this aesthetic in a horizontal pattern; to the right, a curbless shower area, enclosed by floor-to-ceiling translucent and transparent glass, is bathed in natural light from a skylight. Continuing the natural wood theme, the workout area boasts coffered ceilings trimmed in bamboo, while a private deck/Zen garden to the left of the space keeps relaxation front and center.

. . .

ARCHITECTS
Office of Mark Armstrong; A+SL Studios

BUILDER
Sea-Dar Construction

CABINETRY
Modern Design + Construction

. . .

FINISH CARPENTRY
Shepardville Construction

FLOORING
JJ Hardwood Floors

GLAZIER
Prestige Custom Mirror & Glass

PLUMBER
CMP Plumbing and Heating

SAUNA
Signature Custom Wine Cellars of New England

TILE
Olympia Marble & Granite

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Services

best-of-boston-home-2014-services-

. . .

Seven Pros Who Get It Done for You

. . .

1 | PERSONAL CHEF

South End Chef’s Erynn O’Neil is as happy cooking up a quiet dinner for you and your family as she is catering a soiree for 10. Neophytes will enjoy her popular in-home cooking classes; her “Party Class” cooking lessons (which involve plenty of wine) are guaranteed fun for all.

South End Chef, 617-827-7340, southendchef.com.

2 | MOVER

The Other Guys go above and beyond with packing assistance, piano moving, and a great list of “why didn’t I think of that” tips. They can relocate your things across town or across the country, and also offer climate-controlled storage facilities with door-to-door service.

The Other Guys Moving, 617-318-8553, theotherguysmoving.com.

3 | GARDENER

Wisteria and Rose can help you create your oasis—from urban courtyard to vegetable garden—and will maintain it all using organic lawn-care guidelines. Bonus: Throughout the winter, the company also provides snow-removal services.

Wisteria and Rose, Jamaica Plain, 617-522-3843, wisteriaandrose.com.

4 | CONCIERGE

As your on-call personal assistant, Fini Concierge will make doctor’s appointments, dinner reservations, and hotel bookings. They’ll even wait at your home for the cable guy, do your grocery shopping, and pick up your dry-cleaning so that all you have to do when you get home from work is kick back and relax.

Fini Concierge, 877 Beacon St., Boston, 617-247-0043, finiconcierge.com.

5 | HOUSE CLEANER

Green living and cleaning is Spotless New England’s raison d’etre. The eco-friendly cleaning service leaves your home sparkling without toxic chemicals and offers easy scheduling via text, email, or phone.

Spotless New England, 684 Massachusetts Ave., Ste. 5, Boston, 617-513-4095, spotlessnewengland.com.

6 | PET SITTER

Boston Pet Sitters works 24/7 to provide the daily walks, snuggles, and litter-box cleanings your pets need while you’re away. To alleviate your guilt, they even offer a daily journal chronicling the fun Fido or Kitty had in your absence.

Boston Pet Sitters, 144 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-247-7387, bostonpetsitters.com.

7 | PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER

Organizing Boston’s staff, featured on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive, will help you get rid of the clutter in your life and create a functional, organized home. They’ll also teach you how to figure out what you don’t need, ways to efficiently organize the ever-growing spice collection in your pantry, and how to purge before a big move.

Organizing Boston, 617-744-1429, organizingboston.com.

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The Entry

best-of-boston-home-2014-entry

Photograph by Robert Benson

WHY WE LOVE IT

Entry halls often suffer from “too small/too big” syndrome—good luck finding one sized just right, where you feel welcome but not overwhelmed. Positioned at the center of the home, this graciously scaled foyer clearly demonstrates Albert, Righter & Tittmann’s understanding of size and proportion. To emphasize the room’s connection to the outdoors—one end opens onto the entry courtyard, and the other opens onto a private garden—the designers added wrought-iron lanterns made for exterior use. Solid limestone floors invite dress shoes as well as dirty boots, while the carefully paneled walls and ceiling introduce the scale of the hand.

. . .

ARCHITECT
Albert, Righter & Tittmann

BUILDER
Robert Lawrence Builders

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Su Casa Designs

. . .

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Richard Burck Associates

STONE
Tile Showcase

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The Mudroom

best-of-boston-home-2014-mudroom

Photograph by Michael J. Lee

WHY WE LOVE IT

Built for a couple with grown children, this mudroom, which also serves as a back entry and garage connector, offers the perfect landing spot for busy people. The room’s built-in bench, long countertop, auxiliary gardening sink, and stone floor are practical and elegantly executed, and the wall of floor-to-ceiling cupboards (not shown) add to the room’s functionality. The rustic light fixtures drove the copper, caramel, and brown hues throughout the home. Natural and painted beadboard walls and ceilings echo the New England cottage aesthetic.

. . .

ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, AND CONSTRUCTION
Carpenter & MacNeille

. . .

CABINETRY AND MILLWORK
Stephen Terhune Woodworking

PLUMBING FIXTURES
Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply

TILE
DiscoverTile

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The Library

best-of-boston-home-2014-library

Photograph by Eric Roth

WHY WE LOVE IT

In our minds, the tablet will never, ever replace the bound book, a sentiment this homeowner obviously agrees with. Rather than archive his massive collection of tomes, he challenged his architects, Siemasko + Verbridge, to create a new library for his 1800s-era home. Restricted by environmental and zoning rules, the designers expanded into the basement, then seized the opportunity to create a signature circular staircase linking the room’s first and lower levels. And for a touch of Harry Potter–esque intrigue, they created a “secret” sliding door panel between the lower section and the client’s wine cellar.

. . .

ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER
Siemasko + Verbridge

BUILDER
Gilman Guidelli & Bellow

. . .

CABINETRY
CW Keller & Associates

PAINTER
Northern Lights Painting Company

STAIRCASE
Cape Cod Fabrications

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The Kids’ Room

best-of-boston-home-2014-kids-room

Photograph by James R. Salomon

WHY WE LOVE IT

Designer Kristina Crestin maximized this vacation home’s tiny guest sleeping quarters without minimizing its elegance. The top bunks have twin-size beds for little ones, and the bottom bunks are full-size for older children or couples. Inspired by the design of boat cabins, Crestin used every nook and cranny, providing each bunk with a built-in cubby to accommodate a reading light, books, and a clock; even the stair risers do double duty as storage drawers. The magnificent ceiling is made of reclaimed barn board, which gives the room a “summer-camp feel,” she says.

. . .

ARCHITECT
Olson Lewis

BUILDER
Dunn Builders

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Kristina Crestin Design

. . .

FURNISHINGS
Casa Design

LIGHT FIXTURES
Newburyport Lighting

RUG
Landry & Arcari

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The Office

best-of-boston-home-2014-office

Photograph by Bob Karosis

WHY WE LOVE IT

This home office adds a decidedly modern flair to interior designer Patty Kennedy’s 1890s home in historical Portsmouth. To reflect its coastal location (and keep the room bright and sunny), Kennedy used plenty of white and blue in her color scheme. Instead of hunting for a desk, she repurposed a West Elm dining table that’s big enough for her to draft up room plans. A vintage walnut credenza adds just the right amount of natural wood to the room, and looks great against the white-painted floors, accented with an area rug made of carpet tiles. The box frames above the window display some of her favorite fabrics.

. . .

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Patty Kennedy Interiors

. . .

PAINTER
JG Painting Co.

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The Landscape

best-of-boston-home-2014-landscape

Photograph by Eric Roth

WHY WE LOVE IT

When landscape architect Gregory Lombardi accepted a job to design the exterior plantings for a large Georgian estate, he encountered a neglected garden created by the office of Frederick Law Olmsted. Rather than raze it or slavishly follow the highly formal 19th-century plans, Lombardi used the Olmsted drawings as a guide to create a romantic landscape that feels just on the cusp of decay. The lush plantings—white euonymus, Royal Burgundy, and boxwood—have a loose, somewhat overgrown appearance that suited the client’s aesthetic. Lombardi also restored the existing stone cherub and small pond, and designed a new gazebo fitted with a fanciful red swing and a custom plaque inscribed with the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Earth laughs in flowers.”

. . .

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Gregory Lombardi Design

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
R.P. Marzilli & Company

. . .

ELECTRICIAN
William E. Luce Electric

LIGHTING CONSULTANT
Light This

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Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/article/2013/12/03/best-of-boston-home-2014/