City Style: Couch Surfing

High-end design takes a laid-back approach.

A lot of people pay a lot of money for a big-name professional decorator. You don’t have to be one of those people. The Boston Design Center’s epic Dream Home project—a nine-room showcase by nine local design teams that makes its debut this month—offers easy access to stylish ideas via its companion website. With 360-degree tours of each room, video tips from designers, and a point-and-click purchase system, the first-of-its-kind site allows shoppers to circumvent the Design Center’s 9-to-5 hours, lofty service fees, and remote South Boston location. Browsers can just go online to buy items handpicked by the likes of Mollie Johnson and Weena & Spook, and unlike with some lower-end retailers’ websites, every Dream Home purchase is completely customizable. “You can’t do that at Crate & Barrel,” says Design Center general manager Alexis Contant, who adds, “We want you to be able to sit back with a glass of wine at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday and get inspiration.” Sounds like a fine plan—especially if it means never getting lost in Southie again. —S.deG.

The Dream Home is open 5/1–7/31, Boston Design Center, One Design Center Pl., Boston, 617-338-5359,