Understatement might be the central theme of Myrth Ceramics’ handcrafted dishes, bowls, and tumblers, which always come out looking timeless. The studio’s delightfully monochromatic offerings are available in a variety of rotating glazes, all designed in-house and each available only for a limited run. Don’t miss the deep-ochre “Chestnut” or the seafoam-green “Agave” — a prime choice for the new mug you’ll never want to put down. 9 Olive Sq., Somerville, MA 02143, myrth.us.
Guarino’s Swimming Pool Service
If you dove headfirst into last year’s pool-installation craze, a professional maintenance team is likely top of mind. Who better to look after your new oasis than a firm that builds some of the finest swimming holes around? Trust the experts at Guarino’s Swimming Pool Service — a subset of acclaimed pool contractor SSG — to open and close your in-ground gem each year, keep the water clean and balanced, and respond swiftly and skillfully to leaks and faulty equipment. ssgpools.com/guarinos-pool-service.
This team can mow, mulch, and garden with the finest of green thumbs, but it’s the crew’s refreshing customer service that truly sealed the deal. When we left a message about our troublesome yard, we were delighted to receive an immediate reply — and carefully considered feedback on why our shaded space hasn’t been able to support a lawn. green-op.com.
Casa Design Group
Casa Design Group’s pared-down, modernist furnishings make outdoor gatherings tempting even on the cloudiest days. Of note: cozy, cocoon-like high-back lounge chairs from Roda, creamy Tuuci umbrellas fit for Miami Beach, sculptural Extremis picnic tables, and a new collaboration with audio innovators Bang & Olufsen that ensures your patio parties will sound as good as they look. 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, casadesigngroup.com.
McCue Garden Center
Those succulents you impulse-bought are thriving, and now you’re ready to take your gardening game outside. Head over to McCue in Woburn, where blooms, shrubs, and trees of all stripes are dressed to impress. Stroll through the greenhouses to find overflowing hanging planters and endless rows of vibrant annuals, or freshen up your skills with one of the free gardening courses. And if you aren’t quite ready to dig into an outdoor project, the family-owned nursery also offers hard-to-kill houseplants and pots that are too cute to resist. 200 Cambridge Rd., Woburn, MA 01801, mccuegardencenter.com.
A former pastry chef, MKS Design owner Adam Simha deftly marries form and function with his steely treasures, crafted from scratch for novice home cooks and local celebrity chefs like Jody Adams. Just tell him your culinary aspirations and material preferences, and he’ll deliver your one-of-a-kind gyuto, petty, boning, steak, or cimeter knives in six to eight months. mksknife.com.
It’s hard to resist the soft glow emanating from this Design Center standout, where you’ll find light fixtures in just about every shape, style, and size your home could possibly need. Foyer-ready chandeliers by Chapman & Myers give way to mod Kelly Wearstler table lamps, gleaming with brass-finished shades. Should your space call for wall-mounted beauties instead, don’t miss new candelabra-like sconces from Aerin, fit for the grandest of living spaces, or floral-themed vanity lights from Kate Spade — as good a reason to redo your bathroom as any. Boston Design Center., Ste. 120W, Boston, MA 02210, circalighting.com.
Marc the Handyman
If you don’t know a wrench from a wire cutter, you’d be wise to keep Marc Hedges in your contacts. No task is too small for this punctual, responsive pro, who will hang your new flat-screen, baby-proof your house, caulk your tub, and just about anything in between while you sit back and watch the items on your to-do list disappear. hedgesmarc.wixsite.com/handyman.
Olympia Moving & Storage
The only thing more stressful than moving? Worrying about your movers. Will they show up on time, protect your china, and ensure the table makes it out of the dining room without hitting the door frame? You can let go of all of those fears when you book Olympia: The Watertown-based crew has been soothing anxious clients with their first-rate customer service (think: a dedicated move coordinator), helpful floor-and-wall protection kits, and superb shrink-wrapping skills for some 28 years. 17 Bridge St., Watertown, MA 02472, olympiamoving.com.
RB Farina Roofing Co.
In an area rich in roofing options, RB Farina comes out on top. The Arlington-based firm impresses with its lengthy roster of services (from full-on replacement roofing to skylight installation and repair) and reputation for craftsmanship, but its real appeal is in its service record. As past and present clients readily attest, the team earns high marks for efficiency, punctuality, and communication savvy — rare skills that, much like a roof, take time and experience to build. farinaroof.com.
Ultra Safe Pest Management
We’ve all experienced it: the unmistakable squeak from inside a wall, those dreaded droppings on the kitchen counter, or — worse — a face-to-face encounter with an eight-legged or winged intruder. When bats, rats, spiders, termites, or other pests worm their way into your humble abode, call this fearless team pronto. Not only will they safely trap and remove the uninvited guests, they’ll also repair minor damage, decontaminate the site, and seal up potential reentry points to ensure your home remains trespasser-free. ultrasafepest.com.
Christina Wikman Interiors
Pandemic or not, virtual design is having a moment — and no one does it quite like Christina Wikman. Dreaming up fresh and colorful looks from her Woburn studio, the interiors whiz can reimagine your lackluster bedroom or dated kitchen without ever walking through your front door. Just tell Wikman what you’re looking for via a thorough design questionnaire, and you’ll get a revamped floorplan, a mockup featuring the pro’s furniture and finish recommendations, and a detailed shopping list to make ordering your new showpieces a breeze. christinawikmaninteriors.com.