The shop’s name says it all: "Lekker" means alluring and enticing in Dutch. The family-owned company curates a selection of tempting goods (lush pillows and blankets made from natural yarn; French colored-glass vases; and mirrors with walnut pegs that hold keys, hats, and scarves) that strike the perfect balance between contemporary and traditional. 1313 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118, lekkerhome.com.
Whether you’re a Marie Kondo purist or a Diane von Furstenberg maximalist, the one thing we can all agree on is that for everything to be in its place, it has to have a place. Luckily, this South End standout has plenty of creative solutions for stashing your stuff. Start small with Thayer Design baskets and Muuto coat hooks, or get ambitious with a new Blu Dot bookshelf or roomy credenza—then watch as your ambitious to-do list shrinks a little bit every day. 38 Wareham St., Boston, MA 02118, lekkerhome.com.
Leighanne Henkenmeier likes to say her Scituate Harbor shop is for "the grandmothers," and indeed, a doting and sufficiently deep-pocketed nana could happily spend an afternoon in Bundle of Hope. Sunlight glows off the white-painted cupboards and armoires, which are filled with designer outfits (Clayeux, La Petite Ourse, Bebe Bonheur) as well as romping American cuteness (Bees & Dragons, Tadpole & Lilypad). With the further temptation of gifts like handpainted music boxes and organic Erbaviva skin care, nothing's-too-good-for-my-grandkid types are bound to drop a bundle of their own. 132 Front St., Scituate, MA 2066, .
Where you can find more than 60 styles to choose from in a pleasant atmosphere that smells of leather and polish. 109 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Whether it's wingtips for work or a pair of loafers for a Saturday stroll through the Square, Cole-Haan has something for all occasions. 109 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Clothing, accessories, furniture, and more: Bundle of Hope offers it all, with a delightful variety and a warm personal touch. Leave your kids in the play area while you peruse the high-quality offerings for infants and toddlers; have them try on clothes in the charmingly handpainted dressing room; even let them bring friends along for a tea party. The staff here is more than accommodating, wrapping gifts, making shipments, and setting up baby registries. 146 Front St., Scituate, MA bundleofhope.net.
At the behest of U. S. senator John F. Kerry, the prestigious Boston law firm agreed to provide free legal counsel to Quincy shipyard workers who opted for early retirement. Unfortunately, the pro bono offer was not extended to laid-off workers, who could really have used the help.
With charming clothing and accessories from lines like Zutano, Aden + Anais, and Petit Bateau; a dressing room with a handpainted toile motif; and a French armoire that doubles as a display area, this place is way more sophisticated than the big-box stores—which makes it perfect for your precious darlings. Once Drive, Scituate, MA 2066, bundleofhope.net.
Hand-selected by proprietor Panamai Manadee, the au courant dinnerware patterns at this Back Bay boutique can convince browsers to send their own plates packing. Great news for those of us who, during our engagement, went blithely over to Ye Olde China Shoppe and, after scanning the matronly selection, grabbed the least offensive style. At Bliss Home, pick from brands that your mother never heard of, decked out in colors invented only last week. Then relax—because with table settings this eye-catching, your dinner guests won't even notice that you overcooked the poor asparagus. 225 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
We all know the standard china and silver registries backwards and forwards, but at Bliss Home, newlyweds learn to expect the stylishly unexpected. This is where they find not only exquisite Spanish handcrafted rugs and French crystal Champagne glasses, but avant-garde curvilinear bookcases and natural-horn pâté spreaders. Bliss consultants can guide you through the registration process even if you're a flat-, serve-, bar-, dinner-, or stemware novice. And if you think it all looks good here, just wait 'til you see it in your house. 121 Newbury St., Boston, MA blisshome.bridgecatalog.com/.
What's not to love? Shoes that are hip, yet comfortable. A designer who's a dish, yet a good daddy. And an ad campaign that will make you laugh before you run out with your charge card to challenge Imelda for the crown. 128 Newbury Street, Boston, MA .
The Hill shouted, 'Thank God!' when the area's Whole Foods opened this year. 181 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 2114, wholefoods.com.
This cafe's a bit dark, a bit smokey, a bit of a hole in the wall, and a bit more country/western than Southwestern. But it has the most authentic Mexican food in the city— from old standbys like chiles rellenos and burritos to more imaginative creations such as pescado con mole verde (with pumpkin seeds and peanuts) and enchiladas poblanos (with a chile sauce flavored with bitter chocolate and sweet spices). Who says hot has to mean bothered? 1682 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
Breaking into the sneaker market in a town like Boston is no easy feat. We’re already home to the global headquarters of New Balance, Converse, and Reebok, not to mention Rockport and Saucony, which have offices in the suburbs. But York Athletics’ founders weren’t daunted. Even in Sneaker Town USA, they saw a gaping hole in the market, and an underserved consumer group of independent thinkers they could claim as their own. Read more yorkathleticsmfg.com/.
So the stuffing's been knocked out of it, the cat scratched a hole in the ticking, and it's starting to look a little shabby. This is the store devoted solely to high-end year-round or seasonal duvets and linens. The staff will also arrange to wash, repair, and refurbish any of its models—from the 29-ounce, 330-thread count, white Hungarian goose-down Gossamer to the 37-ounce, 340-thread-count Hungarian goose-down Versailles. The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA .