Dan Gordon doesn’t just consider how you’ll interact with your transformed yard while you’re ambling along new bluestone-stepper walkways, bordered by hydrangeas, or lounging poolside under the shade of freshly transplanted cherry trees; the landscape architect ponders how you’ll engage with your revamped terrain from inside your home, too, ensuring a seamless transition from interior to exterior space. dangordon.com.
Tiffany LeBlanc firmly believes that great design is meant to be experienced — not simply admired from afar. And it shows in her work. Never too precious for a family movie night or a boisterous dinner party with friends, the interior designer’s polished but welcoming living spaces encourage interaction. Case in point: a family room in a new Wellesley build where a textured carpet and delicate veining on the stone fireplace surround beg to be touched. 560 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, leblancdesign.com.
The difference between a regular old house and a stunning home? Careful, deliberate design — and Hutker Architects employs it in spades. The team has repeatedly demonstrated a knack for maximizing views with contemporary flair. Their most recent example involves a masterful illusion: A South Shore home reads like a single-story construction from the street, but opens to a two-story wall with glass panels that frames the salt marshes beyond it. Smart. hutkerarchitects.com.
True connoisseurs of contemporary design, the eagle-eyed team behind this SoWa staple has a real gift for curation, outfitting its Harrison Street showrooms with only the most deserving furnishings and accessories. Trust them to help you pick out just the right Giorgetti coffee table, Molteni&C bed, or sectional from Linteloo — one of the newest additions to their long list of powerhouse brands. 460 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118, casadesigngroup.com.
From wicker to wrought iron, teak to traditional wood, this Lexington showroom lives up to its name with a selection of year-round outdoor goodies that go far beyond furniture (think: bird feeders, hammocks, and wind chimes, among other finds). Best of all, its décor switches with the season. In winter, warm your outdoor hearth with wreathes and candles, and don’t miss the tiki torches and lemonade dispensers come summertime. 1265 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420, seasonsfour.com.
In what proved to be a banner year for local showroom openings, the debut of this luxury Italian brand’s first-ever Boston store has us truly buzzing. Located on Stuart Street, the space stuns with towering floor-to-ceiling windows and a custom double-sided fireplace. Of course, the inventory itself is just as eye-catching; gorgeous vignettes featuring contemporary furniture by designers like Nendo and Marcio Kogan make the shopping experience truly memorable. 210 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116, minottibyddc.com.
Ever come across a new gadget so handy, you wonder how you ever made do without it? That’s how we feel each time we dig into the work of these Needham-based pros, who specialize in all the things that make life at home just a little bit easier: smartphone-controlled lighting and heating, audio distribution systems to fill your space with music, security cameras to make sure you always feel safe, and other essentials. 33 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02494, sdiboston.com.
If your design dreams are lacking inspiration, one peek at this Natick firm’s sophisticated kitchen projects should do the trick. You’ll find cocktail hour–ready bar areas, oversize islands for prepping and entertaining, mahogany pantries with storage galore, and majestic marble backsplashes — all of which, combined with the team’s thoughtful layout decisions, come together to make the heart of your home anything but cookie-cutter. kitchenvisions.com.
A bright spot among local lighting businesses, Wolfers dazzled us yet again when it announced it was opening a brand-new space in Wellesley this summer. In the meantime, customers have been able to scope out a sampling of Wolfers’ selection of decorative fixtures from brands such as Visual Comfort and Hudson Valley Lighting at the Design Center showroom of the brand’s sister company, System 7. Bonus: The interactive Seaport space also features automated-shade displays and cool demos of surprisingly simple-to-use lighting controls. 19 Drydock Ave. #130W, Boston, MA 02210, systemseven.com.
Dramatic granite fireplaces. Soothing white-quartz vanities. Calacatta marble countertops. Whatever stone statement piece you envision for your home, you can rest assured that this Everett firm — which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year — not only carries the unique slab you need, but staffs the skilled craftspeople crucial to cutting and installing it correctly the first time. 69 Norman St., Everett, MA 02149, cumar.com.
This below-the-radar, no-frills showroom is a staple for designers, but it’s also a haven for indecisive homeowners who want new tile and need it fast. The sheer number of options — which include marble, geometric glass, and arabesque ceramics — might seem overwhelming, but it’s easy to book an appointment with a design consultant who knows exactly where to find that mystery mosaic. 309 Worcester St., Natick, MA 1760, tilesplusmore.com.
After calling many top closet companies throughout the area without a response, it was a relief to get immediate help from Boston Closet Company, where staffers sympathized with the space issues plaguing our Colonial and set up a design consultation for the next day. Also reassuring: The Somerville firm works with all sorts of rooms — whether they be man caves, laundry nooks, or nurseries — offering custom shelving and storage crafted by a team of carpenters. bostoncloset.com.
“Thoughtful” and “responsive” are two of many accolades homeowners bestow upon this top-notch firm, which recently relocated to Belmont. With 40-plus years of experience, the tried-and-true group has perfected the remodeling process, whether it calls for accommodating a complicated lighting-design plan in a sleek Millennium Tower condo or rebuilding a 1925 Colonial with reclaimed-wood flooring and a picture perfect primary suite. shconstruction.com.
When we called Monique’s for help with our ancient bathroom, the sales associate listened carefully as we described our chipped fixtures and tiles — and immediately set aside time for a one-on-one appointment to browse the company’s showroom, where modern MTI Baths sinks mingle with Gatsby-esque Jaclo faucets in gold. The consultation felt so comfortable, it was like sinking into a warm bubble bath. 123 N Beacon St., Watertown, MA 02472, moniquesbathshowroom.com.