Best of Boston Home 2009

The premier designers, contractors, shops, and more, in Boston and beyond.

Designers & Architects

best of boston home 2009

Hacin + Associates’ new FP3 loft complex in South Boston. (Photo by Bruce Martin)

Architect, Contemporary

To know architect David Hacin, the soft-spoken but smart-talking South Ender who always does contemporary right, is to adore him. Hacin was the designer behind the Fresh store’s superclean look, which has successfully spread to New York, L.A., and Vegas shops. Delighted with his aesthetic, the store’s owners, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, contracted Hacin to do their Boston home. Another hint that this guy’s talent reaches beyond our town: His sexy penthouse was used as a set in Bruce Willis’s most recent film. We recommend calling him before he gets booked by a savvy Hollywood agent.

112 Shawmut Ave., Studio 5A, Boston, 617-426-0077,

Architect, Eco-Friendly

Sure, you can spec bamboo floors and low-VOC paints, but we’d argue that to go truly green, you need to start fresh. Thompson has mastered a site-specific approach to low-impact living, eschewing high-tech solutions for simple, common-sense moves. She’ll orient the house to take advantage of natural light, add transoms to get the air moving naturally, and avoid placing windows on the north exterior wall. This is basic stuff, but it works. Oh, yeah—did we forget to mention that everything she touches wins a major design award, too?

14 Hillside Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-4144,

Architect, Historic Renovations

With balusters missing, shag rugs covering water-damaged hardwoods, and a buckling ceiling, that 19th-century estate needs a little TLC. The best person to coax a house back to its former glory is in Cambridge. Myer adores the old-timey handiwork that makes Colonials, Victorians, and Craftsmans unique, but he also has a strong sense of how to incorporate newfangled ideas into a historic context. Which comes in handy, because no matter how much we wax nostalgic about the good old days, cooking in the dreary servants’ quarters in the dark basement just isn’t that much fun.

875 Main St., Cambridge, 617-876-9062,


The rich detailing in this traditional home is a hallmark of Meyer & Meyer’s work. (Photo by Bruce Buck)

Architect, Traditional

Browsing the portfolio of this husband-and-wife team, we begin to get the feeling that simple modern design details may not be able to solve all of life’s messy problems. In fact, sometimes Corinthian columns and an ornately carved marble fireplace are just what the doctor ordered. In John and Laura Meyer’s extra-capable hands, traditional elements are well scaled, detailed, and researched.

396 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-266-0555,

Designer, Contemporary

The rich and luscious Roop approach to interiors makes us wonder why we ever settled for plain old paint in the first place. This former menswear devotee never met a material he didn’t want to use as a veneer or wall covering, and we never met a Roop design that didn’t make us ooh and ahh. But it’s his palette—shimmering blues, glittering golds, and vibrant greens—that gets us all hot and bothered, a very welcome departure from the standard-issue beiges that some designers too often mistake for classy.

224 Clarendon St., Ste. 31, Boston, 617-267-0818,

Designer, Hardscape

You would never wear a plastic poncho over an evening gown, right? So when it comes to designing your yard, always remember: Your outdoor space should complement your home. Indeed, hardscape is an extension of your house’s architectural design, according to Michael Coutu of Sudbury Design Group. For his team of landscape architects, architectural designers, graphic designers, and engineers, continuity is key—as is friendly, professional service.

740 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, 978-443-3638,

Designer, Lighting

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful house. It was very well built and stocked with jaw-dropping furniture. Sadly, some of the rooms were so harshly lit that no one ever wanted to enter them, while some other rooms were frighteningly dark. Enter Lana Nathe, principal of Light Insight Design Studio. With a few waves of her magic lighting wand (and a licensed electrician), the house became a dazzling castle with just enough point lights and sconces that every room was adored by all.

318 W. Second St., Ste. 2, Boston, 617-268-1122,

Designer, Media Rooms

There’s a whole lot you can do once you start wiring up your walls, and Elite Media has at least a million tricks up its sleeve. Sure, there’s the home theater setup that links your video collection to every TV in the house, or the built-in speakers that can play your entire MP3 library, but that’s child’s play. Try adjusting lighting via touchscreen, then use the camera intercom to call the kids down for dinner—who, by the way, you’ve been monitoring from your soaking tub.

9 Forest St., Wellesley Hills, 781-237-2929,

Designer, Modern Landscape

If your taste in gardens leans eastward, then your yin will definitely yang with Zen Associates. Two of the three principals hail from Japan, bringing authenticity to their approach. In other words, they won’t deposit a Home Depot Buddha in your courtyard or babble on about feng shui. Instead, their exquisite sensitivity to scale, balance, and placement will produce a peaceful landscape, lovely to gaze upon throughout the seasons.

10 Micro Dr., Woburn, 800-834-6656,

Designer, Traditional

In Pribell’s world, interiors are a feast for the eyes and the mind—that means no boring wingback reproductions. She knows furniture the way your accountant knows tax laws. And trust us, a knowledge of the decorative arts is what you need when going for high-end traditional. She’ll juxtapose a rare highboy with chinoiserie wallpaper, then tell you the history behind both.

299 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-1445,

Designer, Traditional Landscape

Landscape architect Lombardi is an old-school romantic—his designs tend toward the lush and picturesque, perfectly suited to the patrician stone estates that surround Boston. Eschewing the lawn-meets-boxwood approach, Lombardi’s soft edges remind us of the best English country gardens, overflowing with grasses and wildflowers.

2235 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-2808,

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including home builders and contractors, interior designers, home accent décor, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.