Best of Boston Home 2010

Let’s face it: Construction and renovation are not for the faint of heart. Unless, that is, you’ve got expert guidance on your side. That’s where the Best of Boston Home comes in.


Thanks in no small part to the design talent at MIT, Harvard, and RISD, a true modern streak runs through this most historical city. If you’re among those drawn to the clean aesthetics of contemporary design, remember that good materials and top-notch construction are key—this is one genre that demands perfection.


Modern Dream Team: From the first sketch to the final throw pillow, meet the Hub’s composers of contemporary masterpieces. From Left: Andrew Goldstein, Thoughtforms, Contractor / David Hacin, Hacin + Associates, Architect / Meichi Peng, Meichi Peng Design Studios, Designer. (Photograph by Jorg Meyer)


Even in a city overflowing with renowned architects, David Hacin stands out. His award-winning projects, including FP3 in Fort Point Channel and Laconia Lofts in the South End, demonstrate how thoughtful contemporary design can fit seamlessly into Boston’s traditional landscape. While Hacin has created few single-family homes, his penthouse and loft interiors prove he is adept at producing finely tuned modern masterpieces large and small.

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


Thoughtforms has earned praise from a litany of high-end architects—no small feat, given that contractors and architects rarely see eye to eye on a project. As one architect with a well-known firm puts it, “Thoughtforms is very organized, always on top of everything, and always thinking ahead.” He also notes that the firm “ensures that the client has a clear understanding of all facets of the job.”

543 Massachusetts Ave., West Acton, 978-263-6019,


This Newbury Street penthouse owes its sleek yet inviting interior to designer Meichi Peng. (Photograph by Kent Dayton)


Peng has positively skyrocketed to the top of her field in just a few years. Her interiors are contemporary and singular: perfectly proportioned, always confident, a touch exotic. For a taste of her artful approach, step into her Harrison Avenue boutique Peng, where she elegantly displays objets d’art from around the globe alongside her line of handmade bags. All of which leaves us wondering, What can’t this woman do?

460 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-521-8660,


Who can resist the spirited prints of this Finnish company? Certainly not designers, who have been enchanted by Marimekko’s bold colors and vibrant patterns for decades. Vintage pieces fetch remarkably steep prices on eBay, but if you think the firm’s heyday ended with the Nixon administration, just stop by the Marimekko concept store in Cambridge. Here, the company’s iconic 1960s poppy prints mingle with inspiring new patterns from Europe’s next generation of textile designers.

350 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-2800,


After 15 minutes in most flooring shops, our eyes are as glazed over as faux-wood laminate. Not so in this showroom, which many local decorators liken to a fancy department store. Your inner designer will revel in the unparalleled selection of glass, metal, stone, and reclaimed wood, all carefully chosen and displayed. What’s more, the staff can provide detailed installation information to help you decide on the appropriate material for any space.

327 A St., Boston, 617-963-7968,


Profoundly knowledgeable about lighting and always willing to go the extra mile for clients, Lucia owner Lucy Dearborn could earn this award based on customer service alone. But there’s more: namely, an 8,000-square-foot store, comprising 12 showrooms in a stately mansion. And what you see at Lucia is only a fraction of what’s available, since Dearborn and her designers will track down any fixture you want and install it in your home.

311 Western Ave., Lynn, 781-595-0026,


Overflowing with the latest in Tibetan cut-pile color blocks and intricate tribal flat-wovens, this company wows with its commitment to the Middle Eastern and Tibetan peoples who create its wares. Jaded by other stores’ claims of “socially conscious” sourcing? Ask any employee about the history of a rug, and he or she will supply you with a roster of details—no surprise, since the owner spends about two months a year in the communities where the rugs are made.

283 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-576-3249,


The creative minds behind Donghia’s wallpaper selection bypass traditional patterns to offer the most untamed of designs. Choose from boldly textured, richly hued lines by the likes of Maya Romanoff, Weitzner, and Elitis, or enlist the knowledgeable staff to help you (and your designer, as only trade professionals can make purchases here) decide among such temptations as opulent metallics, woodlike veneers, and wallpaper accented with custom-beaded pop-art portraits. Who knew wallpaper could be this sexy?

One Design Center Place, Ste. 401, Boston, 617-574-9292,


As two of the area’s most discriminating buyers, Caroline and Gregory Morson have brought to Boston the kinds of Italianbrands that rarely find their way to the U.S., such as Minotti, Fornasetti, and Porada. If you’re addicted to ultra-sophisticated European lines, look no further than this temple of chic.

76 Lincoln St., Boston, 617-482-2335,

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.