Best of Boston Home 2011

In our quest to compile the ultimate guide to design and construction, we did our research just the way you would—by polling trusted industry pros, checking and cross-checking references, and pounding the pavement.


A timeless mix of contemporary and traditional, this is one style that’s all grown up.


With help from interior designer Rachel Reider, architect Charles Myer brings his artistic skills to a Cambridge home. (Photograph by Nat Rea)


Cambridge architect Charlie Myer has created gracious, intelligently planned, and thoughtfully detailed custom homes across New England, from Brattle Street to the Berkshires. He has a profound knowledge of the regional vernacular, which he deftly uses to revive older homes or create something brand-new. Nothing is formulaic about his thinking, yet he still manages to perfectly nail the classic aesthetic again and again.

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


Pleasing hedge-funders and hedge-trimmers alike requires a skilled workforce, strong industry relationships, and excellent project management. That’s precisely how S + H has maintained its fine reputation while balancing a diverse portfolio of projects big and small. The company’s most impressive work is also the most challenging to builders—entire home renovations with fussy details in historical neighborhoods.

26 New St., Cambridge, 617-876-8286,


This family-owned fabric mecca in downtown Boston offers floral brocades and damasks, stripes, solids, and classic geometrics, all beautifully arranged throughout the showroom. As the name suggests, the store carries an abundance of silks, as well as cottons, wools, and blends. Baranzelli builds custom furniture, too, and offers expert reupholstering services.

113 Charles St., Boston, 617-227-1515,

Flooring and Refinishing

Expect every floor service imaginable from this 83-year-old company, including installation, waxing, and refinishing. Because Duffy’s craftsmen do everything by hand, you’ll find their work in some of the finest buildings across the city, like the New England Conservatory, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

369 Salem St., Medford, 781-395-3418,

Kevin McLaughlin of McLaughlin Upholstery

“What we make is totally different from anything you buy in a store. This is a real New England old-fashioned trade that’s a dying art.” —Kevin McLaughlin, owner and CEO, McLaughlin Upholstery (Photograph by Jarrod McCabe)

Furniture, Upholstered

Named one of the top 10 upholstery companies in the country by House & Garden, McLaughlin builds custom furniture to order. The showroom features dozens of samples in muslin, including a replica of a stunning art deco Jules Leleu sofa. Forget foam—every piece includes down cushions, expertly placed springs, and precision-aligned fabric seams and prints. As owner and third-generation craftsman Kevin McLaughlin says, “Nothing leaves this shop unless it’s absolutely perfect.”

1813 Revere Beach Pkwy., Everett, 617-389-0761,

Furniture, Wood

Imagine furniture built to time-tested New England standards: high-quality and handmade pieces that promise to last for generations. Thos. Moser’s been crafting just that since it opened in 1972. Founder Thomas Moser’s youngest son, David, is now the company’s principal designer, and together with 100 woodworkers, he creates classic and contemporary pieces that showcase the richness of the country’s most extraordinary black cherry, tiger maple, walnut, and ash hardwoods.

19 Arlington St., Boston, 617-224-1245,


Designer Frank Roop’s custom furniture and handmade accents make his interiors both unique and welcoming. (Photograph by Eric Roth)


Recently named one of the world’s top designers by Architectural Digest, France, Frank Roop could be forgiven for being a tad cocky. But that’s not his style, and it shows in his irresistibly luscious interiors. All of his work—typically in grays with jewel-tone accents and unexpected fabrics—begs to be touched and used. You won’t find any of his furniture in a showroom (it’s all bespoke), but you will find yourself longing for his incomparable flair.

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


Handpainted porcelain chandeliers by Tracy Porter, polished chrome from Fredrick Ramond, and perennially stylish wood-and-iron pieces by Country Traditions positively glitter in this 8,000-square-foot former mansion helmed by 20-year lighting veteran Lucy Dearborn and her customer turned business partner, David Solimine. Outstanding service makes this showroom a standout—they’ll even make house calls for an on-site lighting diagnosis.

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


Dover’s selection of rugs alone puts the shop on par with Boston’s finest carpet retailers; customer service brings it a notch above. Owner Mahmud Jafri makes it his mission to equip visitors with a working knowledge of rug styles, weaving techniques, and qualities. First-time callers may find themselves enthralled by a brief history of rug-making as Jafri and his staff help them sift through design options and identify that perfect heirloom-worthy piece.

549 Worcester Rd. (Rte. 9), Natick, 508-651-3500; 1344 Washington St., Hanover, 781-826-0010;

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.