A Tour of the North Shore’s Best Showrooms

Here's what's new in bath, lighting, rugs, and furniture.

A new ikat rug from Landry and Arcari.

Forget long lines through customs and security personnel rifling through your carry-on, design bloggers got their passports stamped in luxury while touring home design showrooms on Boston’s North Shore Tuesday as part of Boston magazine’s Passport to Design. Eight bloggers and I started the day at Circle Furniture’s colorful showroom in Danvers.

Printed furniture and felt pillows embossed with witty messages (one blogger wanted to buy “no whining” for her three-year-old) were scattered throughout the room.

I could have stayed in one of these pink leather recliners from Ekornes all day.

The next stop was Tile by Design, where Moroccan-inspired arabesque shapes and colorful stained glass tiles dominated the showroom. I liked the natural look of these geometric teak tiles.

A sleek modern tub from Zucchetti with a chandelier from Lucia Lighting and Design overhead greeted us at the next stop: Designer Bath in Beverly.

The showroom contained a mix of modern designs including a TV tuned to the local news installed in the wall of a shower (I’m not sure I want the weather man in the shower with me, but, well, to each his own) and more rustic designs like this beautiful Potting Sink from Stone Forest:

Landry and Arcari flooded our senses at the next stop on the tour. Piles of Persian rugs were piled around the Salem showroom.

The knowledgeable staff explained how the rugs are made. Some of their most beautiful (and most expensive) are from Wool and Silk Rugs. The founder, Erbil Tezcan, was the first to find a way to spin silk and wool together, creating more vibrant color patterns. Other rugs are hand carved with scissors to create sumptuous texture.

We were taken to the back of the showroom where employees work full time repairing old rugs. There were plenty of traditional designs to choose from, but especially interesting were the blends of traditional styles with more modern, abstract patterns. I wanted to jump inside the watercolor-like world of abstraction this gorgeous rug from Wool and Silk inspired.

Lucia Lighting and Design was our last stop. Gorgeous chandeliers filled the rooms of this restored mansion on Western Avenue in Lynn. Not surprisingly, lighting design is not the most environmental of crafts, but Varaluz is trying to change that with their creations made from recycled materials. This ceiling light is made from recycled Coke bottles, but if home brew is more your taste it’s also available in darker glass made from old beer bottles.