Best of Boston Home 2016

The region’s top architects, designers, builders, and showrooms.

best of boston home 2016 mohr mcpherson

Mohr & McPherson, South End. / Photograph by Sarah Fisher

Shops and Showrooms

Nothing is more exhilarating to a designer than an empty house—it offers an opportunity to acquire beautiful things, and arrange them just so. Ahead, the skillfully stocked stores that continually inspire.

Best american-modern furnishings
Room & Board

American made is Minneapolis-based Room & Board’s calling card, which is why we were thrilled when the company opened a showroom on Newbury Street last year. Its five floors brim with instant classics such as Hess leather sofas made in Texas, Marcel wingback chairs made in North Carolina, and walnut Chilton dining tables from Vermont.

375 Newbury St., Boston, 617-351-0020,

Best antiques
The Barn at 17

Weave through the labyrinthine arrangement of hand-painted chinoiserie screens, velvet, and meticulously restored cut-crystal French chandeliers to discover a charming pair of painted ceramic Staffordshire spaniels for your mantel.

17 Murdock St., Somerville, 617-625-5204,

Best asian furnishings
Mohr & McPherson

Owner Kevin McPherson personally scours the globe to stock his Harrison Avenue showroom with antiques and home goods from China, India, and Japan. His thoughtful collection of live-edge dining tables, overdyed rugs, and silk poufs, plus the occasional giant brass gong, is a heartfelt tribute to the wonders of the East.

460 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-210-7900,

Best bath supplies

Waterworks boasts a gorgeous catalog of responsibly made and stylishly designed bathroom fixtures and accessories, from freestanding copper bathtubs and Carrara-marble vessel sinks to graceful accessories like art deco inspired soap trays and braided organic jute bath rugs.

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 147, Boston, 617-951-2496,

Best closet systems

The master closet deserves as much consideration as the living room and kitchen, and while custom built-ins may look nice, few builders can match the innovative kit of parts offered by the Italian furnishings company Poliform. Wooden and glass doors, pullout trays for shirts and slacks, shoe racks, and LED lighting are just a few options available in this ultra-sexy modular system, available exclusively at Showroom.

240 Stuart St., Boston, 617-482-4805,

Best consignment furnishings
Garage Sale

This South End gem offers a constant rotation of high-end consignment finds, from vintage scores to gently used designer home accents. You’ll just as likely discover a vintage tricycle circa 1900 as you will a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa upholstered in velvet.

53 Waltham St., Boston, 617-482-7044,

Best french-modern furnishings
Roche Bobois

Teaming up with cutting-edge designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Cédric Ragot, Roche Bobois produces joyous, ultramodern furnishings that are as fashionable as they are comfortable, whether it’s an oversize Mah Jong sectional in patchwork textiles or a dazzling Margaux Keller handblown glass vase.

2 Avery St., Boston, 617-742-9611,

best of boston home 2016 montage

Montage, Boston. / Photograph by Sarah Fisher

Best italian-modern furnishings

Before most Bostonians ever heard the words “Italian” and “modern” used in the same sentence, the owners of this venerable institution were scooping up New England exclusives on Europe’s chicest brands, like Moroso, B&B Italia, and Minotti. Never sated, they continue to discover exciting new lines, such as the comfortable outdoor creations of Paola Lenti and the multi-colored glass furnishings by Glas Italia.

75 Arlington St., Boston, 617-451-9400,

Best kids’ furnishings
Circle Furniture

Brothers Richard and Harold Tubman parlayed their father’s penchant for beautifully crafted wood furniture into a thriving business that offers exclusive pieces made right here in New England. Sturdy wooden bunk beds and charming bead-board dressers, locally made with care, are exactly what we want for our little ones.

31 Saint James Ave., Boston, 617-778-0887,

Best large appliances
Yale Appliance + Lighting

Why do so many area designers get their large appliances from Yale? Because the 20,000-square-foot Dorchester showroom displays dozens of models of ranges, cooktops, refrigerators, and more for the discriminating shopper to measure and compare. Even better, this family-owned business has been stocking dependable brands like Miele, Maytag, Sub-Zero, and Whirlpool since 1923.

296 Freeport St., Dorchester, 617-825-9253,

Best midcentury-modern furnishings
Machine Age

No other shop in Boston, or in most of the country, carries such a comprehensive assemblage of authentic midcentury pieces. Certainly you’ll find an original classic Eames lounger here; but even hard-core connoisseurs of the postwar European and American aesthetic will be wowed by this 9,000-square-foot homage to the era.

645 Summer St., Boston, 617-464-0099,

best of boston home 2016 casa outdoor

Casa Outdoor, South End. / Photograph by Sarah Fisher

Best outdoor furnishings
Casa Outdoor

Owner Zhanna Drogobetsky travels to Europe seeking stylish modern outdoor furnishings such as Tuuci umbrellas made with UV-resistant fabrics, geometric resin Ramón Esteve planters, or airy rattan-woven sofas by Kenneth Cobonpue.

450 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-955-9377,

Best specialty furnishings
Thos. Moser

Consider the beauty of wood—cherry, maple, walnut—then consider how rarely a piece of furniture revels in its materiality and construction. Each Thos. Moser handcrafted piece, made of carefully chosen woods, tells a story about its creation.

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

The Shops We Love

best of boston home 2016 shops boston shaker

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best barware
The Boston Shaker

The Boston Shaker has everything the imbibing sophisticate needs to equip his or her bar cart, from handblown tiki mugs to specialty ingredients like lavender bitters.

69 Holland St., Somerville, 617-718-2999,

best of boston home 2016 shops carroll and sons

Photograph by Tony Luong

Best art gallery
Carroll and Sons

Every time we walk into this avant-garde Harrison Avenue gallery, we fall in love with yet another up-and-coming video artist, painter, or sculptor.

450 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-482-2549,

best of boston home 2016 shops er butler co

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best hardware
E.R. Butler & Co.

Where else will you find exquisite, custom-made hardware like gold-plated hinges with decorative finials and cabinet pulls with agate cameo inlays displayed like jewelry in glass cases?

38 Charles St., Boston, 617-722-0230,

best of boston home 2016 shops frette

Photograph courtesy of Frette

Best linens

Whenever we touch Frette’s luxurious French linens, we think of breakfasting on fresh croissants in a five-star hotel with views of the Eiffel Tower, which makes the linens worth the price.

776B Boylston St., Boston, 617-267-0500,

best of boston home 2016 shops laurajean floran event design

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best florist
Laurajean Floral & Event Design

LauraJean Pecci is a flower-wrangling genius, as evidenced by her minimal succulent bouquets, over-the-top centerpieces, and window boxes overflowing with posies.

270 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 508-681-5573,

best of boston home 2016 shops anderson fireplace

Photograph courtesy of Town & Country Fireplaces

Best fireplaces
Anderson Fireplace

Anderson Fireplace offers the full range of hearth options, from the traditional wood-burning fireplace to the sleek double-sided gas number.

720 Brockton Ave., Abington, 800-472-1717,

best of boston home 2016 shops artefact

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best home accents

Design thrives in the ’burbs at Artefact, where Joe Cariati blown-glass table lamps compete with romantic white porcelain tableware by Yuka Uchida for your attention.

1000 Pleasant St., Belmont, 617-993-3347,

best of boston home 2016 shops carlisle wide plank floors

Photograph courtesy of Carlisle

Best wood flooring
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

These extra-wide (up to 20 inches), extra-long (more than 12 feet) planks are handcrafted from mature forests and salvaged woods.

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 541, Boston, 617-830-4592,

best of boston home 2016 shops chimera

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best lighting fixtures

Whether you’re looking for a work of art by Bocci or traditional exterior lanterns by Fourteenth Colony Lighting, a visit to this Fort Point outpost promises to be illuminating.

327 A St., Boston, 617-542-3233,

best of boston home 2016 shops good

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best gifts

Good is an understatement here, where you’ll find maple cutting boards by Edward Wohl, Vermont-made Farmhouse Pottery, and delicate necklaces by Hannah Blount.

133 Charles St., Boston, 617-722-9200,

best of boston home 2016 shops landry arcari

Photograph courtesy of Landry & Arcari

Best rugs
Landry & Arcari

Gallery-like Landry & Arcari is packed wall to wall with piles of rugs ranging from antique Persians to unique animal hides to bold Moroccan weaves.

333 Stuart St., Boston, 617-399-6500,

best of boston home 2016 shops didriks

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best tabletop accessories

From Simon Pearce’s ceramic plates to ultramodern flatware by Alessi, Didriks’s unerring tabletop selections tend toward the sleek and the innovative.

190 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-5700,

best of boston home 2016 shops discovertile

Photograph courtesy of DiscoverTile

Best tile

Turn your backsplash into a bold statement by exploring DiscoverTile’s Spanish terra cotta, recycled glass, or elegant waterjet-cut marble.

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 647, Boston, 617-330-7900,

best of boston home 2016 shops osborne little

Photograph courtesy of Osborne & Little

Best textiles, trade
Osborne & Little

Collaborations have resulted in cheeky, delightful collections, such as Nina Campbell’s monkey-festooned “Barbary Toile.”

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 551, Boston, 617-737-2927,

best of boston home 2016 shops zimmans

Photograph courtesy of Zimman’s

Best textiles, retail

Boasting the largest in-stock selection of fabrics in New England, Zimman’s offers textiles in an endless variety of textures and colors, many at discounts as high as 90 percent.

80 Market St., Lynn, 781-598-9432,

best of boston home 2016 shops niche urban garden supply

Photograph by Sarah Fisher

Best urban garden supplies
Niche Urban Garden Supply

Even if your home garden is a window box of salad greens, Niche is your local source for the seeds, planters, and garden tools that you’ll need to keep them thriving.

619 Tremont St., Boston, 857-753-4294,

best of boston home 2016 shops romo

Photograph courtesy of Romo

Best wallcoverings

Why choose between the metallic pastel florals or the fuschia trompe l’oeil prints? If you’re like us, you’ll find a wall for them all.

Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 528, Boston, 617-737-0599,

best of boston home 2016 shops kitchenwares by blackstones

Photograph by Christopher Garcia

Best kitchenware
Kitchenwares by Blackstones

This 1,000-square-foot store is packed with culinary goodies including professional-grade knives, plus unusual finds like a milk frother and solid granite drink-chillers.

215 Newbury St., Boston, 857-366-4237,

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