Whether you’re planning your next renovation or building your house from scratch, you’ll need a team you can depend on: We found the professionals who not only deliver top-quality service, but who also love what they do. Join us as we celebrate 67 of the region’s finest architects, designers, builders, showrooms, shops, and craftspeople.
Every home is unique. Thankfully, the region’s arbiters of taste run the gamut, from staunch traditionalists to die-hard modernists. Here, 16 remarkably creative firms to consider for your next project.
Best coastal architect
Patrick Ahearn Architect
Patrick Ahearn’s decades-spanning work has made him the go-to guy for those seeking a Camelot-style coastal retreat. And this year, he scored the buzzy assignment of creating HGTV’s annual Dream Home on Martha’s Vineyard. Harnessing time-honored Yankee craftsmanship (rough-hewn wooden beams, classic shutters), he unified a three-building estate.
160 Commonwealth Ave., Ste. L3, Boston, 617-266-1710, patrickahearn.com.
Best contemporary architect
Anmahian Winton Architects
Anmahian Winton’s strikingly modern works punctuate their environments like exclamation points, from a zinc-paneled jewel box of a home dropped among the Cambridge Colonials to a Japanese teahouse–inspired retreat with angular copper roofs and wide glass windows set in the Maine woods. The firm’s crown jewel, however, is Community Rowing’s Harry Parker Boathouse, where louvered panels evoke waves—and offer ventilation for shell storage.
650 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-577-7400, aw-arch.com.
Best contemporary interior designer
Koo de Kir Architectural Interiors
Koo de Kir design principal (and MassArt grad) Kristine Irving draws inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources: early Renaissance paintings, a pint of beer, classic film. Less interested in trends, she brings an artist’s eye to every space, confidently combining textures and colors to cheerful effect. A recent project, a 3,200-square-foot South End home (featured on page 116), demonstrates her enviable skills, including a classic brownstone entryway all done up in—shocker—an exuberant Florence Broadhurst wallcovering.
516 E. Second St., Boston, 617-268-8111, koodekir.com.
Best family-friendly interior designer
The exterior may be New England, but Lindsay Bentis’s warm and engaging interiors are all laid-back West Coast. When the artist, L.A. native, and mom of three designs a room, she says, “I look at it the same way I would a painting—like a composition with layers, textures, and clean lines.” Bentis’s work mixes new and vintage artwork and furniture to create family-friendly spaces imbued with deeply personal touches, such as the set of silhouettes she commissioned for a family of seven for their Cape Cod vacation home.
Best green architect
Peter Rose + Partners
Peter Rose has long been answering the increasingly urgent call for sustainable design. And his most recent projects are among his best: The Vineyard’s East House, for example, features modular concrete units that can be relocated in response to coastal erosion—a concept so groundbreaking that it won the Boston Society of Architects’ Best Housing Design award in 2015. Now under construction: a fully off-the-grid Turkish residence on the Aegean made up of four buildings that use an innovative combination of solar, geothermal, and wind energy.
242 E. Berkeley St., Boston, 617-494-0202, roseandpartners.com.
Best interior planner
Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes makes all the difference. That’s why, before hitting the showrooms, interior planner Louis Ashman likes to shop his client’s existing collections for opportunities to reupholster, recontextualize, and reframe. As he discovers (and rescues) things that have value or meaning, he not only produces a completely personalized aesthetic, but he also creates a space that, as he says, is “grounded in something real.” A recent Jamaica Plain whole-house renovation, featuring deep-dark floors, a range of blues and grays, and one of the loveliest kitchens around, earned Ashman the cover of Boston Home this past summer.
Best kitchen architect
LDa Architecture & Interiors
Kitchens are notoriously difficult to personalize (for proof, look no further than the cookie-cutter Formica countertops and wood-lipped cabinets of our parents’ generation). LDa, however, brings an architect’s eye to the problem. The same Cambridge firm responsible for an open-concept indoor/outdoor Vineyard kitchen swathed in sail-white millwork also expanded a 1920s Newton Tudor to accommodate a large prep-and-eating area and plenty of built-ins. Versatility, it seems, is the recipe for success.
222 Third St., Cambridge, 617-621-1455, lda-architects.com.
Best landscape architect
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design
Growing up in coastal Maine, Matthew Cunningham learned that you can’t tame New England’s wilds; you can only adapt to them. Now his Stoneham landscape firm is bringing that philosophy to urban and suburban environments, delicately balancing the manmade with the natural: A Comm. Ave. rooftop garden overflows with vibrant perennials, grasses, and herbs, while a Newton yard juxtaposes reclaimed-stone retaining walls with modern stainless steel deck railings.
411 Main St., Stoneham, 617-905-2246, matthew-cunningham.com.
Best new england vernacular architect
Siemasko + Verbridge
Siemasko + Verbridge understands the timeless New England aesthetic, refined to honor and reinvigorate our region’s natural blessings. Imagine an 11-story Manchester lighthouse transformed into a nautically inspired, fully livable “vertical land yacht”; and an 1800s-inspired farmhouse set on a rambling 30-acre pasture in the North Shore, its great room constructed of 300-year-old barn wood.
126 Dodge St., Beverly, 978-927-3745, svdesign.com.
Best traditional architect
Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects
The curious case of a three-generation Yale legacy—alum turned professor James Righter taught Jacob Albert, who later taught John Tittmann— resulted in this firm, which excels in classicism. But the trio can also reframe traditional styles through a creative lens: Take the Lantern House, a Connecticut farmhouse named for the shape of its glazed entrance porch; or Rocksyde, a Cape Ann home inspired by Kragsyde—the shingle-style property that once occupied a neighboring plot—but embellished with a staircase constructed of black and white boxes.
262 Washington St., Boston, 617-451-5740, alriti.com.
Best traditional interior designer
Kristin Paton Interiors
Kristin Paton favors timeless over trendy and doesn’t like “things that look too new.” Translation: She relishes the hunt for fine antiques and exotic accessories (intricate wood pagodas, old maps, starfish, rare prints in gilded frames). Her own Cambridge home, featured in the fall 2015 issue of Boston Home, showcases dozens of brilliant design ideas, including a mirrored breakfast nook that feels like a Parisian café and a dining room papered in the most delightful custom chinoiserie pattern.
152 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, 617-491-9000, kristinpatoninteriors.com.
Best transitional architect
D. Michael Collins Architects
Picture an east-facing Cape home with bay views, sunrise to sunset, from every room, or an ultra-energy-efficient farmhouse incorporating antique and recycled materials. If you can dream it, D. Michael Collins can execute it, deftly moving between traditional and contemporary elements while emphasizing open space. See: the stylish, 7,000-square-foot home he managed to site on a steeply inclined cliff; with 17-foot cathedral ceilings, the abode gracefully echoes its lofty wooded locale.
21 Eliot St., South Natick, 508-651-7099, dmcarch.com.
Best transitional interior designer
Nina Farmer Interiors
At first blush, Nina Farmer’s rooms look like those formal, pets-off parlors of yore. Look closer. True, she seamlessly melds regal elements of the past—1920s leather club chairs, Moroccan poufs, and the mother of all cut-crystal chandeliers—but all with a keen understanding of how we live now. (Resilient fabrics? Check. A hidden TV in the formal living room? Check.) With every project, Farmer combines a deep appreciation for Boston’s historical homes with a passion for making those same spaces function on a daily basis for kids, pets, and the occasional overinebriated guest.
6 Walnut St., Boston, 917-582-4864, ninafarmerinteriors.com.
Best urban architect
Hacin + Associates
For more than 20 years, David Hacin’s South End studio has designed buildings that answer the question of how urban centers are evolving. Cases in point: Laconia Lofts, the 99-unit artist live/work space that catalyzed the SoWa district’s transformation into an arts ’hood; and the 97-unit FP3 building, a pioneer among the revitalized Seaport’s luxury residences. On the micro level, Hacin can transform a historical Beacon Hill townhouse into a lofty six-story home ascended via a glass staircase, and juxtapose antique elements of a 19th-century brick abode with modern millwork. He’s never tied to tradition.
112 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-426-0077, hacin.com.
Best urban-kitchen architect
Maximizing square footage is paramount when revamping a cramped city kitchen, and Bunker Workshop’s Chris Greenawalt has cooked up all kinds of smart, space-saving tricks. In Greenawalt’s world, a nonfunctioning pizza oven is given new life as a shelved alcove, and dark cabinetry and a light-hued, flow-enabling island combine to create the illusion of extra square footage. He’s also known to spice things up with tasty eye candy (hello, crimson corrugated-steel backsplash).
Charlestown, 617-447-3733, bunkerworkshop.com.
Best urban-renovation architect
Butz + Klug
It’s fitting that Butz + Klug is based in the gritty-gone-glam South End, given this four-person firm’s gift for breathing new life into timeworn urban spaces. For proof, check out the five-story Boston townhouse they updated with two levels of floor-to-ceiling cantilevered windows, the coordinating original millwork still intact. Or the Victorian-era Italianate home in Brookline, where the kitchen sports a layered concrete island surrounded by lacquered orange cabinets.
157 W. Newton St., Boston, 617-536-7399, bkarch.com.
Constructing a vision is a team sport, which is why it’s critical to engage people who not only value superior craftsmanship, but also enjoy collaborating. These are the firms that have proven their mettle.
Best custom drapery
For an elegant finish, Karen Gilman’s bespoke drapes, shades, and curtains bring an unparalleled sophistication to stately New England homes: Long, streamlined shades that break just above the floor—like a ball gown—add height and scale to South End penthouses and Newport manses; wide curtains of heavy silk or French linen enhance petite windows or add warmth to heavily glassed rooms.
77 Walnut St., Unit 8, Peabody, 978-977-7357, finelines.com.
Best custom furnishings
Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers
While known for their custom kitchens, cabinetry, and millwork, Kochman Reidt + Haigh’s artisans’ ability to create unique custom furniture has become a powerful weapon in local designers’ arsenals. Recent orders include re-creating a set of club chairs from a sketch in a 100-year-old French catalog.
471 Page St., Stoughton, 781-573-1500, cabinetmakers.com.
Best custom home builder, north
Adams & Beasley Associates
Eric Adams and Angus Beasley’s first project together was constructing a latrine in the woods when they were high school freshmen. These days the pair is still building bathrooms—but on a much grander scale. Adams and Beasley, who graduated from Colby College and Yale, respectively, rely on their collective brain trust to deliver elegant, creative solutions on projects as varied as urban roof decks, Back Bay penthouses, and 1920s Arts and Crafts–style bungalows. Since launching their business more than a decade ago, Adams and Beasley have chosen projects based not on size or location but rather on “congruent visions and good relational chemistry” with their clients.
250 Acton St., Carlisle, 978-254-5641, adamsbeasley.com.
Best custom home builder, south
Woodmeister Master Builders
What started 35 years ago as a two-man millwork shop has become a much-lauded 100-craftsperson business that’s still not too big for founder Ted Goodnow to be in the field doing what he loves the most: building urban oases, mountain getaways, and coastal retreats with exquisite craftsmanship and finely detailed finishes. Skillfully navigating the complex environmental and regulatory challenges of building on the water, Goodnow’s team creates solid homes that can accommodate both extreme weather conditions and sunset G&Ts on the veranda.
One Woodmeister Way, Holden, 800-221-0075, woodmeister.com.
Best custom home builder, west
Kenneth Vona Construction
The phrase “cookie-cutter” isn’t in Ken Vona’s vocabulary. In keeping with his philosophy that building 100 fine homes is more rewarding than producing 500 templated McMansions, Vona’s team takes on only six projects at a time. That translates to breathtaking farmhouses, country estates, classic Georgians, and shingle-style cottages with extreme attention to detail (even his mechanical rooms are well lit, clean, and meticulously labeled). A master carpenter with 35 years of experience, Vona offers an unprecedented five-year warranty on every project.
11 Fox Rd., Waltham, 781-890-5599, kenvona.com.
Best custom kitchen design
Venegas and Company
For contemporary and traditional kitchens with a distinctive touch, we turn to the gifted designers at Venegas, who clearly savor the details and aren’t bound to trends. Eschewing the classic bleached beach-cottage look, for example, the team is overhauling an oceanfront Rockport kitchen in a butternut veneer, bronze metallic finishes, and integrated mirror-polished nickel, anchored by rich, dark wood countertops. Superior craftsmanship is, of course, a Venegas hallmark: While all design is done in Boston, the pieces are built to exacting standards in Pennsylvania by Premier Custom-Built.
One Design Center Place, Studios 620 and 624, Boston, 617-439-8800, venegasandcompany.com.
Best custom outdoor furnishings
Those seeking to add structure to their outdoor patios should look no further than Walpole’s customized pergola kits, complete with stately fiberglass columns and a retractable canopy to add dimension to any open-air environment. Elegant spindle-top arbor entryways handcrafted from cellular PVC, Victorian-style gazebos, and a variety of fencing options will encourage you to think of the outside as an extension of your home.
767 East St., Walpole, 508-668-2800, walpolewoodworkers.com.
Best design and build, north
Carpenter & MacNeille
This team of carpenters, architects, builders, and designers has a deep appreciation for the New England vernacular—many of its custom homes look like they were built in another time. Take their Manchester-by-the-Sea stick-style masterpiece: Informed by the site’s 1873 home, the much grander new additions are appropriately detailed and scaled for the era. Inside, dovetailed cabinetry and impeccable stonework reveal an obsession for craftsmanship.
106 Western Ave., Essex, 978-768-7900, carpentermacneille.com.
Best design and build, south
Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders
It’s no wonder this firm’s grand manses appear all over the Cape: Their architectural tool kit is fully geared toward capitalizing on seaside vistas. To wit: A recent Nantucket Sound project features copious bay windows and a projected screen porch, plus cathedral ceilings that evoke the sense of being on the bridge of an ocean liner.
157 Brewster-Chatham Rd., East Harwich, 508-945-4500, psdab.com.
Best design and build, west
Peter Feinmann knows what to restore (that grand entryway and staircase, perhaps?) and what to vanquish, starting with that 1970s kitchen addition. His resulting renovations are bright and on-trend—glass-and-cherry cabinets, mirrored tile backsplashes, quartz countertops—all carefully considered for the needs of busy suburban families.
27 Muzzey St., Lexington, 781-860-9800, feinmann.com.
Best high-end remodeling, boston
The Holland Companies
Peer into any remodeled brownstone on Beacon Hill or in the Back Bay, and the Holland stamp is likely apparent. That’s because few companies are as adept at dealing with the extreme challenges that older homes in urban settings present. Case in point: a glass-and-steel bridge Holland recently built to connect two bedrooms in a Beacon Street brownstone—complete with flush finishes and impeccably smooth walls that allow artwork and furnishings to take center stage. No small feat when existing conditions are anything but square.
519 Albany St., Boston, 617-556-2900, thehollandcompanies.com.
Best high-end remodeling, north
This 37-year-old Cambridge company specializes in projects that balance the history of a home with the demands of a modern family. Under S+H’s guidance, a heavily partitioned two-family Brookline Victorian became a spacious single residence for an accomplished cook, including a walk-in pantry, a built-in banquette framed by bookshelves, and restored stained glass accents.
26 New St., Cambridge, 617-876-8286, shconstruction.com.
Best high-end remodeling, south
Trusted by the region’s best architects, Sea-Dar excels at constructing complex residences that require extensive excavation, gutting, or new foundations—as their meticulous, extensive work on the South Shore, Cape Cod, and the islands attests. They’re particularly adept at imbuing coastal estates with modern niceties, as in an 11,000-square-foot harbor-front home on the Cape with five roof decks, an infinity pool with uninterrupted water views, and an al fresco stone fireplace.
46 Waltham St., 4A, Boston, 617-423-0870, seadar.com.
Best high-end remodeling, west
F.H. Perry Builder
A discriminating clientele relies on F.H. Perry’s supreme craftsmanship and discretion; its high-end team of builders and woodworkers will not only produce flawless work, but will also gallantly appease concerned neighbors who fret about noise or intrusion. One recent example: a new Weston build that links a wide-open kitchen with marble islands to a sunken family room to a screen porch in a series of steps—a cascading effect important to the home’s well-traveled owners.
90 Elm St., Hopkinton, 508-435-3062, fhperry.com.
Best landscape design and build, north
Gregory Lombardi Design/Parterre Garden Services
Landscape architect Gregory Lombardi has been the aesthetic auteur of this Cambridge firm since its founding. Lombardi thinks of his projects as living canvases, and when fully realized, his sumptuous creations rival the greatest landscape designs of yore, with rustic stone walkways, grids of greenery, and a painterly sense of composition that taps into all the senses. Once the landscape installation is complete, sister company Parterre Garden Services can ensure your work of art remains pristine.
2235 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-2808, lombardidesign.com; 2235 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-2230, parterregarden.com.
Best landscape design and build, south
R.P. Marzilli & Company
The Swiss Army knife of landscape contractors, Marzilli & Company delivers an upscale swimming hole right to your backyard with tree planting and pruning, irrigation systems, excavation, and custom masonry. R.P. Marzilli can restore a 20th-century botanical garden to its former glory while preserving the garden’s cultural roots with lush blue flowering plants, updated pergolas to streamline the rocky terrain, and two glimmering reflection pools.
21A Trotter Dr., Medway, 508-533-8700, rpmarzilli.com.
Best landscape design and build, west
Sudbury Design Group
Sudbury Design Group may have started out as a 10-person construction company, but this landscape design firm doesn’t dream small. Principal Michael Coutu and his team specialize in classic contemporary designs that harmonize architectural details with the natural beauty of lush gardens and grottos. Sudbury has transformed a secluded, hilly Weston backdrop into a peaceful forest sanctuary replete with waterfalls, a colorful hilltop garden, and a built-in grill station on the patio.
740 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, 978-443-3638.
Best staircase design and build
Polish meets precision at Payne/Bouchier, the firm responsible for many of the region’s grandest stairwells. Well versed in period details, modern engineering, and the vagaries of the ancient house, these craftspeople can build what others simply can’t. Take, for instance, their recent Cape Cod commission to produce a Celtic-inspired staircase of golden oak wood, with balusters stylized like oars from a Viking ship. An on-site millwork shop and an in-house finishing room, plus the ability to source fine and exotic woods from tiger maple to Honduran mahogany, ensure that no request is too precise.
173 Norfolk Ave., Boston, 617-445-4323, paynebouchier.com.
Best stone countertops
Cumar Marble and Granite
This massive temple to stone has one of the area’s largest selections of marbles, granites, onyxes, and travertines, helmed by Angelo “Ivo” Cubi, who descends from seven generations of Italian marble fabricators. Cubi spends half of the year scouring the world for unusual finds, while his on-site fabrication and installation teams ensure that his sumptuous stones will travel from exotic quarries in far-flung climes—Madagascar, Italy, or India—to your home expertly honed, finished, and cut for the perfect fit.
69 Norman St., Ste. 4, Everett, 617-389-7818, cumar.com.
Crimson Upholstering Co.
Crimson Upholstering Co., whose custom furniture and reupholstered midcentury pieces adorn the rooms in the Ritz-Carlton Condominiums and Rowes Wharf, was launched nearly 40 years ago by Carmen D’Aurora and brother Frank Cucchiara. Show them a picture of a designer sofa worth $10,000, and leave with a custom-built piece of comparable worth crafted from high-quality fabrics, cotton padding, and dense wood frames (such as maple, ash, and poplar) in just eight to 12 weeks, for a fraction of the cost.
175 North St., Newton, 617-224-1750.
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, roomandboard.com.
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, thebarnat17.com.
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, mohr-mcpherson.com.
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, waterworks.com.
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, showroomboston.com.
Best consignment furnishings
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, garagesaleboston.com.
Best french-modern furnishings
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, roche-bobois.com.
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, montageweb.com.
Best kids’ furnishings
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, circlefurniture.com.
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, yaleappliance.com.
Best midcentury-modern furnishings
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, machine-age.com.
Best outdoor furnishings
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, casaoutdoorboston.com.
Best specialty furnishings
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, thosmoser.com.
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, thebostonshaker.com.
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, carrollandsons.net.
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, erbutler.com.
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, frette.com.
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, ljfloral.com.
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, andersonfireplace.com.
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, artefacthome.com.
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, wideplankflooring.com.
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, chimeralightingdesign.com.
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, shopatgood.com.
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, landryandarcari.com.
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, didriks.com.
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, discovertile.com.
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, osborneandlittle.com.
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, zimmans.com.
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, nicheboston.com.
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, romo.com.
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, kitchenwaresboston.com.
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