Best of Boston Home 2018
Our annual guide to the region’s top design professionals and showrooms.
Builders & Craftspeople
What’s vision without execution? Armed with passion and experience, these local teams boast the know-how to bring ideas to life, ensuring unparalleled precision and quality every step of the way.
Furniture Design Services
Furniture Design Services’s straightforward business name speaks to its manufacturing and installation work but says nothing of the team’s unique eye. They’re equally capable of creating furniture that seamlessly blends into the décor—their beautiful custom cabinetry, for example—as they are at creating a room’s standout piece, like the sculptural birch kitchen island they recently created for a Brookline home.
13 Washington St., Peabody, 978-531-3250, furnituredesignservices.com.
CUSTOM OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Make your ideal backyard oasis a reality with Walpole Outdoors, where staffers help choose the perfect materials and colors for any fence, pergola, gazebo, or lantern you can dream up. They’ll even come walk your grounds, providing insight and taking measurements. And did we mention the vast selection of premade furniture? From rustic to modern, Walpole’s offerings can enhance both sprawling lawns and modest urban patios.
83 Washington St., Norwell, 781-681-9099, walpolewoodworkers.com.
Upholstery on Broadway
Is Grandma’s chesterfield in need of a little love? Swing by this Arlington shop. With years of experience upholstering both vintage and contemporary furniture (and a cache of fabrics from such industry favorites as Lee Jofa and Kravet), you can entrust even your most treasured antiques to Upholstery on Broadway’s experts.
205A Broadway, Arlington, 978-460-5184, upholsteryonbroadway.com.
Designer Draperies of Boston
No detail is too minute for these drapery pros. Whether your windows beg for low-maintenance valances, luxe drapes, or motorized shades (or all of the above), Designer Draperies will design, create, and install the perfect treatment for your home—on time and within budget.
516 E. 2nd St., #34 Ste. B23, South Boston, 617-268-2391, designerdraperiesofboston.com.
Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers
The team at Kochman Reidt + Haigh knows better than anybody that successful cabinetry design relies on so much more than just good looks. Equal parts beautiful and functional, the custom pieces created and installed by this decades-old firm run the gamut from elevated Shaker-style numbers with ergonomic hardware to innovative floor-to-ceiling models boasting pull-out drawers and frosted glass.
471 Page St., Stoughton, 781-573-1500, cabinetmakers.com.
CUSTOM HOME DESIGN/BUILD, BOSTON
This small-but-mighty design/build team knows its stuff, with principals Thomas Saltsman and Jason Brenzel bringing decades of experience to each job the firm takes. From a renovated Belmont barn with gleaming hardwood and vaulted ceilings to a new build in Marblehead with a wraparound porch and enviable harbor views, Saltsman Brenzel projects define excellence at every turn.
535 Albany St., Boston, 617-350-7883, saltsmanbrenzel.com.
HIGH-END REMODELING, BOSTON
Transparency tops FBN Construction’s list of priorities, and that’s a good thing. The firm’s commitment to communication—to say nothing of its proven planning and building skills—practically guarantees satisfaction, whether you’re overhauling the kitchen in your high-rise condo or creating the ultimate master suite in your suburban Colonial.
17 Wolcott Ct., Boston, 617-333-6800, fbnconstruction.net.
CUSTOM HOME DESIGN/BUILD, NORTH
Carpenter & MacNeille
Carpenter & MacNeille puts a fresh spin on traditional New England aesthetics, whether incorporating geothermal power into a shingle-style home or combining Asian, Arts & Crafts, and Shaker details in a new house that fits perfectly into its historical neighborhood. Clients can count on this power team of architects, builders, and designers to handle the construction process from start to finish.
106 Western Ave., Essex, 978-768-7900, carpentermacneille.com.
HIGH-END REMODELING, NORTH
Howell Custom Building Group
Howell’s focus on each client’s lifestyle is evident in the personalized touches you’ll find in its remodeling projects, such as a slide-out coat closet seamlessly hidden behind a hallway wall. Also look to Howell for specialized work in areas including green building and timber framing, proof that the team’s knowledge and expertise run deep.
360 Merrimack St. #5, Lawrence, 978-989-9440, howellcustombuild.com.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN/BUILD, NORTH
With a dedication to local materials and sustainable plantings, Andover Landscape’s designs seem to emerge naturally from their surroundings. In one project, a plunge pool is transformed into a secluded swimming hole bordered by natural stone and flowers. In another, a stone stairway winds up a grassy hill toward a serene lakeside patio.
CUSTOM HOME DESIGN/BUILD, SOUTH
When you’ve been building homes on the Cape for nearly half a century—as this Eastham firm has—you understand the inherent quirks of seaside construction, from topography to permitting to the effects of high winds and ocean spray. Rather than aligning with a specific style, the company’s expertise lends itself to a variety of homes, including such past projects as a compact oceanfront haven built into the dunes and a shingle-style manse set high atop a bluff.
345 Massasoit Rd., Eastham, 508-255-1770, capeassociates.com.
HIGH-END REMODELING, SOUTH
All projects are created equal when Dale Nikula’s firm handles them, whether it’s embarking on a significant addition or merely making a minor update. The firm’s impressive portfolio boasts rebuilt Cape cottages chock-full of custom details (think: coffered ceilings and shiplap walls) and a modest 18th-century home transformed into a modern-day retreat.
103 Main St., Dennis Port, 508-760-6900, encoreco.com.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN/BUILD, SOUTH
What began in 1994 with a single lawnmower in the back of Chris Joyce’s pickup truck has morphed into a bustling operation with a fleet of more than 60 vehicles. Capable of executing elaborate outdoor kitchens, charming backyard ponds, al fresco fireplaces, and pool decking made of natural stone, the company excels at both design and installation.
68 Flint St., Marstons Mills, 508-428-4772, joycelandscaping.com.
CUSTOM HOME DESIGN/BUILD, WEST
Fallon Custom Homes & Renovations
Fallon specializes not just in custom homes but in historically accurate ones, thanks to the firm’s cabinetry and millworking shop that painstakingly replicates period details. To wit: a Victorian-style, wood-paneled library with the requisite fireplace, moldings, and built-ins. Of course, they can go modern, too—like a flashy home theater with a built-in bar area.
171 Reservoir St., Needham, 781-237-0505, falloncustomhomes.com.
HIGH-END REMODELING, WEST
A green-building pioneer since the 1970s (and a close partner of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative), Thoughtforms doesn’t skimp on style, whether working on a geothermally heated Greek Revival farmhouse or a 19th-century urban townhouse with authentic Doric columns.
525 Massachusetts Ave. Ste. 204, Acton, 978-263-6019, thoughtforms-corp.com.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN/BUILD, WEST
The MacDowell Company
Looking for an outdoor fireplace with a stone chimney for crisp fall evenings? How about a custom natural-stone grill island that looks more like a garden wall than a cooking apparatus? Maybe a waterfall beside a hot tub and a firepit? From kidney-shaped pools to inviting playgrounds, the offerings from this decades-old family-run company prove it has both vision and longevity.
21 Center St., Weston, 781-899-9393, themacdowellcompany.com.