Best of Boston Home 2018
Our annual guide to the region’s top design professionals and showrooms.
Shops & Showrooms
Empty walls and rooms simply won’t do. Inspiration awaits inside these well-curated stores, where luxe furniture, must-have lighting, and the chicest accessories delight at every turn.
After 25 years in the business, Cumar still wins our vote for the best selection of full-slab stone in town. Trust owner Angelo Cubi and his team to find you the cream of the crop (Italian marble, Brazilian granite, French limestone—you name it), and then cut and install it perfectly. Your countertops won’t know what hit them.
69 Norman St., Ste. 4, Everett, 617-389-7818, cumar.com.
Softly lit like paintings in a museum, the inviting tile displays at this Design Center showroom beg to be explored. Come for myriad ceramic, glass, and stone options from the likes of Pratt & Larson, Island Stone, and Walker Zanger, and leave with dozens of ideas for your next reno.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 639, Boston, 617-426-6515, tileshowcase.com.
Steven King Decorative Carpets
Only the finest manufacturers have the privilege of working with this Design Center standout. Known for its discerning eye, Steven King deals in both the classic and the contemporary: The store is just as likely to hawk stunning period pieces as it is plush, handtufted rugs in a variety of modern patterns.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 405, Boston, 617-426-3302, skcarpets.com.
With past clients including Edith Wharton and collaborators ranging from Saul Steinberg to Frank Lloyd Wright, Schumacher’s reach travels far beyond simple home design. Whether you’re searching for a sleek geometric pattern or classic herringbone to cover your walls, you can shop easy knowing you’re alongside the arbiters of taste.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 529, Boston, 617-482-9165, fschumacher.com.
The Romo Group
We challenge you to find a textile that the Romo Group, a longtime industry staple, doesn’t carry. Looking for linen blends? Shop the Plains collection and drape your windows in luxury. Need crushed velvet? Pick from 54 vivid shades. Want braided trim? You get the idea.
Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Ste. 528, Boston, 617-737-0599, romo.com.
Frank Webb Home
With working displays, experienced showroom consultants, and a selection sourced from the largest plumbing distributor in the Northeast, trust Frank Webb to guide you through everything from going green (dual-flush toilets, anyone?) to finally upgrading your shower head.
307 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 617-933-0666, frankwebb.com.
Yale Appliance + Lighting
Any appliance store will sell you an oven; only the best ones will show you how it works before and after you buy it. With Yale’s locations in Dorchester and Framingham providing a combined 50,000 square feet of recently remodeled, well-stocked showroom space, the only limit to your home-reno imagination is how far you’re willing to walk.
296 Freeport St., Dorchester; 215 Worcester Rd., Framingham; 617-825-9253, yaleappliance.com.
The illuminated storefront at Neena’s flagship store on Boylston Street lures patrons to a covetable selection of Tech Lighting chandeliers, Louis Poulsen pendants, and Artemide lamps. The highly trained staff not only will help you choose among contemporary, transitional, and classic styles, they’ll also advise on which fixtures will look the best in your home.
380 Boylston St., Boston, 617-859-1700, neenaslighting.com.
The shop’s name says it all: “Lekker” means alluring and enticing in Dutch. The family-owned company curates a selection of tempting goods (lush pillows and blankets made from natural yarn, French colored-glass vases, and mirrors with walnut pegs that hold keys, hats, and scarves) that strike the perfect balance between contemporary and traditional.
1313 Washington St., Boston, 617-737-7307, lekkerhome.com.
There’s hardly a bolt or screw in sight on a Thos. Moser original: The Maine-based company’s sleek wooden creations, ranging from masterfully sculpted side chairs to one-of-a-kind bed frames, nix metal fasteners in favor of visible joinery. The result is a timeless form that revels in simplicity, allowing the craftsmanship to shine through.
19 Arlington St., Boston, 617-224-1245, thosmoser.com.
With locations in Downtown Crossing and Natick, the vividly colored Roche Bobois showrooms deliver innovative, boundary-pushing pieces (including Jean Paul Gaultier’s playful chariot-inspired “Ben Hur” armchair with wheels) and patterns from designers such as Cécile Maia Pujol and Kenzo Takada without sacrificing comfort.
2 Avery St., Boston, 617-742-9611; 395 Worcester St., Natick, 508-650-5844; roche-bobois.com.
Casa Design Outdoor
You’d be hard-pressed to find a larger selection of ultramodern patio furniture than the one at Casa Design Outdoor. Sourced from Europe, the shop’s cutting-edge inventory features stylish offerings such as metal armchairs and barstools from Kettal and extendable dining tables with teak slats by Roda.
450 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-955-9377, casadesignoutdoor.com.
Classic Rock Marble & Granite
Don’t be fooled by the name: In addition to marble and granite, this Salem company stocks soapstone, quartz, onyx, and other natural stone varieties for everything from countertops to fireplace surrounds to vanities. And when it comes to installation, the Classic team’s craftsmanship is as rock-solid as their materials.
98 North St., Salem, 978-304-7777, classicrockstones.com.
The Flooring Source
The skilled team at the Flooring Source not only installs tile from a broad selection of ceramic, porcelain, and stone options, they follow up with clients afterward to make sure the job was done right. Every customer gets a call from owner Steve Fotopoulos, who personally asks about satisfaction. How’s that for service?
232-K South Main St., Middleton, 978-762-7644, theflooringsource.com.
Gordon Rug Company
Fancy a monogrammed, custom-cut area rug? Or perhaps a soft organic carpet for the baby’s room? You’ll find it at Gordon Rug, which boasts an extensive selection of broadloom carpeting, area rugs, and stair runners, along with design-consultation services and expert installation from an in-house team. Look for an always-updated selection from brands such as Kaleen, Couristan, and Prestige Mills, as well as custom products. Your feet will thank you.
149 State St., Newburyport, 978-463-4200, gordonrug.com.
Interiors by White Street
Gone are the days when wallpaper was just for walls. The designers at Interiors by White Street can show you how to apply it to the backs of library shelves, staircase risers, the top of a desk, or even the ceiling. Supported by almost 70 years of experience, this shop knows wallcoverings, be they silk, grasscloth, or vinyl; solid-colored, patterned, or textured.
1013 Osgood St., North Andover, 978-688-4442, whitestreetpaint.com.
With more than 50,000 fabrics in stock, Zimman’s offers something that the Internet never will: the hands-on experience of pleating, draping, smelling, and feeling everything in the store. Design experts guide shoppers through bold Turkish fabrics, rich leathers, delicate silks, and thousands more options organized by weight and color.
80 Market St., Lynn, 781-598-9432, zimmans.com.
Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply
While it’s tempting to sink into one of the deep and luxurious soaking tubs on display at this gleaming 4,500-square-foot showroom, don’t lose sight of your goal. Whether you’re after a sculpted stone sink, a steam shower, a lighted mirror TV, or fixtures and faucets in a wide array of finishes, Designer Bath carries it all.
97 River St., Beverly, 800-649-2284, designerbath.com.
Celebrating its 50th year in the business, Douglass Appliance lives up to its promise of “hometown service with superstore prices.” That means you’re always greeted warmly by a staffer who’ll help you find the right-size refrigerator, wall oven, or dishwasher for your space, should it be a cozy seaside cottage or roomy chef’s kitchen. Don’t forget to ask about the company’s new models with smudge-proof stainless steel, a must-have for those with kiddos.
74 High St., Danvers, 978-777-0166, douglassappliance.com.
Lucía Lighting & Design
Housed in an 8,000-square-foot mansion turned showroom, Lucía’s selection of indoor and outdoor lighting caters to all tastes, from classic to modern. Expect to find leather and Swarovski crystal chandeliers, sleek LED pendant orbs, handwrought iron sconces, and an infectious enthusiasm from owner Lucy Dearborn and her team.
311 Western Ave., Lynn, 781-595-0026, lucialighting.com.
Savoir Faire Home
Owner Lisa Duffy’s carefully selected wares from around the world are at once cozy and chic (imagine: European linens, French glassware, handthrown Vermont pottery, and rustic wood serving trays from Italy, perfect for loaves of crusty bread). Every visit to Duffy’s posh Andover boutique reveals something new or unexpected.
23 Barnard St., Andover, 978-409-6188, savoirfairehome.com.
Guided by the belief that finding the highest-quality furniture requires looking no further than our own backyards, Circle Furniture sources many of its finely crafted pieces—including reclaimed-barn-wood tables, tufted headboards, and couches and chairs in a rainbow of fabrics—from artisans in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.
237 S. Main St., Middleton, 978-777-2690, circlefurniture.com.
This Lawrence company is so confident in the durability of its teak furniture—built from sustainably harvested Indonesian wood—that they offer a five-year warranty on each piece. Shop here, and you’ll enjoy Goldenteak’s elegant dining sets, benches, and bar tables for years to come.
15 Union St., Lawrence, 978-689-4041, goldenteak.com.
Incorporated more than a century ago, this quarry counts such lauded institutions as Boston College and Yale University among its past clientele. Today, savvy homeowners head to its home in Hingham for granite slabs, pavers, concrete products, and more, for creating everything from brick backsplashes and kitchen islands with natural stone bases to fireplace surrounds fitted with multiple rock varieties.
410 Whiting St., Rte. 53, Hingham, 781-335-3686, plymouthquarries.com.
Cape Cod Tileworks
Co-owned by a seasoned Rhode Island School of Design grad and a tile installer who’s been in the biz for more than 30 years, this Lower Cape shop feels more like an art gallery than a tile store. The duo specializes in custom designs inspired by nature, so you’re likely to find handcrafted models with beach, ocean, lake, and mountain themes, along with natural stone, glass, ceramic, and porcelain in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
705 Main St., Harwich, 508-432-7346, capecodtileworks.com.
Colony Rug Company
This expansive family-owned showroom features a robust selection of high-end rugs, including plush, handmade wool carpeting, colorful flat-weaves, and intricately patterned Orientals, plus a throng of items created exclusively for the shop. Bonus: The staff here is on top of their game, armed with intimate product knowledge, as well as all the details you’ll need for installation.
195 Columbia Rd., Hanover, 781-826-5166, colonyrug.com.
Factory Paint & Decorating
Wallpaper is back—and not what you remember from Grandma’s parlor. The interior decorators at this family-owned business sort through a selection of more than 700 patterns (culled from brands including Thibaut, Schumacher, and Brewster Home Fashions) to find the right one for that accent wall in your nursery or the interior of your coat closet. The options, it seems, are limitless.
505 Pond St., South Weymouth, 781-331-1200, factorypaint.com.
Owner Robin Pelissier, who began her career in New York City’s fashion and textile industries, possesses a real flair for layering. Step into her hybrid shop/design-studio space, and she’ll help you navigate silk, velvet, and cotton from lines such as Duralee, Cowtan & Tout, and Osborne & Little in an array of colors and patterns.
28 North St., Hingham, 781-740-4843, robinpelissier.com.
Snow and Jones
With faucets, fixtures, sinks, and tubs by leading manufacturers—Kohler, Moen, Rohl, Grohe—the selection in this robust showroom can be dizzying at times. If the sheer number of towel rack options and vanity styles makes your head spin, rest assured that a staff member is waiting in the wings to give you a hand.
85 Accord Park Dr., Norwell, 781-878-3312, snowandjones.com.
The product specialists at KAM clearly delight in all things kitchen, eager to share useful tips such as how to organize a refrigerator or select a wine fridge. But rather than try to oversell, staffers cater to each customer’s specific needs—and budget: Along with luxury brands such as Bosch, Miele, and Thermador, there are mid-range options by GE Appliances and Frigidaire.
1176 Washington St., Hanover, 781-829-0810, kamonline.com.
This South Shore mainstay has shined since 1931, hawking brands including Currey & Company, Visual Comfort, Hubbardton Forge, and Jamie Young from its antique storefront. Fleming’s stocks every type of fixture imaginable—ceiling lights, wall sconces, table lamps, exterior lights, you name it—and if they don’t have what you’re looking for, staffers at the store’s consultation counter can work with you to design a completely custom piece.
24 Elm St., Cohasset, 781-383-0684; flemingslighting.com.
The Chatham Home
Despite its beachy name, this shop—housed in a shingle-clad building on Chatham’s main thoroughfare—offers a wide selection of treasures for any home. You’ll find Matouk bedding, vibrantly painted ceramic vessels, and furniture by Bungalow 5, as well as such nautically themed décor as mirrors framed with shells, rope lamps, and woven rugs in a variety of colors.
443 Main St., Chatham, 508-945-5562, thechathamhome.com.
The eclectic furniture selection is the real draw at this well-curated shop, where shiny metal Oly Studio tables in various shapes mingle with zebra-print dining chairs and velvet Hickory Chair ottomans. Surroundings accommodates custom orders, too. See: the Lee Industries chair, upholstered in a vivid Manuel Canovas fabric, that we spotted on a recent visit.
81 1/2 Fairhaven Rd., Mattapoisett, 508-758-9933, surroundingshome.com.
Since 1988, Cape Leisure owner Jay McArdle has helped local homeowners make the most of the fleeting summer months by providing an extensive selection of high-quality pieces—brightly colored Adirondack chairs, adjustable chaise lounges, outdoor sectionals—ranging in material from wrought iron to wood to wicker. Now if only they served gin and tonics.
30 Bates Rd., Mashpee, 508-428-1175, capeleisure.com.
Onyx Marble & Granite
Onyx staffers patiently counsel the uninitiated on their 50-plus shades of granite and marble, and numerous types of quartz, inviting clients to bring photos of their kitchens for personalized recommendations. Should you need fabrication and installation services, they offer that, too. In the Onyx team’s reassuring hands, it’s about one week to a clean slate—literally.
93 Beaver St., Framingham, 508-620-0775, onyxgranite.com.
Terrene of New England
While Terrene can sell you hot-pink tile for your bathroom renovation, the savvy staffers at this boutique shop are more likely to guide you toward their handmade, recycled ceramic; shimmering glass; and more-subdued porcelain tile selections. Made by environmentally conscious U.S. manufacturers and installed by sister company Boston Green Renovations, Terrene’s tiles leave an eco footprint you can feel good about.
275D Centre St., Newton, 617-244-6200, terreneofne.com.
K. Powers & Company
Wedged down an alley in Needham Heights is a carpet wonderland: a spacious, alluring showroom lined with nylon, wool, and handwoven Nepalese rugs—all overseen by a friendly staff happy to send you home with samples so you can test them against your abode’s natural light. “We’re the best-kept secret in town,” a chatty staffer whispered as we headed for the door. Believe it.
16 Charles St., Needham, 781-455-0505, kpowers.com.
The Four Walls
A consult with owner Robin Abber is like a meeting with a therapist: Poring over thousands of domestic and imported wallpaper options with humor and down-to-earth advice on color and scale, Abber transforms empty spaces into sparkling jewels. She can speak to trends—bold fuchsia prints are back—but also intuits when a room calls for classics.
1001 Boylston St., Newton, 617-964-4440, thefourwallswallpaperanddesign.com.
Debsan the Decorating Store
For fabric shopping with a little bit of coddling, head to Debsan, where on-site decorators offer suggestions on just the right material and look. Silk or cotton? Kravet or Robert Allen? Sorted by manufacturer, style, and color, the collection is chaperoned by three designers, including one who’s been there for more than 25 years. “We’re not going to let you wander alone,” a reassuring staffer promises.
25 Main St., Natick, 508-653-1360, debsan.com.
WaterSpot Ardente Supply
This Natick showroom—larger than its Boston counterpart—specializes in luxe European brands such as Dornbracht and Graff. Don’t be shy about asking for assistance. The staff will help you navigate the many showpieces to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
575 Worcester St., Natick, 508-651-2200, ardente.com.
Appliance shopping isn’t always fun, but the folks at Poirier make it pleasant with their approachable, no-pressure vibe (and members-only service for seamless repairs). Visit the Newton showroom for a more intimate experience, or browse a bigger selection at their Norwood branch. The company carries all the big names—Bosch, Miele, Viking—and workers remarkably remember your name, too.
244 Needham St., Newton, 617-558-5500, poiriersales.com.
Blown-glass kitchen pendants. Dazzling recycled-glass chandeliers. Homey table lamps in eye-popping hues. Whether you want a sophisticated statement piece for a grand dining room or need soft luminescence in a summer house, Patti Bros shines. And when the lights start to dim, you can turn to the team for restoration and repairs.
215 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, 978-443-9412; 15 Central St., Wellesley, 781-239-3322, pattibros.com.
Tucked away in an industrial corner of Waltham, this modern-meets-vintage showroom is a bit Alice in Wonderland: Art deco mirrored trays, gourd-shaped vases, brass-and-marble side tables—where to begin? But owner and longtime interior designer Meg Kimball presides over it all with calm enthusiasm, steering wide-eyed patrons to just the right dose of avant-garde.
96 Clematis Ave., Waltham, 617-513-3336, modernrelik.com.
This 44-year-old Vermont retailer now boasts branches from Natick and Boston to Philadelphia but retains a woodsy, ski-retreat aesthetic. Shop Shaker-inspired solid-cherry armoires and long walnut storage benches, or let craftspeople bring your own ideas to life using exotic hardwoods. Not sure where to begin? A designer will visit your home for a free consultation.
583 Worcester St., Natick, 508-720-0100, pompy.com.
In a landscape of big-box retailers, indie-owned Didriks stands out with funkier al fresco finds, focusing on design, quality, and functionality. The company specializes in teak furniture by beloved British manufacturer Barlow Tyrie, whose English-garden-inspired pieces look just as at home in a Beacon Hill courtyard as they do on a backyard patio in the ’burbs.
2284 Washington St., Newton, 617-467-4847, didriks.com.