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Friday, September 21, 2007

boston design guide!

i've wanted to put together a boston design guide for some time. it's one of the cities readers request guides for most often but sadly i always end up forgetting to take my camera around with me when we visit ac's family outside of the city. thankfully, while chatting with the lovely elisabeth of black pearl press she offered to help me out, as she's an actual local. her finds (with a few of my personal favorites added in) are now in guide form (arranged by neighborhood) and perfect for anyone heading up to boston on weekend vacations or over the holiday. elisabeth also included some great places to eat while you're shopping so click here to read the full guide. happy boston shopping!


  • Bliss: Jonathan Adler’s ceramics are mixed with Bernardaud china, Chilewich placemats, and other modern accessories for home and table. `Gift registry available.
  • Comptoir de Famille: French country tableware, linens, accessories and simple furniture styled after antiques.
  • Waterworks: Simple bath furnishings, towels and shower curtains, sinks and hardware.
  • Lavender Home: A beautiful little shop that carries European country antiques, soft linens, French soaps, and lavender honeys and jams. Gift registry available.
  • Kitchen Arts: This little shop is filled to the brim with everything a home cook could possibly need – a huge selection of quality knives, cookware, glass canisters and pepper mills, to name a few.
  • Paper Source: Fantastic source for all things paper. Cards, crafting, you name it.
  • Winston Flowers: Boston’s favorite florist for lush, modern arrangements of exceptional quality.
  • Mitchell Gold: The place for well-made, tailored upholstered furniture and other basics, plus lamps and pillows. Great deals can be found during their sample sales.
  • PLACES TO EAT: Parish Café (361 Boylston Street); Bar Lola (160 Commonwealth Avenue)
  • IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware

  • Period Furniture Hardware: The place to find brass drawer pulls, door knockers, and lighting, as well as whimsical weathervanes.
  • E.R. Butler: Exquisite porcelain from Hella Jongerius and Ted Muehling takes the stage alongside period hinges and door pulls, lanterns, votives and pitchers.
  • Good: Exquisitely curated selection of gifts for home, including John Derian decoupage, delicate jewelry and mint condition vintage finds. Gift registry available.
  • Linens on the Hill: Bed, bath and table linens from Sferra, Matouk and Yves Delorme, as well as gifts for baby.
  • Koo de Kir: A sophisticated collection of furniture, gifts and home accessories, often in neutral, earthy tones, mixed with Sarah Cihat and Tord Boontje dishware, screenprints and other whimsical gifts. Gift registry available.
  • Rouvalis Flowers: Tucked just a block away from Charles Street, Rouvalis sells potted orchids, hydrangeas and the like, in beautiful moss, terracotta and ceramic planters.
  • Rugg Road Paper Company: locally-owned paper and craft supply store.
  • Baranzelli Silk Surplus: A huge selection of velvet, cotton, crewel and silk fabrics can be purchased by the yard in this showroom below street level. Custom upholstery service as well.
  • PLACES TO EAT: Café Vanille (70 Charles Street); Paramount (44 Charles Street); Upper Crust (20 Charles Street)

  • Hudson: A sense of laid back sophistication is found in this boutique that mixes classic New England with California casual. Oly furniture, re-upholstered vintage armchairs and ceramic gourd lamps are mixed with feedsack pillows, Dash and Albert rugs and John Robshaw bedding collections. Gift registry available.
  • Urban Living: Taking over where Fresh Eggs left off, this space at the edge of the South End acts as both gallery and boutique, with an eclectic mix of tableware, furniture and textiles.
  • Urban Living Studio: 58 Clarendon Street
  • Lekker Home: Simplicity reigns here, with tableware from Heath Ceramics, white porcelain vases and simple wood furniture. Splashes of whimsy can be found in a lasercut patio umbrella, printed drum pendants and an antler coat rack. Gift registry available.
  • Turtle: emerging urban design- mostly accessories and jewelry but fun if you love local artists.
  • Diseno: interesting selection of home goods from South America
  • Red River Trading Co.: Fine, reasonably priced selection of Asian antiques and reclaimed teak furnishings, some ornate, others brightly colored, some simple. Planters, containers, glass lanterns and the occasional abacus can also be found here.
  • Vellum Fine Paper and Gifts: local one-stop shop for beautiful cards and paper gifts
  • Michelle Willey: This airy space stocks everything from Tivoli radios to the Binth baby book, with a nice mix of table linens, teapots, garden planters and French bath products.
  • On the Side: This showroom and shop space showcases Boxx Furniture designs alongside pure, beautifully simple textiles, home objects and lighting from Simplemente Blanco
  • Voila: European antiques galore!
  • Twig: This small florist is practically overflowing onto the street with lush cut flowers for chic and colorful arrangements, as well as some potted plants.
  • Tadpole: Clothes, games and toys for kids, with a selection of Oeuf furniture and Dwell baby bedding. Gift registry available.
  • Aunt Sadies: great for gifts, can run a little candle-heavy though
  • PLACES TO EAT: South End Buttery (314 Shawmut Avenue); Picco (513 Tremont Street); Francesca’s Café (564 Tremont Street)
  • In the Neighborhood: DWR

  • Shake the Tree: An eclectic little shop where Dwell linens, Thomas Paul pillows and Orla Kiely totes share space with jewelry, candles and small home accessories.
  • Cadia Vintage: Small vintage accessories and clothing are packed from floor to ceiling in this even smaller storefront.
  • PLACES TO EAT: Antico Forno (93 Salem Street)

  • Greenward: one of my favorite spots for eco-friendly home goods. A must visit if you're into green design.
  • Nomad: Exuberant, colorful suzanis, embroidered pillows, and pierced lanterns are sourced from around the world, as are folk art and jewelry.
  • Cross: The well known pen shop also stocks a great selection of reasonably priced desk accessories, notepads, binders, books and other gifts.
  • Black Ink: Grace's favorite shop for design-based accessories for the kitchen and table. Great selection of Japanese tableware and gadgets, too.
  • Marimekko Cambridge: Marimekko's Boston outpost- it's a great way to see their bold fabrics and accessories in person.
  • Harvard Bookstore: The best book shop in town, with a friendly staff and a selection that goes far beyond the best-seller list. And it’s one of the few bookstores that can claim to carry a wide selection of art and design books.
  • Reside: Mint-condition mid-century furniture can be found here, alongside interesting glass and ceramic vessels and textiles.
  • Buckaroo's Mercantile: a modern "variety" store carrying all sorts of vintage/retro home and fashion accessories. This is a great place to shop for the person who has everything and might want something different- like vintage bookends, pillows or vases.
  • Museum of Useful Things: The name says it all: this shop is filled with all sorts of practical things you may not have realized were missing in your life.
  • Abodeon: Mid-century furniture, lighting, and vintage dishware and containers, along with games and unusual objects.
  • Brattle Square Florist: Cut flowers and potted plants can be found here, in the heart of Harvard Square. Reasonable prices and a huge selection.
  • Woolcott and Company: This shop sells everything you could possibly need to knit sweaters for the whole family.

  • Bromfield Pen Shop: Pens galore, calligraphy nibs and beautiful inks from J. Herbin – this is the only shop of its kind in Boston.
  • Windsor Button: Hidden on an otherwise drab street, this shop sells yarn, ribbon, craft supplies, and, of course, has a huge selection of buttons new and old.

  • Birch and Willow: Hand-crafted pendant, table and floor lighting woven from grapevine, seagrass and willow, to name a few.
  • Machine Age: Mid-century central: Vintage Wormley, Eames, Dunbar, Knoll and Nelson, in exquisite condition.
  • PLACES TO EAT: Flour Bakery and Cafe (15 Farnsworth Street)

  • Fire Opal: This shop can skew a little "art teacher" sometimes but I love their collection of paper goods and ceramics. Their jewelry is great, too.
  • On Centre: A new shop with housewares and gifts (Thanks guys!)
  • Axiom Gallery: experimental fine art work and installations
  • Honeyspot: gifts, stationery, jewelry and more (thanks, Dawn!)

  • Persona: Grace loves this shop for accessories from designers like Alexis Bittar (her favorite) and Alberian & Aulde
  • Grettaluxe: Grace loves this store for up-and-coming clothing designers. Pricey but pretty dresses
  • Stil: Grace loves Jovovitch-Hawk so she loves Stil. They have a great selection of clothing from indie designers (the store alone is beautiful to walk through)
  • Magpie: This store is out in Somerville but is super cute and full of home accessories. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.
  • Modhaus: Grace has bought several pieces of furniture from tihs great warehouse store. Perfect for mid-century style dressers, table and chairs. Great ceramics, too!
  • Pod: a well edited collection of products for the home and body. Thanks, Meg!


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