Best of Boston Home 2023

We live in a region where design talent is endless. Here, you’ll find master builders, seasoned specialists, and craftspeople deeply committed to their trade. We’ve got showrooms and décor shops that will make you dizzy with delight and some of the leading architects and interior designers in the country. With so many top-tier individuals, teams, and firms around us, choosing the winners for these categories is always a challenge—yet it’s a task we here at Boston Home relish. The following showcases our deeply considered, highly researched, and mulled-over selections for those that shined the brightest over the past year.

Hutker Architects, Winner Best Coastal Architect / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Architects & Designers

Builders & Craftspeople


Kitchen & Bath


Outdoor Living

Rachel Reider, Best Contemporary Interior Designer / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Architects & Designers

Traditional Architect
Catalano Architects

Classic, timeless, and inspiring are words that come to mind when you see a house designed by Tom Catalano. In the elegant residences Catalano and his team create, every single element honors the integrity of a structure. Seamlessly integrated with the surroundings, even the most sprawling, newly designed homes have a sense of permanence about them. Committed to designing spaces that are functional and enduring, it is paramount to the firm that a home suits the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

Contemporary Architect
Hacin + Associates

Supporting the notion that “We all add something,” David Hacin takes a collaborative approach to all projects his firm undertakes. For more than three decades, Hacin has cultivated a 30-member team of design pros—including a high-caliber interior design team—who contribute collectively to creating pioneering designs. Innovative, open-minded, and enthusiastic about exploring new design realms, the firm strives not just to execute a client’s vision but to understand and connect with it as well.

Transitional Architect
LDa Architecture & Interiors

With a broad body of work consisting of residences that exude a range of modern and traditional design sensibilities, this long-established firm understands the very essence of balance. Possessing a high regard for both traditional New England vernacular and contemporary design, the firm, which has a brand-new headquarters in the South End and an outpost in Osterville, is as adept at designing expansive estates from scratch as it is fine-tuning small renovations and restoring historic properties.

Coastal Architect
Hutker Architects

No two Hutker-designed homes are ever the same. Dedicated to sustainability and longevity, the firm strives to connect structures to the natural setting. Building off traditional forms, Hutker designs utilize an expansive palette of materials to anchor homes to the landscape and wide expanses of glass and outdoor living spaces to take it all in. With bustling offices on Martha’s Vineyard and Falmouth, the firm has been designing on the coast for nearly 40 years. In September, they opened on Beacon Street: rejoice, city dwellers!

Landscape Architect
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design

Known throughout the Northeast for creating lush, balanced, and natural landscapes, Matthew Cunningham and his team focus on plant-centric projects that swiftly feel established. Rooted in the belief that exterior spaces should connect with a home’s interior spaces and bridge the indoor lifestyles of his clients, Cunningham is deeply committed to protecting the environment and participates in advocacy and educational outreach programs.

Most Versatile Interior Designer
Robin Gannon Interiors

You might not expect a former criminal attorney to be creative, bold, and adventurous—but in the case of Robin Gannon, it’s the truth. This savvy designer possesses a finely honed sense of aesthetics. Flexible and resourceful, she’s always well versed in trends and knows where to go to find the best vintage pieces, a combination that demonstrates her truest talent: the ability to bend her style to match her client’s vision. Whether you prefer a more traditional vibe, favor bursts of color, feel most comfortable with sleek and streamlined, or desire a mix of all three, Gannon is equipped to infuse your interiors with delight.

Contemporary Interior Designer
Rachel Reider Interiors

Long before it was the in thing to do, Rachel Reider infused spaces with color and pattern. And while she’s built a business around pushing boundaries, Reider’s interiors never feel overdone. Rather, her talent lies in her ability to create warm, multi-dimensional environments. She’s a master at layering materials and textures and mixing tones and hues to create distinctive interiors. She’s known to incorporate modern furnishings, sleek elements, and bold accents into her designs while maintaining her goal: to create personal, beloved havens for her clients.

Traditional Interior Designer
Daher Interior Design

Drawing inspiration from her frequent travels around the globe, Paula Daher infuses the rooms she designs with distinction and dimension while always honoring the true architecture of a space. She reveres New England’s time-honored housing stock and is equally adept at tailoring the scheme of a brand-new residence in one of the city’s high rises. Daher can be counted on to infuse interiors with a fresh and elevated vibe while maintaining a polished, classic appeal that never feels staid or predictable.

Elms Interior Design, Best Transitional Interior Designer / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Transitional Interior Designer
Elms Interior Design

Dee Elms’s discerning eye ensures that no aspect of a room’s scheme is overlooked. Attuned to her client’s ideals and tastes, the sophisticated and unpretentious spaces that bear the Elms ID stamp are the result of her appreciation for craftsmanship, expertise, and intuition. Expect Elms to go above and beyond on a few elements, including lighting: often imported and always imaginative; art: keenly curated to the space and homeowner’s taste; and window seats: there has never been a brownstone the pro has designed that doesn’t include at least one of her signature perches with a view.

Coastal Interior Designer
Donna Elle Design

You won’t find kitschy beach décor in the rooms Donna Elle designs. Rather, you’ll be drawn in by the Nantucket-based designer’s chic take on a coastal vibe. Think hues, textures, and motifs that nod subtly to the ocean paired with bolder pops of pattern, high-level art, and statement lighting. Using a blend of antique and modern furnishings, textiles, and materials, Elle’s finely honed design sensibility elevates the standard coastal vibe to one that radiates an air of sophistication and imagination while keeping comfort key, because life on the water should be relaxed.

Kochman, Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers, Best Cabinetry / Photo by Jared Kuzia

Builders & Craftspeople

Custom Home Design/Build, Boston
NS Builders

From a Cambridge industrial space to a classic Charlestown row house, NS Builders has been building homes across Eastern Massachusetts since 2014 that showcase quality, ingenuity, and their expertise in the industry. Always dedicated to the details, founder Nick Schiffer and his team simultaneously keep a close eye on the big picture of every project. Clients highly regard NS Builders for their knowledge, commitment to customer satisfaction, collaborative nature, and communication skills, which all play an integral part in the company’s ongoing success.

Custom Home Design/Build, North
Howell Custom Building Group

Husband-and-wife team Stephen and Susan Howell launched their company in 1997 with the goal of merging their professional backgrounds in engineering, marketing, project management, and residential construction into new-home construction and remodeling all along the North Shore. With more than 800-plus projects under their belt in the span of more than two decades, Howell Custom Building Group’s streamlined services and adherence to value have resulted in repeat customers who trust that their dream homes are always in good hands.

Custom Home Design/Build, South
C.H. Newton Builders

Similar to the homes that they build, C.H. Newton Builders was founded on a focused vision, which came to fruition in the summer of 1958 when the company’s namesake owner purchased 30 acres of land situated on a pond in Falmouth. The firm’s mission was to construct an area of top-quality custom houses, and more than six decades and four generations later, this family-owned operation has put its experience to work on specialized projects that make homeowners happy throughout the region.

Adams & Beasley, Best Custom Home Design/Build, West / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Custom Home Design/Build, West
Adams + Beasley Associates

Childhood friends Eric Adams and Angus Beasley both learned carpentry at a young age, and post-college, they joined forces to start their own business of building. With the founding of Adams + Beasley, the company focuses on full-service construction planning, custom millwork, building and remodeling, and estate care and extols its women-centric workforce. Whether remodeling a rustic barn or restoring a Victorian mansion, positivity flows through every project at Adams + Beasley, where clients praise their creativity and dedication.

High-End Home Remodeling, Boston
Kevin Cradock Builders

Hailing from Jamaica Plain, Kevin Cradock grew up finding inspiration in his  neighborhood’s historic architecture, and his admiration for carpentry and traditional craftsmanship are a large part of his company’s foundation. The firm, which recently marked its 25th year in business, collaborates with a host of local architects, designers, and homeowners to ensure each project is distinctive and long-lasting. From building and renovating residences to designing cabinetry, furniture, and millwork, Kevin Cradock Builders caters succinctly to each client’s lifestyle and taste.

High-End Home Remodeling, North
Carpenter & MacNeille

If architectural legacy is what you’re after, Carpenter & MacNeille can accommodate you. With five coordinated service groups—architecture, construction, interior design, property services, and woodworking—this company caters to any scope of assignment, and its work reflects every unique need. The firm is steadfast in its commitment to high-quality craftsmanship for residences throughout the Northeast. Whether constructing from a clean slate or reinterpreting an existing property, Carpenter & MacNeille has its clients covered.

E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Best High-End Home Remodeling, South / Photo by Michael J. Lee

High-End Home Remodeling, South
E.J. Jaxtimer Builder

With a desire to construct houses since his teenage years, E.J. Jaxtimer developed a lifelong passion for the industry that led to the formation of his firm in 1978. The company, which Jaxtimer shares with his wife and their three sons, is truly a family-run business that focuses on custom building, landscape, maintenance and gardening, property management, custom-crafted millwork, and other concierge services. Well regarded as a trustworthy and successful partner to work with, E.J. Jaxtimer Builder has established ongoing relationships with clients throughout the region.

High-End Home Remodeling, West
F.H. Perry Builder

Founded by Finley H. Perry, this stellar firm has been a force in the industry for more than four decades. Specializing in whole house remodeling, historic renovation/remodeling, kitchens, and bathrooms, the firm also offers full-service home maintenance. Concepting, constructing, and caring are the three C’s upon which F.H. Perry bases its business, which is now under the helm of Finley’s daughter, Allison Perry Iantosca, who is recognized as a true star in the industry.

Hardwood Flooring
JJ Hardwood Floors

With more than 30 years in the industry, it’s safe to say JJ Hardwood Floors knows a thing or two about the most important surface in a home. Servicing the Greater Boston area and well beyond—the firm recently refurbished floors in the White House and Supreme Court—this family-owned-and-operated company is all about eco-friendly, health-conscious, and durable wood flooring. The team is committed to sourcing woods, stains, and additional materials that are of the highest quality, safety, and sustainability standards.

Kenyon Woodworking

From millwork to custom built-ins to an entire kitchen’s worth of cabinetry, no request is too big or too small for Kenyon Woodworking. Dependable, experienced, and incredibly cooperative, the detail-oriented team provides design services, fabrication, and installation that turn concepts into reality. As project managers, Kenyon Woodworking also collaborates closely with various area architects, contractors, and designers.

Partners in Design

With more than four decades of experience when it comes to custom furniture and upholstery that’s beautiful and high-end, Partners in Design is a natural fit for the trade and their clients. Its staff excels in both restoring existing pieces and creating ones that are custom designed so that all specifications are consistently achieved. Combining collaboration and customer service throughout their process, Partners in Design makes residential design projects a seamless experience by specializing in craftsmanship, quality materials, and consistency.

Patina, Best Decorative Painter / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Decorative Painter

Pauline Curtiss brings a level of utterly unrivaled distinction to every space she works in. Gracing the ceilings and walls (and sometimes floors, though her work is far too lovely to be walked on, in our opinion) of homes all over the city and beyond, Curtiss’s custom designs are painted and sculpted; she shifts colors and shades to show movement. From geometric and floral patterns to graffiti motifs and themed murals—including one fanciful spin on Alice in Wonderland at a no-holds-barred household in Chestnut Hill—Curtiss’s range is unlimited. She’s also a deeply generous and compassionate person; just ask the loyal band of female painters who work for her.

Farrow & Ball, Best Paint / Photo courtesy of Farrow & Ball


Landry & Arcari

At first glance, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of options at Landry & Arcari (15,000 rugs and counting across their three showrooms—not including the infinite custom options). That is, until we got a little help from the experts, who guided us through their seemingly endless piles of beautiful handwoven rugs and helped us decide on our perfect match: a lattice-woven, silk-piled masterpiece straight from India. Like finding our needle in a well-appointed haystack.

Studio 534

Beloved by local designers and their satisfied clients alike, the bevy of boutique brands at this Boston Design Center showroom offer wallcoverings to suit every aesthetic. A mural-like raffia beauty from Élitis, for example, can revamp an entire room; or a bright and bold hand-painted stunner from Serena Dugan, one of the store’s newest brands, can create the perfect accent wall. You provide the vision and the wall space, and Studio 534 will find the wallcovering to bring it to life.


In the words of one customer, if you can’t find the fabric you want at Zimman’s, you can’t get it anywhere (although, with four generations of experience, the Zimman’s team will source it for you). The store’s extensive stock of textiles is touted as consistently phenomenal—everything from indoor/outdoor fabrics to luxurious embroidered textiles can be found inside its walls. That’s to say nothing of their custom reupholstery services, which can give everything from grandma’s old settee to antique store dining chairs a new life.

Contemporary Furniture
Casa Design Group

An enduring fixture in the South End’s art and design district, Casa Design Group’s showrooms are a hub for contemporary furniture lovers. Multifunctional sofas from Molteni&C that combine plush seating with storage, angular side tables from Henge, and abstract curvilinear armchairs from Giorgetti are all ripe for the choosing—with a little help from Casa’s arsenal of discerning design professionals, of course.

American-Made Furniture
Thos. Moser

While Thos. Moser has evolved since its founding five decades ago (what was once a one-man woodworking operation now proudly employs a team of more than 70 craftspeople), the skill and pride evident in every handmade piece hasn’t changed. Each minimal-modern sofa, classic trestle dining table, and four-poster bed is hewed with care, bearing the signature of the craftsperson that made it, and accented with high-quality leathers or fabrics that are built to stand the test of time.

Kids’ Furniture
Room & Board

Whether you’re decorating for a little one on the way or searching for furniture that’ll endure the transition through adolescence, Room & Board’s modern pieces are up to the challenge. Think sustainably sourced walnut cribs that seamlessly transition into toddler beds, kid-sized play tables and chairs, or bunk beds that come in more than a dozen colors. What’s more, the top-notch service at their Newbury Street showroom all but ensures that there will be no temper tantrums by the children you had to cart along with you.

Simon Pearce

Though widely regarded as the master of handcrafted glassware, and rightfully so (see shapely decanters, artistic champagne flutes, and soapstone-bottomed whiskey tumblers as just a few examples), we’d be remiss not to mention the array of pottery and tableware that also grace Simon Pearce’s Boston and Chestnut Hill showrooms. The Vermont-handmade Curvy stoneware bowls, minimalist dinner sets, and freehand-style coffee mugs beg to be admired (and brought home), too.

Monroe Home & Style, Best Home Accents, Boston / Photo by Joyelle West

Yale Appliance

Consider this: With a couple of years spent on lockdown at home, your appliances have gotten a lot more use than usual. There’s no time like the present to treat yourself to an upgrade. Luckily, Yale’s knowledgeable staff, A-team of installers, and selection of hundreds of in-stock products—from Sub-Zero fridges to Thermador ranges and all the accessories you could ever want (a built-in coffee maker, anyone?)—means you can walk
away with something new the day you visit their showroom.

Andrew Spindler Antiques & Design

Walking into this inviting shop in Essex is like entering an antiques aficionado’s dream. Each room is curated and furnished with a regularly rotating selection of items, from the museum-quality to the quirky and eclectic. Owner Andrew Spindler (accompanied by his Boston terrier, Daphne) offers a pared-back selection—a departure from the usually overstuffed antiques emporiums—that lets the likes of gilded rope-and-tassel armchairs, French Empire–era mahogany pedestal tables, and miniature pocket globes shine.

The Frame Gallery

Who better to create a home for your beloved artwork than the team who framed work for the MFA and the Gardner Museum? For almost four decades, the Frame Gallery has been customizing frames for paintings, photographs, and even sports memorabilia in everything from shadow boxes to custom gold-leafed masterpieces that are works of art in their own rights. Plus, they can give that antique Victorian frame passed through your family for generations a little TLC, too.

European Furniture
Roche Bobois

There’s been a Roche Bobois showroom in Boston since the 1970s. Housed in various spots throughout the city over the years, its current location—opened in spring 2022—in the Park Square Building on Arlington Street is the most convenient and luxurious. The French-based brand designs, manufactures, and retails each piece of its broad line of furnishings to ensure that its fine quality is never compromised. Furniture, which ranges from low-slung sectionals to sleek, polished dining tables to the iconic handmade Bubble chair, is innovative, artistic, and unbelievably comfortable.

Circa Lighting

There is endless inspiration at Circa’s Boston showroom—one of 20 throughout the U.S. The premier distributor of luxury line Visual Comfort and a handful of other smaller brands, here the dazzling array includes pendants, chandeliers, floor lamps, and sconces in countless finishes and styles, from modern to rustic to reclaimed and everything in between. They stock outdoor fixtures and fans, too. If you’re unsure what type of illumination suits your space, fear not: The attentive, engaging staff will steer you in the right direction.

Farrow & Ball

The unrivaled quality of Farrow & Ball paint is well worth the trek to the Boston Design Center. With a palette of 132 water-based paints—from subtle neutrals to rich, dark hues and every tone in between—the British manufacturer prides itself on its highly pigmented colors, which have a deep, rich finish and more depth than other brands. The level of customer service you’ll receive in the showroom is top-notch; highly skilled Colour Consultants are always at the ready to assist you in the selection process—they’ll even come out to your home to advise.

Home Accents, Boston
Monroe Home & Style

Housed in an old antique shop that’s been lovingly and stylishly revived on Main Street in Charlestown, this charming boutique stocks glassware, design books, rugs, candles, tabletop items, and so much more. Products are always chic and often artisanal, all carefully curated by the owner, Donna Garlough, a former style director for Joss & Main who designed the shop to evoke the interior of a house so customers get a sense of how items will look in their own abodes.

Elizabeth Home Décor & Design, Best Home Accents, West / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Home Accents, West
Elizabeth Home Décor & Design

Nestled in a delightful cottage, the ever-changing assortment of wares at this Chestnut Hill shop includes pillows sheathed in designer fabric, pottery, candelabras, and other luxurious knickknacks, as well as original works by artists from all over the country. When the yoga studio that inhabited the other half of the building closed, owner Elizabeth Benedict took over the space and opened Petals and Press to offer grab-and-go coffee and an appealing selection of florals. Here, the work of one artist is showcased for an extended period—try to snag an invite to the next opening Benedict hosts; it’s a lovely experience.

Home Accents, North
Mak & Co.

There’s no end to the surprises you’ll find in this sprawling shop set in a former Andover mill. The space showcases a range of upholstered furniture and statement lighting and is chock-full of accessories from tableware to textiles. Among the vast selection of décor, you’ll also encounter rustic finds and vintage pieces: When we were there, the assortment included antique doors and salvaged window shutters. If you need help making selections, owner Lynn Makiej is an interior designer with loads of insight.

Home Accents, South
Doublemint Home

In search of a unique gift that will make your host or hostess swoon? By all means, head to this delightful haven of homewares in downtown Hingham. With a fresh, modern vibe, you’ll find tableware, vessels in a slew of sizes and colors, and an assortment of high-end candles displayed on crisp white built-in shelves. When we stopped in, the shop had succulent plants and orchids in stock, along with an ample selection of intriguing design books.

Bespoke of Winchester, Best Kitchen Design / Photo by Jessica Delaney

Kitchen & Bath

Bath Design
Divine Design Center

The bathroom is where you start every day, so a design that helps you get things off on the right foot is essential. Divine Design Center’s custom bathrooms have us dreaming of luxury spa showers and supersized soaking tubs—the kind of space that makes us late for work (worth it). Their designers are happy to help with projects of any size—from full renovations to simply updating the fixtures—all while balancing day-to-day function and efficiency with an aesthetic that speaks to you.

Kitchen Design
Bespoke of Winchester

Bespoke of Winchester’s custom kitchens are kind of like the ones you see on celebrity cooking shows (who hasn’t lusted after Ina Garten’s sophisticated backdrop?). Designs are extremely well-appointed; many are replete with top-of-the-line Lacanche ranges flanked by sleek backsplashes and handcrafted details. Perhaps most importantly, however, Bespoke of Winchester’s kitchens feel welcoming. The team has expertise in architecture and interior design, so when you partner with them on your dream kitchen, you’re getting top-to-bottom attention from space planning and custom built-ins to countertops, lighting, and hardware.

Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers

Great kitchen cabinets need to accomplish a few things. They need to provide ample storage—that’s a given. They need to be efficient and convenient to use. They need to stand the test of time—deftly surviving the wear and tear of daily use. And, of course, they need to look like a part of the overall picture. Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers have this formula down to a science, offering custom cabinet design that checks all those boxes and more, whether you’re looking for a rustic farmhouse kitchen or something sleek and ultra-modern.

Stone Fabricator

A native of Verona, Italy, Cumar owner, Angelo “Ivo” Cubi, knows a thing or two about beautiful marble and stone. His family has been in the business for generations, and when he moved to the U.S. in the 1990s, he brought his expertise with him. Today, homeowners looking for meticulously sourced granite, marble, and quartzite (often by Cubi himself) find the highest-quality stone here, plus the know-how of their designers and installers.

Tile Showcase

The tile in your home is as much of an artistic expression as any painting you hang on your wall. It’s an opportunity to bring in color, texture, and pattern. Tile Showcase has long been known as a mecca for all of the above—from stunning New Ravenna sea-glass mosaics to retro penny rounds and classic subway tile. Bonus: The showroom, located at the Boston Design Center, always has an extensive inventory of in-stock tile, so you may not have to play the home renovation waiting game.

Monique’s Bath Showroom

Monique’s Bath Showroom is like a real-life Pinterest board: lined with beautiful options and packed with inspiration around every corner. The 3,600-square-foot Watertown showroom is outfitted with literal aisles of faucets and walls of showerheads. Whether you’re looking for a spa-style Zucchetti rain showerhead or the more traditional silhouettes of a bronze Barclay faucet with classic cross handles, you’ll leave the showroom with fresh ideas for your own home.

E.R. Butler & Co.

There is perhaps no place as quintessentially New England as this tucked-away hardware haven in Beacon Hill. While the storefront may seem unassuming, walk inside and be transported to a Boston of yore, with walls and drawers of beautifully displayed hardware that harkens back to 19th-century Victorian homes (think: reproductions of mercury glass doorknobs and turned brass knobs featuring Greek Revival motifs). But those with a taste for the modern will be equally impressed—mere feet away from the ornate historic reproductions are modern hardware collections by Ted Muehling and Chris Lehrecke.

Bath Supply
Frank Webb Home

A good bathroom cannot exist on stone and showerheads alone. It should be, after all, a private retreat for both hectic mornings and languid evenings in the tub. Frank Webb Home offers all the best peripherals to create an oasis in your home: lighted mirrors and medicine cabinets, vanities in an endless range of sizes and materials for both powder rooms and primary baths, and even smaller (but no less important) accessories like heated towel bars and shower seats.

DTR Modern, Best Art Gallery. Artists from left to right: Takashi Murakami, Mr. Brainwash, and Nelson de la Nuez. / Photo courtesy of DTR Modern


Home Technology
System 7

For those of us who find navigating the myriad home technology systems overwhelming and stressful, System 7’s Experience Center is a godsend. The pros at the company’s two locations in Boston and Wellesley are as tech savvy as they are patient. They’ll enlighten you on intuitive access controls, motorized shading systems, lighting, and about integrating it all through wireless networking without inundating or intimidating you, and when you’re ready, they’ll create a plan tailored to your home’s specific needs.

Art Gallery
DTR Modern

This seasoned gallery has locations on Nantucket, in Washington DC, New York City, and Palm Beach, in addition to its Boston location on Newbury Street. You can expect to find exceptional works by modern masters through post-war, along with emerging and mid-career artists. Hunt Slonem’s iconic bunny paintings are always on display, and other notable pieces usually include those by lauded contemporary artists Alex Katz and Keith Haring. If you’re on the hunt for a Warhol or even a rare creation by Paul Gauguin, the highly knowledgeable staff has the means to hunt one down for you.

System 7, Best Home Technology / Photo courtesy of System 7

Art Consultant
Kate Chertavian Fine Art

If you’re in the position to cultivate an art collection, it’s well worth bringing Kate Chertavian on board before you begin. With decades of experience curating independent projects and amassing private collections, Chertavian built David Bowie’s collection and has worked on projects at the Harvard Business School and the Four Seasons One Dalton Boston. With a robust knowledge of the gallery markets in both the U.S. and abroad, Chertavian’s goal is to build meaningful collections for her clients and educate them throughout the process. Her colleague Lucy Rosenburgh, a former head of Sotheby’s London Print department, is equally adept and engaging.

Custom Drapery
Makkas Workroom

This family-run workroom is pure joy to work with. The business began as the solo venture of Maria Makkas, who crafted elegant window treatments on her sewing machine more than 40 years ago. Makkas has long been partnered in the business with her husband and son, and today the operation has a team of highly skilled seamstresses and installers who manage projects—which range in size and scope—from start to finish. The team loves a creative challenge and will work fastidiously to bring a designer’s vision to life.

Upholstery Maintenance
MWI Fibershield

In this day of open-plan living, and with pets and children in all areas of the house, stains happen. And when your carpet takes a hit or the sofa gets spotted with red wine, the folks at MWI Fibershield are here to help. It’s miraculous, really: Technicians under the helm of Michelle and Wayne Southworth clean furnishings using eco-friendly products that remove or rinse out even the most daunting soils and spills to reveal clean rugs,
draperies, window treatments, and fabric and leather upholstery without changing the item’s texture or appearance.

California Closets

It’s hard not to be wowed by the capabilities of California Closets. Still at the top of its game after three decades in business, this national brand offers custom solutions ranging from bedroom closets to Murphy beds, wine storage, home office, and garage build-outs. During the complimentary design consult, you’ll realize the options are endless: With a versatile palette of finishes, colors, and hardware, it’s hard not to imagine these experts retrofitting every available space in your home.

R. P. Marzilli & Company, Best Landscape Design/Build, South. / Photo by Rosemary Fletcher Photography

Outdoor Living

Garden Center
Allandale Farm

Earnest area gardeners know this urban garden center well. Holding court as Brookline’s oldest working farm, the 105-acre agricultural haven offers annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and vegetable starts—most grown onsite for quick soil-to-store. Whether it’s azaleas for your yard or Z patio plants, you’ll find everything in their greenhouse needed to plant, nourish, and maintain those gorgeous green girls with fertilizers and tools, trellises, and natural repellents. Sporting an extra–green thumb? Hundreds of seed and bulb varieties await.

Outdoor Stones and Pavers
Stone Gallery Landscape & Masonry Supply

Whether it’s an aesthetic outdoor bar or a necessary walkway, this family-owned-and-operated store in Newton unlocks your hardscapes’ potential (peep their Unilock wall systems and pavers). Beyond bulk basic crushed stone, they have colored granite cobblestones, several bluestone varieties, thin stone veneer, and natural wall stones (a New England mainstay) for setting your dream outdoor space in stone. Expert cutters get edgy with onsite custom stone fabrication, and hard-to-find slab sizes are easy to spot.

Outdoor Furniture
Seasons Four

When Mother Nature gifts you four seasons, why not celebrate them all? From lounging in a summertime hammock to warming up by a blazing firepit, this gigantic Lexington showroom transitions throughout the year for the best outdoor seasonal décor, whatever the weather. Furniture runs the gamut—wicker to wrought iron—while smaller accessories add personality. Bonus points for Christmas City: their holiday wonderland of everything needed to deck your halls.

Environmental Pools, Best Pool Design & Construction / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Pool Design & Construction
Environmental Pools

With this level of custom swimming holes, the umbrella in your poolside drink won’t be the only thing causing a stir around the neighborhood. Chelmsford-based Environmental Pools creates a dynamic synergy between land and water. When you want a splashy setup, take the plunge and go all out with luxe fire bowls, rain curtains, fountains, and rim flow spas. Their maintenance services cover you for equipment upgrades, safety-cover installation, and seasonal upkeep, so your new investment runs swimmingly.

Landscape Design/Build, Boston
Potted Up

When the imagination is limitless but the space small, savvy city dwellers call on the expert team helmed by Ed MacLean and Tom Kroon to reconnect them with nature through a gorgeous urban garden. If you’ve strolled Boston’s neighborhoods, chances are you’ve oohed and aahed at an arrangement by Potted Up. The fresh blossoms packed in and thriving certainly turn heads with first-floor window boxes, courtyards, sky-high roof-decks, and decked out balconies.

Zen Associates, Best Landscape Design/Build, North / Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Landscape Design/Build, North
Zen Associates

When your goal is to have a livable landscape that cares for the Earth as much as it beautifies it, this Woburn team of horticulturists, landscapers, and masons can balance it all. With Peter White and Japanese garden design master Shin Abe leading the way, the path to natural harmony is lined with specimen trees, lush grasses, florals, dry rock gardens, and unique water features. All this mindful crafting of your outdoor space brings true nirvana.

Landscape Design/Build, South
R.P. Marzilli & Company

From country estates to city courtyards, Bob Marzilli and his team have had their hands in beautifying homes throughout the South Shore since 1985 (along with a guest appearance on the Bob Vila show). They help turn natural environments into a reflection of your personal style with beautifully executed gardens, recreation areas, water features and pools, and hardscapes that blend seamlessly. With their acquisition of Botanica Fine Gardens, the potential for having your own edible garden just grew.

Landscape Design/Build, West
The MacDowell Company

Your outdoor space should have its own voice. For more than 50 years, the talented landscape architects and contractors at the Weston-based MacDowell Company have been helping landscapes speak volumes. Both small garden terraces and large-scale sports courts get full attention as you go through the process from first sketch to final touch. Their portfolio includes gorgeous water and fire features, pergolas, and landscape lighting down to the simplest perennial bloom for your oasis.

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