The holidays are coming and for many of us that means… company! Perhaps you’ll be entertaining family for a large holiday meal, hosting a festive cocktail party or accommodating out-of-town guests. It’s not too late to start looking at your home and considering what needs redecorating or sprucing up. Are the same pictures that you hung when you moved in ten years ago still hanging on the same wall? Do your rugs look tired and old? Have you simply not focused on furnishing and decorating the Boston condo you moved into several months ago?
Many of us don’t have the budget to completely redecorate an entire place—and then there’s the issue of time to do so—but you know something has to change. No worries. Here are some home décor and furnishing stores in Boston and Cambridge to help you give your place a boost, including a few of my favorites as well as some of the city’s highly touted names. Home goods have nearly as much of a retail selection as fashion today and my mini guide covers a range of styles and price points, too.
Abodeon: Modern furniture and home décor are the specialty at Abodeon, with top-notch contemporary and professionally restored mid-century pieces. Located between Harvard and Porter Squares in Cambridge, the store is home to items ranging from the Eames lounge ($4,800) to the pure fun fish hotel ($27). 1731 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (617-497-0137)
Acquire Boutique: A sophisticated, inviting mix of modern and vintage home accessories and gifts fills Acquire Boutique in the North End. In addition to unique and industrial items from independent designers, store owner Nicole Dalrymple offers a full spectrum of design services. 61 Salem Street, Boston (857-362-7380)
BDC To Go: The Boston Design Center’s only showroom that’s accessible to the general public, BDC To Go is a sample sale showroom with a Filene’s Basement pricing scheme: every item comes into the 4,000 square-foot showroom at a reduced price; after 30 days on the floor, the cost drops 15 percent; after 60 days it falls another 15 percent—a sales strategy that motivates customers to return in pursuit of better deals. And deals there are… on furniture, antiques, lighting, kitchen fixtures, textiles, and more. One Design Center Place, Suite 634, Boston (857-233-2572)
Garage Sale: Despite its name, Garage Sale carries nothing like the second-hand sofa you bought in college. This is a high-end home consignment shop, and everything here is in near-perfect condition. I stopped in while touring the South End Open Studios in September and can attest to this. It’s the place to find that designer sofa you always dreamed of or an affordable antique console, not to mention a selection of wall art that runs the gamut. Like any garage sale, it’s all about the hunt. You may have to return to the store a few times before you find just the piece you are looking for, but there are always options that are sure to catch your eye. 55 Waltham St, Boston (617-482-7044)
Michelle Willey: This South End boutique offers simple, sophisticated, high quality home furnishings and accessories that include gorgeous pillows, blankets and throws; chemical-free and super soft bath linens and bedding; classic, yet contemporary dinner and serve ware; Belgian linen fabric by the yard and more. At Michelle Willey you’ll find items that are “worthy of special occasions, but practical enough for every day.” 8 Union Park St., Boston (617-424-6700)
Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams: Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams signature store in Back Bay is adored for a reason—comfort is disguised in ultra modern pieces that have some homey, traditional influences behind them. 142 Berkeley Street, Boston (617-266-0075)
Neenas: With urban locations in Back Bay (home to the flagship store), Brookline and Cambridge, Neenas lighting showrooms cater to the high-end, design savvy consumer with an extensive selection of in-demand brands and highly trained staff. 380 Boylston St. Boston (617-859-1700); 1299 Beacon Street, Brookline (617-232-1900); 1073 Massachusetts Ave. , Cambridge (617-661-1073)
Reside: If you’re a fan of 20th century modern furnishings, visit Reside in the Huron Village area of Cambridge. In addition to its vast furniture collection (including pieces by American and European masters), the store also carries upholstery materials, rugs and period accessories like ceramics, lamps, artwork and even some Bakelite jewelry. 266 Concord Ave, Cambridge (617-547-2929)
Twelve Chairs: The design community has flourished in Boston and prompted the two women behind Twelve Chairs to open their whimsical home furnishings boutique, which recently moved from Fort Point to the hip and historic South End. These design school friends named the store for the twelve women in their program at Cornell, but the number also corresponds to the twelve criteria they have established for sourcing products. Everything in the shop’s beautiful collection—from blankets to ceramics, furniture to mirrors—is designed and manufactured in North America using environmentally and socially responsible methods. 581 Tremont Street, Boston (617-982-6136)
So, consider your holiday entertaining plan, evaluate your décor and where you want to make changes, and give your home a pre-holiday facelift while you still have time. I hope you’ll comment and tell me about your room makeovers and your favorite home goods finds.