Home and housewares in Boston, MA.
March 28, 2006 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Funky stuff for my home in Greater Boston: Where?

Along the lines of this: I'm decorating my first home (hooray!) and I need to find some items to make it ... well ... home.

My tastes lean toward the modern, but not in the overly precious, plastique, artificial style that term may imply. My furniture thus far is mostly lighter woods like birch, no dark stains, clean lines, efficient but comfortable. I like pretentiousness in my art but practicality (and durability) in my furniture.

I feel like I've scoured the housewares universe already, but what places do you recommend around here for good browsing, from the sensible to the outrageous?

Places I've already hit, incidentally: Ikea, Crate, Pottery Barn, Fresh Eggs, Bowl & Board, Bliss, In Home, the major malls, and a few billion tiny places in the South End. I'm avoiding Jordan's because I've never found much there to my liking, and I don't have a billion dollars to go to the Boston Design Center.

Thoughts, o design denizens of the Bay State?
posted by mykescipark to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
May I recommend Inhabitat and Cribcandy as sources of inspiration. Both offer links to places that you can purchase the highlighted pieces, though often they show off unholy-expensive custom pieces.
posted by symphonik at 8:19 PM on March 28, 2006

There are some great places in Somerville/Cambridge. There were (~5 years ago) great antiques/thrift/designy places in Davis Sq. and along Mass Ave. I'm racking my brains and if I come up with any names I'll post again, or maybe some current Harvard/MIT/Tufts folks can chime in as to what is currently there.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:53 PM on March 28, 2006

We could give a better answer if you could clarify what you mean by housewares? Do you mean decorative items for your house, funky furniture, or do you want a fancy measuring cup?

Your link suggests that you're looking for decorative items, so for now I'd suggest regular visits to the "antique stores." I'm not talking about the Beacon Hill places, I'd second Rock Steady's suggestion. There is a place on Mass Ave, near the MIT hotel that has an assortment of genuine antiques and funky things that might interest you. The other place to look is the multi-story antique co-op almost across the street from the Lechmere T-Stop. They have lots of random things that are cheap (not antiques), and could be decorative.

If you mean funky furniture, there was a great place (I'm not sure if it's in business anymore) near Fenway Park on Boylston Street. Not sure about prices there.
posted by jerryg99 at 9:26 PM on March 28, 2006

maybe some current Harvard/MIT/Tufts folks can chime in as to what is currently there.

Hey, that's me!

There's a place called The Caning Shoppe in Davis that has some weirdass wicker furniture. I dunno if that qualifies as modern, but some is certainly odd enough not to be traditional. You might like it. Aside from that, I can't think of any places around here -- I'm not usually on the lookout for housewares, you see -- but I'll keep an eye out.

Otherwise, I recommend just wandering down Boylston Street, but you probably knew that one.
posted by danb at 9:39 PM on March 28, 2006

I'm so glad you asked this question because I went to look up this functional art show and turns out to be this coming weekend. Try the CraftBoston show at the World Trade Center from 3/31-4/2. One funky lamp or accent table can make a room. You can view samplings from the artists online.

For accent pieces and smaller furnishings, I often take a 2 hour drive up to Portland's Old Port or West to Northampton where there are concentrations of shops, antiques stores, and craftspeople - often at better prices than Boston. Both trips make for a fun day.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:52 PM on March 28, 2006

Todd Farm in Rowley, MA is a Sunday only antique mart. I believe it starts up again in April. My whole house has been furnished by Todd Farm finds.
posted by Gungho at 4:25 AM on March 29, 2006

Be sure to drop into Abodeon on Mass Ave in Cambridge in between Porter Sq. and Harvard Sq.
posted by briank at 5:15 AM on March 29, 2006

depending on how quickly you want to be finished with furnishings, you can always check out the Open Studios circuit this spring/summer. Check out Boston Open Studios for a schedule.
You can pick up (or at least see) some very neat items, place special orders with the artists etc.
posted by darsh at 6:49 AM on March 29, 2006

I second Abodeon in Cambridge. City Schemes in Cambridge (they also have stores in some suburbs) can be pricey, but you can find some great stuff there. They have an outlet in Somerville where you can find deals.

I can't remember their names, but there are a few futon stores in Allston/Brighton that sometimes have interesting things. There's one right where Comm Ave and Brighton Ave splits. I think there's still a big Salvation Army there too which could be useful. There are also a few good antique shops on Harvard Ave in Allston.
posted by jdl at 7:48 AM on March 29, 2006

Walk along Newbury St.
Also, there are a couple of nice furniture places on Mass Ave between Harvard and Central, nearby the movie poster place. Sorry I can't be more specific.
posted by Aknaton at 8:30 AM on March 29, 2006

If you like modern, check out Reside in Cambridge. Some things are a bit pricey, but others are surprisingly affordable. They have constant turnover of items, so you can go every weekend and see new stuff.

And I just discovered a new store in the same area, on Huron Ave recently that I can't remember the name of. It's on the same side of the street as Formaggio's, but a couple blocks down toward Fresh Pond. It's a small space with a lot of Danish/Rosewoody stuff. The owner was very nice.

Also, I will agree that Abodeon on Mass Ave is worth checking out every once in a while.

If you have money to burn, there's always the Design Within Reach showroom on Mass Ave between Harvard and Central.
posted by evoo at 10:27 AM on March 29, 2006

Along with Abodeon, which everyone has already said, what about The Museum of Useful Things in Cambridge (and their other store Black Ink), or Boutique Fabulous in Inman. Urban Outfitters sometimes has some interesting stuff as well.
posted by FreezBoy at 1:27 PM on March 29, 2006

We could give a better answer if you could clarify what you mean by housewares? Do you mean decorative items for your house, funky furniture, or do you want a fancy measuring cup?

All of the above, my friend. I'm doing head-to-toe here.

Thanks for the excellent suggestions thus far. I love Noho, especially e (essentials) .
posted by mykescipark at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2006

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