Updated: Apr 15, 2020
IKEA is certainly a fantastic place to shop for interesting-looking furniture that is easy on your wallet. But do you know what IKEA isn’t fantastic for? Gorgeous, top-quality, heirlooms-in-the-making pieces that elevate and enrich the rooms they’re placed in. If you’re design-oriented and have the means to buy the best, we recommend these top-tier home furnishing retailers. We’ve arranged them in alphabetical order for this list.
Washington Street, Boston
Featuring sumptuous fabrics, modern furniture, and thousands of accessories, Lekker Home has pieces for every room in your home, as well as your outdoor space. Lekker offers complimentary design consultations for any project, including lighting. Their website is easy to navigate and their collection gives me major furniture envy!
Boylston Street, Boston
Ligne Roset is not just another French design house. Their goal is to provide modern luxury, and they certainly deliver. All their pieces are designed by the best of the best and are made in their factory in France; and they follow strict environmental standards of manufacturing and production. You’ll love Ligne Roset’s furnishings if you’re a fan of sustainable, contemporary design. Needless to say, your home will look spectacular with their work in it.
Boston Street, Boston
If you’d like to get lost in a maze of original mid-century modern furniture, visit Machine Age in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Their showroom is packed from wall to wall with walnut tables, low-slung couches, and Mad Men-worthy artwork. They’ve been around for over 25 years, so they know what they’re doing and they do it perfectly.
Boston and Burlington
With a motto of “comfort for all,” Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams combine beautifully designed home furnishings with practicality. They have a whole line of “kids and pets welcome” pieces that are gorgeous and easy to care for. But that’s not all they do; they offer eye-catching upscale collections for homeowners without the need to plan for kids and pets, and will do custom work, as well.
Concord Avenue, Cambridge
Reside specializes in authentic mid-century modern furnishings and decorative pieces. They are constantly buying, sourcing, and consigning furniture, lighting, fabrics, and even jewelry. Their showroom will look different every time you visit, and their personalized service is impeccable.
Boston and Natick
A few minutes on their showroom floor (or even on their website) will have you feeling like you’re exploring a modern art museum. Roche Bobois, a Parisian design company, works with both well-established and up-and-coming designers to create unique furnishings. Their overall style is Art de Vivre — a concept akin to Hygge — but entirely French in concept and practice. Roche Bobois features the signature Mah Jong modular furniture collection, this year “dressed” by designers Kenzo Takada, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Missoni Home.
Newbury Street, Boston
Room and Board’s Boston location gives you a great view of the city, never mind a huge collection of furnishings and decor. Truth be told, they may be a slight step below the others I've listed in terms of museum-quality pieces, but they still offer excellent design choices. They’re proud to have amassed a selection that manages to feel modern while still complimenting Boston’s unique architecture and home design. They also offer free design services.
A final note: Spend some time doing your research, both online and in person. If you’re new to high-end furnishings, look at a lot of places and pieces to get a sense of what design styles you like. Consider enlisting an in-house designer or hiring an independent designer to help with your decisions. You’re spending a lot of money on this stuff; make sure it’s exactly right.