a warm welcome

Design Challenge: Cozy + Rustic = Sophisticated

How do you balance cozy, rustic, and neutral—while still keeping your look sophisticated and fresh?

This was the design challenge posed by a recent customer from Norfolk, Mass. The family of three had just moved into a spacious, open concept home, complete with gleaming wood floors and smooth finishes on the walls.

From Concept to Creation – Design Services to the Rescue!

“My goal was to make this space warm and welcoming,” said Design Associate Loretta, whom they tapped as their in-home consultant (for the third time!). “I wanted to create a look that was comfortable for the whole family.”

It began with an idea board that outlined her vision and included graphical renderings of the space along with floor plans.

Ultimately, the design plan centered around four key components:

1. Rustic elements

Rustic furnishings can be seen in heavily distressed pieces like the Clifton accent chest, topped with neutral accessories like a wood tray, an off-white ceramic lamp, and wood framed wall decor. Tiny pops of color from pink flowers complement the blue/gray matte of the Clifton.

These rustic pieces worked well in creating a contrasting effect against a neutral color palette, which we’ll explore next.

2. Neutrals

The family loved the existing wall colors of their new home, as they were freshly painted and fit their style perfectly. Here, the two-tone of the Felicity Wine Cabinet is topped with a galvanized metal tray. Hanging above in perfect symmetry is a quartet of soft green fern prints, the ultimate in maximizing neutrals.

Neutrals in Felicity Cabnet and Oscar Chair

left: The Felicity Wine Cabinet works well as a neutral element as well as being rustic in style. It is constructed of reclaimed wood from old shipping pallets and crates. The Fern Prints (A, B, D, F) round out the look as a symmetrical and colorful accent. right: the neutral custom fabric Oscar chair adds a subtle dash of color while the nailheads bring a touch of sophistication.

3. Open Concept

Since the goal was to make this house as warm and welcoming as possible, it made sense to take advantage of the natural flow of the home. The circular Normandy Dining Table adds a welcoming, casual vibe in the area extended from the kitchen. Plus, check out the neutral fabric of the diamond-back Regent chairs, and the distressing of the Medallion wall decor, which also added texture to the smooth backdrop.

Normandy Dining Table

Normandy Dining Table and Regency Side Chairs

4. Texture

Last but not least, texture! The Catalina collection, made of a handwoven abaca, can be seen from the dining room to the kitchen stools. These backless, light gray counter stools are set against the dark wood of the island. In the dining room, gray side chairs feature cream colored chair cushions.

Textures Loretta

Texture from the the Catalina collection, which features handwoven abaca over a solid mahogany and mango wood frame, offset the smooth wall finishes and polished floors.

The combination of cozy, rustic, and sophisticated ended up working for the whole family (and pets!)


For similar looks, check out bostoninteriors.com, where we’re having a major Grand Opening sale in all stores and online, with coupon code GR.

And don’t forget, our Design Services staff are always here to help!

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Boo! Buying furniture isn’t scary.

Online vs. In-Store Furniture Shopping

We’re constantly looking for ways to make both in-store and online furniture buying seamless, comfortable, and less scary! We know it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of online and in-store furniture purchases, especially for larger items. Sometimes you need to try before you buy, and other times you want the ease and convenience of clicking a button.

Which type of buyer are you?

The Try-before-you-buy Shopper

Some of us are tactile shoppers.

Take a sofa or a sectional. Not only is this piece a significant investment, but also it needs to please multiple members of your family. Are the cushions too stiff? Is the back too high for your taste, or too low? Words and inches on a screen can’t always make that decision for you.

Camby sofa

Tactile shoppers prefer to test out large furniture pieces like a sofa, experiencing in-person its comfort, texture and true color. Pictured: Camby sofa.

Or what if that sectional is blissfully sink-in-able (we made that word up), a feeling you were only able to experience by sitting down and trying it out right in the showroom? Plus, if you’ve got your little ones in tow, you can get their opinion right on the spot!

The Quizzical Shopper

The number one piece of feedback we get here at Boston Interiors is our customers’ appreciation for our knowledgeable design team. A lot of furniture shoppers don’t know where to begin and need design assistance. One-on-one interaction can be an irreplaceable method to determine what style is best for you, which colors or fabrics will most fit your needs, and so on. We all probably watch design shows, but it’s nice to know someone is there to help.

I worked with Karli and Dee at the Mashpee store and they made furniture buying stress-free. We were moving into a small condo and needed to furnish the entire place, and they helped me find perfect pieces for each room. Delivery was really quick and the delivery guys were so patient trying to figure out how to get these huge pieces up a tiny stairwell!! Karli made the entire process so easy and she was so kind as we kept changing our minds. The quality of the furniture for the price point in excellent. This will be my first stop for any shopping needs.”

– Facebook review

The Hybrid Shopper

Maybe you’re a little bit of both: you like to try, sit, sink, sit again…and then go home and sleep on the decision. Then, instead of heading back to the store, you cruise to the website and order online.

If you buy furniture online from us, for instance, you have the security of quality furniture—plus an easy-to-navigate and hyper-secure website protecting your purchases! Create an account to track your orders and purchase history, as well as keep a wish list for future inspiration.

We also offer the option of white glove delivery everywhere, locally, ensuring that you won’t have to suffer through someone dropping a box on your doorstep, leaving you the tedious furniture assembly. White glove delivery also includes a thorough inspection of your furniture before the piece even leaves our warehouse. If it isn’t perfect, we won’t send it to your home.

The last thing you want to do is order a piece from a questionably reputable online retailer, and it comes to your home in a beat-up box, damaged, only to spend hours on the phone with customer service.

The Immediate Satisfaction Shopper

Accessories and home decor

Take home last minute gifts and accents from the store, or take advantage of online discounts in our gifts section. Clockwise from left: Cheers wall decor, Botanica 1097, Whalecome mat, candle bag, Nugget lamp, Gilded canister.

Another plus for shopping in-store versus online is that for smaller items, you can take it home that day. You don’t have to wait for delivery. This is great for last minute gifts or small accents, especially if you’ve browsed online already and know precisely what you want. Check out our brand new gift section for ideas.

The Always-be-on-the-lookout Shopper

Whether you buy in-store or online—no matter if you’re a tactile, hybrid, or sit-on-the-couch-with-your-coffee shopper—be sure to sign up for our VIP emails to get all the latest deals, event info, and promotions. Hope to see you soon!

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New Homeowner Checklist


#1: Measure your space…again

No matter how many times you measured walls, ceilings, and rooms prior to move-in, when the boxes are all unpacked and your end tables are impossibly far from an outlet, or worse, your king bed actually doesn’t fit through the stairwell–more often than not you’ll need to rethink your space.

Sometimes a professional is your best bet, coming directly to your home or helping you draw out a floor plan to-scale while in-store. We offer design services to do just that. A professional will leave no stone unturned, keeping an eye on doors, hallways, and staircases, along with ceiling heights, windows, and the holy grail: power outlets.

#2: Tackle priority rooms

Overwhelmed by what to tackle first or restricted by a budget? Think about what’s most important to you. Are your in-laws coming in a few weeks for the holidays? Then a dining room (take advantage of our Dining Days Sale, going on now) and the guest bedrooms will need serious consideration.

A baby on the way? Make that the nursery. (And also a wine cellar. Kidding!)

If you and the kids watch TV or play games together every night, then a sectional in the main living room or family room makes sense. Have a dog and two cats, too? A sectional with a performance fabric, to protect against stains and everyday wear-and-tear, is crucial. Great news if that’s the case–our most popular sale of the year, our Custom Upholstery Sale, is going on now where we’re offering free fabric upgrades.

#3: Compile a list of home improvement services.

At your new address, your mailbox will be filled to the brim with local service flyers, catalogs, and coupons. Of course the coupons will come in handy, but the flyers for local services will too, even if they seem excessive. File away future or potential needs such as chimney sweepers, tree services, electricians, and plumbers. Price compare and “reputation compare” by joining local town or city Facebook groups where recommendations are aplenty for trusted businesses and contractors. Or go the tried and true route: ask a neighbor.

#4: Think about color patterns and those must have pieces. 

Blog design services

The fun part: choosing colors and patterns

Whether you’re starting with one room or designing your home in one fell swoop, it’s best to have color palette in mind that will carry throughout the home, buttressed by contrasting fabrics and textures. Complementary colors from room to room will create a natural flow, pleasuring the eye. Did we mention we’re having a Custom Upholstery Sale?! This is where pattern comes in. Do not be afraid to mix. If you have design help, bring up that favorite desk or heirloom family piece and find the best way to work it into your plan.

#5: Crack open the champagne.

You’re in a new home! Celebrate this joyous occasion!

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Globally Inspired Decor

While we pride ourselves on domestic fabrics proudly made in the USA, we also welcome inspiration from all corners of the world. We’re into everything from Indonesian cane detailing on beds and cabinet doors, to tribal patterns on pillows, to ikat-inspired rug designs.

Read on for a list of cultural influences you can easily add to your home decor.

1. Cane Detailing from Indonesia

cane detailing

Carmel bed (left) and Beatrice cabinet (right)

Caning is a method of weaving chair seats, cabinet doors, and other kinds of furniture using cane derived from the rattan vine native to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Cane weaving is not to be confused with wicker, as wicker is a broader method, incorporating different sorts of man-made materials rather than solely rattan. Cane detailing adds texture and contrast.

2. Textiles with ethnic influences

hand-dyed textiles and indigo

The subtly faded, hand-dyed look of Cisco’s Costello chair (left). A vibrant Bali Indigo pattern marks the beautiful Allegra Chair (right).

Fabric can make a huge statement in your home, especially with the bold hues of indigo or the use of hand-dyed textiles with an ethnic influence. Reminiscent of the natural vegetable dying process, these striking designs add confluence of character, color, and culture.

3. Tribal patterns to achieve an earthly symmetry

tribal patterns

The tribal patterns of the (clockwise from top) Adobe pillow, Elly Onyx pillow, and Journey jute rug.

Eclectic, symmetrical tribal patterns, adding color depth and contrast, can adorn anything from your throw pillows to your area rugs. These designs go above and beyond your run-of-the-mill home decor!

4. Got to have Ikat

ikat influences

Clockwise from top: The Aviva chair in ikat pewter fabric, Bombay Geranium pillow, LouLou pillow, and Luna rug.

Fabric made using the Indonesian decorative technique called ikat uses warp or weft threads that are tie-dyed just before weaving. The process produces elaborate, multi-colored patterns with a characteristic blurred quality. The look is as unique as the name itself.

For whatever corner of the world inspires you, we have a wide array of options if you’re thinking outside the box (or this side of the world!) Shop accessories and home decor during Bonus Days at bostoninteriors.com.

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Beach House Beautification

A coastal home makeover

With the help of a Boston Interiors Design Associate, one lucky customer was able to beautifully outfit their beach home in plenty of time for summer. The client took advantage of our free in-store design service, offered at all store locations.

The look
The customer opted for a contemporary coastal theme, largely in white, to complement the pristine, richly colored hardwood floors and generous window space overlooking the ocean on the South Shore of Massachusetts.

Santa Fe Sofa and Nika Coffee Table

The Santa Fe Slipcover Sofa and a sustainable mango oval coffee table.

The living space
The easy-to-care-for Santa Fe Slipcover Sofa was a perfect option for a casual, coastal feel when paired against the gentle distressing of the sustainable mango hardwood coffee table. Slipcover chairs carried over the vibe to an additional seating area.

Santa Fe Chairs

The Santa Fe Slipcover Chairs flank a white end table.

The entertainment spaces
Where full-on white would have overwhelmed, two-toned pieces—such as the Seabrook end table—offered a warm alternative, as did the juxtaposition of natural side chairs against a white dining table in the eat-in breakfast nook. (For the table, the homeowner had a specific look in mind. Luckily, we have a plethora of bespoke options, so they opted for this beautiful custom table!)

In addition to the two-tone look the use of natural  textures, in place of color, created a layered look.

Catalina bed, bermex table

left: Seabrook Night Table made of sustainable mahogany and mindi wood, topped with the Sea Green Glass Lamp with texture supplied by the woven Catalina Bed. right: custom table and chairs.

The work space
The sandalwood finish of the Marlowe Desk emits, in some lights, an oyster-like hue, which makes it perfect for this beachside retreat. Dark bronze cupped hardware sets off the cream slipcover side chair, making it an apt companion to this desk.

Cassie Marlowe Desk

Marlowe Desk with slipcovered, skirted chair. (For a similar look, check out the Karli Side Chair.)

The sleeping spaces
Perhaps the most unique and exciting pieces were reserved for the kids rooms: custom painted finish beds in ocean-blue with wave cutouts!

Kids bedroom furniture

The kids’ furniture steals the show: a custom painted bed with wave cutouts.

The guest bedroom utilized the handwoven abaca of the Catalina Queen Platform bed to mimic sand-like hues, while the long-lasting quality of the solid mahogany and mango frame helped ensure a sound investment.

Catalina Woven Queen Bed

We’re in supreme envy of the final result: a bright, contemporary beach escape with all the fixings for an easy, breezy summer.

Want help designing your space? Ask one of our designers…it’s free in all of our stores!

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