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Tips For Adding Local Flair To Your Home From A Boston Designer

New England Home Staging
(Photo from New England Home Staging/Facebook)

From the food you eat to what you wear, the "go local" trend continues to pick up steam. The hottest way to show your local spirit is to bring that flair into your home. Whether you're looking to do a complete home remodel or just pick up a few items to spruce up your apartment, here's our guide to bringing local flair into your home, complete with some tips from a Boston interior designer.

Mix It Up

Boston is unique as far as cities go with its strong historical ties mixing with ultra-modern technology and, of course, the influence of all those young hip college students. Stayci Fast, the creative force behind Boston's New England Staging and Interiors, recommends embracing Boston's dual nature in your home design.

"Adding a modern element to wall space in a traditional home is not only a great way to make a youthful statement, it also can polish up spaces that may be a little rough around the edges," says Fast. "Through wallpaper, choose a small space like an entryway or office and either go graphic bold or choose a wallpaper that has subtle color with a great pattern."

If your only experience with wallpaper has been heavily floral print nightmares from your grandmother's old house, never fear. Today's wallpapers are much different. "My favorite is Schumacher's Metropolitan Fretwork," says Fast. "With its crystal embellishment and graphic pattern, it looks sophisticated, and yet from a distance, you cannot see the pattern, so it doesn't compete with patterns in other rooms."

Shop LocallyNothing brings a local flair into your home more than buying art and home goods from Boston's best artists and craftspeople. From March through October, Boston's original, and wildly popular indie design and art market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The SOWA Open Market is the single best place to find a wide variety of handmade goods created by the Boston area's leading artisans. Whether you're looking for original art, handmade furniture and even artisan food stuff you can find it all here every Sunday.Go Green

Bostonians have a deep dedication to being green. The city has been ranked fifth in a survey of the country's least polluting cities and is constantly exploring new ways to be Earth-friendly. The efforts to make the Charles River fishable and swimmable have created impressive results, thanks mostly to the efforts of local citizens. Mayor Menino and L.L. Bean have even teamed up to teach Boston's youth how to canoe and kayak on the Charles each summer. Luckily, this dedication to the Earth is easy to incorporate into your home design plans thanks to Twelve Chairs. This home furnishing shop believes that the best home goods are as good for the planet as they are for your home. Believing that good design is more than just skin deep all of the items for sale in the Twelve Chairs showroom have been selected with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind. They look for locally designed or manufactured items made from certified organic non-toxic materials or vintage items that will make your home both unique and green.

Put It On The MapWall art is an easy and affordable way to bring a little bit of Boston's local flair into your home. Prints are a great way to change up the atmosphere of your home décor without breaking the bank. Fast recommends prints from JHill Design. Inspired by vintage flashcards, JHill offers colorful Boston themed prints in three different sizes, sure to fit any home and any budget. The images range from Boston icons like the city's famous swan boats to commemorative sports prints to prints highlighting specific neighborhoods and places throughout the city. You can find the full selection of JHill Design's Boston prints online here.
Set SailNothing says Boston more than the sea. From the city's beginnings, Boston was an important port and shipbuilding center. A little nautical flair in your designs is a great way to bring Boston into your home. The Lannan Ship Model Gallery is the go-to source for anyone who wants to give a nod to Boston's historic sailing roots in their home design. This small shop, located near the waterfront in the Financial District, features antique paintings that feature clipper ships and sea captains, custom tables made from portholes, ancient sailing instruments, and of course, model ships.

Related: Boston's Best Places For Antiquing

Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at

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