Haute Secrets Boston: Wayfair’s Alex Bowman

The home is the perfect place to display your own personal style and no one knows that better than Alex Bowman, lead trend forecaster for Wayfair. Analyzing the latest trends, he is able to determine just what Bostonians are looking for when it comes to home furnishings and decor.

Alex BowmanPhoto Credit: Wayfair

We caught up with Bowman recently to find out what he loves most about Boston.

Where were you born: Hickory, North Carolina – the furniture capital of the South!  I do credit that fun fact with fostering my interest in furniture and décor from a very young age.

How long in Boston: Two awesome years.

Neighborhood: The Leather District, and now Jamaica Plain. (I needed green space!)

Occupation: Lead Trend Forecaster for Wayfair.com and Creative Director of AllModern.com

Favorite Restaurant: We live steps away from Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain. The tapas and cocktails are always on-point. 

Best Sushi: I grab the really fresh to-go sushi from Douzo all the time. It’s so fresh you can taste the ocean and it’s instant gratification!

Best Italian: A foodie friend took me to Prezza in North End.  That’s where I discovered my favorite sauvignon blanc (Cloudy Bay) and how delicious fried zucchini blossoms are.

Best dessert: The lobster tail at Bova’s Bakery in North End.  It’s a crème-filled flaky pastry that’s so big I’m sure it’s meant to be shared, but there are never leftovers.

Best place for a romantic date: Ten Tables is the tiniest restaurant (really does have only 10 tables) and I swear they light it with only a dozen or so candles.  During the winter, it’s the perfect cozy respite from the cold.

Best Sunday brunch: I brave the line on Sunday mornings at Tatte on Charles Street.  I grab a bag of pastries and a huge latte to snack on during a walk through the Garden. (It cancels out all of the calories from the buttery croissants).

Best place for a power business meeting: The George Howell coffee shop at the Godfrey Hotel.  The baristas are beyond friendly, and super passionate about the coffee.  The décor is very Nordic-modern and unpretentious- which makes it easy to get to work! 

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Liberty Hotel is so impressive. It’s fun to tell friends they’re staying in a historic jail – and the bars and restaurants keep them entertained. 

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Hudson in South End is like a chic little apartment.  It’s a tiny shop, but it makes everything for sale that much more edited and special.

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: My first “investment” watch came from Shreve, Crump & Low. Watch sizes and weights are all over the board, but I found the perfect Bell & Ross that I can wear daily. 

Favorite Cultural Event: We’ve walked in the Gay Pride march twice now. It’s amazing to see all of the supporters cheering on from the sidewalks. How can that not make you feel good?!

Favorite Cultural Institution: The Boston Public Library is next door to my office. I often sneak over during lunch to relax in the courtyard. It’s like having a private palazzo, complete with an enchanting fountain and free Wi-Fi.  

Best Steakhouse: Kirkland Tap and Trotter in Somerville.  Just thought of it!

Best Pizza: I’m a big fan of Oath Craft Pizza. In a pinch, I pick up three or four flatbreads and cut them appetizer size for spur-of-the-moment cocktail parties.

Best Lunch: Even after two years I can’t get enough lobster rolls!  Luke’s Lobster in Back Bay is awesome – sustainable and traceable lobster.

Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Mark is the owner/yogi behind Om Warrior in the Financial District.  I’ve been practicing for over eight years and it’s my favorite studio.  Mark works in just as much anatomy education as he does Sanskrit. It’s awesome to know the “why” behind the “how”.

Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber Black makes a night out more fun, doesn’t it?  Everyone wants be dropped off in front, from a big car with tinted windows. It’s a little moment of pretend celebrity.

Best Museum/Exhibit: ICA’s exhibit on Black Mountain College was amazing.  It was a short-lived college in the mountains of North Carolina that fostered names like Josef and Anni Albers, Buckminster Fuller and Willem deKooning. 

Describe Boston in three words: Proud. Textural. Old. I say that in the nicest way possible, really!  I’m continually amazed by the history that is preserved in this city. 

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Last year, I accidentally stumbled upon the Crane Estate and beach in Ipswich. The castle is magnificent and the grounds are Frederick Olmstead-designed perfection.

All-around favorite spot in Boston:  Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum is stunning. You can get lost on the trails and feel miles away from civilization, but you’re actually right in the city!  And don’t forget to see the Bonsai garden – truly world class.

Best Aspect of Boston:  There’s an amazing entrepreneurial spirit in this city- it’s a hot bed for innovation, and supported by new talent continually pouring out of the educational institutions here.