Kristen Rivoli met her clients when they were newlyweds—she designed their first place together at Battery Wharf. More than six years later with two kids in the picture, they worked together again, but this time on a unit in Millennium Tower. “I always take every project as brand-new,” she says. “I never assume anything from what we did before. It’s a different building, for example, and client tastes change.”
Having kids also changes things. “They wanted to stay in the city, but they needed a place that was kid-friendly,” says Rivoli, whose firm, Kristen Rivoli Interior Design (kr-id.com) is in Winchester. So together, they worked to turn a three-bedroom unit with amazing views of the city into a family-friendly haven that is comfortable for daily life yet has the level of sleekness and sophistication that fits the parents’ aesthetic.
Roughly half of the unit is bedroom space, while the other half encompasses the living space. In the living room, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the view, curved furniture such as the sofa and coffee table make it suitable for the kids to play in and also softens the angles of the architecture. A pair of club chairs upholstered in black-and-white fabric punctuate the space, while a custom wool and silk area rug designed by Rivoli is underfoot. A small lounge off of the kitchen is a favorite kid-friendly spot, but nothing in the home is off-limits. Family life happens everywhere. A built-in wall of cabinets in the living room, for example, has toys stashed in the lower cabinets (the upper cabinets have dining room supplies such as plates, bowls and glassware), and dining chairs are upholstered with “leather that’s wipeable so the kids can sit there and the parents don’t have to worry about spills,” says Rivoli.
The palette was kept neutral with golds, blacks and tans. “I wanted the space to look very bespoke,” says Rivoli, describing how she made it feel toned down yet glamorous. “I was trying to be sensitive to the wife’s style and interests but also to the idea that when you become a mom, life changes. It’s for the better, of course, but you don’t want to lose that sense of yourself. She loves fashion and is really stylish. The design here is a bit ‘couture meets family life.’”
While the master bedroom and office/den is a mixture of silver and soft blues, the kids bedrooms are more colorful. Rivoli designed the rugs (a small, independent rug maker manufactures them) in these rooms to reflect their personalities. The daughter’s rug has “pretty pink loosely styled flowers,” says Rivoli, while the son’s is vibrant and geometric. “He uses it as roads with his toy cars,” she says. Throughout the project, Rivoli collaborated with Boston’s FBN Construction. “They are such a great partner,” she says, noting that every detail was considered, like how they dropped some ceilings to install lighting in a way that looked like part of the normal construction. Soon after the project was completed, Rivoli got a text from the owners about how the sunset hitting the dining room chandelier was so beautiful. “It’s such a cool custom light that reminds me of the buildings outside the windows… how some are short and some are tall, and it has that balance of up and down. But besides it being a stunning chandelier, Rivoli says it was just so heartwarming to get that text out of the blue. “It made me so happy to know how much they love being in their home.”