The New England Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers has done a very good thing in resurrecting a design competition for its members. Talent and hard work deserve some reward, and peer recognition is arguably the highest order of praise. Preparing to enter a contest can also force a designer to bring a more thoughtful and critical eye to his or her own work and, perhaps, offer motivation to push the next design envelope a bit further.
For all who attended the recent Excellence in Design Wards gala — at a former car dealership in Peabody, Massachusetts, that was transformed into a surprisingly delightful party venue — it was an opportunity to met and mingle with fellow ASID members and to support and congratulate friends and colleagues. The vibe was low-key but upbeat with lots of camaraderie to go around.
There were winners in eight categories and we will present two or three of them at a time in this space over the next week or so. Members of the Minneapolis chapter of ASID in Minnesota, who used a point system to evaluate each entry, did the judging.
We’ll start with the winning entries by Kristen Rivoli of Kristen Rivoli Interior Design in Winchester, Massachusetts. Rivoli, who does both residential and contract work, won in two residential categories: Designer’s Choice and Private Space. If you attended the Junior League of Boston’s Decorator’s Show House in Newton, Massachusetts, last fall, you saw her Designer’s Choice entry in the flesh.
It was a calming place with window treatments and a bed canopy in rich blue and soft gray tailored curtains. The walls were a dreamy soft nearly cream-colored taupe. The beautiful moulding in the room gave it a classical sensibility that was accented by the cotton sateen “Rivets” wall covering from Phillip Jeffries that looked like upholstery. Inspired by luxury hotels in Paris and Morocco, Rivoli says, “I wanted the colors to look very saturated and rich, to reflect the luxury treatments you would find there. Because the bedding, drapes, and canopy were so strong in colors, I wanted the walls to be a backdrop without losing the beautiful detail of the existing mouldings and trim in the room. The wall covering added softness and sound absorption to help create a cozy atmosphere and feeling of a retreat.”
Rivoli won in the Private Space category for her design of a master bedroom retreat. Done in deep blues and rich browns the room brings out all our cocooning instincts. We imagine a raging winter storm outside the sheer covered windows as we relax safe and warm beneath the lush comforter, pillows piled high, fire flickering in the fireplace. “I used a blue that is in other rooms of the house but in a deeper, more peaceful color scheme for the bedroom,” says Rivoli. “The colors needed to be strong enough to stand up to the large scale of a two-story space and I wanted the room to have both masculine and feminine elements. The dark blue linen on the loose slipcovers of the chairs creates a softer look in its unstructured style. The bespoke bedding is done in a masculine brown tone that reflects the beams overhead, but is accented with a feminine swirling decoration in a lighter color to balance it.”
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An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.
Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.
Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.
Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.
Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.
Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.