Back to the future

Contemporary furnishings provide a sophisticated backdrop to a vintage folk and classical art collection in this loft refurbishment by LDa Architects LLP
old meets new in this loft interior designed chair, furniture, interior design, living room, office, real estate, table, white
old meets new in this loft interior designed by kristen rivoli of LDA architects

Changing lifestyles will always play a key role in determining the type of homes we live in. The large family homestead that proved ideal for bringing up the children can seem unnecessarily large once they've all left home.

It's not surprising, therefore, that empty-nesters are heading back to town to enjoy an unencumbered urban lifestyle.

The new owners of this city loft are a case in point. But while they wanted to enjoy the proximity to theaters and restaurants, they couldn't simply swap houses, says Kristen Rivoli ASID, NCIDQ, director of interior design, LDa Architects.

"They had formerly lived in a house that dated back to the 1800s, and had amassed an impressive collection of antiques, vintage metal toys, folk and classical art works."

Rivoli says the owners were not interested in a stark, cold environment, but knew their traditional furniture wouldn't work in the urban setting.

"They wanted a space that provided the traditional warmth of a home, but they also wanted to introduce a modern vernacular that would complement the architecture of the loft."


view of a vintage toy collection automotive design, car, model car, motor vehicle, play vehicle, race car, scale model, sports prototype, vehicle
view of a vintage toy collection

The solution was to provide new furnishings in a subtle palette that would create a neutral, quiet backdrop to the colorful, eclectic art collection.

"We chose tailored fabrics for the sofa a worsted wool not unlike men's suiting to retain the crisp, clean lines of the furniture. It is such a linear piece, a softer fabric would have dulled the overall impact," says Rivoli.

Shiny taffeta pillows on the sofa provide a sensuous contrast. Other materials also create a balance between smooth and textured, and hard and soft elements.

To help delineate the spaces within the loft, several walls were painted with a faux finish. Custom rugs and designer light fittings and lamps also help to define the different spaces.

With rather minimal construction, LDa Architects was able to divide the master bedroom in the rear to create a study. A translucent sliding wall, from Italian manufacturer Tre Piu, separates the two rooms, yet allows light to filter through. A similar set of sliding, translucent walls separates the study from the living area.

Interior design projects, such as this one, are just one aspect of the work undertaken by LDa Architects. The firm, based in Cambridge, MA, and comprised of principals Douglas Dick, Treffle LaFleche and staff of architects and interior designers, specializes in the design of academic facilities and private homes.

view of the dining room area featuring classic dining room, furniture, home, interior design, room, table, wall, window, gray, brown
view of the dining room area featuring classic modern furniture include the leather and wood dining suite

LaFleche says the company's work is characterized by a highly interactive, client-driven design process.

"Our designs reflect client aspirations, context and program, and as a result we are not bound to a particular style" he says. "At the same time, the design approach of any project LDa undertakes is based on the belief that buildings in New England should combine both traditional and modern ideals to create comfortable, functional, spaces that are timeless."

A full range of architectural services is provided by the firm. These include master planning, feasibility studies, renovations and additions, new construction, interior design, landscape and site design.

"With the recent creation of our Interiors practice, LDa is now able to provide full design services to our residential and corporate clients," says LaFleche.

For further details, contact LDa Architects, 222 Third St, Suite 3212, Cambridge, MA 02142, phone (617) 621 1455, fax (617) 621 1477. Or visit the website: www.LDa-architects.com.

Nov 17, 2005
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