Designer Snapshot: Keeping it Simple? Smart.

October 24, 2012

By Paula M. Bodah

In a beautifully designed space, what’s not there is as important as what is there. Or as Craig Tevolitz and Richard Baiano of Platemark Design in Boston like to say, “White space is your friend.”

Craig, whose clever design for a small kitchen in a city apartment was included in the Special Focus on Kitchen and Bath Design in our September/October issue, says, “We believe that a room should hold interest without being overwhelming. The eye needs a place to rest.” The designers avoid “pulling every trick out of the proverbial hat in order to fill rooms and walls,” he adds. “This could mean minimizing the color contrast in the palette, or editing down the accessories.” In the photos below, Craig shows us just how he and his partner design spaces that are visually exciting yet have a sense of serenity. “In a Brookline, Massachusetts, residence, we turned an empty sun room used for toy storage into a cozy eat-in breakfast nook off a newly renovated kitchen. This area’s simplicity and ease come in part from a fractional outdoor view. The effortless white cafe curtains create a radiant, enveloping feel around the banquette without completely obscuring the windows. The dining room is similarly simplified using harmonizing textures, a discreet chandelier and leaving some wall space around the artwork.”

Photos by Michael J. Lee, unless otherwise specified. 


“In a Harvard Square residence, an art student’s bedroom is meant to evoke a boutique hotel. The neutral palette, highlighted by rose-colored accents, takes it cues from the single piece of artwork in the space. A ghost-like console made of glass takes on only the slightest presence as a desk, while custom storage and workspace furnishings round out the space, but don’t overwhelm.



“Our approach to design is also illustrated in the media room of a Boston South End residence. The deep heather wool fabric on the walls serves to dampen acoustics, conceal unsightly wires and electronic equipment and foster a warm, nesting feeling. We used a unified palette for the walls and seating to provide just the right neutral canvas for both fine art and media viewing.”

Photo by Eric Roth

“No matter the approach,” Craig says, “any artist knows the hardest part is knowing when to put down paint brush. Likewise, a designed room often benefits from brevity.”

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