This Luxurious Condo Boasts Views of Boston Harbor
March 5, 2019
Text by Annie Sherman Photography by Michael J. Lee
Maximizing the views of the Boston skyline and the harbor was paramount for this luxurious condo. The unit, in a high-rise building constructed in 2017, was a blank slate to create what the homeowners envisioned: a space that would be influenced and enhanced by the scene outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. More difficult than it might seem, the challenge lay in what not to do—as in, don’t fill the space with furnishings that might detract from that million-dollar panorama.
Leslie Fine, whose eponymous interior design firm is based in the Back Bay, wouldn’t let that happen. She transformed the brand-new 2,100-square-foot white box into a contemporary and plush oasis, merging function, comfort, and beauty—all while letting the out-of-doors do the most talking. The trick was to “stay away from heavy pieces of furniture that would take your eye away,” she says. “Now you can almost see through the furniture to the views.”
The large central room was the launching pad for this urban transformation, so Fine began by defining individual dining and living spaces here. A commanding built-in dominates the rear wall. Textured stainless steel and white faux-ostrich vinyl catapult the piece into the modern sphere. With its three-quarter-inch glass shelving and mirrored backdrop, it serves double duty, making a striking display for sculptural pieces from the homeowners’ art collection while catching and reflecting light. Closed cabinets below are used to stow items for entertaining. “The client wanted a chic urban space, and this shelving delivers that,” Fine says. “It makes a beautiful impact, it’s very stylish, and it offers functional storage.”
Nearby, a dining table of faceted stainless steel and glass surrounded by acrylic chairs with textured fabric seats in a luscious shade of lavender adds a grounding element to the formal dining area. The openness of the living/dining space means guests never lose sight of what lies beyond the windows, no matter how lively the dinner conversation gets. And after the meal, the sitting area beckons with comfortable furniture and plush carpet. Pink velvet lounge chairs swivel to exploit the vistas, and the large, L-shaped sofa has a low back to minimize its vertical profile, while copious pillows indulge relaxation. “The couch needed to be placed so that no matter where you sit, you can see the view,” says the wife. An old mirror she treasured was refurbished and now leans against a wall, lending a traditional touch that manages to seem right at home with the room’s modern feel.
The master suite, too, strikes a balance between the contemporary and the classic. Awash in neutrals and luxurious textiles, the space is heavily influenced by the owners’ previous residence, from the wife’s father’s lounge chair, updated in velvet and a fresh coat of paint, to the traditional headboard painted in tone-on-tone stripes that alternate between high gloss and matte. The modern is represented by the mirrored nightstands and acrylic lamps. “We wanted to keep this room romantic and monochromatic, so we used soft fabrics and a rug,” Fine says. Again keeping the outdoors in mind, the owner sacrificed overall warmth from heavier window treatments in favor of stationary drapes with a motorized roll shade for privacy. “Most of the windows don’t have anything on them, but this space looked so empty without drapes,” she says.
Because the kitchen and bathrooms were turnkey from the builders, a new pearlized stone counter and backsplash are the sole changes. “The owners are not big cooks, so we just wanted to personalize this space, and spice it up,” Fine says. “Changing the stone made all the difference: it’s unique and aesthetically extraordinary.”
Throughout the home, the clients’ favorite colors—pinks and purples—make an appearance. Even the kitchen gets into the act, with counter stools that add a punch of purple drama to the breakfast bar. The colors never become overbearing, however, thanks to the neutral tones that form the backdrop. And Fine was careful not to sacrifice function to beauty; the fabric on those stools is actually vinyl with a subtle shine, “so it has lots of style, but you can wipe it down with a sponge,” she says. “They don’t have to worry about eating on it or spilling red wine.”
The whole condo, in fact, blends comfort and elegance masterfully—all while letting that spectacular panorama play the starring role.
Interior Design: Leslie Fine, Leslie Fine Interiors