Sweet Dreams

It’s one of the swankiest restaurants around. Meichi Peng shows how to translate Rialto’s luxe new design into a modern-day boudoir.

Looking at Maryann Thompson Architects’ 2007 redesign for Rialto restaurant, it’s hard not to think about romance. From the intimate lounge to the copious drapery, the look could easily be reimagined for a sumptuous bedroom. Interior designer Meichi Peng happily took on the task. Using a palette of sages and taupes and furnishings that evoke Rialto’s clean lines, “I took a bit of everything and tied it together with color,” she says. Here, the simple—and sensuous—results.

Drapes: HELIX

Hornbeam, $11.50/square foot, Kaswell & Co.; Holland & Sherry Rembrandt, $89/yard, B. Hive; Carnegie Helix, $58/yard, carnegiefabrics.com; Classic Cloth Fantasy, $350/yard, Webster & Co.; Boza Cloth, $145/yard, Calvin Fabrics.

Peng’s shopping list for a bedroom inspired by Harvard Square’s Rialto.

Table: “I took the idea of softening and applied it to the rest of the furniture. This side table has a very soft look, which you can see on the edging. It’s curved with an oval top, plus it’s wood, like much of Rialto.” Eboniste Berlin Table, $695, eboniste.com.


Lamp: “The bar area has some stainless steel detailing, so I chose this lamp, since it’s a little industrial and reminds me of a restaurant heat lamp. It’s clearly modern, but still works for the bedroom.” Marset Atila 06, $757,
Italian Design.


Bed: “This bed is very soft, pretty, and unusual. You don’t often see curvature like that in a headboard. The restaurant’s banquettes have that curved line too. Because the restaurant is commercial, you want to soften the design up a bit when bringing it home, and this bed does that. I would upholster it in taupe to warm it up.” Frou Frou Bed, $9,100, Showroom.


Chair: “The chair I chose is in a similar language to the furniture in Rialto’s front room and lounging area. It’s comfortable but still very straight and has a contemporary look to it. I think mohair would be a good finish here to bring that luxuriousness and softness into the bedroom.” Bright Chair, $2,977 (upholstery fabric not included), Icon Group.


Drapes: “Window treatments by Carnegie and Holland and Sherry
sheer drapery were the key to Rialto’s design, so I wanted to place the bed in the center and let the drapes frame the elements on either side. In some areas, you have a double layer, so I picked a heavier linen. It creates an architectural element to have that double layered look.”

After almost a decade as a designer at ADD Inc., where she worked on
commercial and residential spaces, Peng left in 2006 to start her own firm and launch a custom-design handbag business, which she runs with her sister.