Charlestown Resident Brings Unique Approach to Interior Design

For S. Christine Cavataio, every project that her interior design firm, Living Being Design, takes on is a team effort, which allows her to focus on the finer points.

​“I enjoy getting into the details,” said Cavataio, who added that she also appreciates working as a member of a team alongside electricians, plumbers, and general contractors during interior buildouts.

​Cavataio, who received a bachelor’s in fine art in Interior Design from Syracuse University and a master’s in Education from Cambridge College, is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), Certified Cruelty Free (CFF), as well as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

​For more than two decades, Cavataio held full-time faculty positions in two undergraduate Interior Design degree programs. She has also taught and served as an outside critic at three other nationally accredited ID programs in and around Boston, including a stint last month at Suffolk University.

“I’m still involved in academia,” she said. “I enjoy working with students.”

In addition to environmental stewardship and biophilic design, Cavataio’s areas of academic research include generating concepts and using drawing to support creative thinking in the design process. She presented her findings at two annual Interior Design Educators Council international conferences, and she’s also the author and illustrator of a textbook, ‘Manual Drafting for Interiors.’

In 2018, Cavataio launched Living Being Design from her Charlestown home, she said, “as a resource for those wishing to incorporate environmental stewardship into interior design projects.”

Cavataio said she has shifted to primarily residential projects, with “the focus on home design creating opportunity to more closely examine the impact of interior design decisions on ecological footprint and alignment with occupants’ ethics.”

She added, “It’s an underlying thought process. Some clients don’t even know about [sustainability], and they might want to ask about a product being greener.”

And while Cavataio will go so far as to source the most sustainable wood for a project, she also said she wouldn’t “reject” a potential client for not being overly concerned with the environment either, since the clients’ tastes and needs are what ultimately shapes her projects.

“I look at the clients’ demands and wishes,” she said. “If it doesn’t work for them, then it’s a problem.”

One misconception surrounding the interior design business that Cavataio hopes to dispel is that the services are exorbitantly expensive. But in reality, she charges hourly rates, which allows her to take on less extensive jobs for clients with smaller budgets.

Most recently, Cavataio said the “overwhelming majority” of her work has entailed designing kitchens and bathrooms.

“I love doing kitchens and bathrooms because of the complexity of service,” she said. “They need water and power, and have to be highly functional to be successful.”

Although Cavataio works in both old and new structures, most of her past projects were in Boston so she said she most often finds herself “working with old structures and renewing old buildings.”

“In itself, preservation is a sustainable practice,” she said.

For more information on Living Being Design, visit, or call S. Christine Cavataio at 617-510-8659.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.