In Touch Magazine - December 2004
At Home with Anthony Ruivivar and Yvonne Jung - Christmas in their New Home
Real-life Third Watch couple Anthony Ruivivar and Yvonne Jung look forward to a special family celebration.
"Christmas, for us, has always been about reconnecting with our childhoods," explains Anthony Ruivivar (who plays Carlos Nieto) as he walks through the apartment in a historic Manhattan building where he lives with his wife - and Third Watch co-star - Yvonne Jung (who plays Holly Levine), and their adorable son, Kainoa. The family moved in less than six months ago after fallin gin love with the four-bedroom apartment's endless nooks and crannies, and already it feels like the perfect place to spend the holidays. "Even before we had our son, our Christmas decorations were always important to us," Anthony says.
But this year, there's a lot more kid stuff lying around, thanks to Kainoa. He loves playing with puppets and practicing on his drum kit in the comfy family space they call the "boom boom room".
While it's clear a child lives in this home, the couple has created a stylish space that's also kid-friendly. "We have three strong, distinct personalities," Yvonne says, "and the idea was to make our home personal and comfortable. It's an expression of ourselves."
"It's a fun apartment," Yvonne says. "Before we had our son, we would decorate with what we liked. Now it's tempered with what's safe." Anthony adds, "We go all out for Christmas."
"The coffee table in the living room was an old Chinese desk - we cut the legs down," Anthony explains.
Anthony's been on Third Watch since its first season, in 1999, and Yvonne joined the cast two seasons ago - she plays his on-screen love interest. The best part of working on the same show? "We get to go over our scripts together, " says Anthony, who enjoys rehearsing in their master bedroom.
"I wanted the baby's room to be cozy and playful," Yvonne says. "I didn't want it to be like a little man's room."
Anthony keeps his hand-painted guitar collection in his office. "Leaving my guitards out reminds me of home, because growing up in Hawaii, my dad always used to do that. I like the idea that I can just pick one up and play it anytime.
The holidays wouldn't be complete for Anthony and Yvonne without a few boxes of their famous holiday cookies. They give them to their family and friends, and of course, they save a few for Santa Claus!
Their son is allergic to dairy products, so Yvonne makes oatmeal cookies from a dairy-and egg-free mix, and use a soy-based product instead of butter. She says, "We enjoy decorating them together."
They spend most of their time in this family room. "We keep it simple so we don't have to worry about anything," Anthony says.
Words from Doug Wilson, Decorator from Trading Spaces:
What The Home Reveals: "Although this couple puts their child above all else, comfort and style still matter. They've given a classxic New York apartment a young feel by decorating it in a fun and fanciful way that invites company to feel at home also."
Doug's Decorating Tips: "You can learn a lot from Anthony and Yvonne's keep-it-loose style - they turned their dining room into a family room. It's something that more people should consider, because there aren't that many times when a formal dining room is needed - and the room can be put to better use. Need an extra bedroom? An office? Or why not knock down a wall to make a better kitchen?"
Doug Wilson's Notes: "Keeping a home stylist while having child-safety issues in mind isn't easy. It's best to keep all the kids' things in one area so you don't feel as if the house is overrun with clutter. But don't try to hide too much either.