Today we're taking an in-depth look at a beautiful traditional New Jersey home. I was brought into the project while it was still in the early, very rough hand-drawn architectural phase. My clients allowed me to get my hands into every aspect of building the home -- from selecting the mullions on each window to the railing design in the stairwell and the custom color of the gorgeous stained cedar shake. We made all of the interior selections and furnished the home from top to bottom.
Photographer: Stylish Productions
Architecture: Roger Schlicht, RDS Architecture
Builder: Chestnut Hill Development
We worked with intention and attention to detail to create a modern home for a young, vibrant family while maintaining a timeless sense of traditional philosophy for both the architecture and interiors. Each space was designed to function as a single entity and become a special moment in the home, while the architectural details throughout create consistency.
The house is a gambrel-style Colonial and we wanted it to feel elegant, but not fussy; I call it "luxury for everyday living." In the architectural process, we intentionally kept the room sizes comfortable and cozy, not cavernous. But it is still large enough for this family of five to live comfortably with all the modern amenities of a new home (and each kid has a private bathroom!).
The home was designed with old-house sensibilities, so the front door leads into an intimate vestibule with an enfilade all the way to the back of the home. We used a pair of sidelights to keep the space bright, and commissioned a set of eight pieces by Renée Bouchon, one of my favorite artists, and lit them with brass art lights.
As soon as you enter the home, the design direction is immediately clear. The house is bright, happy, and colorful, but in a sophisticated, elevated way that leans classic but is definitely fresh. The foyer is papered in a neutral grasscloth and is flanked on either side by the dining room and library, which are each saturated in color. The furnishings throughout the house are combination of traditional and more modern pieces, and the result is a really elegant, yet livable, feel.
The Dining Room
My client loves the color kelly green, so we really went for it in the dining room with a scenic paper by Mary McDonald for Schumacher. The paper has a decidedly traditional feel, so we kept the furnishings a little more sleek so that the room feels really young and happy, not at all stuffy.
Just across the entry from the dining room, this space was designed as the entertaining spot in the home -- a place for gathering to have a cocktail (or escaping when the kids control the family room TV!). We covered the entire room (built-ins, walls, trim, and ceiling) in a deep navy, with grasscloth on the walls for cozy texture, and then accented it with a few hits of bold orange. We chose a tone-on-tone geometric rug and covered four chairs (my favorite combo for a cozy seating arrangement) in a small-scale print. A Samsung Frame TV cleverly disguised as art made both husband and wife happy.
We wanted the side entrance of the home to feel just as special as the main entrance, so we repeated the slate flooring in a herringbone pattern. The room has a charming arched door that lends a historic nod to the architecture, and we included plenty of closed storage for shoes, coats, umbrellas, backpacks, and gear, all under a stunning coffered wood ceiling.
My designer friend Ellie Mroz calls this the "friendship door" and I love that idea of friends walking in because they feel so comfortable with you and your family. We should all have friends like that! The mudroom leads right into the heart of the home: The kitchen and family room. I can't wait to share that space, but unfortunately we've got to keep it under wraps for now. We'll be back soon with the reveal of the bedrooms, baths, and a really unique and practical homework space.
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