NEW JERSEY’S HOME & DESIGN MAGAZINE October/November 2021
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NEW JERSEY’S HOME
& DESIGN MAGAZINE
publisher | KATE S. TOMLINSON
editor in chief | REN MILLER
associate editor | MEG FOX
assistant editor | MARIROSE KRALL
resources editor | LISA RACKLEY
social media editor | BETH POWELL
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FAIRFIELD | BERNARDSVILLE
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INTERNATIONAL STONE IMPORTERS
PHOTO BY MARCO RICCA
PHOTO BY TOM GRIMES
PHOTO BY CARA FITZPATRICK POLIZZI
style new jersey
Michael Scro, Mary FitzPatrick
Scro and Ioana Curovic of
Z+ Architects take on the
challenges of a slimmerthan-standard
flooding issues to design a
home that’s family friendly
and barrier free.
Designers Yelena Gerts, Lori
Levin and Alma Russo each
create an above-and-beyond
home office that combines
beauty, comfort and function
while also complementing
the design aesthetic of the
rest of the home. Work never
looked so good.
The historic Davis House in
Lawrenceville, formerly a
student boarding house and
residence of Pulitzer Prizewinning
Wilder, gets an update that’s
sensitive to its pedigree in
the capable hands of
designer Deborah Leamann.
Daria Boutle of Verona-based
Daria B Designs reinvigorates
a stately 1929 Tudor-style
home in Essex County to
sensibilities while honoring
its historical charm. The goal:
make the home feel airy,
warm, bright and inviting.
| Home Office Innovations.
22 CONVERSATIONS WITH KATE
| Staircases: Step by Step
24 GOOD READS
| The Iconic American House
also in this issue
14 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LETTER
64 DESIGN RESOURCES
on the cover
Clean-lined furniture and a dramatically dark palette keep the focus on the original leaded-glass windows in the living room of this
Tudor-style home. Design, Daria Boutle; design/build, Lyons McConnell; photo, Julie Blackstock. See “Highlighting History,” page 52.
editorinchief | LETTER
Many of us were thrown into
work-from-home mode last year
regardless of whether we were prepared.
Those with dedicated home offices had the advantage, of course, but everyone else
quickly caught up by unearthing that unused desk in the basement, staking claim
to a crafting table or simply spreading out computer equipment and paper files in
the dining room. By the end of last year, 78 percent of us felt we had “adequate”
space for working from home, according to the Pew Research Center.
As the requirement or option to work from home continues, however, some of
us are realizing that adequate is not the same as optimal. Like me, you’ve probably
had to answer some questions. Do you prefer to work while sitting or standing at
a desk? Is your chair ergonomically sound, providing support as well as comfort?
Does the room have general and task lighting to supplement daylight on cloudy
days or when you’re still working at sunset? Can you close the door for privacy?
Do you have enough storage for your files and supplies and enough workspace so
you don’t feel squeezed?
In this issue, we visit three home offices that take all of these factors into consideration—and
add megawatt style as well. Associate Editor Meg Fox spoke with
the designers of all three offices to gather details for “Work Flow,” beginning on page 38. Meg also curated a selection of
appropriate furnishings (“Home Office Innovations,” 19).
Also in this issue, you’ll find the stories of a Modern Farmhouse in Bergen County that Z+ Architects designed to be
family friendly and barrier free (“User-Friendly,” 30); a former residence of author Thornton Wilder in Lawrenceville
that designer Deborah Leamann updated with sensitivity to its history (“Past Forward,” 42); and our cover story featuring
an Essex County Tudor-style home that designer Daria Boutle brought into the 21st century while maintaining its
striking period details (“Highlighting History,” 52).
Our series on social media expert Kate Rumson’s construction project in central New Jersey takes a look at staircases
(“Step by Step,” 22), while the Good Reads department reviews a new book featuring 50 of the most recognizable homes
designed in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century (“The Iconic American House,” 24).
After a busy day in the office—whether it’s at home or at your workplace—we hope you will relax and enjoy the
stories of how each of these homeowners fashioned a more comfortable, functional and stylish place to work and live.
REN MILLER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
14 October/November 2021
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follownewjersey | ONLINE
PHOTO BY RYAN BROWN
PHOTO BY STUDIO A IMAGES
Newlyweds James Dever and Emily Haas
(inset) favor a cozy, Scandinavian Modern
aesthetic for their Hoboken condo.
The soaring 15-foot glass-enclosed entrance to the Javits Center
captured the energy and excitement of the in-person NY NOW show.
What inspires the interior design of your home?
For Emily Haas and James Dever and their
designer, Antoinette Allande Anderson, it was music. Specifically,
the couple’s wedding song, “This Must Be the Place.” The lyrics
— along with other activities on their wedding day—helped
Allande to understand her clients’ personalities and lifestyle. Scan
the QR code to read this web exclusive: “Music Is the Muse.”
New Jersey consumers turn to the Design NJ Resource Directory
for all their home decorating and remodeling needs. This trusted
comprehensive database includes hundreds of
local suppliers, designers, architects, builders and
design professionals. To be included in our 2022
Directory, scan the QR code to go directly to the
Associate Editor Meg Fox was excited to be out and about scouting
new products for our annual Holiday Gift Guide at NY NOW, a
biannual trade show featuring home accents. It was the first inperson
event to be hosted at the newly expanded Jacob K. Javits
Center since its reopening. Design NJ will highlight our favorite
finds in our upcoming December 2020/January 2021 issue.
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were cited as the biggest source of design inspiration. Visit our
subscription page to subscribe or give the gift of design ideas.
CURATED FOR THE GARDEN STATE HOME
Home Office Innovations
New introductions from High Point Market respond to the evolving needs
of the home office. Whether you have a dedicated space or one that multifunctions,
consider these stylish solutions that put the fun in functional
BY MEG FOX
stylenewjersey | SHOP
1 | With clean lines and a striking mix of materials and
finishes, the Julian Collection from Mitchell Gold +
Bob Williams adds one-of-a-kind character to a
workspace. Beautifully figured veneer features a rich
seared-oak finish, black metal frame and light satin
brass accents for a look that is both organic and
modern. Desk, $2,527; bookcase, $2,127; Ada Arm
Dining Chair, $1,287. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in
Paramus or MGBWHome.com.
2 | Gabby’s large Jasper desk was crafted for ultimate
function while keeping a keen focus on design. With
abundant storage options in the form of shelves and
drawers, the desk is suitable for floating in a room.
For pricing and a dealer locator, GabbyHome.com.
3 | The distinctive Honnold Writing Desk from Hickory
Chair’s Pearson Collection was inspired by the late
architect Douglas Honnold, who was considered a
master of Hollywood Moderne. The lines of this
walnut desk reflect his signature design elements,
including thin bar-style golden brass pulls, mitered
corners and continuous horizontal fluting that wraps
the exterior. Other features consist of a pop-up
power station with two USB ports and two AC ports.
4 | Transitional in styling, the Arya Swivel Tilt Chair
from Hancock & Moore features a split seam in back
with added lumbar support. Shown with a polished
aluminum base featuring a pneumatic lift. $3,855.
Stickley Furniture|Mattress in East Hanover, White
House Luxe in Fairfield or HancockAndMoore.com.
5 | Hekman’s Custom Lift Desk (#28480) is both stylish
and ergonomic with four programmable height
settings. The desktop and drawers are offered in a
choice of wood finishes, and the overall variable
height is 28 to 54 inches. For pricing and a dealer
6 | The Touhy office chair—part of Bernhardt’s
Workspace Collection—has an upholstered seat and
back with antiqued nickel nail-head trim around the
seat. The exposed wood is white oak in a pewter
finish. The chair has a five-prong swivel metal base
with tilt and height adjustment. Shown in a gray vinyl
fabric. $970. Brielle Furniture Interiors in Sea Girt;
Design Hub Home in Millburn and Westfield; select
Raymour & Flanigan locations; or Bernhardt.com.
7 | Universal Furniture adds custom-upholstered
chairs to its “Work From Home” program. Haven is a
short, barrel-back, full-swivel chair that’s available
20 October/November 2021
with a channel-tufted or tight back. The chair, which
has a 5-foot base on casters and pneumatic height
adjustment, can be special ordered in any of 400+
fabrics and 50 leathers. Starts at $1,510; shown in a
Tier 9 fabric at $2,000. UniversalFurniture.com.
8 | Sligh’s Cranbrook Writing Desk takes inspiration
from a midcentury design with canted legs and a
case structure suspended below the writing surface
by metal posts in a champagne finish. The desk
features cathedral walnut on the privacy panel in the
front and on the drawers in the back. A lift lid on the
flat-cut walnut top reveals two USB ports. $3,149.
9 | Hooker Furniture’s Melange Zola Writing Desk
features a geometric pattern of elm, maple and black
walnut veneers in gray-toned finishes. It sits atop
metal legs and has contemporary acrylic hardware.
Starts at $1,199. HookerFurniture.com.
10 | Providing maximum storage for all your work
needs, the elegant Cosby desk from Worlds Away
marries style and functionality. The fresh matte white
lacquer case floats atop four polished brass legs.
Accented with brass and acrylic pendant hardware.
$2,939. Complete Interiors in Avalon, Schwartz
Design Showroom in Metuchen (to the trade),
Whimsicality in Spring Lake or Worlds-Away.com.
11 | This clever sit-or-stand desk from Riverside’s
Perspectives Collection has two work surfaces, one
30 inches high and one 38 inches high. The top
surface swivels out to make a taller surface, allowing
you to stand and work, while the lower surface is
conducive to sitting. The swivel is 360 degrees so it
can be used left or right, and the drawers are passthrough.
When not in use, the desk surfaces can be
closed so they are on top of each other for compact
storage. Available in Umber or Casual Taupe. For
pricing and dealer locator, Riverside-Furniture.com.
12 | Bradington-Young’s Elanora chair—from the
company’s “Home Office By Design” line —offers
the ability to customize the design in more than
400 options of fabric, leather and base color
combinations. Starting fabric, $1,100. Starting
leather, $1,499. Bradington-Young.com.
stylenewjersey | CONVERSATIONS WITH KATE
TRADITION WITH A TWIST | Kate Rumson stands beside
the staircase being installed in her new home. She will
pair a classic wood handrail with edgier metal balusters.
A DESIGN STATEMENT | The rendering at far right shows
how the staircase will look when completed, making an
elegant, welcoming statement in the foyer.
Step by Step
MAKE YOUR STAIRCASE
MORE THAN UTILITARIAN
INTERVIEW BY REN MILLER
The staircase gets little thought in many homes, but it’s too big
and offers too many options to make a design statement to be
ignored. For some guidance, we checked in with Kate Rumson,
the founder and creative director of The Real Houses of Instagram
(@the_real@houses_of_ig). Kate is building a home in central New
Jersey, a project that Design NJ has been following in this column.
Below are her thoughts on staircases.
REN: A staircase is one of the most prominent architectural features and should
make a statement about the style of a home. What statement will yours make?
KATE: That is very true! Today the possibilities to create a staircase that
reflects our individual style are endless. My staircase will have a timeless but
current feel. The overall design will suggest that, although I certainly draw
inspiration from current trends and influences, my overall aesthetic is
rooted in traditional design principles.
REN: You will have one staircase between the main and upper levels, even
though many homes the size of yours (4,400 square feet) have two. How did
you arrive at that decision?
KATE: To me, having two staircases felt excessive and unnecessary. I
wanted my home to be designed in a way that would not require a
second staircase for convenience, even with 4,400 square feet of living
space. My architect and I designed the floor plan around one staircase
right in the middle of the house so it’s easily accessible from every room.
REN: Where to start when thinking of renovating or building a new staircase?
KATE: Staircases are complicated. Materials, parts and building-code requirements
all need to be discussed, understood and taken into consideration
before starting the process. I recommend scheduling an in-home consultation
with a company that specializes in staircases so they can point out options and
nuances that would be important to consider in your specific situation.
22 October/November 2021
REN: Did you choose metal or wood balusters and handrails?
KATE: I knew I wanted the staircase to have a traditional wooden
handrail—I love the look and how it feels to the touch, but deciding on
the material and shape of the balusters wasn’t as easy. I’m a fan of both—
wood and metal balusters—and after thinking about it for a few months,
I ended up choosing metal for an edgier look.
REN: What style of newel posts did you choose, and how does that decision
play into the design of your home as a whole?
KATE: I love staircases with soft curves so I never adapted to the new
trend of box newel posts and square-edge treads that are very common
now in newly constructed homes. It seems like many interior designers,
architects and builders now consider square newel posts to be more
current in styling, but I find turned newels and volutes timeless and
much more elegant.
REN: Where is a good place to shop for staircase parts?
KATE: All of my staircase parts are from L.J. Smith (ljsmith.com)—they
specialize in staircases and make everything from stair treads and risers to
balusters and handrails. Their website is a great resource to see all the possibilities
with different wood species, shapes, materials and sizes.
REN: Will you leave the staircase bare or install a runner?
KATE: I definitely plan to install a runner. I have cats now and know
how much they would enjoy having a textured rug under their paws
when running up and down the staircase. I’ve never had stair runners
before, but having pets changes how we approach the design of our
homes. Now my Sophie and Luna are top of mind with every house
design decision. DNJ
For contact information, page 64
stylenewjersey | GOOD READS
COURTESY OF THAMES & HUDSON
Learn the stories behind 50 of the most important,
timeless and recognizable homes designed in the
United States since the beginning of the 20 th century
REVIEW BY REN MILLER | BOOK BY DOMINIC BRADBURY | PHOTOS BY RICHARD POWERS
Drive through most neighborhoods and you will see houses that
are mostly boxes, some pretty and others not so much, some
with simple lines and others with nooks, crannies and appendages. Many
are representative of different historical periods; others defy categorization.
This latter category includes architectural masterpieces that are celebrated
for their innovation and influence on the field of residential
design. Fifty prime examples are featured in The Iconic American House:
Architectural Masterworks Since 1900, written by Dominic Bradbury,
photographed by Richard Powers, published by Thames & Hudson and
available in the United States through W.W. Norton & Co.
“The houses in this book chart a journey across America and across
time, embracing many different aesthetics and expressions of form,”
Bradbury writes in his introduction. “Yet they are all iconic houses,
meaning that they have an influence and resonance that goes well
beyond the original brief and artistic conception. They are shining landmarks
within an American architectural dreamland—one that is full
of life, drama and invention.”
The author credits the country’s founding pioneering spirit and an
openness to newcomers and their ideas for the creation of some of the
most important and influential houses in the world: “There was a
constant willingness to experiment and innovate, which helped to
secure America’s prominent position on the architectural map and send
its fresh ideas back into the wider world.”
The 320-page book has no homes in New Jersey, however, six are in
New York and five are in Pennsylvania, many of those within a day’s
drive of the Garden State. Readers will find works by famed architects
such as Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, George Nakashima,
Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. Here’s a sampling.
24 October/November 2021
In the living area, boulders push upward through the flagstones next to the fireplace; fitted sofas reduce the amount of free-floating furniture.
Mill Run, Pennsylvania
Frank Lloyd Wright 1939
Fallingwater is perhaps one of the most photographed 20 th century
homes. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designed Fallingwater in 1939
to cantilever over a stream in rural Mill Run, Pennsylvania. His client was
Edgar Kaufmann, a wealthy Pittsburgh department-store owner and
patron of the arts. Then in his 60s, Wright was busy with commissions,
and Kaufmann grew impatient waiting to see designs for the house.
“Wright told his client that they were done and ready to be viewed, even
though he had yet to put pen to paper,” Bradbury writes. “In just two
hours, he famously sketched out what was already in his mind and
presented the drawings to Kaufmann, who was delighted.”
The house was built using reinforced concrete slabs to cantilever
sections over the stream, and that allowed Wright to create horizontal
bands of glass that connect the house to the surrounding woodlands.
Concerns about building with reinforced concrete, a practice then in its
infancy, led to some tension between Kaufmann and Wright. Kaufmann
also requested additional features, including a pool. “The addition of extra
steelwork also compromised the structure, leading to problems that eventually
required considerable repair works by the Western Pennsylvania
Conservancy in 2002.”
Now fully restored and open for tours, Fallingwater is the “fullest expression
of Wright’s version of contextual, organic architecture, developed in
response to the particular qualities and conditions of the site, setting and
surroundings,” Bradbury writes. Most people know the home from photos
of the exterior, but Bradbury takes you inside for a sense of how the Kaufmann’s
lived in it.
stylenewjersey | GOOD READS
The open and universal space within the house is divided into zones by the arrangement of the furniture, including designs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Philip Johnson, 1949
Open-concept living and large windows—so popular in recent years —
are not new, as evidenced by the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Architect Philip Johnson (1906-2005) designed the steel-framed
house with a flat roof and glass walls in 1949 as part of a compound of
buildings that he cheekily called a “diary of an eccentric architect.” The
Glass House is “a modernist belvedere for appreciating the natural world
and the changing seasons,” Bradbury writes.
The house is one large room except for a circular brick drum that floats
within the steel and glass rectangle and holds a small bathroom and a fireplace
facing the main seating area. The “rooms” are defined by Johnson’s
careful placement of furniture: a seating area in the center facing an open
vista flanked by a dining area and bar/kitchenette on one side and a
bedroom-study on the other. The circular drum and a half-height
wardrobe provide a degree of privacy for the bedroom. “Each element in
the space is curated and controlled, including a painting on an easel by
Nicolas Poussin and a sculpture by Elie Nadelman,” Bradbury writes.
The author notes the design owes much to the work of Bauhaus master
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), whose Farnsworth House also
appears in the book. Mies also designed much of the furniture that Johnson
used in the Glass House. Johnson left the house to the National Trust
for Historic Preservation, which offers tours.
26 October/November 2021
The curving roof line creates a double-height space to the front, with framed views across the treetops; this part of the studio serves as a gallery.
& CONOID STUDIO
New Hope, Pennsylvania
George Nakashima, 1959
Known more for his handmade wood furniture, George Nakashima
(1905-1990) began his career as an architect. He was born in Washington
and earned degrees in architecture from the University of Washington
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before eventually
moving to Japan and working with Antonin Raymond, an Americanborn
architect. Both men later returned to the United States. In 1943,
Raymond sponsored the release of Nakashima and his family from an
internment camp during World War II and brought him to a farm in
New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a farmhand and also had
time to design and make furniture.
After the war, Nakashima continued to make furniture, including a
collection for Hans Knoll. He purchased land nearby and, from 1947 to
1975, developed a series of innovative buildings with Japanese and American
influences. “In 1959, he designed the Conoid Studio, one of the most
adventurous buildings…[It] was an opportunity for Nakashima to
explore his love of shell structures. The timber floors, paper window
screens and Noguchi lanterns give the space a highly organic feel and act
as a foil to the concrete roof,” Bradbury writes.
Nakashima’s daughter Mira, an architect and designer herself, continues to
operate the company her father started, Nakashima Woodworkers. “I love the
Conoid Studio especially,” she told Bradbury. “You get a real sense of what’s
going on outside, which is what traditional Japanese architecture is all about.
You keep hold of the outside as part of your scenery when you are inside.”
stylenewjersey | GOOD READS
The clamshell surface of the building was made with
poured concrete, which was then coated in a protective
layer of synthetic rubber.
Charles Deaton, 1965
When humans first orbited the earth in the early 1960s, a fascination
with space exploration and new ways of looking at old customs led to
forward-looking advancements in many areas, including architecture. The
Sculptured House in Golden, Colorado, is a prime symbol of a wave of
sinuous buildings that drew inspiration from nature. Designed by architect
Charles Deaton (1921-1996) and built between 1963 and 1965, the
Sculptured House “turned its back on the strict, linear modernity of the
International Style and embraced free-flowing curves
and fluid lines,” Bradbury writes. “‘People aren’t
square, so why should they live in squares?’ [Deaton]
wrote in Art in America magazine in the mid-1960s.”
The house, Deaton’s only residential design, takes
the form of a clamshell sitting on a plinth, with one
side cracked open to view the treetops from atop
Genesee Mountain. Steel supporting rods tie the
pediment to the bedrock. The pediment then
supports the clamshell structure, which is made of
steel mesh cage coated in concrete and finished with
synthetic rubber mixed with white pigment and
ground walnut shells. Construction was so expensive
that the interiors remained unfinished, and the
Denton family was never able to move in. His daughter,
Charlee, and her husband, Nick Antonopoulos,
also an architect, finished the house for a new owner.
“The crowning glory is an interconnected sequence
of living spaces that connect with both the open
views and an elevated terrace via a curving wall of
floor-to-ceiling glass,” Bradbury writes. The home, now on the U.S.
National Register of Historic Places, may look familiar. It was featured in
Woody Allen’s 1973 sci-fi comedy Sleeper, set 200 years into the future.
The Iconic American House also features many other homes built since
1900, each with its own pedigree, each with its own fascinating background.
The book includes brief biographies of the people who designed
the homes and a list of the 21 homes that are open for public tours.
Whether you are a design aficionado, industry professional or someone
who dreams of building a hard-to-categorize house of your own, this
book will provide hours of interesting reading—and dreaming. The
Iconic American House: Architectural Masterworks since 1900, $65,
28 October/November 2021
It’s more than a house—it’s a community, a neighborhood, a place
to plant your roots. When you’re ready to settle down, but aren’t
willing to settle, put your trust in a New Jersey Realtor ® to guide
BUY A HOME. GAIN A COMMUNITY.
LEARN MORE AT
stylenewjersey | EXPERT ADVICE
ARCHITECTURE | BUILD
A custom-built home in Bergen County
is big, bright and barrier-free
house needed to live large,” architect Michael Scro says of
this Bergen County home, “rising to the demands of a growing
family that hosts frequent gatherings while remaining cozy and
welcoming. Additionally, it had to incorporate universal design and
accommodate family members with mobility issues.”
Scro, LEED AP, a member of the American Institute of Architects and
a principal of Z+ Architects in Allendale, handled the architectural
design for the project. Mary FitzPatrick Scro, AIA, LEED AP, also a
principal and interior designer at Z + Interiors, and Ioana Curovic,
NCDIQ, collaborated on the interiors.
DESIGN NJ: What was the scope of the project?
MICHAEL SCRO: The original ranch-style residence was dilapidated.
Because of the steep slope on the property, the home had suffered chronic
water damage; the structure needed to be demolished. To resolve the
water-penetration issues, we used various water-control techniques —
30 October/November 2021
INTERVIEW BY MARIROSE KRALL | PHOTOS BY CARA FITZPATRICK POLIZZI
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN BY Z+ ARCHITECTS | CONSTRUCTION BY MESSINEO BUILDERS
AIA, LEED AP
AIA, LEED AP
Z+ Architects, Z+ Interiors
including seepage pits and perimeter drainage systems—to control
runoff. We also incorporated low retaining walls and groundcover plantings
to direct and absorb rainfall.
As far as the residence itself, the new home needed to house the
clients’ immediate family and accommodate longer-term stays by
parents and guests while meeting the needs of an extended-family
member who requires barrier-free access to a private suite and all of the
The exterior of the home features farmhouse-style hallmarks, such as steeply pitched
gable rooflines and white clapboard siding, along with more modern elements, such
as shed dormers and abundant windows.
“The client specifically wanted to avoid large expanses of masonry in the form of
brick or stone,” architect Michael Scro says, “so accents were used in a limited fashion,
largely to add practicality, durability and lower maintenance where the house meets
the ground plane.”
stylenewjersey | EXPERT ADVICE
Gables at varying heights and black-trimmed windows contribute to the
striking look of the rear façade.
Portions of the exterior are clad in white wainscot panels to complement
and add interest to the home’s traditional clapboard siding.
DNJ: You call this style Modern Farmhouse. What do you consider the modern
architectural elements used here and what are the farmhouse elements?
M. SCRO: The modern architectural elements include shed dormers, the
configuration and arrangement of windows, an expansive use of glass (at
times without mullions) in larger quantities and concentration than is typical
on a classic farmhouse, and refined, clean panels of wainscot exterior
trim. The classic farmhouse elements are the steeply pitched gable rooflines,
the white clapboard siding, the stone accents, and two-over-two grille
patterns, both in the square and the tall/thin windows. Timeless features,
32 October/November 2021
such as a front porch with a standing-seam metal roof and refined, square
columns, play off more modern details at the rear covered entertaining area.
DNJ: What were some of the challenges of this project? How did you deal
M. SCRO: The lot is very deep but relatively narrow so the design challenge
was to fit the guest suite into the first-floor layout along with a kitchen,
dining room, great room, mudroom, private office and support spaces.
The deeper the house became to accommodate the desired spaces, the
A side façade features an array of windows bringing natural light
into the stairwell on sunny days and creating a dramatic effect in the
evenings when lit from within.
stylenewjersey | EXPERT ADVICE
34 October/November 2021
The kitchen was configured with wide pathways
for barrier-free access. The black borders around
the windows repeat the aesthetic of the home’s
exterior. Additional black elements—including
the countertops and cabinet hardware —create
a striking contrast against the simplicity of the
darker the center would be. This was the exact opposite of our clients’ goal,
which was to maximize glass and natural light in the living spaces.
To address this issue, we shifted the garage forward to allow for a
narrower house. Ample amounts of glass along with a generous ceiling
height also help to maximize the play of natural light inside. And by
shifting the main stair so it is adjacent to the foyer rather than within it,
we allowed for a better view and light penetration from the front to the
back of the house.
DNJ: What accessibility accommodations did you make?
M. SCRO: We have a great deal of experience integrating universal-design
concepts while steering clear of its often-institutional calling cards. We
eschewed an exterior ramp and railings in favor of a single step at the rear
entry off the kitchen that can be navigated, with assistance, by a specialneeds
individual. The preference was to avoid an elevator and locate the
guest suite on the main living level, further integrating special-needs
guests into a natural flow between their private spaces and the family’s
adjacent social areas.
MARY FITZPATRICK SCRO: Widened hallways, archways and doorways,
along with numerous pocket or barn doors, accommodate barrier-free
navigation. In the guest suite, a roll-in shower with a linear trench
drain—and without the traditional curb to step over—enhances the
ease of entering and using the shower. In addition, we protected hightraffic
areas and wall corners on the first floor with shiplap and other
durable, low-maintenance materials to avoid more institutional acrylic
drywall corner protection.
DNJ: What elements of the interior design reinforce the Modern Farmhouse
style of this home?
IOANA CUROVIC: Shiplap siding on the interior accent walls provides relief
from the general field of materials, much like the wainscot panels on the
stylenewjersey | EXPERT ADVICE
36 October/November 2021
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT | The high ceiling in the
great room adds to the spacious feel of the home.
Pocket doors, shown open and partially closed,
The white and black palette in the accessible guest
bathroom mimics the colors on the home’s exterior.
The guest bathroom features a curbless shower with
a linear trench drain.
clapboard siding outside. In the bathrooms, the
clean, crisp white millwork and plumbing fixtures
with dark, punchy accents echo the white siding
with black windows on the exterior. White oak
floors soften the palette and reiterate the look of
the warm, lighter roofing shingles. These elements
allow the interior to both inspire, and react to,
the exterior of the home.
DNJ: How would you describe the overall project?
M. SCRO: The house represents a fresh take on a
transitional Farmhouse style, yet is immediately
recognizable and familiar in the residential lexicon.
It fits effortlessly into the neighborhood and
context, which was a goal of the young couple as
they envisioned a future home that would be a
welcomed neighbor to the established homes in
the area. DNJ
SOURCES Overall: architecture and interior design,
Z+ Architects in Allendale; builder, Messineo Builders
in Wyckoff. Exterior: HardiePlank ® and HardiePanel ®
siding, James Hardie Building Products; Timberline ®
roofing, GAF Materials Corp. in Parsippany; windows,
Andersen; fireplace doors, Acucraft. Kitchen: wall
color, “Baby’s Breath” by Benjamin Moore; window
trim color, “Black” by Benjamin Moore; flooring,
Mercier; cabinetry and range hood, Dutch Wood LLC;
cabinet hardware, Top Knobs in Branchburg; Cygnus
black granite countertops, Dente Trading Co. Inc. in
Cedar Grove, fabricated by Classic Marble & Tile in
Little Ferry; “20th C. Library Sconces” over windows,
RH; range, Viking Range Corp.; faucet, Brizo through
Hardware Designs in Fairfield. Hallway and Family
Room: wall color, “Super White” by Benjamin Moore;
custom pocket door, Messineo Builders Inc.; sofa,
Crate & Barrel; artwork over fireplace, Russ Rubin.
Accessible Bathroom: wall color, “Pelican Grey” by
Benjamin Moore; shiplap color, “Blackjack” by
Ben jamin Moore; “Dark Flow Waterfall” shower wall
tile, Lea Ceramiche through John P. Fischer Tiles Inc.
in Hawthorne; “Diesel” hard leather floor tile, Iris
Ceramica through John P. Fischer Tiles Inc.; sink and
shower faucets and showerhead, Hansgrohe USA
through Hardware Designs; “English Pub” light above
mirror, Lamps Plus.
For contact information, page 64
RUGS • CARPET • STAIR RUNNERS • LVT
From MY LOOMS to
557 S Atlantic Ave #1, Aberdeen Township, NJ 07747
732-566-3082 • TheRugMall.com
WRITTEN BY MEG FOX
With the surge in the number of people working remotely, the home office has never worked harder. These
highly coveted workspaces have also spurred a renewed emphasis on their design and how well they function,
motivate or inspire. We share three spaces that have earned their keep in unique, personal, high-style ways.
Dark and Handsome
PHOTOS BY MARCO RICCA
DESIGN COLLABORATION BY THE HOMEOWNER,
DESIGNER YELENA GERTS & CARPENTER GEORGE O’REILLY
Inspiration for the husband’s office started with the Colts Neck home’s original
architectural blueprint, which is framed and displayed in the center of custom
built-ins. “He wanted a very masculine and contemporary space,” interior
designer Yelena Gerts says. The designer consulted with the owners on the office and
other main living areas of the home (see “Everyday Elegance,” Design NJ, December
2019/January 2020, page 75). To offset the light and bright areas of the rest of the
home and give the office a modern gentleman’s vibe, the owners chose a saturated charcoal/blue-black
paint scheme, says Gerts, an allied member of the American Society of
Interior Designers and principal of House of Style & Design in Holmdel. The crisp
38 October/November 2021
“The office was a fun
project because it gave
me the opportunity to
incorporate a darker
color into the house,”
which is otherwise light
and bright, the wife says.
Built-ins house a
that disappears when
not in use. Chevronpatterned
a finishing touch to the
gentlemen’s club feel.
white geometric ceiling treatment—built by George O’Reilly of George
O’Reilly Carpentry in Jackson—also commands attention. “We didn’t
have a sketch for the ceiling,” the wife notes. “George would build small
examples for me and then we just came up with the design.”
Another of her favorite features is a motorized television lift that can be
raised and lowered in the cabinet without detracting from the overall design.
“I don’t like how TVs look on the wall,” and the lift mechanism “gave me
the wall space to display the architectural drawing of the house,” she says. A
printing company replicated the drawing on black paper with white ink—
a color combo that “fit so well” in the room, she says. Though the office was
designed with her husband in mind, “I’m finding myself working in there
more than he does,” the wife says. So do their children, who favor it as a
quiet study zone. “I’m so happy with how the room turned out.”
SOURCES interior design, collaboration by the homeowner, House of Style &
Design in Holmdel and George O’Reilly Carpentry in Jackson; all millwork, George
O’Reilly Carpentry; table and chairs, RH; chandelier, Williams-Sonoma Inc.;
chevron-patterned window treatment fabric, Brunschwig & Fils; paint, “Baby Seal
Black” by Benjamin Moore.
“The white lacquered worktable was chosen to complement the color and
materials of the custom wall unit,” designer Lori Levine says.
It Takes Two
PHOTO BY JAY ROSENBLATT
INTERIOR DESIGN BY LORI LEVINE, ASSOCIATE ASID
This office resides in an elegant circa-1901 Victorian home in
Morris County. The space served as the formal living room
before the interior was reconfigured into an open floor plan
to accommodate today’s more contemporary lifestyle, says interior
designer Lori Levine, an associate member of the American Society of
Interior Designers and principal of Lori Levine Interiors in Basking
Ridge. Having worked on other areas of the home, Levine had a good
feel for her clients’ aesthetic. “One of the homeowners is in the tech
field, so I knew that clean and uncluttered would resonate with him,”
she says. In addition, “I like to mix old with new while still honoring
the history of the home.”
Before working from home was the norm, “my clients had jobs that
required both of them to have a home office,” Levine says. A doublesided,
non-traditional partners desk was created so they would have the
option to use either side separately or together. The desk lifts hydraulically
and can be programmed for individual height preferences. One side
has a treadmill for those long Zoom meetings; the other has a chair that
can be adjusted based on the height of the desk.
A custom wall unit allows for plenty of storage while the open center
showcases personal items. “The owners have an extensive contemporary
art collection,” Levine says. “The piece we displayed over the fireplace
draws you into the room and is a wonderful juxtaposition to the existing
SOURCES interior design, Lori Levine Interiors in Basking Ridge; custom wall
unit and hydraulic desk, Dean Zisa of Sage Design Studio in Chester; worktable,
Roberta Schilling Collection (T); leather chairs, GJ Styles (T); hydraulic desk chair,
Knoll; artwork, homeowners.
T= To the trade
40 October/November 2021
Dressed for Success
“We wanted the dark hue of the cabinetry to extend around the room so we painted
all millwork the same color,” designer Alma Russo says. The addition of a large-scale
dimensional butterfly design above the desk anchors the homeowners’ collection of
butterfly prints hung together for impact.
PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER DELANEY
INTERIOR DESIGN BY ALMA RUSSO, ALLIED ASID, AFFILIATE IDS
Mary and Art Guerrera’s home office in the Navesink
section of Middletown Township is visible right off
the front entry. As a result, it had to be beautiful,
functional and related to the coastal feel in the rest of the house (see “Blue
Streak,” Design NJ, December 2020/January 2021, page 48), says Alma
Russo, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and
principal of AR Interiors in Holmdel.
The space is showcased behind transitional three-panel glass doors
that welcome sunlight and views. Cerused oak guest chairs with their
“shutter” backs are also inviting and airy, Russo says. Other design
elements deliver the handsome, cozy feel the homeowners wanted:
Regent stripe gray flannel wallpaper from Ralph Lauren that mimics
men’s suiting, a plaid window treatment and saturated dark gray builtin
A challenging soffit became a design opportunity. “We created a tray
ceiling based on the one soffit and wrapped it in crown molding, which
became a lovely architectural element,” Russo says. Built-ins were
designed for maximum efficiency with ample storage and open shelving
to showcase accessories. DNJ
SOURCE interior design, AR Interiors LLC in Holmdel; custom built-ins, Viscon
Builders LLC in Little Silver; cabinetry, Yorktowne Cabinetry; library sconces, Visual
Comfort; Regent stripe gray flannel wallpaper, Ralph Lauren Home; window
treatment fabric, Duralee.
WRITTEN BY MEG FOX | PHOTOS BY TOM GRIMES | INTERIOR DESIGN BY DEBORAH LEAMANN
In the entrance hall (just beyond the doorway), a vintage English chest is juxtaposed with modern art, creating a tension between old and new. The
lantern-style chandelier is a modern interpretation of a classic form, interior designer Deborah Leamann notes. Original walnut pocket doors lead to the
drawing room in the foreground. Across the hall is the formal living room.
42 October/November 2021
A HISTORIC HOME HONORS ITS PLACE IN HISTORY AND
CRAFTS A NEW NARRATIVE IN CLASSIC FORM
When a professional couple and their two sons
relocated to Lawrenceville, they welcomed the
“almost no” commute to nearby jobs and
schools, the walking distance into town and
the accessible bike trails from their newly purchased property: a circa 1828
structure, known as the Davis House, that came with all its charms and
quirks. For the record, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning author Thornton
The classic Greek Revival-style
home —built circa 1828—is
listed on the historic register.
If doorknockers could talk: This
brass lion has seen guests coming
and going for nearly two
Plaster wall surfaces and authentic, character-rich details — archways, columns, fluted casings and pine floors — were preserved and carefully restored. The 1970s-era X bench in
the entrance hall is reupholstered in a fun leopard print from Anna French. The full-length mirror is from the same period.
Original French doors lead from the drawing room to the remodeled kitchen and adjoining breakfast area.
Wilder really did sleep there (see “Storied Past” on the facing page).
Though owning an old home was long on the homeowners’ wish list,
this one came with some surprises—and nightmares: unlevel floors,
lack of a cohesive floor plan, a variety of ill-conceived updates and, in
some cases, no updates at all. Interior doors, with their mishmash of
doorknobs, were also falling off their hinges, interior designer Deborah
The designer, well known for her love of older homes, came highly
recommended to the couple, who sought to restore and revamp the interior
for modern living. “I had just come off the renovation of an 1882 Victorian
home, so I was in gear to grab the wheel and take charge,” says Leamann,
principal of Pennington-based Deborah Leamann Interior Design.
The groundwork was set to remove the bad and restore the good. “We
knew we would keep and restore the steam radiators, pine floors, Ionic
column-style fireplace mantels, rope-operated windows” and other features
unique to the house, Leamann says. Leaded-glass transom windows and
panel wall details “were a few of the details I wanted to celebrate and showcase,”
she says. “Being authentic to the house was critical for me while at
the same time releasing it into the 21st century.”
Leamann worked within the existing footprint with help from Gordon
Mitchell of Mitchell’s Woodworking & Designs in Westhampton and
general contractor Douglas Fesmire of Fesmire Bros. Builders in Titusville.
She completely reimagined the house, reassigning rooms and drafting a
plan to fulfill the owners’ request for a new kitchen, butler’s pantry and
powder room. “Although these spaces didn’t exist, I took a huge
[unneeded] bathroom with a Jacuzzi in it and created the butler’s pantry
and powder room—both with classic forms,” Leamann says. Hallmark
design elements such as fluted case openings with rosettes, raised panels,
mosaic tiles and wainscoting honor the integrity of the house. “By offering
classic design elements with modern functionality, I have allowed the
Davis House to tell a new story.”
The largest challenge was the uneven floors, Leamann says. “I am not
speaking of off level—more like 2-inch step-ups, 2-inch step-downs. It
was such a trip hazard.” A back staircase was removed and rebuilt so the
floors could be the same height.
The kitchen? “It was a gut job [with] beyond-quirky cupboards” and
other deficiencies, she says. An I-beam had to be installed between the
44 October/November 2021
The Lawrenceville home, as seen in this 1830s rendering,
operated for a time as a boarding house for female
seminary students when Reverend R.H. Davis served as
principal. It’s been known as the Davis House ever since.
In the early 1900s, it housed male students from the
Lawrenceville School before becoming a private
residence around 1941.
When American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder
arrived at the Lawrenceville School in 1921 as a French
instructor, he served as assistant housemaster at the Davis
House for four years. During his Lawrenceville tenure,
Wilder published The Trumpet Shall Sound, The Cabala and
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,
which he reportedly wrote while living in the home.
Antique books and other
artifacts fill the newly
bookcases around the
perimeter of the drawing
room—a multi func -
tional space used for
piano playing and more.
and elsewhere in the
home —were restored
to their former glory.
46 October/November 2021
The renovated kitchen and
breakfast area —crafted in familiar
forms and harmonious proportions
that respect the character of place
— accommodates the needs of a
modern family. The original
fireplace remains intact. “Who
wouldn’t love a fireplace in their
kitchen?” Leamann asks. “It really
is the focal point of the room.”
Custom cabinets are painted in Benjamin
Moore’s “Cloud White.” The countertops are
natural quartzite. Prefab wood flooring from a
prior remodel was replaced with the same
pine boards found elsewhere in the home.
Existing track lighting also got the heave-ho in
favor of classic fixtures —all on dimmers —to
set the desired ambience. “We did not use any
recessed lighting,” Leamann notes.
kitchen and breakfast area, making venting the range tricky, she says.
Fortunately, “I had a great team and expert problem solvers.”
The new kitchen and breakfast area, fitted with off-white custom cabinetry
and quartzite countertops, is clean, classic and highly functional.
“Due to the unusual layout, I had to break the areas into zones, but I think
that’s part of the charm,” Leamann says. Kitchen functions were extended
into the breakfast area, which houses a wall oven, microwave and additional
pantry storage; cabinetry on the opposite side of the room holds a coffee
bar and wine cooler. Prefab wood floors were replaced with the same pine
found elsewhere in the home, Leamann notes. A fireplace also remained
intact. “Who wouldn’t love a fireplace in their kitchen?” she asks. Retaining
the steam radiators and original windows was “icing on the cake.”
During the renovation and restoration, “we took away the bad track
lighting and DIY built-ins and kept the good,” Leamann says. “Lighting
is paramount in creating a mood in a home.” She supplemented task lighting
with stylish and classic chandeliers, sconces and pendants—all set on
dimmers. Plastic toggle switches were swapped for reproduction pushbutton
switches with mother-of-pearl inlay—“something you would
expect to see in a house of this age,” she says. Other thoughtful improve-
The breakfast area contains a wall oven, microwave
(neither pictured) and additional pantry storage. A
coffee bar on the opposite side of the room
contains a wine cooler (not pictured).
ments involved replacing any vinyl 1980s windows with proper divided
lights. She also exchanged formerly mismatched doorknobs and hinges
with carefully curated period hardware.
Walnut pocket doors, which were original to the home, lead to the
drawing room just off the entrance hall. The drawing room is a multifunctional
space that’s now used for reading, entertaining or practicing the
piano. New custom bookcases with library lighting add character and
function along with a variety of accessories and antique books from various
estate sales or from the designer’s own collection. Like the walnut pocket
doors, the Ionic column fireplace mantel—newly restored and freshly
painted—maintains its place in history.
Leamann’s philosophy for designing a historic home? “Keep the foundation
simple,” she says. “Light-colored paints with a tonal value keep the
complexion of the home fresh while allowing the architectural elements
to shine through.” Blending in antiques, she adds, “creates the authenticity
and sensibility you would expect in a historic home.” Incorporating
contemporary art and accessories keeps the interior fresh, “creating that
transition from old to new.” DNJ
EDITOR’S NOTE: View “before” photos, the floor plan and additional tidbits
from this project in the digital version of the story at designnewjersey.com.
SOURCES Overall: interior design, Deborah Leamann Interior Design in Pennington;
general contractor, Fesmire Bros. Builders in Titusville; architect, Inside
Architecture LLC in Titusville; custom cabinetry and millwork, Mitchell’s Woodworking
& Designs in Westhampton. Entrance Hall: English chest and mirror, Umbrella
Home Décor in Hopewell; modern art, A Touch of the Past Antiques in
Lambertville; accessories, Antiquities; leopard print on bench and wallpaper,
Anna French/Thibaut; lantern chandelier, Circa Lighting; wall color, “Dove White”
by Benjamin Moore. Drawing Room: custom bookcases, designed by Deborah
Leamann Interior Design and built by Mitchell’s Woodworking & Designs; bookcase
lights, Circa Lighting; bookcase paint, “Dove White” by Benjamin Moore;
48 October/November 2021
The butler’s pantry—along
with an adjacent powder
room and coat closet—was
carved from an oversized and
outdated full bathroom. A
mosaic marble backsplash,
black absolute granite
counter top and finely crafted
cabinetry and millwork
harmonize with the rest of the
home’s time-honored touches.
Living in comfort
Visit our showroom or call for a
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see for yourself how we’re more
than just furniture...
Designing your daily routine
Enjoy 40% off retail
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during our Fall Sale
Sept. 24 – Oct. 23, 2021
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More than fun and games
M-F 10-5 & Sat 11-5
27 E. Main Street, Denville, NJ
Designs by Lori Driscoll
The new powder room blends traditional features with
a playful tiger print wallpaper from Anna French.
21 PHEASANT LANE, SCOTCH PLAINS
7 BEDROOMS | 6.1 BATHS | OFFERED AT $2,395,000
ONE OF A KIND home on a private lane. 19+ rooms including sunken living room, family room & office, each with fireplace. Gourmet
kitchen with expansive center island, Caesarstone countertops, SS appliances & breakfast room. Gorgeous 1st floor primary bedroom
with fireplace & luxurious bath boasting Jacuzzi tub, his/her WICs & private commode. Additional 1st floor bedroom with private bath.
2nd floor offers 5 additional bedrooms, 3 full baths, step-down bonus room & additional laundry area. Expansive lower level featuring
a home theater, game room, rec room with bar, exercise room & full bath. The resort-like grounds include a deck, patio, in-ground salt
water pool and 4 car attached garage. This spectacular home is not to be missed!
wall color, “Bone White” by Benjamin Moore; contemporary
art above fireplace, Umbrella Home Décor;
fabric on fireside chairs, F. Schumacher & Co.; fabric
on Roman shades, Cowtan & Tout; assorted accessories,
Deborah Leamann Interior Design; rug, homeowners.
Kitchen: custom cabinetry, Mitchell’s Woodworking
& Design; cabinet paint, “Cloud White” by
Benjamin Moore; chandelier over island, Vaughan Designs;
quartzite countertops (Taj Mahal), Stone Tech
Fabrication in Trenton; all tile selections, A Step in
Stone in Hopewell; Sub-Zero/Wolf appliances, H&H
Appliance Center in East Windsor; stools, Palecek;
pressed flower prints from 1895 and other assorted
vintage art, etchings and accessories, A Touch of the
Past Antiques. Breakfast Area: table and chairs, homeowners;
pendants, Worlds Away; Parsons chairs reupholstery
fabric, F. Schumacher & Co., wood frame
chair reupholstery fabric, Stout; sheer café curtain
fabric, Romo. Butler’s Pantry: Carrera mosaic tile backsplash,
A Step in Stone; black absolute granite countertop,
Stone Tech Fabrication; star-like pendant,
Worlds Away; ceiling wallpaper, Sister Parish; window
seat cushion fabric, Stout; toile pillow fabric, Clarence
House. Powder Room: custom vanity and wainscoting,
Mitchell’s Woodworking & Designs; faucet, Kohler Pinstripe;
hardware, Emtek; mirror, Carvers’ Guild through
Deborah Leamann Interior Design; basket-weave mosaic
floor tile, A Step in Stone; wallpaper, Anna
French/Thibaut; light fixture, Circa Lighting.
For contact information, page 64
50 October/November 2021
Celebrating Over 103 Years
Serving Northern NJ
• Custom Design
• New Construction • Renovation
• Service • Maintenance
Div. of V. Lehmann Construction Co. Inc.
NJ Home Improvement Contractor Reg. #13VH02492300
For Your New Pool Safety Cover
644 Wyckoff Ave. Mahwah, NJ 07430
Ivy climbs the home’s
limestone façade, bringing
the carved front door into
sharp focus. Other plantings
include Bada Bing® scarlet
and Whopper® rose greenleaf
Series deep blue salvia,
Serena® blue angelonia,
Sonic® Red New Guinea
impatiens and coleus.
WRITTEN BY MARIROSE KRALL
INTERIOR DESIGN BY DARIA BOUTLE
DESIGN/BUILD BY LYONS MCCONNELL
PHOTOS BY JULIE BLACKSTOCK
A TUDOR-STYLE HOME GETS AN UPDATE
THAT HONORS ITS ORIGINS
54 October/November 2021
The home boasts
including trim above
the living room door
and dentil molding in
the foyer. The
hardwood flooring in
the hallway replaced
the home’s original
slate flooring. “The
slate felt very cold and
dark,” designer Daria
Boutle says. “The white
oak in a herringbone
pattern feels warmer
and more inviting.”
furnishings in the
living room keep the
focus on the original
paneling and leadedglass
The stately 1929 home in Essex County is a classic
example of Tudor design, with beautiful leaded-glass
windows and ornamental woodwork. The owners prized the striking
period details, but felt the home was a bit somber and dark. While a
moody aesthetic may have been on-brand for Henry VIII, it wasn’t
going to work for this 21st-century family. “They previously lived in a
new-build, open-plan home, so this was architecturally very different
from what they were used to,” designer Daria Boutle says. “They
wanted to make this home feel airy and warm, bright and inviting.”
“One of the main challenges was to give the home a better overall
flow,” says Boutle, founder of Daria B Designs in Verona. To address
the circulation issues, the homeowners enlisted Morristown-based
Cabinets in a custom white tone keep the mood light in the kitchen, while walnut accents, such as the range hood trim
and open shelving, relate to the walnut floors elsewhere in the home. “Though the kitchen feels more contemporary,
we wanted it to flow beautifully with the other spaces in the house,” Boutle says.
56 October/November 2021
The original kitchen was not functional, Boutle says. “The layout was really strange. It didn’t have good circulation
at all.” A new island brings practical workspace, and a new opening to the dining room improves traffic flow.
Lyons McConnell. The architecture and construction firm reconfigured
the layout of the house, updating rooms and creating a more open plan,
always mindful of the pedigree of the residence. “It was very important to
the homeowners to keep the character of the home and to retain as many
original features as possible,” Boutle says.
To that end, existing doors were preserved and the lead windows were
upgraded to improve their efficiency. In addition, the designer notes, “we
retained the majority of the oversized wood detailing, such as paneling and
decorative moldings.” Elements that couldn’t be saved were replaced with
historically appropriate alternatives. “Repairing some of the original locks
on the doors was just not feasible,” the designer says. “So we sourced
Accommodating modern sensibilities while retaining the home’s vintage
charm required a bit of decorative dexterity. “Even though we wanted to
make some spaces more contemporary, we still tried to choose colors and
58 October/November 2021
finishes that went with the house,” says Boutle, who had the walls painted
in a warm palette of white and off-white tones. “This creates a juxtaposition
with the dark wood elements,” she says. “It was important to create a
clean palette to really appreciate the original elements such as windows,
doors and woodwork.”
For the fixtures and furniture, Boutle “chose furnishings that did not fight
with the more ornate original elements of the home.” In the living room,
which features both floor-to-ceiling paneling and leaded windows, “We
In the primary bathroom, the clients chose unlacquered brass vanities, inspired by
similar fixtures seen while they were guests at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City.
The window treatments in the primary bathroom can be opened and closed with
the press of a button.
A mural above the fireplace in a child’s room brings the drama. “Since the home is
quite grand, we decided to make a bold statement with the striking wallpaper mural,”
the designer says.
The children’s bathroom features clean-lined stone and metal.
added streamlined furniture and pieces that felt more open and light to balance the
heaviness of the woodwork. I feel that simple lines work well in ornate homes like
this. The two styles are not conflicting with each other.”
The designer gave the woodwork in a child’s bedroom—an elaborately carved
fireplace surround—a coat of black paint. The new, dark tone accentuates the
richness of the carving and, Boutle notes, helps “to make that space feel bolder,
crisper and more fun.” Also adding exuberance to the room is a dramatic mural
60 October/November 2021
above the fireplace depicting a sailing ship reminiscent
of those in the Tudor navy.
Though the kitchen has thoroughly modern
amenities, it still features components that coordinate
with vintage elements in the home.
Boutle says she “wanted to make sure the new
finishes felt authentic and somewhat dis -
tressed.” Wrought iron pendants above the
island add rustic charm and white bronze cabinet
hardware was chosen specifically because it
would develop a patina. “It has changed beautifully
over time,” she adds.
“Changing beautifully” is what this project was
all about—evolving to meet the needs of the
present while acknowledging the best parts of the
past. Boutle says her clients “were phenomenal.
They were so kind and easygoing. Together we
created a home that is light, inviting and practical
for their family, yet still preserves the character of
the property.” DNJ
the art of organization
SOURCES: Overall: interior design, Daria B Designs in
Verona; architecture and construction, Lyons Mc-
Connell in Morristown; landscaping, Martin O’Boyle
Landscaping in Bloomfield. Foyer: wall color; “Barely
There” by Benjamin Moore; “Bobbin” table, White
House Luxe in Fairfield; “Morris” medium lantern light
fixture, Visual Comfort & Co. through West Essex
Lighting in West Caldwell. Living Room: “Enlighten”
carpet in color “Ocean Mist,” Stanton Carpet (Antrim)
through The Carpet Mill in East Hanover; sofa, Century
Furniture through White House Luxe; throw pillow on
sofa, Etsy Shop; “Surrey Twist” side table, KingsHaven
through West Essex Lighting; coffee table, White
House Luxe; leather pouf next to side table, Lee Industries
through White House Luxe. Kitchen: wall tile and
countertop, Dente Trading in Cedar Grove; cabinetry,
Ezmat Inc. in Paterson; cabinet hardware, Ashley Norton
in Pompton Plains; “Foussana” gray high-honed
floor tile, Artistic Tile in Secaucus; “Julia” wallmounted
articulated pot filler with metal cross handle
in pewter, Waterworks; stools at island, Zin Home in
Hoboken; “FitzJames” light fixtures over island, Currey
& Co. through West Essex Lighting; wall color, “Barely
There” by Benjamin Moore. Primary Bathroom: wall
color, “White OC151” by Benjamin Moore; “Renaissance”
console with unlacquered brass legs, Stone Forest;
mirror, Bespoke; sconces next to mirror, RH; wall
and floor tile, Artistic Tile; “Florenza” bathtub, Crosswater
London; bath faucet, Sigma; sconce above
chaise lounge, RH; window treatment, Smith & Noble.
Fireplace Room: wall color, “White OC151” by Benjamin
Moore; chair, Serena & Lilly in Summit; window
treatments, Smith & Noble: mural above fireplace,
“High Seas” from Rebel Walls. Kids’ Bathroom: wall
color, “White OC151” by Benjamin Moore; wall tile,
Artistic Tile; “Hudson” metal powder washstand,
“Rivet” medicine cabinet and sconce above mirror, RH;
“Metropole” faucet, Newport Brass.
For contact information, page 64
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IT’S ABOUT YOU.
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Photo by Peter Rymwid
Interior Decisions, Inc.
Florham Park, NJ
Allied Member of ASID, NJ CID
firstname.lastname@example.org | interiordecisions.com
ASID Design Excellence Award Winner
62 October/November 2021
facetoface | MEET MICHAEL WALLACE
“Personalized customer service is what sets
84 Lumber apart. ”
PHOTOS BY BRANDI GROOMS PHOTOGRAPHY
– MICHAEL WALLACE
Michael Wallace’s day starts at dawn. As General Manager of 84 Lumber’s
Manahawkin store, he needs to be on-site early to go over the day’s goals with
his team. 84 Lumber is the nation’s leading privately-held supplier of building
materials, and that kind of success requires hard work and commitment. It also
takes impressive logistical skills. “We run multiple delivery trucks daily,” Michael
says. “The pieces are constantly moving; it’s important that we’re extremely
organized and focused, with a clear plan.”
While planning is important, so is responsiveness to customer needs. “We
form partnerships with each of our customers,” Michael explains. “I have a really
extraordinary crew. We get ahead of any issues.” Those issues grew exponentially
over the past year and a half, but Michael and his team responded to industry
changes swiftly and effectively. “We’re mindful of our customers’ struggles and
stressors; we serve them with honesty, empathy and adaptability. That kind of
personalized customer service sets 84 Lumber apart.”
In addition to supplying building materials, 84 Lumber Manahawkin specializes
in windows, doors and trim. Michael’s team of experienced associates can help with
services ranging anywhere from building a new deck and replacing windows to
building beach front properties.
“It’s rewarding to be a part of the 84 Lumber team,” Michael says. “We’re
helping people build their first home or that beach house they’ve always wanted.
“It’s fun helping people achieve their dreams.”
Contact Michael at Michael.Wallace@84lumber.com, (609) 597-8400 or
A SPECIAL PROMOTION 63
A guide to contacting
suppliers, companies and
mentioned in this issue.
See Ad on Page 63
A Step in Stone
A Touch of the Past Antiques
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ACD Custom Granite
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AR Interiors LLC
ASID - NJ Chapter
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Benjamin Moore & Co.
BeSPOKE by Luigi Gentile
Brielle Furniture Interiors
Brunschwig & Fils Inc.
By Design Landscapes Inc.
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Cassina (New York Showroom)
Century Furniture Co.
Circa Lighting Showroom
Classic Marble & Tile
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Cowtan & Tout
Crate & Barrel
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Currey & Co.
Daria B Designs
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Dente Trading Co. Inc.
Design Hub Home
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Duralee Fabrics & Fine Furniture
Dutch Wood LLC
Elephant in the Room Design
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Fesmire Bros. Builders
Fiori Interior Design LLC
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Flemington Department Store
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Frank Webb Home
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GAF Materials Corp.
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General Plumbing Supply
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George O’Reilly Carpentry
Hancock & Moore
Hardware Designs Inc.
Hickory Chair Co.
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House of Style & Design
HVD Interior Design
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Inside Architecture LLC
Interior Decisions Inc.
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Isoldi Collection-Coldwell Banker
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James Hardie Building Products
John P. Fischer Tiles Inc.
Lehmann Pools & Spas
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Lexington Home Brands
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Lori Levine Interiors
Martin O’Boyle Landcaping
Metropolitan Window Fashions
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Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Mitchell’s Woodworking & Designs
New Jersey Gravel & Sand Co.
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New Jersey Realtors
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PMI International Stone Importers
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Ralph Lauren Home Collection
Raymour & Flanigan
Roberta Schilling Inc.
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Sage Design Studio LLC
Schwartz Design Showroom
Serena & Lily
Smith & Noble
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Stickley Furniture | Mattress
Stone Tech Fabrication
Stout Brothers Fabrics and
IFC - Inside Front Cover
Sub-Zero Wolf and Cove
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The Carpet Mill
Umbrella Home Decor
Universal Furniture Inc.
Viking Range Corp.
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Watts Water Technologies
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West Essex Lighting
White House Luxe
WL Kitchen and Home
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IBC - Inside Back Cover BC - Back Cover
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64 October/November 2021
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