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gallery

gallery new jersey luxury homes & estates

FALL/ WINTER 2016

GOING DUTCH IN RIDGEWOOD ridgewood reno

CHARLESTON: DIXIE DESIGN AT ITS BEST the wonder of wood

| dixie design

WHAT $5 MILLION BUYS

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Experience the before and after

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LUXE SPRING 2016_Layout 1 3/7/16 9:48 AM Page 1

MICHELANGELODESIGNS THE DESIGNER'S SOURCE FOR ITALIAN FURNITURE

Home of the Italian Design Center

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www.safaviehhome.com • 877.919.1010 Flasgship Store: 24 School Street | Glen Cove, NY 11542 | 516.365.3800

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Design. Service.Value.

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FINE FURNISHINGS, INTERIOR DESIGN, AND DECORATION SINCE 1952 1105 Mt. Kemble Ave, (Rt. 202) Morristown, NJ 973.425.5500

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contents F/ W 2 0 1 6

features home base | 56

A cozy Hillsdale apartment gets a worldly redo—its rustic modern design complements pieces found during the owner’s travels around the globe.

the river house | 72

Views of the Manasquan inspire a home’s metamorphosis from blank canvas to colorful palette.

accessible by design | 80

Universal design has come a long way from its institutional roots. Aging in place has never looked so good.

going dutch

Seeking a muchneeded redo for their Dutch Colonial, a family of four gets the blend of timeless charm and modern simplicity that they want.

p.

102 Soft fabrics contrast sharp, clean lines in a modern bath designed by Gerald Charles Tolomeo.

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On the cover:

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Diane Durocher Interiors Sophisticated • Elegant • Timeless

Diane Durocher Interiors is an award winning design firm that specializes in creating beautiful interiors customized to reflect our clients’ individual needs and style. Diane Durocher, ASID, IIDA, CAPS, CID Ramsey, NJ • 201.825.3832 • www.dianedurocherinteriors.com • dmd1211@aol.com

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contents fa l l / w i n t e r 2 01 6

72

90

departments memo | 20

everyday elegance | 86

Innovation pairs with preservation in this issue of Gallery.

Welcoming floral arrangements bring cheer into living and entertaining spaces.

the guide | 25

travel | 90

Beguiling tiling…waterfront dining… private home tours…and more!

real estate | 30 These estates in the $5 million range showcase the good life around New Jersey.

material world | 36 Rather than living in a glass house, add these translucent treasures to your interior.

The charming Dixie city of Charleston is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, and it wouldn’t have it any other way.

pick a side! | 98 Every room needs one (or more) tiny tables. These sides add fun and function to every nook and cranny.

a rocky road | 100

hot stuff | 40

Outdoor spaces needn’t pose a challenge. Just take it one step (or stone) at a time.

Powerful pieces varied in texture are just what a man needs for his “cave.”

design challenge | 108

new & noteworthy | 44 Simple lines and bold shapes help create a soothing sanctuary.

art & antiques | 48 Find peace in your personal space with these otherworldly antiques.

the shape of things | 60

A designer turns an outdated bathroom into a miracle of modernity.

the artisan | 120 Painter-restorer Ornella Muth creates lively new murals as avidly as she brings old pieces back to life.

80 36

Lushly layered topiaries can turn landscapes into textural masterpieces.

whole grain | 66 Multi-tonal wood decor is a favored design option for nature-inspired interiors that feel both modern and chic.

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RE-DEFINING THE ART OF OUTDOOR LIVING

CUSTOM SWIMMING POOLS LANDSCAPE DESIGN OUTDOOR KITCHENS

201-327-5162

LANDSCAPE MASONRY OUTDOOR FIREPLACES POOL RENOVATIONS

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memo

gallery Editor in Chief Rita Guarna Art Director stephen M. vitarbo Managing Editor Nicole Lupo

from innovation to preservation

W

hen dozens of design projects cross your desk, you inevitably get to thinking about what lessons they cumulatively teach. To me, the examples in this issue suggest that great design is a two-sided coin: part innovation, part preservation. Sure, a designer must have foresight: the ability to look at a space and see boundless possibilities. But a true visionary is also marked

by the capacity to see the beauty that’s already there. Indeed, haven’t we all seen cases where an ambitious design scheme was locked in a jarring squabble with its materials, its history or its natural setting. A space’s innate beauty may need extra coaxing, but it grows ever clearer to me that a designer’s real genius consists of being sensitive enough to find it and heed it—before the transformation begins. And the result is often spectacular. Take, for instance, designer Gerald Charles Tolomeo’s reimagining of a home on the Manasquan River (page 72). In keeping with the homeowners’ wishes, the mid-century décor is secondary to the breathtaking river views. The theme of preservation is also found in a Ridgewood home that’s an award-winning spin on universal design (page 80). Interior designer Taplynn Dugan blends aesthetics and comfort while also seamlessly incorporating the functional elements that will allow her home to be an accessible space in which to grow old. We also feature artisan Ornella Muth, who wears two hats (page 120): She revives timeworn pieces as a restorer while creating new art, such as a bathroom floor painted to mimic a koi pond. There’s much more to discover in this issue of Gallery—we hope these pages inspire you to adopt savvy design solutions while preserving your personal style.

associate editor darius amos

art assistant Yvonne Marki Contributing editors timothy kelley, christina poletto Contributing Photographers pam connelly, Patty connelly, brandon dimartino, andrew holtz Publishing staff Publisher shae marcus advertising account executives karen azzarello, jodi bruker, Melissa Drozdoff, THOMAS FLANNERY, bridget juliano, Mary lima, robyn maka, mary masciale, maura hunter templeton, annette vanore, amy B. weiss

Marketing, digital & Operations director of marketing & digital media nigel edelshain Marketing associate richard Iurilli

Director of production and circulation Chrstine hamel Advertising Services Manager jacquelynn fischer Senior Art Director, Agency Services Kijoo Kim Production/Art Assistant Alanna Giannantonio Accounting agnes alves, megan frank manager, office services & information technology catherine rosario Published by Chairman Carroll V. Dowden President & CEO Mark Dowden Senior Vice Presidents sHAE MARCUS, Carl Olsen Vice Presidents Nigel Edelshain, Rita guarna, christine hamel GALLERY Magazine is published by Wainscot Media, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645. Copyright © 2016 by Wainscot Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Editorial Contributions: Write to Editor, GALLERY, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645; telephone 201.782.5730; email mark.dowden@wainscotmedia .com. The magazine is not responsible for the return or loss of unsolicited submissions. Subscription Services: To inquire about a subscription, to change an address or to purchase a back issue or a reprint of an article, please write to GALLERY, Circulation Department, 110 Summit Ave., Montvale, NJ 07645; telephone 201.573.5541; email christine.hamel@ wainscotmedia.com. Advertising Inquiries: Contact Shae Marcus at 856.797.2227 or shae.marcus@wainscotmedia.com.

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Rita Guarna Editor in chief editor@wainscotmedia.com

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the guide What’s up, what’s new and what to do.

Bright Ideas Steeped in Tradition

Sometimes Lipton just won’t do. If you are forever on the lookout to see what’s brewing, Teamap.com considers these tea rooms to be the best in the state: n From its golden flatware to sparkling chandeliers, The New Leaf Tea Room & Gift Shoppe in Riverton is a master class in teatime finery. Inside, discover an assortment of tea sandwiches and decadent sweets. A separate dining room for children’s tea parties delights even the most discriminating fairy-tale princess. n Teaberry Tea Room’s in Flemington pulls off the neat trick of being elegant yet unpretentious. It offers a British-style high tea and a full lunch menu (including the very un-British option of PB&J for the little ones). A word of advice: All diets should be briefly forgiven in lieu of a Teaberry scone with lemon curd. n With its relaxed, intimate atmosphere, the High SocieTea House in Wayne invites guests to sit back and savor the experience (as well as any of the 40 tea varieties on the menu). In addition to traditional afternoon tea snacks and sandwiches, High SocieTea occasionally serves breakfast; try the homemade stuffed French toast.

CFL lightbulbs might fill one with a sense of environmental pride, but they also fill one’s home with a harsh and unforgiving glare. Thanks to Tala, however, the appealing glow of an Edison incandescent has found a new lease on life. These retro offerings are created by revisiting old craftsmanship; some bulb shapes are achieved through traditional, hand-blown glass techniques. What makes a Tala bulb especially unique, however, is its stealthy incorporation of new technology. Despite its appearance, each bulb’s light source is not the result of burning tungsten; the exposed filament is a string of tiny LED lights. The result is a funky throwback that emits warm, attractive light without sacrificing its sustainable pedigree.

Beguiling Tiling

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gallery

Nancy Epstein, the CEO of Artistic Tile, is a fan of Michael Aram’s work—and her customers are fans of Aram’s work too. In fact, many of them had searched her stores for tile choices that would complement his distinct metal designs. Unfortunately for Epstein (and her customers), Aram’s designs didn’t have ceramic tile equivalents. Until now. Epstein approached Aram and proposed a partnership. Aram, who was eager to create tile for his own home, jumped at the opportunity. In June, Artistic Tile debuted a series of textured and sculpted tiles that draw from several of Aram’s most popular collections: Molten, Botanical Leaf and Gotham. Glazed in bronze, silver and gloss white, the new tiles accentuate Aram’s existing portfolio as well as stand alone as a refined style choice.

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the guide

House Calls

Handmade rugs take time to create—often a year or more—but they last for generations. As a consequence, the design of such a rug needs to be worthy of this longevity; it should be both timely and timeless. Solo Rugs respects the traditions of rug making, but respects the design process even more. Initially a wholesaler, Solo Rugs now sells directly to consumers, offering an everchanging catalog to suit both traditional and contemporary tastes.

Design and Dine Jersey City’s Battello not only serves fine Italian cuisine, its interior design offers a feast for the eyes. The restaurant’s look, envisioned by managing partner Cory Checket, is a sly hybrid between warehouse chic and NYC’s Boat Basin, making it perfectly at home in its riverfront location without once devolving into nautical kitsch. The space makes creative use of salvaged materials (Battello’s tabletops are repurposed doors, for example) while offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

Timeless design, americanstyle

Mark D. Sikes’ interior designs are modern yet inviting, incorporating patterns that mingle the subdued and the bold, utilizing color palettes ranging from soothing blues to sun-drenched yellows and reds. In his first book, Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style (Rizzoli, $45), Sikes explains how to incorporate color, pattern and texture to replicate his iconic style. Each chapter explores a different look, from the timeless neutral tones of semiformal dining rooms to bright, playful spaces perfect for recharging with the family. His book, like his design philosophy, is accessible and inspirational and serves as a resource to turn any home into both a wellspring of comfort and a focus of conversation.

Stickley Hosts Newcomb Collection Newcomb pottery has found an exhibit space worthy of its Arts and Crafts roots. Now through November 6, nearly 30 pieces from the private collection of Barbara Fuldner and her late husband, Henry Fuldner, are on display at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains. The pottery is on view in the

dining room of the Log House—the home Gustav Stickley designed for his own use—providing a period-perfect backdrop for the exhibition. The merger of the Newcomb pottery and the Stickley home not only shares a design connection, but also a familial one; Barbara Fuldner is the great-granddaughter of Gustav Stickley.

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This fall brings a few chances to catch a glimpse inside some of the area’s most tony private homes: • Forbes once declared Lambertville to be one of the prettiest towns in America. Travel + Leisure described it as the fifth-quirkiest town in America. To see if that prettiness and quirkiness extends to the interior of people’s homes, sign up for the Lambertville Autumn House Tour, set for October 16 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on tour day. Visit lambertville historicalsociety.org for additional information. • Spring Lake (pictured) is a lovely place to stroll, especially if your energy level is regularly replenished by the offerings of accomplished chefs. On October 22, the Taste of Spring Lake Tour invites guests inside 10 private local kitchens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a tasty sampling of what was prepared there. Admission is $60; go to springlakekitchentour.com for details. • Vibrant Hoboken is a cultural delight with lots to do and plenty to explore. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 30, check out 10 diverse homes, ranging from stately Victorians to modern waterfront condominiums. Proceeds from the Annual Hoboken House Tour will benefit the Hoboken Historical Museum. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 on tour day; find out more at hobokenmuseum.org.

A Rug’s Life

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SHORT HILLS, NJ $9,900,000 Susan Penney, Sales Associate C. 973.495.7921 | O. 973.376.5200

We Sell luxury

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COLTS NECK, NJ $1,399,000 Pamela Molloy, Sales Associate C. 732.768.5953 | O. 732.946.9600

FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ $4,795,000 William “Bill” Boswell, Sales Associate Ronald “Ron” Aiosa, Broker Sales Associate C. 973.224.4605 | O. 201.891.6700

READINGTON, NJ $1,345,000 Celeste Amann, Sales Associate C. 908.229.4897 | O. 908.782.6850

Africa North America Central America South America Asia Australia Caribbean Europe Middle East South Pacific *Sales Volume based on total closed and recorded buyer and seller transaction sides of homes sold for $1 million or more as reported by the U.S. Coldwell Banker® franchise system for the calendar year 2014. USD$. ©2016 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International, the Coldwell Banker Previews International logo and “Dedicated to Luxury Real Estate” are registered and unregistered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. 84735 08/16

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YOUR MONEY IS THE CURRENCY THAT FUELS YOUR LIFESTYLE

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DESIGNING BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS

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real estate

high-five living These estates currently on the market in the $5 million range showcase the good life in New Jersey.

$5,799,000 | 5 beds, 7.2 baths, 7,215 sq.ft. Rich dark-wood trim highlights the windows, doors and ceilings in this home, which is surrounded by formal gardens, a reflection pool and a pergola-covered bluestone terrace. There’s no shortage of entertainment amenities, either—work out in the gym or rehearse in the music/dance studio. Contact: Cheryl Darmanin, The Darmanin Group at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s international realty, (973) 376-8188

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5 Sutton Dr., Harding Township

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PIRELA ATELIER will help you create a space that is truly yours and that reflects your aesthetic sense, a space where every detail showcases your personal style and brings happiness and wellbeing to everyone who experiences it.

609.773.0224 | 18 NORTH UNION STREET, LAMBERTVILLE, NJ 08530 | PIRELAATELIER.COM

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real estate New construction

Address provided upon request, Saddle River |MLS#: 1618657 $5,995,000 | 6 beds, 7.2 baths, 10,000 sq.ft. A stone-and-stucco exterior belies an interior full of custom work, including walk-in closets and two master suites. There’s a saltwater heated pool with cabana too. CONTACT: ANNA ILIN, SPECIAL PROPERTIES DIVISION, BROOK HOLLOW GROUP, (201) 281-1155

132 Bingham Ave., Rumson $5,499,999 | 7 beds, 6.4 baths, 15,795 sq.ft. A vast entry foyer with double curved staircase leads into this custom home accented with inlaid wood floors, soaring ceilings and custom trim. The sprawling estate includes an inground pool and tennis court.

8800 1st. Ave., Stone Harbor $5,295,000 | 6 beds, 5.5 baths, 5,300 sq.ft. What this one-of-a-kind Victorian—nicknamed The Chateau—lacks in total square footage, it makes up for in stature. Multiple decks and porches along its four stories ensure endless views of the ocean. CONTACT: MARY HELVERSON, FERGUSON DECHERT REAL ESTATE, (609) 967-4295

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CONTACT: BRENDA MCINTYRE, BRENDA MCINTYRE REALTY, (732) 372-0946

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Fine Home Furnishings & Interior Design Furniture, Window Treatments, Carpeting, Wall Coverings, Lighting, Accessories, Fine Art and Much More . . .

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blissful relaxation C R E A T E

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material world

Bring some light into your universe with the Meteor Shower chandelier by Omer Arbel for Bocci, which mixes modern design with contemporary class. The wave of the future brings the Discovery coffee table by Zuo. Sleek, modern and unique, this piece adds an artistic edge to functionality.

in the clear

RATHER THAN LIVING IN A GLASS HOUSE, ADD these translucent treasures TO YOUR INTERIOR.

Fade into relaxation under the glow of this ombrĂŠ Nightfall table lamp by Renwil.

There’s more to the Floating Shelf bookcase by Monarch Specialties than meets the eye. Its open-concept design allows you to store your possessions without cluttering your humble abode.

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Get your paws on this magnificent Crystal Jaguar modern sculpture crafted from filigree glass and covered in a glass mosaic pattern by Modani.

Shake off the chill next to the clean-burning Broadway fireplace by Anywhere Fireplaces. It's sure to add warmth and sophistication to your living space.

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SURFACES OF SUBSTANCE & STYLE artisan tile mosaics decorative stone design services

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man of the house

hot stuff

Cast in resin to resemble rough stone and anchored by a gleaming polished chrome base, the Negotiation table from the Phillips Collection is modern, masculine and incredibly stylish.

This six-pack isn’t what you’d think—the Natane Industrial Loft chandelier by Kathy Kuo provides architecture and industrial style with six bent arms made from wrought iron.

powerful, textural pieces are just what your “cave” needs.

Why play it straight? Take a chance on the Zigzag Drinks Table by Bunny Williams Home.

Add fifty shades of gray (give or take) to your floor with the geometric Brilliant rug by Linie Design. It’s handcrafted from cowhide in India.

The Bedford lounge chair by Desiron, handcrafted from natural walnut with Yerra cowhide and fur, will give any room a rustic edge.

Time is running out! Pick up the handblown Ikepod hourglass by Marc Newson, which is filled with millions of tiny stainless steel spheres covered in gold and silver.

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Drumroll, please! The Delano Drum wooden coffee table by Brownstone Furniture will be the star of your modern living room.

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Upholstered in top-grain leather with traditional nailhead trim and English arms, the chesterfield-style Edith Hollywood Regency Sofa by Kathy Kuo is the perfect timeless piece for any elegant space.

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Assemble your ideas into unique and efficient designs that energize and support your lifestyle. Perform the renovation in a mode of dedication and service to the family and friends in residence.

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Making all your outdoor dreams...

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Creating Kitchen Artistry for over 39 years

Featured Cabinetry by Medallion®

YOU BRING THE VISION. WE BRING THE EXPERTISE.

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new & noteworthy

The minimalist, ultra-thin Laser Cut Stainless Steel 16-inch Square Rainfall Shower Head by BAI with its brushednickel finish adds a look of geometric cool to your bath as it pampers you with a refreshing, evenly distributed spray.

Not your typical light fixture, Vistosi’s Poc SP 45 Suspension Lamp gives a modern and playful vibe with its splitsphere design.

Glam up and add texture to your bath with mosaic tiles by Bisazza. Choose from different patterns—the understated Labirinto Oro (left), for example, or the bolder Plait Black.

Get a handle on the modern design of the Aimes Widespread Lavatory Faucet by Toto. Make a splash when you install the Vogue bathroom sink by MaestroBath.

keep it clean

The pyramid shape of the Arteriors Platt Acacia Veneer 4 Piece Stackable Etagere makes it perfect for organizing your towels and toiletries.

simple lines and bold shapes help create a soothing sanctuary. Lounge and relax in the luxuriously soft, 100-percent canvas cotton Rex Hooded Bathrobe by Missoni Home.

Set the mood right with mLab’s mSound docking station. Its circular design and exponential horn naturally amplify the sound from your smartphone.

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The fresh white matte finish of the sleek and spacious Ballico Resin Freestanding Slipper Tub from Signature Hardware provides a calming atmosphere to unwind in after a long day.

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LET NOTHING OBSTRUCT YOUR VIEW Beauty without sacriicing performance. Designed, tested and certiied to beautifully meet the demands of coastal living.

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NEW JERSEY LUXURY AT ITS FINEST

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EVERY HOUSE SHOULD BE AN OASIS. ARE YOU HOME YET?

IF YOU ARE LOOKING for an experienced interior design firm that is going to exceed your expectations for service and the vision of your home, look no further. For over a decade, NLM Design Interiors has been creating classic interiors, regardless of style, that are as individual and unique as each client and home throughout the NY/NJ Metro area. OASIS HOME by NLM Design Interiors, is the retail brand located in Asbury Park, New Jersey, building on this passion for design and curation of home décor, art and all things beautiful and unique. Oasis Home specializes in curating custom, timeless home furnishings that will stand up over time. Whether you are looking to remodel or are in need of concierge interior design services, OASIS HOME and NLM Design Interiors, offer personal service, stylized solutions for your home, kitchen, bath and lifestyle. Stop in and see how we can manage your project from concept to completion, or simply help you find that unique home décor item you have been looking for.

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art & antiques

You might not be a cultural icon, but you can embrace the culture and artistry of the Russian Orthodox Church. This icon in silver gilded with gold shows Our Lady of Kazan surrounded by four saints.

There’s no secret to your success when you display this dancing deity in your home. The bronze statue (circa 1900s) depicts Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of wealth and prosperity.

Whether or not you believe in the healing powers of aromatherapy, you and your guests will spark up a conversation over this 1930s Islamic incense burner with Greek detail.

that’s the spirit

Find peace in your personal space with these otherworldly antiques.

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Brighten your holidays (or any day) with a molded brass menorah, the official emblem of the State of Israel. Based on the oxidized surface and lack of modern screws, this 10.5-inch-tall candelabra with banded branches dates back more than 100 years to Eastern Europe.

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For daily enlightenment, bring home this special statue of Buddha’s head. The 2-foot-tall sculpture is made of gray stone and sits on a steel base, but what makes this one stand out? It comes from the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Searching for something heavenly and unique? This 18th-century hand-carved wooden angel on an iron base from France is a divine choice.

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Countertops • Fireplace Surrounds • Vanities • Bars • Outdoor Kitchens

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Don’t just optimize your website. Optimize your entire online presence with BigFish.

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BigFish is an integrated, digital local marketing system involving more than 300 steps. We create videos for your business. We write and publish articles about you online. We do reputation marketing of your business. And we optimize everything for Google—all for a price that’s less than many businesses pay for traditional SEO. If you need more traffic to your website and more calls and visits to your store or office, contact Shae Marcus about BigFish, (856) 797-2227, shae.marcus@wainscotmedia.com

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For top quality floors at rock bottom prices, Floor & Decor has got you covered. Stop by today and ask about our free Design Services.

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Michael Felice Interiors Fabrics • Furniture • Upholstery • Slipcovers Window Treatments • Wall Coverings • Home Accents

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HardwareDesigns_BestReasons_Gallery_Fall_Layout 1 8/16/16 2:37 PM Page 1

The reasons we’re still here are the best reasons for buying from Hardware Designs

The region’s finest bath, kitchen, architectural hardware, lighting and accessories showroom. Over 50 years of service to the tri-state area. Extremely price competitive. An unparalleled and knowledgeable sales staff with years of experience. Nothing like the big box chain stores burdened with high staff turnover, minimal product knowledge and lackluster customer service. One visit is all it will take to convince you there’s no better source for bath, kitchen and architectural hardware for throughout your home. Our focus is you! Stop in or visit us on the web at:

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The Products, The People and The Pricing

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gallery fall/winter 2016 “My house is my refuge, an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold piece of convenience.” —Luis Barragán

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home base A cozy Hillsdale apartment gets a worldly redo—its rustic modern design complements pieces found during the owner’s travels around the globe. Photography by Brandon DiMartino

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Design by Jennifer Pacca Interiors

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Designer Jennifer Pacca gave the cozy living space a “New York City–loft feel,” installing wallpaper featuring a true-to-life brick pattern. A wood-trim, fulllength mirror adds depth and a casual look to the overall “rustic modern” design, as does the wooden chandelier and round dining table. Roman shades allow filtered sunlight to fill both the sitting and dining areas.

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A wall tapestry brought home from her client’s trip to India inspired the choice of rug— the focal point of the room, Pacca explains. Other artifacts found during the homeowner’s travels are prominently displayed on the media unit. Though similar to the hues of the rug, the chairs, sofa and side table were mismatched to create the appearance that they were collected over time.

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the shape of things

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Whether lushly layered or whimsically whittled, topiaries can turn landscapes into textural masterpieces.

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Columnar evergreens, mini hedges and sprawling plants sculpted into winding ribbons accent statuary and add visual interest to an open estate garden. Juniper or boxwood trimmed in pom-pom or spiral tree styles are popular for entranceways, says Bruce Rohsler, owner of Rohsler’s Allendale Nursery & Florist.

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This page: A fanciful lion adds a touch of whimsy—the pedestal ensures the topiary is the focal point, as it rises above circular layers of flowering plants and shrubs. Opposite, from top: With ancient Roman origins, traditional geometric topiary designs naturally pair well with statues. A shrub fashioned into stacked spheres sits in a large decorative container, while a continuous line of hedges creates the appearance of a maze.

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This page: A stone path brings visitors through a carefully trimmed topiary archway into a world of botanical delight. Opposite: Gardeners fashion geometric and fanciful shapes alike in one of three ways: teasing a plant to fill a premade framework or form; carving a shape from a natural plant; or continually pruning a young plant as it grows. Here, topiaries of various heights add variation to the landscape. Once established, Rohsler recommends pruning once or twice a year to keep the shape intact.

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whole grain

Gone are the days of waxy wood paneling extending from wall to wall. Now, multi-tonal wood dĂŠcor is a favored design option for those craving natureinspired interiors that feel both modern and chic.

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By Christina Poletto

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Talk about multipurpose decoration: A floor-to-ceiling backdrop of tightly conjoined wood squares serves as a statement wall, oversize headboard and placesetter for a pair of squat, round mirrored reading lights. What’s more, its grain-like appearance and all-natural hue imbue a calming vibe to the space, which is further complemented by the light wood tones of the platform bed and shelving unit. A textured area rug atop the expansive dark stone floor adds a contrasting element to the room’s design.

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Dark wood shelving units and stand-alone storage pieces are streaked with lighter hues to tree-like effect. Elsewhere in the room, wood frames and accents, like an integrated runner down the middle of the white coffee table, continue the theme that takes center stage in the home. Here, the darker brown tones of the wood are paired with similar neutrals—grays, whites and blacks—to keep the entire space feeling warm, sleek and of-the-moment.

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This page: The integration of multiple wood styles works beautifully in the bathroom (and kitchen, right). The key to a happy marriage between competing wood grains is having enough space to showcase each style effectively. In the bathroom, a long vanity sits atop a contrasting wood floor. Opposite: Low cabinets in dark wood facades make a strong statement hovering above much lighter floorboards in the kitchen. In both rooms, the stately storage pieces are delicately accented by contemporary metal drawer pulls that do anything but detract from the design.

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the river house Views of the Manasquan inspire a home’s metamorphosis from blank canvas to colorful palette.

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Design by Gerald Charles Tolomeo Photography by Andrew Holtz

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The home’s open floor plan showcases multiple patterns and textures, from the imported blue drums to the chartreuse Elbow chair.

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This page: A coffee table pear darker, so we painted it one shade lighter to evoke he Manasquan flows serenely outside the riverfront crafted from a reclaimed the feeling of color continuity from top to bottom,” home of Asbury Park restaurateurs Meg Brunette slab of a fallen beech tree serves as a natural explains Tolomeo. and Kyle Lepree. It’s a view the couple wanted to focal point in this open seating arrangement. He then broke up the monotony of the spacious preserve—and flaunt—as they embarked on a revamp Opposite: The hanging 20-foot-by-30-foot great room by integrating separate of their neutral décor. teardrop fireplace appeals to the homeowners’ seating areas that flank the modern hanging teardrop The homeowners, who run the fashionable Pascal & affinity for mid-century fireplace. To add visual interest, Asbury Park–based Sabine bistro, tasked designer Gerald Charles Tolomeo modern décor. architect James Watt installed a polished-wood drop with creating comfortable living spaces peppered with ceiling above the entrance foyer, intended to draw visipops of color. tors’ attention as they make their way up to the main Tolomeo worked closely with Brunette and Lepree living area. to outfit the rest of the home in a way that was colorful and in line Much of the furniture is custom, save for the chartreuse-covered with their mid-century style preferences. Most important, it needed William Haines “Elbow” chairs placed throughout the home. In to complement the home’s sweeping Manasquan River views. the main portion of the room, a richly upholstered Elbow chair acAnd that meant first addressing the home’s “blank spaces,” parcents a pair of sofas in beige and red and two armchairs. Opposite ticularly its white walls and ceilings. The walls were covered with a neutral beige color and the ceiling is a curved sectional in plum with a large, circular table and two more Elbow chairs. was painted a bit lighter. “Color shades on ceilings will always ap-

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Above: Simple design Using a sizable striped area rug to pieces and neutral hues ground the main seating arrangement, highlight the guest Tolomeo gave special attention to dressing bedroom. Opposite: A floating walnut ceiling the three sets of sliding doors overlooking and a large piece of artwork add dimension the river with a coordinated mix of sheer to the home’s entrance, metallic bronze and copper mesh draper- while modern seating adds pops of color. ies. “I put bronze fabric in front and the copper fabric in the back to add interest and playfulness to the windows. When the draperies are closed, it feels like a fabulous jewel box of a room. When they’re open, the great vertical lines help to break up space.” Interesting décor pieces complete the main entertaining area. Flanking one of the sofas are oversize custom Brutalist-inspired lamps—they stand 48 inches high—atop a pair of short, circular side tables. “The high-low effect here was intentional,” Tolomeo says. “I’d always planned on pairing these low tables with high lamps.” An imported pair of African drums from Cameroon add blue to the palette and double as side tables. In the master bedroom, color takes a backseat to texture and comfort. “I wanted to create a neutral area with just the slightest hint of color,” says Tolomeo. This was achieved by using a soft material throughout the room. “The walls, bed and even the draperies are all upholstered in the same light, Belgian linen. The only color that’s really apparent is on the floor,” says Tolomeo, referring to the dark wood highlighted by a brightly patterned area rug. A pair of soft paper-shade Noguchi lamps dot the bedside tables, and a single art print adds color to the nearby wall. However, what you don’t see is a flat-screen TV hidden within the king-size

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This page: To create an aura of relaxation in this master bedroom, Tolomeo covered the walls, bed and draperies in pale Belgian linen. Color and playfulness make their appearance in the room via the area rug and the lifelike sheep statue. Opposite: A plush upholstered chair and floor throw soften sharp angles in the master bath.

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bed’s footboard. “It’s only accessible via a special remote control,” says Tolomeo. The clever custom built-in allows the homeowners to keep their river views while having access to the TV when desired. After learning of the homeowners’ distaste for the original space, Tolomeo invested much of his time in updating the style and feel of the master bath. “While they loved the tub, they found the room to be cavernous and sterile,” he recalls. Addressing the absence of color in the bathroom, he coupled rich wood tones with sleek and modern design details. To accomplish this, he painted the walls and ceiling a soft blue and fashioned a walnut skirt around the bottom of the rectangular porcelain sink. The addition of a 24-inch-wide, custom-built walnut column conceived by architect Watt contains hidden compartments for linen storage and also shields views of the toilet area. A red upholstered chair and area rug add texture and break up the mosaic-tile floor. One other cosmetic enhancement that’s been met with rave reviews: the installation of an oversize round window above the tub to brighten the room. “It replaced two little windows,” says Tolomeo. A wall-to-wall glass shower completes the space. The overall result? A retreat on the Manasquan River with all the comforts of fine living—everything they asked for, and more.

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Salvaged vintage steel windows and doors anchor the barrier-free family room, which can be repurposed as a first-floor bedroom at a later date.

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accessible by design In the past, it was wishful thinking to be able stay in your home for a lifetime. But this Ridgewood home proves that universal design has come a long way from its institutional roots. Aging in place has never looked so good.

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Photography by Patty Connelly

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This page: Marble countertops pair with a stainless steel Viking stove. Opposite: A hands-free Moen faucet and drawers in the cabinetry ease access, while chandeliers and recessed lighting illuminate kitchen workspace.

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curbless shower with seating. Nonslip flooring and grab bars. Levered faucet fixtures, a low sink and a higher toilet. As we age, it gets more and more difficult to get around our homes, but universal design in the 21st century doesn’t have to emulate the cold, institutional designs of the past. Ridgewood Interiors owner Taplynn Dugan knows this firsthand—she, along with Homestead Builders of Ho-Ho-Kus, has taken her 1930s English Tudor and transformed it into an award-winning example of universal design, seamlessly incorporating elements that make everyday functions easier for people of all abilities and ages while keeping the home’s character intact. Modern innovations paired with a calming palette of soft grays and beiges bring warmth into a home built for aging in place. Dugan, who is also a registered nurse, brought her vision of a safe and healthy

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This page: Nonslip glass and natural stone flooring surrounds a chair-height toilet and curbless shower. Teak seating provides a spot to rest if need be. A towel hanger and shelving accent modern grab bars. Opposite: The open area under the Carrera marble vanity top and pivoting mirror provide accessibility for all.

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home environment to life in the new kitchen, laundry area, bath and first-floor family room that she may eventually convert into a first-floor bedroom, should she need to. And her vision was validated with the American Society of Interior Designers’ 2016 Silver Design Excellence Award for Universal Design, awarded for her accessible bathroom renovation. “In the past, owners were forced to adapt to the house rather than the house be adapted to the needs of the users,” Dugan explains. “The guiding principle of my design concept was to create a beautiful, safe and userfriendly environment.” Features that please the senses, custom window treatments and artwork—coupled with the accessibility-for-all tenet of universal design—make this residence truly a home for a lifetime.

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everyday elegance Whether company’s coming or not, welcoming floral arrangements bring cheer into your living and entertaining spaces. Photography by Brie Williams

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Design by Michael George

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This page: Accent a table or countertop with a cluster of French anemones—their bright petals and dark centers give the space a bold and delicate look. Opposite: Fashion a simple yet dramatic centerpiece with paperwhites and cedar twigs. Don’t have cedar twigs? Use holly, juniper or pine foliage instead.

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This page: Blend tulips in the traditional colors of passion and purity for a festive holiday display. Opposite: Experiment with herbs to make a beautiful­—and fragrant—bouquet. Set in a pedestaled stone vase, this arrangement includes rosemary, oregano and lavender with geraniums, seedpods and seasonal foliage. Bring it into fall with the addition of ornamental millet, amaranth or rose hips.

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dixie design

The charming city of Charleston is a hodgepodge of architectural styles— and it wouldn’t have it any other way. By Rita Guarna

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reat design. Great food. Great folks. If you’re fixin’ to visit Charleston, South Carolina, a pedestrian-friendly city nestled between two rivers, you’re in for quite a treat. This is one seductive town. Horse-drawn carriages still loll along streets with pristine, pastel-painted antebellum mansions trimmed with lacy ironwork. That the architecture—Colonial, Federal, Georgian, Italianate, Victorian—has survived despite the damage inflicted by wars, hurricanes, fires and the earthquake of 1886 is a testament to the tough-as-nails character of this proper belle, which oozes Southern hospitality. Charleston has antique-filled bed-and-breakfasts aplenty, but if you prefer luxury, check into Belmond Charleston Place, an eight-story landmark hotel smack in the historic district that looks like a modern French château, replete with a grand Georgian-style double staircase and showstopping glass chandelier in the entry. All 434 rooms and 43 suites are spacious and beautifully appointed. (We’re talking lots of muted grayblues and greens with Chippendale-style furnishings, original artwork gallery

Charleston’s Rainbow Row is just that—a line of 13 Georgian row houses, the largest cluster in the United States. The bright colors were painted as each home was restored during the 1930s and 1940s.

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This page, clockwise from top: Chippendalestyle furnishings, rich drapery and original artwork in one of the rooms at extensively renovated Belmond Charleston Place; an Italianate breakfast balcony outside the Patrick O’Donnell house; a cascading window box blooms between shutters, both of which are ubiquitous in Charleston. Opposite: the expansive lawn of Drayton Hall, a 1742 plantation home built in the Georgian Palladian style.

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and Carrara marble.) Those facing south offer panoramic views of the historic City Market. And the service is award-winning—expect to feel like a lord or lady of the manor. On a recent trip, three friends and I chose a two-bedroom suite so we could be together for nightly sips and gabfests. The hotel also offers Club Level, featuring a private concierge plus an array of culinary offerings, including complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and after-dinner cordials and dessert. We decided to indulge in spa treatments (all in the name of togetherness, of course). I chose a deep-tissue massage, and Stacy did my body good. Two of my friends went for the signature facials and were very pleased with Katie and Heather. Another friend opted for a mani-pedi and bragged about the foot massage she enjoyed. It’s hard to drag yourself from the hotel, but Charleston is made for walking—the better to take in the architectural wonders of the city. And except in summer, daytime temperatures are mostly comfortable, hovering in the 60-to-80-degree range, so you can enjoy all the sights. It’s easy to daydream about what life was like 150 years ago as you weave through residential streets, admiring majestic antebellum homes with wonderful wraparound porches and carefully tended, dew-kissed azaleas. Windowshopping for pastel-colored grande dames on Rainbow Row in the French Quarter is a great way to ensure postcard-worthy pictures. And the nearby Battery has some of the city’s most expensive homes overlooking where the

Ashley and Cooper rivers meet. You’ll want to tour at least one of Charleston’s many open-to-visitors homes. The ornate, Federal-style 1808 Nathaniel Russell House on Meeting Street, for instance, features an elaborate, three-story cantilevered staircase (though it’s no longer considered stable enough to climb). Homeowner Russell, shunned by neighbors for being a Rhode Island merchant, let his bride keep a separate bank account—the pair had an early prenuptial agreement. Your meanderings may also take you through one of the many old graveyards around the city. We walked among the tombstones and monuments at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, speaking in reverential whispers, wondering how so many young people met their demise. The mood was lifted by the sounds of the rhythmic clopping of a horse, whose carriage conveyed tourists like us. Somehow what we’d dismiss as cheesy anywhere else seemed natural here, and we signed up for a ride. We’re glad we did. These rides are actually tours; there are four different routes, drawn at random when your carriage approaches what appears to be central dispatch. Ours was Route One, which our guide, Jennifer, assured us was the best. As she navigated our horse, Loretta, through the narrow streets we learned a lot about the city’s history. Speaking of history, a visit to Charleston is a perfect excuse to visit a nearby antebellum plantation. We chose Middleton Place. Built in 1755 in the Colonial style, it was the home of Arthur Middleton, a signer of

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Charleston’s quaint French Quarter is home to myriad historic sites and art galleries, including the white-stuccoed St. Michael’s Church, the oldest surviving religious edifice in the city.

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the Declaration of Independence. This National Historic Landmark spans 65 acres and is an easy 16-mile drive from downtown. (Our driver, Salam, agreed to come back for us.) It’s home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens and features twin lakes. You’ll likely see alligators, bald eagles and otters as you walk among the azaleas, magnolias and camellias. Plus you can visit blacksmith and cooper workshops and take a house tour of the Inn at Middleton Place with its impressive furnishings and portraits. If it’s neoclassicism you’re after, head to the Patrick O’Donnell House on King Street. Built in the mid–19th century, the three-and-a-half-story Italianate home is notable for its soaring columns, balustrade-lined porches and ornate cornices. That’s not to say contemporary design doesn’t exist in Charleston. In between the city’s colorful facades you’ll find 21st-century architecture—one needs only to look at the soaring, Modernist South Carolina Aquarium to see its influence. If you’re looking for home accessories—or just about everything else—Charleston is a delight for shoppers. The old City Market covers four city blocks near the corner of Bay and Market streets, offering souvenirs and intriguing sweetgrass baskets woven by the Gullah people, descendants of enslaved Africans who settled on South Carolina’s barrier islands. (Note: The baskets aren’t lowpriced!) King Street is the city’s major retailing thoroughfare; you’ll find stores selling fine clothing, jewelry and furniture, and as befits Charleston’s rep for gracious living there are noteworthy high-end art galleries too. Did I say “gracious living”? This small city punches way above its weight in restaurant cuisine. Gourmands abound, debating everything from the proper consistency of creamy grits to where to get the best fried chicken. Chances are you will be engaging in acts of gluttony, feasting on the likes of chicken stew, pork hash, hush puppies, pecan pie, banana pudding and more. Among the star chefs, Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill at Belmond Charleston Place serves up highbrow takes on low-country fare. She

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mixes classics and nouvelle cooking, unifying them with intense flavors, such as seared flounder and shrimp with butter grits, sherry-country ham gravy and tomato-basil salad. The seasonal menu has four categories: Pure, Southern, Cosmopolitan and Lush, and you can mix and match from among them to create the perfect meal. Or do as our waiter, Andrew, suggested: Give yourself over to the chef and sommelier and enjoy a six-course tasting menu from which you’ll savor every morsel. Then settle in for a nightcap—mint julep or Southern mule, anyone?— while you listen to live jazz, performed every night of the week. Just as Memphis and New Orleans have their own sounds, Charleston jazz has a churchy, gospel feel no doubt due in part to the city’s more than 180 churches. (They don’t call this “the Holy City” for nothing.) Besides taking in the tunes, Charleston Grill is a great place to people-watch: You’ll spy Charlestonians in their element—old Southern moneyed types and Gullah painters alike. It’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite restaurant. Besides the Charleston Grill, we loved the seafood and grits at Magnolia’s, another of the downtown darlings. Poogan’s Porch was great too. Husk and McCrady’s are on many visitors’ must-eat lists. For an informal “home cookin’” lunch try Jestine’s Kitchen, named for an African-American/Native American woman who died in 1997 at age 112. And the list goes on. By the end of your trip you’ll be well sated in mind and body, and only too happy to comply with the refrain: “Y’all come back now.”

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This page, from top: Free-grazing sheep share the grounds with visitors to historic Middleton Place. A wrought iron gate, one of many leading to the gardens of Charleston residences. Opposite: An example of Greek Revival style, the William C. Gatewood home’s finely decorated dining room boasts floor-to-ceiling triplehung windows that open to a piazza and is furnished with a circa-1830 classical dining table with period chairs.

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pick a side! every room needs one (or more) tiny tables. These “sides” add fun and function to every nook and cranny.

Easy totability makes petite tables the darlings of décor. Just pop one into any casual arrangement for a more finished look.

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clockwise from top left: Straight from the seas of Indonesia, this stand from World Effect is built by hand using reclaimed boat teak. Its wooden accent stripe is also part of the original vessel, but delicately scraped down by artisans to reveal an erstwhile paint color.

A little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, this tripod horn table from High Fashion Home marries the best of those two worlds. However, its toughness doesn’t stop there. Its 20-inch-diameter top is crafted from solid steel.

Where haute meets hot: the sides of this 19-inchtall lava stump table from High Fashion Home has the effect of jagged molten rock. The material is stonecast, however, so there’s zero fretting about falling volcanic ash on the carpets.

Roll out the barrel...table. This standout starlet from Decorus delivers with its minimalist presentation and sleek, barrel-like style. Made of plated nickel with crema marfil top and base, it’s also available in chrome, polished brass and all paint finishes.

Crafted by hand from one solid piece of suar wood, an extremely durable hardwood ideal for day-today use, this purposeful piece from Puji can also double as a sitting stool. And, because they’re custom created, no two are alike.

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With its ultra-warm glowing metallic finish—the result of being slathered in gold leaf—the fluted Flirt table from Emporium Home has a personality that’s equal parts romantic and playful.

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a rocky road Outdoor spaces needn’t pose a challenge. Just take it one step (or stone) at a time.

Unlike landscaping, which uses plants and flowers, hardscaping incorporates materials such as stone, brick, wood, iron and concrete to sculpt stylish outdoor living areas. This page: A wall of boulders and a slate pathway make a beachy statement.

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Design by By Design Landscapes, Inc.

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Clockwise from top left: Terraced stone walls with greenery and planter boxes alongside a pool create a layered look; a square brick-and-stone firepit brings function to a paver patio with outdoor seating; rectangular stones surrounding an inground pool add visual interest; a stone border below a wrought-iron fence provides a walled backdrop for a mulched flower bed.

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going dutch

Seeking a much-needed redo for their Dutch Colonial, a family of four gets the blend of timeless charm and modern simplicity that they want. Design by Karyn Donohue

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Photography by Pam Connolly

hen successful businessmen began moving out of New York City in the early 1900s, many built sprawling residences in bucolic Ridgewood. Today, this affluent and sophisticated suburb is defined by those homes and architecture—from historic Victorians to postwar Cape Cods. So when Karyn Donohue, an interior designer at W.L. Landau Ethan Allen in River Edge, was hired to revamp the inside of a century-old Dutch Colonial, she faced the challenge of modernizing an aging space while

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Designer Karyn Donohue blended Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray walls with the wood-tone furnishings to complete the family room and achieve an “elegantly casual� vibe. Furniture like the deep sofas, multitextured armchair and ottoman and coffee table echo the casual feel, while two serene prints, floor lamps and table accents add classic style.

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This page: The designer extended the family room to the sunporch, using similar hues and furniture. The homeowners’ love for music is also on display— visitors will find stringed instruments, a baby grand piano and sheet music in the space. Opposite: Wainscoting, a mirrored console, seaglass accents and sunburst mirrors lend to the semi-formal look of the sunporch.

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maintaining its timeless charm. “It was a major renovation that required opening up the first-floor family room,” she describes. The living room and an old-fashioned, window-lined enclosed porch were also part of this redo. Donohue collaborated with the homeowners—a family of four—to gauge their interests and desires. They wanted an area that was “casually elegant” and a large family room that “didn’t look cold,” she recalls. To start, a wall separating the family and living rooms was knocked down to create an open floor plan, giving Donohue and her team a spacious blank canvas to fill. “We went with something transitional. In other words, it’s not contemporary, and it’s not traditional,” she explains. “A lot of homeowners want a little bit of a blend.” A “serene monochromatic” color scheme accomplishes that, and it’s used throughout the design to lend an overall flow between the two rooms. In the family room, the walls are covered with Benjamin Moore’s light Edgecomb Gray and two prints from Ethan Allen—one depicting a calming seascape, Donohue notes. Wood tones, neither true brown or red, complement the soft gray and are found on the furniture, from the two Lynn sofas by Ethan Allen to the casual coffee table to the Roman shades on the windows. “The sofas are nice and deep—you can fall in to them and easily relax,” she says. “All of the pieces are casual in size and scale, from the side tables to the floor lamps and the carpet. But the color tones are a bit more elegant.”

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Keeping with the home’s interior theme, the designer combined the soft gray wall color with sconces, armchairs and a nailhead-trim sofa. Windows were treated with Roman shades to give the space a “calming and serene” effect.

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design challenge

little oasis

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A designer creates a powder room that pops!

The space: It was a cozy half bathroom that hadn’t been updated since before the ’80s. The current homeowners never saw a need for improvements—that is until recently, when an unfortunate moisture issue from a leak prompted a redo. Their wish? They wanted a powder room that serves as a mini oasis and showcases the home’s transitional style. To bring that vision to life, a complete renovation was necessary. The design analysis: For expert insight, we sought out designer Eric J. Schmidt of North Caldwell–based Eric J. Schmidt Interiors (ericschmidtinteriors .com), a firm believer that powder rooms should be the “surprise gem” in a home. Keeping in mind the home’s traditionalyet-contemporary style, Schmidt decided to design the room in keeping with his mantra, “modernization of tradition.” The main source of color in this space is the yellow-and-grey wall covering, while the rest of this room’s design is driven by simplicity. “The goal was to make this small space as open and functional as possible without compromising design,” he explains. The vanity, faucet and toilet Schmidt used meet these qualifications with their clean and sleek looks. The large ceiling light fixture illuminates the space while a simple flat mirror reflects the room’s good taste. Take a look at our style pro’s selection in bathroomware, wall finishings, tiles and decorative accents on the opposite page.

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The only light source necessary in this tiny powder room is the large ceiling-mount drum shade by Livex.

Designer Eric Schmidt says he opted for the Purist wall-mount faucet by Kohler “to keep the vanity top uncluttered and sleek,” creating the perfect spot to rest a ring, watch or anything you want to keep dry.

This yellow-and-grey Radley wall covering by Stroheim with a watercolor-screened appearance is a twist on a modern geometric pattern.

The Saile skirted one-piece elongated dual-flush toilet with top actuator by Kohler makes a bold, contemporary statement.

Offering a fresh update to traditional black-and-white tiles, the designer used a basket-weave motif on the floor, with a white marble base molding and similar wall trim, all by Bianco Carrara.

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“Ronbow’s Leonie replaces the traditional pedestal sink with a unique conical-shaped vanity,” Schmidt explains. “It’s space-saving yet offers much-needed storage within.”

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the artisan

Clockwise from left: Ornella Muth uses watercolors to bring new life to rooms. A bathroom floor was the “canvas” for her koi pond. Design approach is a matter of personal happiness: “Choose something that makes you happy,” Muth says. She grew up in Naples, where she had a fondness for drawing animals.

spiritual restoration Painter-restorer Ornella Muth creates lively new murals as avidly as she brings old pieces back to life. By Timothy Kelley Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and then, after arriving in the U.S. in 1971, at New York’s School of Visual Arts and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. At Pratt she met her husband, the impressionist painter John Muth. (The two have three adult children and three grandchildren, two in Ridgewood and one in South Carolina.) “Enjoy art and enjoy your life,” advises Muth. “And don’t be afraid of color.” She believes a homeowner should “choose something that makes you happy” around which to build a room’s design. Don’t worry about what you’re supposed to appreciate. And don’t overdo. “If you have a very interesting piece as a focal point, you don’t want to overcrowd it with a million other things,” she says. In Muth’s double life as an artist and a restorer, each role nourishes the other. When restoring a piece, she says, “I get myself into the mind-set of the artist who produced it and the materials available to him or her at the time. It’s technical and passionate at the same time.” Sometimes, while restoring an old work, she’ll make a sudden discovery. “I’ll see something and go, ‘Aha! That’s why he did that.’ It’s very exciting.” In both of her roles, this talented New Jerseyan wants the excitement to go on and on. “I just want to continue doing what I’m doing,” she says. “Forever!”

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ant to give a painting that antique look? Ornella Muth can help. The Ridgewood-based painter-restorer knows just how to use glazes and oil stains to create a distinguished, timeworn appearance. But don’t be misled by the work of time. “People think great artists of the past used dull colors, but that’s not true,” says Muth, 64, a longtime Ridgewood resident. “Mostly they used bright colors that over time have become dull.” That’s why, when Muth paints one of her own expressive murals, there’s nothing dull about it. Her work is lively and mood-brightening. For a bathroom in the home of designer Tess Giuliani she painted a watery-looking floor that resembles a koi pond. And her mural on the wall of the Ridgewood Public Library children’s room features frogs, butterflies and a smiling baby raccoon. This talented pro spends about 30 percent of her time restoring art, furniture and antiques. (Right now she’s working on a 1780 urn that’s bound for a customer in Florida.) The rest of the time she creates new art—using oils, acrylics, watercolors and sometimes combinations of these—and works with interior designers to enliven homes with special touches. You can’t look up Muth’s website because she doesn’t have one. She doesn’t do shows and she doesn’t advertise. “I know I should be more concerned with publicity,” she confesses. “But people just call.” Those people—her clients—have included actors Jennifer Lopez and Aidan Quinn, Bloomingdale’s and Le Parker Meridien hotel. Muth grew up in Naples, Italy, where her parents noticed her fondness for drawing animals and directed her—in the early-specialization practice of the local schools—toward the fine arts. She went on to study at the

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Dedicated to creating environments of extraordinary elegance and refinement since 1982, White House represents the ultimate in home luxury.

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Professional Series 42” Built-In Grill with Accessories

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Gallery New Jersey Luxury Homes & Estates: Fall 2016  
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