MONTCLAIR RENO WORTH THE WAIT
CHATHAM FAMILY ROOM GOES COASTAL TOWNHOUSE GETS ARTIST’S TOUCH
MONTCLAIR RENO WORTH THE WAIT
CHATHAM FAMILY ROOM GOES COASTAL TOWNHOUSE GETS ARTIST’S TOUCH
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Established in 1996, the James Yarosh Associates Gallery in Holmdel, New Jersey, was founded upon and remains loyal to its vision: to represent ﬁne art for art’s sake and to curate gallery collections and thoughtfully present art and interior design speciﬁcation with an artist’s eye and understanding. Yarosh, an artist and well-published interior designer, offers a full-scale gallery and design center located just one hour outside of Manhattan—a space where clients can associate with other like-minded individuals.
As a designer, Yarosh travels the world, studying how the greatest museums display their art and visiting artists’ homes to understand how the artists themselves live with their art. This study, on both a grand and small scale, helps inform Yarosh’s work with his clients. His unique approach—coupled with his work in showhouses and experience in large-scale residential design projects of over 20,000 square feet—has led regional and international magazines to feature his designs.
As a gallerist, Yarosh advocates for what greatness looks like in the arts, showcasing at his destination gallery the works of both new and established museum-recognized artists of merit in a space designed to replicate the intimacy of an artist’s home. As a guest curator of exhibitions such as Miriam Beerman 1923-2022 Nothing has Changed, Yarosh helps foster the idea of art as intellectual engagements that sit above decoration in design hierarchy, adding exponentially to the experience of living with art.
MODERN EXUBERANCE | 46
A Livingston home’s fresh design beautifully reflects the homeowner’s affinity for pattern and contrast.
A LIVED-IN RENOVATION | 54
The slow approach pays dividends for a creative Montclair couple as they make their historic home their own.
TOO BLUE? | 66
A second-choice color becomes a first-class triumph for a Chatham family room’s “super-coastal” vibe.
A Tinton Falls townhouse fulfills its owner’s wishes, thanks to a designer with almost limitless attention to detail.
A historic Ridgewood home was full of possibilities but also challenges, and the client was a tough one to satisfy.
A historic Ridgewood home received a traditional yet modern twist thanks to designer and homeowner Kristina Phillips.
GUIDE | 23
What’s up, what’s new and what to do.
ASK THE EXPERTS | 30
Three local design pros dispense wisdom about curtain, ceiling and the perfect workfrom-home space.
MATERIAL WORLD | 32
Furniture made from sustainable materials looks good and makes you feel good.
TREND REPORT | 34
Straight lines are fine but have their limits. These pieces embrace their curves!
HOT STUFF | 36
Bring the outside in with subdued hues inspired by Mother Earth.
ART | 38
Blue and gray need not be somber, as these muted pieces prove.
TOP CHOICES | 88
These rocking chairs add a breeziness to a front porch or back patio—a perfect spot to read, nap or chill.
FINISHING TOUCH | 96
On trend this year are free-flowing spaces that blur the distinction between indoors and out, bringing together the charm and comfort of each.
FINALLY ADMITTED IT. “IT’S PROBABLY FAIR TO SAY,” CONFESSES
designer Annie Norbeck on page 54, “that we’ll never be finished.”
She’s talking about the work she and her architect husband Wayne have been doing, gradually over the years, on their 112-year-old home in Montclair. They started renovating the house before they moved in in 2015, and they still haven’t tackled the kitchen, for which their plans keep changing. A slow, “meandering” approach to redoing interiors has worked well for the Norbecks. It has let them benefit from their family’s experience in the home and adjust their original plans accordingly—for example, moving a powder room they hadn’t initially intended to move, achieving better light and better flow. Count “never being finished” as an occupational hazard for this talented pair: They’re design pros, and their historic home is an endlessly promising canvas for new ideas.
But what about the rest of us? For us non-Norbecks, the worry that our design intentions may never be finally realized is the stuff of five-o’clockin-the-morning dread. What if aesthetic satisfaction keeps slipping away, around the next exposed beam, down one more unobstructed hallway?
Well, relax. I can personally assure you, based on the hundreds of homes we’ve showcased in NJ Home, that an endpoint will arrive. Define your objective, respect the limits of time, resources, materials and design consistency, and you really can have a home that more fully delights you and expresses your spirit.
Just ask the Cox family of Livingston (page 46). They’re thrilled by the bright color palette and more spacious feel achieved in their home through their collaboration with designer Kathryn Cook. (And it made Cook’s day to work with a client who was even more nuts about wallpaper than she is.)
Carol Pardee is more than pleased with the jewel box of a home her Tinton Falls townhouse became in the hands of designer James Yarosh (page 70)— even with the ways the pro nudged her out of her comfort zone.
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Even if fate throws you a curve, it could turn out to be a home-run pitch. The exact gray that designer Megan Pisano and her client had hoped to use in a family room in Chatham (page 66) was discontinued by the manufacturer. Darn! So they pivoted, and ended up choosing a gentle blue that made the space happily “more serene and ocean-like” than what they’d had in mind. When the room aced the ultimate test—contributing to the loving vibe in a family Thanksgiving—the tale had a happy ending after all.
Nothing is forever, of course. A change of mind or circumstance will come someday—and there’s a little Norbeck in all of us. But that triumphant feeling of completion you crave is surely on its way. Meanwhile, you can experience a bit of it vicariously by turning the pages in this issue.
Was 2022 a time of big-box shopping? Make 2023 the year you shop small. Whether you’re looking for tabletop and gifts or special décor and furniture, New Jersey is a mecca of mom-and-pop shops worth checking out, including these that opened last year: Hamilton Home, Princeton: If what you want is the best crystal, china, giftware or even baby memorabilia, you’ll find plenty of options and then some here. The new Princeton store is devoted exclusively to high-end home décor items from leading designers William Yeoward (pictured) to Baccarat, Simon Pearce to Juliska. And the family behind the shop has a long history with top-tier products: They also own Hamilton Jewelers in Princeton.
• 33 WITHERSPOON ST., PRINCETON, 609.375.8003; HAMILTONJEWELERS.COM
Pepper, Wyckoff: There’s an art gallery-esque vibe emanating from every corner of this home-goods shop, which debuted in October. Display tables and walls showcase a healthy mix of modern décor and vintage finds, from neatly stacked coffee-table books and plush sheepskin pillows to distinctive wall hangings and delicate alpaca blankets. There are also large collections of candles and fragrances, glassware and centerpieces—everything you need to fill your home, to surprise someone special or to use as inspiration.
• 247 EVERETT AVE., WYCKOFF, 917.887.8560
Spaces by Hollie Velten, Maplewood: Not only can you walk through the curated rooms in this design studio, which opened last November, but you can also purchase the products and décor used in the designs. Each room feels elevated yet relaxed, and they’re all customized by the store’s namesake, a former Anthropologie buyer and New Jersey-based designer. While there are plenty of items to buy, such as cottage core-inspired pillows and fabrics, this is a place not only for purchases but for drawing ideas and inspiration.
• 745 PROSPECT ST., MAPLEWOOD, 973.761.2070; HOLLIEVELTEN.COM/SPACES
For 24 years, the luxury furniture company Stickley Furniture has been releasing an annual Collector’s Edition piece, one impeccably made item that is designed to be of use today yet also meant to be kept forever. This year, the special furnishing is the Craftsman Console, a versatile piece that will feel and look right at home as a TV stand, an entryway table, a bookcase—or in other roles. It’s a simple piece that goes with any aesthetic, but it’s magnificently crafted and made with the best-of-the-best materials (choose from a wood finish that’s cherry or oak). Laser-inscribed onto either side is Als Ik Kan, a Dutch phrase meaning “to the best of my ability.” That’s a guidepost for the designer who dreams a new piece of furniture into existence—and a good lesson for us all. Get your Craftsman Console online or try-before-you-buy at the Stickley Furniture and Mattress showroom in Paramus.
Want to bring your home to life after a long winter? Add floral beauty to the décor. Flowers of all kinds, from pink peonies to cherry blossoms, bring instant cheer to a room and add a pop of color. But a bouquet of fresh-cut blooms isn’t the only way to do this. Here are five ways to bring florals and floral patterns to your living area:
• Bedding: A vase of fresh flowers usually finds a home in the kitchen or living room, but bed linens with floral patterns can bring their likeness into the bedroom. The pinks, yellows and blues will also brighten the space, just in time for the new season.
• Blankets and throws: To add life to your earth-tone couch, try floral pillows and a throw blanket to create a new look—and they’ll come in handy during spring’s cooler temperatures.
• Candles: Bring the smell of fresh flowers inside with scented candles. Rose, lavender, Camellia, tulip—any of several varieties can freshen the indoor air, while permitting folks with pollen allergies to breathe easy.
• Wall art: Simple photographs or paintings of flowers can quickly brighten a room—with little to no effort on your part. Consider swapping out the art according to season: Roses, perhaps for warmer months, and sunflowers or petunias in fall.
• Wallpaper: Add flair and a spring vibe to a dining room, bedroom or powder room with floral patterned wallpaper. Consider the peel-and-stick variety, which is easy to remove, if you’re the type who likes to change out décor on a regular basis.
The sad reality of the New Jersey real estate market is that inventory is down and prices are up. But don’t be discouraged if your plan for 2023 involves buying a new home in the Garden State. Instead, consider these stats from March 2022 before you start your search:
The number of single-family homes for sale, down 26.7 percent from March 2021.
The number of single-family homes that closed, down 18.2 percent from the previous year.
New listings of single-family homes, down 10.5 percent from the year before.
Average sales price of a single-family home, an increase of 11.3 percent over 2021.
Average days properties had been on the market, down 18.8 percent from the previous year.
Source: New Jersey Realtors
Hey, we’d trust a guy with 40 years of interior design experience with any room in our home, hence our excitement about Vicente Wolf’s new book, Interior Creative Solutions (Rizzoli, $60). With the help of best-selling writer and designer Margaret Russell, Wolf distills decades of experience into this coffee-table book, which features easy-to-follow recommendations organized by topic and illustrated with photos of his own simple and beautiful designs. Tips include how to update outdated spaces and how to incorporate art.
A follow-up to his 2017 Small Architecture, now here’s New Jersey-born Philip Jodidio’s newest tome, Small Houses: Homes for Our Time (Taschen, $80). The picture-driven collection features some of the world’s finest “tiny homes” and the petite architecture in each one, such as those designed by architects Takeshi Hosaka in Japan and Yrjö Sotamaa in Finland. These structures prove that even in a 1,000-square-foot home there’s room for both smart architecture and a sophisticated aesthetic.
Finally, no one can deny the instant burst of happiness a good bouquet adds to a space. Learn how to create artful floral arrangements with the help of Maria Gabriela Salazar’s new The Artistry of Flowers: Floral Design by La Musa de las Flores (Rizzoli, $50). This book isn’t just about how to cut flowers and place them in a vase. Salazar explores different shapes, colors and types of flora and which are best for different designs. She also inspires readers to get creative and design their own arrangements.
If empty storefronts in your downtown have you feeling down, spend an hour strolling through Bloomfield. Rather than have visitors stare at vacant windows with “For sale” signs or at ugly remnants of construction, the Bloomfield Center Alliance this winter transformed some of these spaces into an art gallery of sorts. They teamed up with the Department of Creative Arts and Technology at Bloomfield College to create a winter-themed display of reindeers and stars that filled the space at 625 Bloomfield Ave. The pilot exhibit lasted only through the holiday season, but, thanks to a grant from the Main Street New Jersey Program, there will soon be more art displays beautifying vacant spaces around Bloomfield. Stay tuned!
The whole New Jersey design community knows about Mansion in May, an annual fundraiser organized by The Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center to raise funds for the Morris County-based hospital. It’s where selected designers create interior showrooms and exterior garden spaces at a showhouse called Three Fields, a 9,000-square-foot French manor-style home in Mendham. The 20th annual event will run from May 1 to May 31 and features several of the state’s top designers, including Diane Durocher in Ramsey (pictured), Megan Pisano in Chatham, Marina V Design Studio in Ridgewood and Susan Farcy Interior Design of Wyckoff, along with two dozen other leading design firms across the state. Mansion in May is open to the public for $50 per ticket, and tickets are on sale now. Learn more at mansioninmay.org.
Now that it’s spring, it’s time to open doors and windows and let out the stagnant air that accumulated during winter. But your strategy can depend on what it is you’d like to smell less of. Here are some odor-specific tips:
• Mildew and mustiness: Non-aerosol canned air fresheners and the plug-in varieties can mask and reduce stale air, but there are natural ways to do so too.
A lemon sliced in half and placed discreetly in the home can cut odors, as can a little bit of vanilla on a light bulb (the warmth will scent the air). A sprinkle of baking soda on rugs left overnight—and vacuumed up the next day—also helps.
• Mothballs: They eliminate pests, but, boy, do they leave behind a strong smell. Airing out the space where mothballs were placed is the easiest way to remedy the odor, and you may want to machine-wash fabrics that absorbed the smell. You can also try spraying an even mix of water and vinegar onto surfaces to combat the odor. (Be sure to test the surface first.)
• Pets: Even though you clean up when Fido has an accident, the odors can linger in rugs and carpets. To lift the smells, sprinkle and leave baking soda on “hot spots” for a few hours, then vacuum the area. For stubborn odors, the Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests blotting a mixture of three parts water and one part vinegar onto target spots until the smell vanishes. (The vinegar odor will disappear.)
• Smoke: The smell of cigarette smoke can linger, but most laundry detergents will get rid of it in the wash. For items that can’t go into a washing machine—carpets and upholstery, for example—spread baking soda over their surface, allow to sit overnight and vacuum the next morning. Airing out items also works, though this process could take a few days.
There are architectural marvels scattered across the globe, but seeing some inspiring structures doesn’t require a plane ticket. Examples of classic and modern architecture can be found across New Jersey, and each sight provides a different variety of wow. Below are seven spots that are worth seeing—and easily accessible by car:
• Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel (top). The modernist-style mixed-use office and retail facility was built in 1962.
• Cape May Historic District, Beach Avenue, Washington Street and vicinity. The residential homes and hotels in this area, constructed in the 1850s, are quintessential Victorian-era buildings.
• Convention Hall and Paramount Theater, 1300 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park (middle). The beachside retail and convention center was built in 1928.
• Lambert Castle, 3 Valley Rd., Paterson. The medieval-style castle, which is home to the Passaic County Historical Society, dates to 1892.
• Navesink Twin Lights, 2 Lighthouse Rd., Highlands. Built as a beacon for ships in 1862, the 246-foot structure is now a non-operational lighthouse and a museum.
• New Jersey State House, 125 W. State St., Trenton (bottom). Built in 1792 in American Renaissance style, the third oldest state house in the U.S. is home to New Jersey’s legislature.
• St. Anthony’s Church, 457 Monmouth St., Jersey City. This Roman Catholic Church, an example of Gothic-style architecture, was built in 1892.
You may enjoy the company of neighbors, but sometimes you want a little privacy. While curtains and blinds do the trick while you’re inside, creating privacy for the yard may require more than just a fence. As you prepare patios and pools for the warmer seasons, consider these alternative ways to screen your space:
• Evergreens. Arborvitae are thick evergreens that grow tall and thin—and they require little maintenance. They’re essentially a living fence, and the trees can vary in height, depending on the variety you choose. “They are dense and green all year, making great property line privacy shrubs,” says Bill Schau, owner of Unionbased Landscape Solutions. Other options include eastern white pine, leyland cypress and Norway spruce. “The Norway spruce becomes a tall privacy tree after growing a few years,” Schau says. “Its classic, layered pine tree look gives an elegant appearance to your property.”
• Fence shelves. A fence provides privacy, but it doesn’t always do it with style. You can dress up any fence with plant shelves, which can easily be attached to wooden boards. Once they’re installed, fill the spaces with your favorite potted plants to fill the gaps between the fence slats.
• Pocket gardens. This alternative to shelves allows plants to grow vertically in cloth “pockets” mounted on any fence or wall. Any assortment of flowering plants, succulents or even vegetables can thrive in these gardens and provide ample privacy.
• Trellises. These structures, which can be made of wood, plastic or metal, not only create a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor living space, but also provide a natural screen when plants and flowering vines occupy them. Plants such as Jewel of Africa nasturtium and morning glory have fastgrowing vines and colorful blooms that can quickly fill up a space.
@misse.designs 908.754.7200 x171
Ellen has earned multiple awards, including the Diamond Spirit Award and the Gold Spirit Award winner for design excellence and superior service. Driven by her passion, enthusiasm, and experience, she creates flawlessly designed spaces that her clients will enjoy for years to come.
"Ellen has been a joy to work with. Her professionalism and design experience are impeccable" --- Stephanie S.
How do I create a relaxing bedroom retreat? Which chandelier would look best in my dining room? What fabric is right for my new sofa?
Maybe you're not sure what you need; instead, you're just saying "Help! I don't know where to start!" Cue your designer Ellen, and I will come to the rescue and help you figure out what's next.
Ellen is the only interior designer that my husband and I will trust. She is a consummate professional with an incredible eye. We have worked with Ellen on two occasions and she has keenly guided us and articulated our style brilliantly -- Yolanda C.
I’m asked this question all the time. While there is no general rule of thumb, your ceiling height will determine the window treatment hanging height. For a little extra drama on an 8-foot ceiling, I like to hang fabric panels as close to the ceiling as possible to play up the ceiling height and give added extra length to the panels. With a 9-foot ceiling, I like to install the fabric panels midway between the ceiling and the window trim. If you like the look of a soft window Roman shade but have an 8-foot ceiling, then install the shade right above the window trim and 6 inches above the trim on a 9-foot ceiling height. For a more layered look, try playing with varying heights. This creates a little bit of subtle drama as one’s eye moves around the room.
When working with two different sets of windows, I’ve hung the valances slightly above the window trim in order to create an even line of sight. This helps to maintain balance and symmetry in a room.
When in doubt, it’s always best to call in an expert who can help you show off your windows to their fullest.—Lori Levine, Associate ASID, Lori Levine Interiors, LoriLevineInteriors.com
I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT CEILINGS SHOULD BE A SHADE OF WHITE. ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS? AND IF SO, WHAT DO THEY ADD TO A ROOM’S AMBIANCE?
I recently visited the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla. Henry Flagler was an oil magnate who helped populate Florida in the early 1900s. He introduced the new train line from north to south Florida over water and onto the Florida Keys, offering transportation that was sorely lacking. The ceilings and moldings throughout his resorts and homes were gilded and extremely ornate.
Since those days, the ceiling has gone through many evolutions, from blank white to many versions of more interest. The coffered ceiling and applied decorations add dimension along with another layer of lighting. Rooms that lack access to electricity throughout the ceiling or are not deep enough to receive recessed lighting will benefit from the addition of the lowered ceiling, which can solve more than the lighting issue. In some cases, it may delineate certain areas within a room or guide you along a preferred traffic pattern.
The 2D option can also provide interest. Ceilings with wallcovering or faux paint can be quite impressive with textures and prints. Paint in a bold color can make a strong design statement; this can be true for a full room or simply the ceiling.
The decorative ceiling provides a more polished dimension and a more complete spatial experience.—Pat Valentine Ziv, ASID, CID, PVZ Design Inc.; pvzdesign.com
WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR A WFH SOLUTION THAT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH SPACE AND ISN’T AT MY KITCHEN TABLE OR LIVING ROOM SOFA?
Keep your home active areas clear of your work station to help separate your job from your home life. Both career tasks and your personal life need to be nurtured. Selecting a good home office location within your household will help.
Give yourself a 7-foot-by-7-foot area in a room if possible. Know your acoustical privacy needs. You may be a person who prefers to be in the center of activity, or you may need a quiet space to concentrate without distractions. Find a location with good natural sunlight and comfortable climate.
Care for your body with ergonomic furnishings, such as the Herman Miller Euros chair, and a sit-stand desk from Zuri Furniture with a wellness mat under your feet from Williams-Sonoma. Include a sleek directional desk lamp like the BenQ e-reading Desk Lamp.
Think of all the time you’re saving by not commuting, and use it to renew in your own unique interior.
—Pamela Wilson-Bajramoska, ASID, CID, Ambience Interiors; ambienceinteriors.net
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Blue and gray need not be somber, as these muted pieces prove.
“I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome.”
“WOW” AND “NOW.” THAT’S HOW ESSEX FELLS-BASED designer Kathryn Cook describes the aesthetics she sought to create for the Livingston townhouse-style residence of Michelle and Adam Cox and their two boys.
“They wanted to shed the old and explore the new,” Cook explains. “They were busy parents, and the right time to redesign their home had not previously presented itself. But now they were ready to express their personalities. The home was decorated in a style dictated by the previous owners’ choices; it was dark, tired and stuck in the early 2000s. Now it’s fresh, new, fun and clean.”
The project, which took place from late 2019 to mid2021, started with Michelle wanting to replace her bed-
room’s window treatments. It evolved into a complete revamp not only of the master, but also the entry foyer and living, dining and family rooms.
“This was truly a collaborative effort to capture my client’s spirit—bright, generous and decidedly exuberant,” says Cook.
They bonded over their mutual passion for wallpaper. “It’s fun to have a client who loves it even more than I do!” the designer declares. “I think the hardest part of our discussions was editing the wallpaper choices.”
But when Cox fell for Phillip Jeffries’ Bloom design, neither lost any sleep in deciding it was perfect for the primary bedroom. Placed behind a vertical channel-style headboard,
the mural printed on grasscloth is the suite’s focal point. In the same flower pattern, a smaller-scale version lines the tray ceiling. Floral motifs repeat in the Slamp ceiling fixture and the large art piece.
Cook and Cox also found common ground in prioritizing functional livability. “Like any contemporary family with school-aged children, they’re busy and social,” Cook says of her clients. “They needed to use their space more productively.”
Cook obliged by converting the seldom-utilized living room into a multipurpose library/lounge that now gets daily use. “The idea was for a more intimate spot for entertaining friends, providing room to circulate and converse,”
she explains. “We didn’t have room in the dining room so we created a ‘bar’ along the back wall and put in seating. During the day, the room—closed off by French doors— serves as a home office.”
The square-patterned Phillip Jeffries graphite grass cloth with brass-accented rivets stamps the room with powerful presence. The large-scale painting over the bar credenza further draws attention in and up. The other furnishings— a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams desk, a streamlined sofa from CB2, a Natuzzi chair and Noir round tables—were chosen for complementary scale, form and flow.
Transforming the dining room into a dazzling showcase meant banishing chocolate paint and white shadowboxes
from the walls and ceiling, and stripping fussy drapes from the windows. The Jonathan Adler silver cabinet and credenza store serve-ware in glistening style. The Costantini Pietro dining set makes a striking statement, as do the two wall art pieces by artist Jesús Núñez. Mimicking marble, Phillip Jeffries’ Marbleous wallpaper meets a silvery, textured-papered ceiling. “Previously the room was very dark, but when we put in this amazing wallpaper it really opened up the room,” says Cox.
In the family room, Cook intentionally toned things down. She chose Benjamin Moore’s Thunder for walls and Chantilly Lace for the ceiling and trim to make the space
lighter, happier and homier. Adding to the inviting feel, a performance fabric sectional/ottoman exudes roomy comfort while motorized shades welcome light in.
“Kathryn helped keep our home child- and dog-friendly and comfortable, while giving us a modern, uncluttered feel,” Cox says. “I was surprised by how much bigger the rooms looked after the project was completed. What a difference color choices can make!
“Every room is so different,” she continues. “They have a contemporary, unique feel. I also love the color palette of my home now. It has a fresh, clean and modern look that makes me feel happy and relaxed.”
The slow approach pays dividends for a creative Montclair couple as they make their historic home their own.DESIGN by WAYNE AND ANNIE NORBECK PHOTOGRAPHY by FLORIAN HOLZHERR
From the entryway through the living room to the dining room, the homeowners created a gradual progression from bright and light-filled to dramatically moody. The furniture is a mix of old and new throughout, with an emphasis on comfort and livability, as in the black leather living-room sofa from Room & Board and the rustic wood coffee table from DXA Studio.
This page: In the dining room, the homeowners chose to paint all the woodwork the same dark green-gray (Benjamin Moore’s Vintage Vogue), as well as the fireplace surround and mantel. They were inspired by the monochrome approach of 19th-century architect John Russell Pope, who designed Washington’s National Gallery and the Jefferson Memorial. Opposite page: Typical of the furnishings throughout, the dining room deftly blends old and new, as with a rustic antique dining table from Olde Good Things and modern Hans Wegner wishbone chairs from Design Within Reach. The cylindrical black light fixture from DWR echoes the color of the chairs below it.
ON HOME-DESIGN TV,
with breakneck speed: Two months! Six weeks! One hundred days to build a house! Renovation of Wayne and Annie Norbeck’s 112-year-old Montclair home, on the other hand, has been neither a sprint nor a marathon, but more of a protracted meander. They began work on the house in 2015, just before they moved in, and, truth be told, they haven’t completed it yet. “It’s probably fair to say that we’ll never be finished,” Annie admits.
Taking their time while spending their dayto-day lives in the house—along with their sons, 10-year-old Van and 7-year-old Alex, plus their black mixed-breed rescue, Nova—has yielded an unexpected benefit. “Living in the house actually changed our perspective about what we wanted to do,” Wayne says. It enabled them to see, rather than imagine, the flow from room to room and the way the light moved from hour to hour and season to season. Initially, for example, they’d planned to maintain the footprint of the first-floor powder
room—a windowless space on an interior wall next to a closet— and just redesign it. But over time they realized how beautiful the light was in that part of the house, so they moved the powder room to an exterior wall previously taken up by the closet. “We realized we could flip the entire thing and have much more light and really make it into a beautiful space,” Annie says.
Of course, it helped that both the Norbecks are creative, by inclination and profession. He runs DXA Studio, a Manhattanbased architectural firm whose designs are driven by both contemporary concerns and a strong sense of craft, and she’s a painter whose dreamy landscapes are as atmospheric as the house she helped bring back to life. Throughout the renovation, each was a sounding board for the other, a process that may have prolonged the renovation but ultimately yielded satisfying results. “I would draw things up and think I’d found a good solution,” Wayne recalls, “and Annie would say, ‘No, that’s no good.’” Eventually, they’d hit on the sweet spot.
Before they moved in, they renovated the second-floor bathroom. Then, while they were living on the first two floors, they worked on the third, a dark space that contained two bedrooms and a scary-looking bathroom whose focal point was an ancient toilet. They installedBoth pages: The large windows meld the light-suffused sunroom into the home’s outdoor spaces, but its furnishings, including a burnt sienna leather sofa from West Elm and a custom coffee table by Jay Hitchens, tie it firmly into the interior.
five skylights to fill the floor with light, including one in the shower of the formerly cramped bathroom, which they expanded into an adjoining hall. Wayne says the skylight, which looks up into the branches of 100-year-old oak trees, gives you the sense that you’re in an outdoor shower. The room became the en-suite bathroom to the primary bedroom, a space that instantly charmed the couple with its slanting attic-style walls and trio of multi-paned windows.
While light informed virtually all of their decisions, it didn’t always dictate their choice of color. The entryway, home to a grand piano, is painted a bright white; the walls of the adjoining living room are a light, warm gray. The dining room, though, is a whole other story. All the woodwork, including the tall wainscoting on most of the surrounding walls, is painted a deep green-gray, which also blankets the fireplace surround and mantel. “It has almost a moody restaurant feel,”
Opposite: A skylight and a series of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors allow light to flow freely into the sunroom, nourishing the home’s inhabitants and their collection of houseplants. The gray basalt floor tiles echo the bluestone terrace in the backyard. This page: A gathering spot for family and friends, the sunroom features a small, sleekly modern table and chairs from Pottery Barn for informal meals and other casual get-togethers.
Wayne says of the room. “In the evening, against the pale wood floors, it really glows.”
The sunroom glows for another reason. It replaced a drafty, tumbledown greenhouse, becoming a four-season room whose floor-to-ceiling windows and skylit ceiling allow the light to pour in, where it reflects against the pure-white walls. In the warmer months, screens replace the window glass, making the room feel as much a part of the outdoors as the interior, down to the gray hammered-basalt floor tiles that echo the backyard’s bluestone terrace. The furniture in the space, though, is intended to maintain the link to
the indoors. It includes a rugged leather sofa and a large rustic-wood coffee table made by Annie’s father, an expert woodworker in North Carolina, plus a sleekly modern set of table and chairs.
In fact, most of the furniture in the house blends the contemporary with the rustic, with antique pieces used throughout. “Because we’re in a historic house,” says Annie, “we love the idea of blending old and new.” In the dining room, for instance, an antique wooden table— long enough to comfortably seat 10—is flanked by sleek black Wegner wishbone chairs. Given the home’s two school-age inhabitants, not to
Both pages: Like the original bathroom, the room that became the primary bedroom was unappealingly dark until the homeowners added two skylights. Built-in closets hide the room’s air-conditioning units and increase storage space threefold. Black and gold task lamps from DWR sit atop custom wood night tables.
mention a large, energetic dog, comfort and ease were two major considerations in the choice of furniture. In the living room, a contemporary wood coffee table, designed by Wayne’s firm, is meant to take a beating. “It’s very slightly industrial,” Wayne says, “and the kids can hack at it and do projects and it’s not a precious thing.”
Comfort rules in the second-floor library, a cozy room whose poufy gray loveseat and builtin bookshelves, filled with—yes!—actual books, invite lingering. “The kids’ rooms are across the hall,” notes Wayne, “and every night we sit in
there and read for a half hour.”
The one room that hasn’t yet received the star treatment is the kitchen, whose redo is probably a couple of years down the road. Or maybe not. “We literally sit down every two months and completely redesign the kitchen because we have new ideas,” Wayne says. That’s perhaps the only downside of a renovation run by two highly creative homeowners guided and inspired by day-to-day experience. But don’t they always say that life is a journey rather than a destination?
EVENTHE BEST-LAID PLANS ARE SOMETIMES NO match for the unexpected, but designer Megan Pisano knows how to pivot. Thus the family room she created from a blank canvas in a new-construction Chatham home hit a crescendo of “wow”— after rising from disappointment.
The unexpected? The manufacturer discontinued the gray that Pisano and the homeowner had chosen for the family room’s predominant feature: a comfy, spacious sectional. The alternative was a lovely but initially nervous-making blue.
Although she trusted her designer, homeowner Cindy feared the color might overwhelm the room, which already had long blue draperies—Seaglass by Stout. This sectional, from Parker Southern in the Carolinas, would be key to the room’s minimalist design—as well as the family’s lifestyle, with its per-
Designer Megan Pisano had free rein in designing the family room of a Chatham home, with one caveat: the sectional had to be big and comfy. “The home was built to host,” says homeowner Cindy, noting all the open space for guests to “hang out and be able to see each other.” But daily family life was important too, as she says the room is “where we spend 70 percent of our time.”
A second-choice color becomes a firstclass triumph for a Chatham family room’s “super-coastal” vibe.
This page: Unanticipated in a family room, the buckled chair “gives it a cool leather pop so it’s not a sea of blue,” Cindy says. Opposite page: On Thanksgiving, she recalls, “Everyone who walked through the door was amazed by how beautiful the space was. But my favorite part is when guests sit on the sofa or the chair.” Mission accomplished: Comfort is king.
formance fabric. As Pisano recalls, “They wanted a family-friendly, big, comfortable sofa they could all lounge around.”
But when the sectional and ottoman came through the door of this five-bedroom colonial and fit right in with the window treatments, it was a “ta-da!” moment. Cindy knew she had the ideal gathering spot not only for her husband, Matthew, school-age son and lab mix, but also for good times with family and friends. Pisano cemented the harmony by crafting pillows in the seaglass fabric that elevated the drapes to a work of art.
For the “wow” in this “super-coastal” room, Cindy points to the reading nook, where a top-grain leather chair with side buckles and metal legs joins a Visual Comfort burnished-brass arc lamp in kindred sophistication.
Pisano describes the stone fireplace as the inspiration for the plentiful organic elements, which include lots of greenery (the designer’s signature) and wood elements such as a moss-filled bowl. Though the room’s style is transitional and a bit monochromatic, Pisano
drew a pop from industrial elements like an auburn poplar sideboard with black leather—a separating mark, in this open format, from the kitchen nearby. Black elements such as the drapery rods are inspired by the modern staircase spinals, while the lamp’s gold tones create visual warmth.
Yet the piece that unites it all is the geometric area rug—a handknotted viscose-and-wool with a silk effect by Surya. Without the rug over the light oak flooring, it would just look empty, Pisano says.
In reflection, Cindy now thinks the room was meant all along for blue. “I went back to the original color palettes,” she says. “This could have been a much darker room. Now it’s more serene and ocean-like.”
Of course, the room needed to succeed as a gathering place, not mere eye candy. The real test came on Thanksgiving, just after the project’s completion. When friends and family marveled at the comfort—as well as the beauty—of the room, it was clear that Pisano has that pivot down pat.
A Tinton Falls townhouse fulfills its owner’s wishes, thanks to a designer with almost limitless attention to detail.DESIGN by JAMES YAROSH PHOTOGRAPHY by PATRICIA BURKE
Lush blue velvet sofas rest upon a rich sablebrown, goat-hair rug in the living room of Carol Pardee’s three-bedroom townhouse in Tinton Falls. The custom rug has hints of turquoise running through it to pick up the blues and greens of the hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper. Hardwood floors were laid throughout the townhouse instead of the wall-to-wall carpeting that the builder’s plans called for.
DOESN’T HAVE TO mean sacrificing style. Just ask designer James Yarosh, who helped transform a Tinton Falls townhouse into a jewel box of a home for Carol Pardee, who was moving from a larger estate in Freehold.
“She was ready to create something new that was wonderful,” remembers Yarosh, who was brought into the project when the townhouse was still being built. He and his client aimed for “custom and upscale,” he says, even perhaps “a little bit of a tease.” Evoking a feminist icon, the adventurous fictional spy of British TV’s TheAvengers, he adds: “like an alter ego of Emma Peel.”
Pardee requested blues and greens, and to that end Yarosh chose a lush green de Gournay wallpaper with peacocks to be the showstopper in the living room. “I’m always trying to reference the arts and use things that are beautiful, not follow trends,” Yarosh explains. “I’m trying to create something that’s unique to the homeowner.” The eye-catching wallpaper ended up being Pardee’s favorite part of the whole project. “It’s beautiful and timeless,” she says.
Pardee’s old house was more neutral and traditional, but she appreciated the way Yarosh pushed her out of her comfort zone for her new space. “I tend to be a little conservative,” she admits. She wanted this home to be a nice balance of elegant and livable, and in the blue velvet sofas in the living room, for instance, she got her wish. “They are comfortable,” says Yarosh. “You can lie on them and watch TV. But they are also a little bit sexy, like a leg coming out of a skirt.”
The dining chairs also have a rounded, feminine profile, which contrasts nicely with the geometric vertical lines of the dining table, the vintage Italian chandelier and the window treatments. The same sheer pinch pleat curtains are found throughout the townhouse to provide
This page: The paisley wallpaper for the powder room was one of the first papers designer James Yarosh showed owner Pardee and “I immediately loved it,” she recalls. “It really punches it up. It doesn’t look basic. I love that everything James does looks unique.” Opposite page: The gold, pink and cream color scheme of the primary bedroom was also unexpected. “I would not have thought of that mauve, dusty-pink color, but then when I saw it, I thought it was perfect,” Pardee says. “James is a master of color.”
light but diffuse the view and create a consistent feel.
Another eye-catching geometric element in the living room is the trellis design of the laser-cut wood wallpaper surrounding the fireplace. The townhouse plans didn’t include a fireplace, but Pardee wanted one, so they created a bump out in the living room to accommodate a ventless gel version that mimics the real thing. “It even crackles a little, which I like,” says Pardee.
She’s also a huge fan of the gold, floral wallpaper in the primary bedroom, one of three bedrooms in the townhouse. “I just find it very soothing and beautiful,” she says.
Yarosh went with an Asian feel in the master, creating a custom upholstered bed that is reminiscent of a pagoda. The trim in the room is painted a shell pink, and the shutters on the window are blush. “The room is a little full-tilt but very romantic, sort of a treat for oneself,” says Yarosh.
“Self-care is important, and it explains the importance of the home beyond just housing,” he goes on. “You’re saying this is how you want to live, this is how you want to feed your soul. You’re surrounding yourself with beauty because this is how you want to wake up in the morning and
begin a day. Like setting an intention for yourself.”
Yarosh’s care and attention to detail impressed Pardee. “There’s nothing he doesn’t think about,” she says. From the selection of wallpaper to the acquisition of artwork, curation is the word to describe Yarosh’s process, he being an artist and gallerist himself. His Holmdel gallery exhibits new and established artists such as Miriam Beerman, a 20th-century expressionist painter whose abstract hangs above the small china cabinet near the dining table. “The artwork creates depth because as new construction, the house didn’t have history,” Yarosh explains. “Art shouldn’t be additional decoration. It should be more an intellectual engagement that makes the space much more avant-garde and interesting.”
Finishing touches like artwork and objects such as the antique tea set above the bar cabinet made the townhouse really begin to feel like a home for Pardee. “This process was a great focus for me, going through some personal things,” she says. “It was something positive. This was going to be my home, and I wanted it to be exactly what I wanted it to be. James helped me achieve that.”
A historic Ridgewood home was full of possibilities but also challenges, and the client was a tough one to satisfy.DESIGN
by KRISTINA PHILLIPS INTERIOR DESIGNPHOTOGRAPHY by JANE BEILES TEXT by DONNA ROLANDO
The family room uses dramatic, European-style, floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize lighting, setting the stage for a flashback to the designer’s childhood in the Bahamas with watery blue and turquoise hues and a Slim Aarons island image atop the quartzite fireplace.
THE BUNGALOW-STYLE COLONIAL, BUILT IN THE EARLY 1900s, was in Ridgewood’s historic district within walking distance of downtown. It had once served as a home for traveling Unitarian clergy and it featured a double lot, perfect for a family with gardening ambitions. It was a rare gem, but the previous owner hadn’t polished it much.
Here was a challenge, but designer Kristina Phillips said, “Bring it on.” And not just as an assignment, but as her home and that of her husband Andy and, initially, their three children. That meant that her work would have to pass muster with the toughest possible critic: herself.
The home “was in pretty bad shape,” Phillips recalls, with “almost unusable floors,” but it was also “full of character.” Her task was to remake it without destroying its
charming “cottage” feel—and then to live in it.
Though some areas would have to be gutted, the home had solid bones and offered four floors for plenty of living space. One objective was to reduce the number of “rabbit holes,” her term for the little rooms scattered throughout to no evident purpose, and incorporate logic in the layout. For instance, she had the family room and kitchen trade places, putting the pantry within reach of the cook.
Phillips and her husband went out of their way, where they could, to preserve the original floors, made of North Carolina center-cut pine, using pieces from some rooms to fill gaps in others. And she drew from her own background for different aspects of the renovation: The family room reflects the colors of her childhood home in the Bahamas, and the dining
Don’t let size fool you. The dining room with its custom table has seen some lively dinner parties, and the “whimsical” wallpaper is quite a conversation piece.
room’s clean lines invoke the style of her Swedish ancestry.
Without fear of wallpaper or bursts of color, she went about creating a space that’s traditional with a modern twist and in some ways global. One of its design highlights is the kitchen island with a 3½-inch slab of quartzite so heavy it was delivered by crane and carried by 12 “very strong men,” as the designer says. “We call it the blue cheese top because it has all this movement and interest to it.”
The chocolate-brown, bent-wood stools had to pass the comfort test. They proved to be a stylish contrast with the white, Shaker-style island base. Contrasts also spread their magic to the slate gray perimeter countertops, which play against the white custom cabinetry with dazzle from the herringbone Carrara marble backsplash. Completing the look are the Simon Pearce pendant lights on the coffered ceiling and stainless-steel Wolf and
Sub-Zero appliances—including a double oven for Andy, who besides having a green thumb loves to cook.
The vintage oushak rug with its pop of navy links to the Benjamin Moore Hale Navy cabinets with Asian-inspired brass hardware in the adjacent bar area, featuring a solid antique mirror, a 2-inch-thick white countertop, a wine fridge and refrigerated drawers. Its convenient location puts cool drinks always within reach of the backyard.
Within sight of the kitchen, one can unwind in a Bahamashued family room with floor-to-ceiling European windows and a fireplace in the same quartzite that wowed the island.
“A little drama in the room” comes from the lighting in the tray ceiling surround, which can take on multi colors for a party effect. The black matte French chandelier is an “iconic” mid-century piece, Phillips explains.
“It’s a little bit of a ’70s vibe in this room with the lowslung leather sofa, the zebra-hide chair and fiddle-leaf fig tree,” she says.
The Slim Aarons’ Bahamas-themed photo above the fireplace “started the inspiration for this room with the turquoise and watery blues, the natural sisal texture of the area rug and, of course, all the light that comes in,” adds the designer/owner.
The library, alias the music room, is “all about color,” Phillips says. Shades of blue and pops of orange abound, not only in the draperies and Schumacher frette-pattern club chairs but also the silk lampshades on acrylic tables flanking the “fun ikat pattern” sofa.
The black-glass-and-brass cocktail table (Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams) is a “little glamour in the room” over a sustainably sourced zebra hide and white wool rug. Brass bamboo frame
vintage prints stand out against the grass-cloth walls. And what would a library be without built-in shelves?
Once the galley kitchen in the clergy home, the dining room is a mix of modern and classic elements, as the chairs reflect with their abstract paint-splatter backs, full-grain leather and fluted legs. Phillips chose the Zoffany wallpaper for its scenic mural of an India landscape, a “whimsical” companion for the picture molding below and on the ceiling.
“We don’t sit in the dining room often, but when we do it’s a conversation piece,” she says. Exposed brick adds texture, while Gustavian-style crystal lighting delivers glam. It’s true the room is narrow and needed a custom table to fit eight, but it serves its purpose in a cozy way: “We’ve had a lot of fun dinner parties here.”
The mudroom with its artichoke light fixture “is a nod to mid-
This page: The designer’s college-aged daughter has not outgrown the glamour in her bathroom styled with Matthew Williamson wallpaper and a mirrored wall above the white vanity. Opposite page: Bursting with color, especially blues and orange against neutral glass-cloth walls, the library is where the family likes to listen to records. The Sputnik chandelier adds a mid-century modern flair, and the black glass-and-brass table a touch of glam.
This page: Who says work can’t be fun? Phillips’ upper-floor office sets the stage for creativity with cloud-inspired wallpaper. Opposite page: The designer’s favorite part of her primary bedroom is the custom upholstered headboard in ikat fabric—just the right fit between two windows with Asianinfluenced treatments.
century modern,” she says, while the Pierre Frey “Arty” wallpaper delivers the bright delight of a painter’s palate.
“I knew I wanted a statement light fixture,” says Phillips. “I thought it would be fun to walk in the house and see something really interesting.” An original stainedglass window wows the wall above her grandmother’s settee, a piece she inherited and painted blue. Each child had a cubby growing up—because who couldn’t use a hand with organization? A mirror over a long table allows for last-minute touchups.
Phillips’ third-floor office, where all her designs are born, is a place she wanted to be fun, with clouds to “feel skylike and dreamy.” The Cole & Son wallpaper teamed up with Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball set the celestial stage, along with a crisp geometric rug and brass-and-glass chandelier (Circa,
like most of the lighting) over her parsons-style lacquered desk. The room’s down-to-earth feature? The floor-to-ceiling built-ins for her design essentials.
Although Phillips once rented design space in town, now her home office gets the job done, and there’s always the plan to relocate to a backyard barn in the future.
Years ago, when the couple took on this renovation project, they craved a challenge. Room by room, the challenge has been met and their lives enriched. Now as they approach the emptynest stage with only one child left at home, they have no regrets, and in fact their vision is full of projects yet to come.
“This house has a lot of history, and great vibes,” says Phillips. “We’re really happy here.” But happy doesn’t mean done; she concedes that her reno fever won’t be ending any time soon. What’s next? An inground spa tops the list.
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These rocking chairs add a breeziness to a front porch or back patio—a perfect spot to read, nap or chill.
Contact ASID award winning designer, Kathryn Cook, for a free Interior Design consultation and create the home of your dreams. 973.768.4135 | KathrynCookInteriors.com
Gail Whiting ASID, CID, owner of Design Consultants, in Bedminster, NJ is honored to have been selected to design space 17 in the Mansion in May 2023, “Three Fields”, in Mendham NJ. She is very committed to being professional with excellent business practice and integrity for the client and finished project, all with a touch of the unexpected. 262 Route 202 North Bedminster, NJ 908.781.2092 | www.designconsultantsnj.com
I see it as my responsibility to please clients by taking their design inspiration and building a story around it. At the end of the day, interior design is about the client’s happiness with their home.”Kathryn Cook Interiors | Photo: Vic Wahby Photography
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Bedroom Designed by Ellen Smith, BEST OF HOUZZ 2023 winner for Ethan Allen Watchung, NJ.
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Jim Inzero is a professional artist and NJ licensed interior designer with over 15 years of experience in creating custom artwork for both residential and commercial clients. He oﬀers art services to those seeking a speciﬁc size or style of painting for their home or oﬃce, and can personally consult with clients to develop one painting or a collection to ﬁt their unique space. Jim is highly respected in the art community and his work is collected in numerous private collections locally and throughout the country. As a skilled curator, he can also help clients select pieces from his own collection to create a cohesive and stunning display. Whether you’re looking to invest in a one-of-a-kind painting or elevate the aesthetic of your space, Jim Inzero’s art services can help bring your vision to life.
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NEAT Garages NJ is a full-service designer and installer of storage and flooring solutions for garages.
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American Reclaimed, LLC
274 NJ-17 N., Upper Saddle River, NJ 201.962.8284 | www.AReclaimed.com
“I start with your vision and expand your story through design” says Kathryn of her mission. “Every project is very different, because every client is very different. No matter how simple or involved the project is, I listen to what you imagine and work with your inspiration. I plan according to your needs, layering in color, pattern, and texture to create a space suited to your lifestyle. My goal is that at the end of our collaboration your home reflects you.”
“We LOVE the space. It turned out better than hoped for. You have designed a truly beautiful, functional space.” –Client
THE PANDEMIC, MANY OF US RETREATED TO OUR backyards for fresh air and an escape from our homes, which may have prompted a major (or minor) outdoor upgrade. But now, instead of transforming an outdoor space so that it feels like a welldefined living room (you know those patios that have furniture, a fireplace, a TV and a full-on kitchen?) 2023 is all about having one single, uninterrupted area that connects inside and outside.
Think of it like open-concept, but for the exterior too. That means you’d ditch the sliding glass doors, knock down some walls or barriers if you have to and open up the room to natural light and fresh air. Ahhh. You could, for example, have your
traditional kitchen flow into an outside sitting or dining area, or double down and have one living room on each “side” to maximize seating. To make it feel cohesive, consider incorporating natural elements into the decor that one would normally find outdoors, such as stone, wood or brick.
Given that the Garden State has four very distinct seasons, an enclosure of sorts is a practical choice so you can close off the outdoor area when the temps dip. New Jersey-based landscape and hardscape designers such as CLC Landscape Design in Ringwood or SLS Design in Lumberton can help design a layout that fits your budget and style.