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Wright Lane

Date published: April 04 2017

New Jersey

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The brief was to align the interior architecture with the exterior and to make the home practical and stylish for both family and entertaining

Located in Far Hills, New Jersey, approximately 45 minutes from Manhattan is this elegant family home nestled in five acres of immaculately manicured lawns and gardens. Standing at approximately 7,500 sq. ft, this home which was built in the 1990’s had an exterior that oozed classic French character and details, but its interior had been outfitted with American colonial details that did not sit comfortably with the new owners.

The clients required a cosmetic renovation that sought to align the interior architecture with the exterior, and at the same time make the home practical and stylish for both family and social entertaining activities. That brief resulted in the design and fitting of a new kitchen, bathrooms, decorative molding and trim, as well as complete interiors.

Another challenge was to showcase the family’s beautiful art collection - which includes pieces from Picasso, Twombly, Max, Miro and others - and give it a space of its own.

Minimising or removing the colonial details within the house was a big challenge within the space, as there were some awkward builder elements such as angled walls and basic molding which didn’t sit comfortably with the level of sophistication that was aimed for. Keeping the details relevant to both the architecture and the level of elegance required was key to getting the finished look to be perfect.

The furnishings are all bespoke and designed to reflect an international sophistication and design sensibility. ‘We employed cool tonal colours throughout the home to unify the space and highlight the millwork details,’ explains Matthew Frederick, founder of M. Frederick Design. The foyer and dining room paneling was existing and was complemented by additional paneling in the family room and kitchen areas.

The main staircase’s proportions were initially questioned but created a dramatic focal point by employing gloss lacquer in the handrails and stairs and a clean, fresh wide sisal runner that helps define the foyer space and adds a relevance to daily living. The foyer also features a beautiful Browne & Moore set of demi-lunes.

The family room was initially an awkward double height space that was transformed by adding millwork and bespoke lighting to change the proportion of the room. A grand double height fireplace surround could have dominated the room, but instead with the correct pieces, it has been turned into a subtle, but elegant focal point within the space. ‘The cocktail table is a
replica of a vintage piece we saw on our travels and it anchors the various seating areas in the room. The lighting - a Jerome Park two-tier chandelier - had to be custom made because we couldn’t find lighting of the scale and sophistication we needed from any standard offering,’ says Matthew. It sits over Browne & Moore upholstery throughout the room, and the area rug is called Merida, whilst the oversized, classic table lighting throughout the room is supplied by Visual Comfort.

The dining room chandelier is the first example of its kind in the United Stated from Saint Louis Crystal and features hand blown clear and graphite details.

The kitchen is a completely custom configuration of cabinetry from the Browne & Moore Bespoke kitchen collection. It features 5cm statuary counters, custom coloured Blue Star range, custom lighting from our collection, and a powder vanity coloured to complement the range. ‘We completely removed the previous kitchen space and removed several walls to configure the new space so that it achieved the desired flow and visual access to the rear patio and pool area. For the pool, we specified a dark bluestone and a grey-tinged pool to add depth and drama to the area,’ Matthew says.

The clients are very happy with the results. They love the fl ow of the space and the visual uniformity. They entertain often and have been thrilled with the feedback from friends and colleagues.

Photographer: John Bessler

Designer: Matthew Frederick

Author: Katy Briscoe

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