From the outside the house looks vaguely Colonial and Federal in style (as a result of a rebuilding over 50 years ago after a fire), but once you step inside, you know you’re in a Victorian home! When we first bought the house, the old “bones” were there, but as nothing cosmetic had been done in over 50 years, (everything was dated and “yellow” from decades of nicotine & smoke) we had our work cut out for us!
We loved the entry woodwork but knew that we had to move that stair railing installed right behind the original wooden spindles, interrupting them visually.
Adding a new, crystal chandelier and lots of fresh white paint made this jewel sparkle!
The Living room had a grand scale and didn’t need much work…..just a lot of cleaning, painting and polishing! The the two sets of unique and original french doors were still there and are fully functional! Yay! But what a mess it was!
The color choices, a ceiling medallion and some special lighting and staging transform this room, don’t you think? by the way, the ceiling medallion and new crown molding are called “Lenarkshire”, a pattern from a county in Scotland. We chose it because it just looked right in this setting!
Having worked on homes of this vintage we knew that this type of home often had stained glass in the very place where we saw the very faint outline of an original window. If you look closely in the picture above, between the two windows, you can see the outline too! When we opened it up, the stained glass was no longer there, so we found a vintage pane (circa 1880’s) at our favorite stained glass emporium (in Asbury Park, NJ) and had it placed in the old window frame! Add another crystal chandelier and you’ve got a brand new dining room!
The Dining Room color is Benjamin Moore’s “Philllipsburg” and its beautifully set off by the crisp white semi-gloos trim and the beautifully refinished original oak floors stained “Dark Walnut”.
One more things we’re proud of…..is our enhancement of the original gas fireplaces, one in the Master Bedroom and the other one here in the Dining Room! We refaced them in new stone and had new “ventless” gas fireplace systems installed. More on that later, but suffice it to say these ventless systems have a charming flame and needs absolutely no flue! Then, just by chance, we found the facade of an old, smaller mantle and had it mounted above the Dining Room’s original mantle, as you can see in the picture below.
Then we ran the same Lenarkshire crown molding around it, had it all painted white and had a piece of mirror custom cut and glued in! It looks like it has always been this way doesn’t it?
The new Family Room/Den: The last room to show you on this particular blog is our transformation of the “Den”. This room, added to the original house some 50 years ago, was a big boring box when we bought the house.
So we found an antique mantle in a Montclair shop and had it mounted to a new cabinet we had built to hold a new, this time vented (and remote controlled) gas fireplace!
My partner, Steve Moran, designed the bookcases flanking the fireplace to create a custom built in look. Our design also included installing beams to the ceiling and all the windows were replaced! We painted the ceiling darker, but used the same color for both the beams and the fireplace mantle and bookcase. We chose carpeting in this room to create a warm and cozy space…..a fantastic new Family Room/Den, n’est pas?
But, while it did have a proximity to the original kitchen, there was no way to get there without going through the Butler’s Pantry, into the Dining Room and then in to the Den! We wanted to create a room that was in synch with the way families live their lives today…..together! So, with the help of our outrageously good architect, Jonathan Perlstein of OASIS Architecture in Montclair, NJ, we opened up the wall from the old Butler’s Pantry to create a direct link to the family room from the large eat-in kitchen! Here’s the old pantry before it was opened to the den…
The new Butler’s Pantry now connects the fantastic new kitchen with the wonderful new den! Great, isn’t it?
Next post…..the big new eat-in kitchen! But that’s a big story, so…..tay tuned!