Interior designer Jules Duffy had a running start when it came to decorating this northern New Jersey home. “This is such a beautiful home,” she says. “The proportions of the rooms are absolutely perfect.” Not only that, but the previous owners had recently finished an extensive renovation that was so good, she didn’t need to change a piece of molding, a cabinet or even any of the wallpaper they had chosen.
When it came to understanding her clients’ lifestyle, Duffy also had a big head start, having already decorated their previous primary residence as well as their beach home. Because they were leaving both behind with their move to this residence, she had an extensive mix of familiar inventory to pull from. She cataloged every piece to figure out which ones they could repurpose here and see which new pieces they would need. The result is a beautiful and comfortable home that’s new to them yet comfortingly familiar.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A married couple and their 2 teenagers
Location: Northern New Jersey
Size: 6 bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms
The home has beautiful colonial revival architecture. “The former homeowner had impeccable taste,” Duffy says. “There wasn’t one wallpaper we got rid of.” While they kept the wallpapers, she created custom glazed, textured walls in some of the rooms. The key was to give a lot of the existing pieces a makeover to fit in here, and accentuate them with new pieces to round out the design.
The birds on the wallpaper here have very tiny splashes of blue, which Duffy picked up on with the artwork. This is a preview — touches of blue in different shades create cohesiveness through the house. The sculpture is sludge glass from the Ball Glass Company. A local metal artist created the stand for it.
Duffy repurposed the drapes that were left behind in the dining room in here. The table was handmade by Glendale Architectural Wood Products, a woodworking shop in New York. A handblown Murano glass chandelier and a dash of zebra introduce visitors to the new homeowners’ style as soon as they walk in the door.
The main goal in the family room was to keep it light and add lots of comfortable seating. One of the homeowners fell in love with the embroidered fabric seen on the large throw pillows when Duffy presented it to her, and it wound up inspiring the color scheme for the entire room. Duffy custom designed almost all of the upholstered pieces.
Tip: Change up your sofas with blankets. The linen blankets across the sofas keep them from getting soiled and add a comfortable equestrian-style-inspired touch. The spring and summer side of the blankets is light blue, while the other side is a darker gray-blue. This allows the homeowners to darken the color scheme a smidge in fall and winter.
The new lantern’s large scale makes a big impact and lends a casual feel, as do the new sconces over the mantel and the large leather ottoman. The shell-encrusted table lamp adds some sparkle. The rug was a hand-me-down from one of the homeowner’s sisters. “I loved that the colors in the rug complemented the room without matching everything,” Duffy says.
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