Essex Fells, NJ

The Backstory

A couple and their sports-loving children have long called this charming center hall colonial in Essex Fells, N.J., home. An extension had been added years ago, but the see-through nature of the main floor underscored a lack of harmony between the rooms. The owners envisioned a whole-house refresh that would ensure each space lived up to its full potential.

The Design Brief

Maximize the usability of each room and integrate existing elements to design a more inviting and livable home for the entire family to enjoy.

The Inspiration

Sweet Sensations. We wanted each room to reflect this family’s sweet personality, and built our designs around their love of classic plaids and stripes. The color palette complemented in-place elements like the grass wallpapers: blue in the sitting room, seafoam green in the dining room. We were also tasked with repurposing the sitting room’s swivel chairs, and the table and builder-grade built-ins in the dining room. Simple switches had an instant impact: wallpapering the ceiling and reupholstering the chairs in a wool plaid gave the small sitting room a warm, welcoming vibe. And repainting the stark-white built-ins to match the wallpaper cozied up the dining room and set off the fireplace. Fully rethinking its function, we re-designed the basement as a teen hang-out. Must-haves included a beloved ice hockey table and two TV’s (one for gaming, one for movie watching), plus a new ping-pong table and a standout sectional with easy-to-rearrange modular pieces. We added special touches in the family room and kitchen, and upgrades to the kids’ bedrooms. We confess to loving the lilac color scheme in the oldest daughter’s room and the custom-shaped headboard designed to grow with her.