When my longtime client approached me in September of 2021 and asked if I would help her renovate a townhome she had just purchased I was delighted. She said,” it’s time to downsize I am selling the big house.”
A woman who works 12 hours a day – she knows what she wants. “I want all the walls down, I want a completely open concept with a peninsula to serve buffet dinners on Friday nights with friends & family. I want all new floors, Built-ins everywhere, and all new doors and hardware. By the way – I love blue and want a fresh vibe on the interiors. She allowed me to figure it all out!
I put the team together and we got to work. Determining how to structurally finesse these ideas along with the overall design concepts. Working with a completely open floor plan is tricky – but I had an idea.
I would use color as a tool to seamlessly tie the spaces together. I broke up her 30-year-old dining room furniture set. I reimagined the Queen Ann chairs by painting them a light color. We ordered a new dining table in a traditional form and reused her classic 18th century style sideboard. The beaded blue chandelier adds whimsy, color, and drama.
Barely the size of a closet was a bar, by opening that area up, it was a game changer – giving full view of the entire first floor it really tells a great story. Styling open shelves with glass inserts, and painting the base cabinets blue, is a bit of glue that holds the open concept together.
We gutted the powder room removing the wainscoting and using dramatic materials such as a navy blue grasscloth wallcovering, all new lighting, flooring and a full stone vanity. We took a more traditional mirror and refinished it in a silver wash.
I really felt like I hit the lottery when I discovered the 14 renderings of famous architectural buildings featuring downtown Trenton, NJ. City Hall, The Old Barracks, and Trenton Public Library to name a few. They had been gifted to her and were sentimental. They all had been matted in a dull dark color so I had them completely redone to fit the new scheme.
Vintage Chinese Double happiness Wedding jars, from the homeowner’s collection, are showcased on the sideboard.
From the get-go we decided to upgrade the floors to white oak floorboards stained a rich walnut color.
Using a simple but beautiful single-mount faucet on the island kept it feeling uncluttered and clean.
In the background is an old tin-type photo of the homeowner’s Grandmother and Great Aunt – what a treasure!
The stairs were redone by taking out an awkward angle at the base and pulling them back taking away a tripping hazard. I was able to reuse a flip top card table to perfectly fill the corner nestled between the stairs, bar and dining area. A final pop of blue in accessories complete the vignette.
Continuing with the open floor plan the great room is completely visible to the kitchen. What a great way to entertain family and friend where everyone is connected to the party. The large oil painting by Charlotte Terrell adds depth and punctuates the space perfectly.
A faux metal cane table from the ‘60’s is an added textural component. It’s great to stack up the books for reading & adding a floor lamp to illuminate the text is a much-needed ingredient.
A soft area rug, custom built-ins, a Calacutta marble mosaic fireplace surround all give this great room a fresh and functional composition. The natural light is beautiful as it filters through the shutters illuminating the setting.
A glimpse of the master bedroom where I gently wove in the colors and pattern, traversing between traditional and clean lines, a sense of serenity is accomplished. The wall mounted polished nickel swing arm lamps free up space on the night table tops.
Pulling back, we can see the doorless and no threshold concept employed here in the shower area. Planning for the future when downsizing is truly important. The trellis style marble & mosaic floor is heated for ultimate comfort.
In the master bath, again breaking from tradition, I added a teak seat to give a nod to the overall Spa vibe. The handmade tile and mosaic marble floor set the scene off with lovely contrast.
A dressing vanity flanked by sinks and wall to wall mirror, makes the most of the long wall in the Master bath. Quartzite counters and swivel stool are practical and comfortable. Adding a heated towel bar & robe hook is very motivating during early morning showers.
This hand made tray holds needed necessities while getting ready for the day. The custom vanity has mega storage for things that need to be stowed away out of site. Keeping things crisp and clean!
Sleek and sophisticated the faucet fixtures are of a transitional nature, lever handles and the warm polished nickel finish add the final touch of bling.
2nd floor guest bath. It was completely gutted and given a facelift with new tile, vanity, lighting, tub & fixtures. Guests can enjoy this bathroom in style.
All of the doors were switched to solid core and door hardware to a custom design with polished nickel knobs and hinges.