Located on Main Street in the charming town of Moorestown, NJ, this historic house is home to an energetic family of five, including 3 teenagers and 2 dogs. The idyllic setting features a large beautiful yard with gardens where the kids love to play and at the same time its just a short walk into town. When we first met with our clients we were struck with the graceful, traditional architectural details and amazing light in this home, as well as the bright, dynamic energy of their family. Our clients moved into the home with all of their existing furniture, and nothing was working for them- including the décor choices made by the former owners. Dark, busy wallpaper covered most of the walls, giving a heavy, formal feel.
Our clients knew they needed help choosing furniture of the appropriate scale, and wanted a more vibrant, fun feeling that still respected the era of the home. We decided to embrace color and a cheerful mood, with a funky take on tradition.
The foyer featured beautiful wainscot detail on the lower walls, and we thought it was the perfect place to bring in more color. Paint felt too flat, and so we landed on a gorgeous burnt-orange grasscloth wallcovering. I loved how willing our client was to take a risk with this color, and the result is warm and rich, perfect for the heart of this home! A vibrant Turkish rug graces the floor in the entryway, with orange and blue colors that play off of the grasscloth and set the color story for all the connecting rooms.We played with the idea of a central table in the foyer but it felt wrong for the family’s busy lifestyle, and so we created little zones around the perimeter of the room instead. A custom entry bench with traditional bobbin legs and modern cheetah upholstery plays off of the sober formality of “Grandpa” an original oil painting that our client fell in love with in a secondhand shop.
A full-length mirror placed behind a console table expands the feeling of space in the entryway.
The biggest challenge- and success- in this room was the gallery wall. Getting the balance of scale and color right on a gallery wall can be tricky. For this one we collaborated with our client to source art to add to her existing pieces.
We created custom frames for almost all the pieces, each unique in style, and yet all complimenting each other. Pulling all of this together felt like a big design win, and a lasting source of delight to the homeowners!
Off of the foyer to left is the dining room. When we started, the dining room had floor to ceiling wallpaper punctuated with a chair rail molding.
We decided to contrast the colorful foyer by stripping the wallpaper and painting the room white, but to add depth and drama we added full paneling to the walls, taking cues from the existing paneling in the foyer. We changed the dining chairs to a Louis style upholstered in white indoor/outdoor fabric with a pop of blue fretwork fabric on the back. An overdyed distressed traditional blue rug anchors the room, and the head chairs have a textural blue and white pattern.
On one wall of the dining room we added a serving buffet, colorful art and a pair of elegant sconces. On the other side are twin custom credenzas we had made locally in Pennsylvania that flank the window and add extra storage.
A pair of contemporary art pieces above each one feels fresh and dynamic against the traditional paneling. Simple, roman shades grace the windows and an airy, sculptural modern chandelier crowns the room while allowing all the light and greenery to pour in through the windows unimpeded.
Directly across the way is the parlor- a sort of formal living room that our clients have adapted for use as a grown up’s lounge for enjoying music and a relaxing drink. The main family room is bright and light, so here we decided to embrace the dark, and totally envelop the room in an inky teal color. Walls, ceiling and drapes are all treated in the same tone, another risk that our clients decided to take that paid off beautifully, as the room draws you in like a soothing retreat.
We reupholstered two Bergere chairs in a vibrant hand-printed fabric by Tulu and the color shimmers against the dark teal walls. A clean-lined leather Chesterfield sofa and a vintage Mastercraft coffee table from an antique shop in nearby Lambertville, NJ play strong supporting roles to the design stars in the room, as does a simple, natural hide rug.
In the back right corner of the room a textural gilded table gleams softly, giving that otherwise awkward corner a reason to shine.
Last on our design tour is the family room. When we began, the room felt dark despite the fact that it gets wonderful light. Dark wallpaper and crowded built-ins were not helping at all.
We stripped the wallpaper and painted everything white.
Taking out one or two shelves in each section of the built-ins let everything breathe and expanded the sense of space dramatically.
White faux-roman shades with a pop of blue trim keep the windows light and bright, with easy-use roller shades behind for privacy. A simple, large indoor-outdoor jute-look rug anchors the room and a comfy sofa upholstered in neutral-colored performance fabric enhances the feeling of light and space.
We re-upholstered two Danish modern inspired chairs in an easy, denim-look fabric, and created an incredible custom ottoman out of a vintage Turkish rug. Rather than putting a sectional in this room we added a separate chaise, upholstered in a pop of orange and placed to be the prime tv watching spot.
We added new pillows and cushions in the bay window, also in a durable family friendly fabrics, and placed a game table between the chaise and the windows. The table is big enough to fit five and keeps everyone in the room connected and enjoying family time together.
One especially delightful part of designing this room was sourcing the vintage-inspired case goods. Our clients were interested in having us select finely crafted pieces, and we love that they chose to invest for the long term, knowing that quality and classic beauty will always be a good design choice.
That wraps up our Main Street Moorestown Makeover- a funky traditional home for a fun modern family. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!