Traditional 13-Acre New Jersey Estate with a Neutral Palette

Details

Stone Wall Exterior with Pool

To create visual interest, landscape architect Carolle Huber had craftsmen build hardscaping using stone hauled from the husband’s family home in Pennsylvania. She and Nelson Castro of Jersey Gardens Landscaping planted roses, hydrangeas and grasses. The custom St. Tropez pool chaises are from Kingsley-Bate.

Modern Rear Exterior with Fire Pit

This New Jersey estate features a lush backyard and landscape.

Neutral Colored Marble Kitchen

Bridgewater Marble and Granite Works provided the backsplash and island’s Carrara marble. Visual Comfort’s Chart House Grosvenor fixture sheds light on custom seating designed by Frederick. Beyond is the family room, with custom M. Frederick armchairs in a Lee Jofa wool plaid. The leaded-glass windows came from another estate.

Modern Rear Exterior with Fire Pit

This New Jersey estate features a lush backyard and landscape.

Traditional White Foyer with Floor Vase

A crisp neutral palette reflects scores of natural light into a New Jersey estate, lending a fresh and updated look to its once dreary appearance.

Neutral Colored Sitting Area

Designer Matthew Frederick created a comfortable sitting area that features a Merida sea grass rug, a hassock from Ralph Lauren Home and custom sofas in a custom linen-wool weave, both by M. Frederick. Modern artwork is by Maine artist Merv Slotnick.

Antique Desk with Sculpture

In the dining room, Frederick’s own Tangle sculpture in an antique brass finish—designed for the fine accessories firm Chelsea House—keeps company with an eclectic mix of abstract and figurative artwork atop an antique chest.

Neutral Colored Dining Room with Crystal Chandelier

A Schonbek crystal chandelier adds a glamorous presence to the traditional dining room, where Frederick covered the owners’ 19th-century chairs—found, along with the antique dining table and early American mirror, in Pennsylvania—with plush velvet from Scalamandré.

White Sunroom with Sea Grass Carpet

In the sunroom-cum-living room, two custom sofas in custom linen from M. Frederick bracket a Frederick-designed coffee table sporting a virtually tint-free Starphire glass top. The vignette also includes a Bijou end table from Hickory Chair, the clients’ own slipper chairs and a Merida sea grass carpet.

Neutral Colored Marble Kitchen

Bridgewater Marble and Granite Works provided the backsplash and island’s Carrara marble. Visual Comfort’s Chart House Grosvenor fixture sheds light on custom seating designed by Frederick. Beyond is the family room, with custom M. Frederick armchairs in a Lee Jofa wool plaid. The leaded-glass windows came from another estate.

Stone Wall Exterior with Pool

To create visual interest, landscape architect Carolle Huber had craftsmen build hardscaping using stone hauled from the husband’s family home in Pennsylvania. She and Nelson Castro of Jersey Gardens Landscaping planted roses, hydrangeas and grasses. The custom St. Tropez pool chaises are from Kingsley-Bate.

Guest Apartment

Architect John James bumped out the lower portion of the carriage house and added carriage doors. The second floor accommodates a guest apartment.

White Front Exterior Entrance

A new portico enhances the sense of entry, which is also boosted by topiaries planted in vintage pots through M. Frederick.

Modern Master Bedroom with Custom Canopy

The master bedroom’s custom canopy and linens are by Frederick. A Sandy Chapman gourd lamp from Visual Comfort adorns a mirrored nightstand by Global Views.

Jack and Jill Neutral Colored Bathroom

A Jack and Jill bathroom was outfitted with Restoration Hardware medicine cabinets, as well as subway tiles, fixtures and a stool from Waterworks.

White Marble Master Bathroom with Mosaic Tile Floor Detail

Frederick varied textures in the master bathroom by juxtaposing statuary marble wall tiles with mosaic tile in the form of a runner on the floor. All tile, as well as plumbing fixtures, came from Waterworks. Custom mirrors were fabricated by Matt’s Glass.

Twelve years ago, the search for a place to raise their two children led a New York woman and her lawyer husband to a quaint country lane in western New Jersey that meandered through an old 13-acre estate property. The mature trees, the greenswards, the views…well, it was love at first sight. Then the house came into view and, recalls the architecturally trained wife, her entire spirit heaved an underwhelmed “Oh.”

Dourly draped in brown siding, with a green asphalt roof, “the house lacked the obvious—a cedar roof, white-painted cedar shingles and Palladian windows,” she says. Nevertheless, they bought it and moved in. Immediately she stripped the interiors of dreary wallpapers and tried to make their furniture fit. Then a few years ago, on a mission to find a small table, she wandered into designer Matthew Frederick’s storefront studio and shop in Far Hills, New Jersey. “It was a breath of fresh air,” she says. “I immediately called a friend and said, ‘I’ve found my designer. This is my house!’ ” Soon after coming over for a look, says Frederick, “we were doing an entire gut. I’ve touched every room of the house.”

The couple brought in architect John James, who says his job was “to restore the original beauty of what an estate property should be.” The original early-1900s building had been added onto 40 or 50 years ago, incorporating parts salvaged from a nearby estate, including leaded glass in the family room and a classically designed sunroom with radius windows. James unified things with a new exterior of white-painted cedar shakes and natural cedar roof. To amplify light, he added and widened some windows and placed transoms above others. To pull that light through the assemblage of rooms, he widened doorways, too. A new portico gave the entry more presence, and building out porches and arbors “extended the house outdoors.” Finally, he renovated a carriage house, enlarging the first floor to accommodate the family’s cars and creating a guest apartment upstairs.

Inside, Frederick and his clients initially proceeded room by room, with things happening serendipitously. For instance, one day Frederick was using the sunroom as a photo location to stage an ad for his studio. The wife became so enamored of the resulting aesthetics that she kept everything. But about one-third of the way through the project, says Frederick, “we had to step back and think about how to combine what we’d done with a cohesive look.”

Today, “it’s the anticolor house,” says Frederick. Taking their cue from cottages in the Hamptons and on Nantucket, where the family summers, they followed an all-white path. To rescue it from monotony, however, “there are lots of textures in the mix of whites, and bright color in the art,” explains the designer. There are also warm woods, natural hues of sea grass and jute, and “fashion-forward” touches such as lacquered ceilings and banisters.

Finally, working with the clients’ longtime gardener, Nelson Castro, landscape architect Carolle Huber created outdoor rooms that broke up the enormous sloping lawn. She did so using stone from a crumbling barn at the husband’s childhood family home in Pennsylvania. “It was done using old-world stonework methods,” Huber says of the walls, whose bases begin 42 inches below ground for stability. Then Huber and Castro filled in with Hamptons-Nantucket-like plantings of hydrangeas, grasses, roses and, for winter color and structure, boxwood.

“What started out as an hour of shopping evolved, five years later, into a project,” says Frederick. “It makes the case that not everything has to be done overnight. When they bought it, they loved what it could be; now they love what it’s become.”

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