From the June/July 2013 Issue:

A Modern Classic

    Writer: Denise DiFulco | Photographer: Peter Rymwid | Designer: Sandra Lambert, ASID | Architect: Salustro Partnership Architects |

Designer Sandra Lambert creates a stylish, timeless home in Watchung

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enlarge | A custom built-in display cabinet provides a strong focal point for the living room. Designed with the homeowners’ growing collection of Murano and Chihuly art glass in mind, it can be modified to include new niches for display.
There’s nothing like blending styles to give a home a sophisticated and timeless look. But there’s an art to making it appear effortless.

That was the task a Watchung couple handed to interior designer Sandra Lambert, a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, state-certified interior designer and owner of Realm Designs in Warren. Her design, which showcased many of her clients’ collected furnishings in fresh surrounds, won the Silver Award for Residential Spaces 10,000 Square Feet and Over in the 2012 Design Excellence Awards of the New Jersey Chapter of ASID.

The homeowners, Jan and Irv Cyzner, were ideal partners, Lambert says. Irv Cyzner owns Somerset-based commercial real estate firm Cyzner Properties and acted as general contractor on the project. “This was his dream house,” Lambert says. “It’s everything he has learned and seen throughout the years.” Jan Cyzner, in the meantime, had accumulated an impressive collection of furniture, antiques and collectibles in the couple’s homes in Colonia and Florida. “She has great taste,” Lambert says. “She’s so up on style, from her own fashion to the things she likes.”

The Cyzners hired Salustro Partnership Architects in Martinsville to design the home and then built it with Irv Cyzner’s own team of contractors. With a house of this size and scale, however, the couple decided they could benefit from an interior designer’s expertise, Lambert says. She joined the project as the house was being framed.

The overall look and feel is inspired by star architect Robert A.M. Stern, a master mixer renowned as a “modern traditionalist.” Lambert says Irv Cyzner is a fan of his work.

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enlarge | The staircase combines a variety of elements and materials seen elsewhere in the home: traditional design, wenge egg detail and custom silk carpeting. It was intended to be straight, but was curved as it was built to better showcase the windows behind and to provide a grander entrance for those descending the stairs into the living room.
Architectural Statement
The more traditional elements in the home are found primarily in the architecture. Classic moldings and cabinetry anchor many of the rooms. They even were painted in oil-based paints to give them more depth and an Old World feel. But because the trim is not heavily adorned, it offered Lambert and her clients a neutral canvas upon which to make some bold statements. “It allows the art to shine through and the furnishings and the people too,” Lambert says.

That is where the modernity comes in. The traditional built-in in the living room, for instance, houses Jan Cyzner’s collection of Murano glass and pieces by Dale Chihuly, known for his glass installations worldwide. Also in the living room resides a contemporary architectural screen and sculptural console that were repurposed from the Cyzners’ previous residence. “My philosophy is you can’t ignore it and say ‘I don’t want to work with your items,’” Lambert says. “I take a lot of pride and a lot of time to work in what people cherish.”

Pulling together what could be wildly disparate furnishings is a consistent color palette of beige, gold and black. Lambert says Jan Cyzner loves the colors. To keep them from becoming redundant or boring, Lambert chose fabrics with hues that are varied in texture and scale.

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enlarge | The family room, with its sweeping view of the New York City skyline, was designed from scratch. It’s adjacent to the living room and is separated from that space by a 12-by-15-foot wine cellar (not shown).
Modern Luxury
Perhaps the most interesting—and challenging—marriage of elements occurred in the dressing area vestibule in the master suite. The room is shaped like the profile of a round-cut diamond with five angles. The moldings are traditional, yet the straight-lined doors are constructed of ebony with plastic inserts and would be right at home in a modern luxury hotel. In this space Lambert hung her clients’ oversized baroque mirror over an antique console.

How did she pull together such an eclectic mix? With a bolt of warm gray silk pulled in taut folds along the ceiling. A chandelier hangs from the center point like a piece of jewelry. “I wanted it to look like a beautiful dress,” the designer says.

It is those types of touches and attention to detail that bring harmony to the home, while at the same time adding warmth to some very large spaces. The custom wood flooring, featuring laser-cut inlays incorporating maple, cherry, mahogany and wenge, visually tie together individual rooms and the furnishings in those spaces.

In the family room, the only room outfitted completely from scratch, Lambert created ceiling beams using medium density fiberboard (so they wouldn’t shrink and expand), which were then brushed by a decorative painter with a stria finish, each one detailed with a chamfer and pegs. “We brought things to human scale,” Lambert says. “You feel you’re in a cozy house somehow even though it’s grand.”

Denise DiFulco, a regular contributor to Design NJ, is a Cranford-based writer.


Overall: interior design, Sandra Lambert of Realm Designs in Warren; architect, Salustro Partnership Architects in Martinsville; general contractor, Irv Cyzner of Cyzner Properties in Somerset. Living Room: reupholstery, Workroom Services in Warren; chairs, Century Furniture in Hickory, North Carolina; carpet, David Anthony Carpets in Midland Park; end table, Christopher Guy in Fort Myers, Florida; sconces, Fine Art Lamps in Miami Lakes, Florida; fabrics, Kravet in New York City, Pollack Fabrics in New York City and Duralee in Bay Shore, New York; flooring, Alite Flooring in Pine Brook and Yarema Marquetry Design in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Entry: flooring, Alite Flooring and Yarema Marquetry Design. Family Room: leather sofa, Century Furniture; fabrics, Kravet and Robert Allen/Beacon Hill Showroom in New York City; decorative painting, WallFX Studio in Sparta with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paints; sofas, Kravet; end table, Global Views in Dallas; table, Currey & Co. in Atlanta; pendant light, Hans Duus Blacksmith in Buellton, California; coffee table, Bernhardt in Lenoir, North Carolina; flooring, Alite Flooring and Yarema Marquetry Design; cocktail table, Bausman & Co. in Ontario, California; carpet, David Anthony Carpets. Ante Room: sconces, Fine Art Lamps; flooring, Alite Flooring and Yarema Marquetry Design; and fabrics, Hartmann & Forbes in Tualatin, Oregon; Nomi Fabrics in Watsonville, California; Pollack Fabrics; Rodolph in Sonoma, California; and Samuel & Sons in New York City. Dressing Room Vestibule: ceiling treatment, Workroom Services with fabric by Silk Essentials in New York City; chandelier, Schonbek in Plattsburgh, New York; flooring, Alite Flooring and Yarema Marquetry Design; decorative painting, WallFX Studio. Sitting Room and Master Suite: chandeliers, Troy Lighting in City of Industry, California; shades, Hartmann & Forbes; window treatment, Workroom Services; carpet, David Anthony; ottomans, Christopher Guy; bed and nightstands, Samuel & Sons; wall covering, Silk Dynasty; decorative painting, WallFX Studio.

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