From the October/November 2015 Issue:

2015 Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House

Show houses provide major fund-raising power to charitable organizations and also give designers a chance to demonstrate their skills untethered—mostly—from the demands of a homeowner. Here we present examples from the Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House in Rumson, the Cape May Designer Show House and the Designer Show House of New Jersey.

Blithewald, with a past dating back to 1883 at the dawn of the great estates in Rumson, was preparing to take a bold step into the future with updates provided as site of the 2015 Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House in May. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Just days before the opening gala, when most of the designers had already finished their work, fire heavily damaged the house and left it unusable for the show house.

Designers lost thousands of dollars in time and materials; the public lost a chance to be inspired by creative, thoughtfully planned spaces; and the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, the show house sponsor, lost the opportunities associated with one of its major fund-raisers.

A few designers had their spaces professionally photographed before the fire, a handful had photos taken by personal cameras and cell phones. On the following pages, we showcase the usable photos in honor of the hard work and worthy cause for which it was done. For information about the VNA Health Group, visit vnahg.org.



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enlarge | In this master sitting room that Byford & Mills designed for the Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Showhouse, three six-pane windows framed in a deeper gray than the walls form the backdrop for a round table adorned with objets d’art and a table lamp in gilded wood. Turn the page for more.
Master Suite Sitting Room

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Marco Ricca
DESIGNER Byford & Mills

A peaceful space for quiet moments alone or to share with family or close friends. That was the goal for the master bedroom sitting room designed by Byford & Mills Interior Design & Designer Showroom in Little Silver. Pat Mills and her design team—Lynda Berger, James Rabe and Robert Trembley—turned the 20-by-20-foot room into an intimate place to read, watch television or relax.


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enlarge | A modern wing chair covered with Stark’s Rue De Visconti fabric suggested the color palette for the room. It also influenced the balcony garden seen beyond French doors held by bisque faience sculptures imported by Pat Mills.
French doors bring the outside in; one set opens to a sleeping porch, typical of late 19th century homes. Others open to a balcony garden and a small semicircular patio. It was the balcony garden and the “organic free-spirited random flowers” of Stark’s Rue De Visconti fabric used on a wing chair that Mills says inspired the room’s color palette.


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enlarge | A black marble fireplace and hearth cozily center a conversation area, where comfy throw pillows add welcome to the sofa and loveseat. Two uniquely shaped chairs join a fireside white satin quilted Mitzi Accent Chair while a jute carpet anchors the gathering. A scallop chandelier offers central lighting.
Unusual furniture, art and custom wall design add to the unique aura. Small chairs in the conversation area, called fireside footstools, can be pulled in close for quiet talks or easily moved into the warmth of the black marble corner fireplace.


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enlarge | Shades of gray, white and lilac create an aura of intimate ease. A corner bench covered in lilac and white windowpane fabric is a perfect spot for afternoon tea.
A custom corner bench that serves the sofa and loveseat is perfect for perching, offering snacks or serving an elegant afternoon tea. For casual relaxation, a tall armoire opens to reveal a television but could also be used as a bar. Paintings by contemporary Russian artists bring a note of drama into the quiet setting.


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enlarge | An abstract sculptural goldleaf table lamp stands on a hand-painted desk tucked into a niche under a large contemporary Russian oil painting. A desk chair picks up the room’s color palette while offering a comfortable place to sit.
SOURCES: interior design, Byford & Mills Interior Design & Designer Showroom in Little Silver; armoire, fireside foot stools, quilted chair and corner bench, Chaddock in Morganton, North Carolina; bench fabric, Cowtan & Tout in New York City; wing chair, Vanguard in Conover, North Carolina, with Rue De Visconti fabric by Lelievre through Stark in New York City; sofa and loveseat by Fairfield Furniture in Mississauga, Ontario, with Tulsa fabric by J.F. Fabrics in Tonawanda, New York; round table, Century Furniture in High Point, North Carolina; decorative painting on walls and Greek key border on ceiling, Leigh Heagney of Lotus Way in Fair Haven; other interior painting, T.J. Painting Co. in Summit; ceiling wallpaper, Whitaker by York Wallcoverings in York, Pennsylvania; jute rug, Fibreworks Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky; chandelier and gilded wood Hugo table lamp, Visual Comfort & Co. in New York City; desk chair fabric, Fonthill Velours Bergerac Lavande through Stark; desk lamp, John-Richard in Greenwood, Mississippi. All items available through Byford & Mills Interior Design & Designer Showroom.


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enlarge | A vintage crystal chandelier draws focus to a table classically dressed in blue and white. Pillowed and reupholstered vintage chairs surround the table and face out toward the gardens. The chest at right holds candles and photographs while a mirror above it reflects the landscaped gardens.
Sun Porch

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPH Asbury Park Press
DESIGNER Sandra John Interiors Inc.

This 15-by-14-foot space might once have been thought of as a sun room, however, it has two walls of glass doors that, when open, make it more of a sun porch. “One of my objectives for the room was to bring the outside in,” says designer Sandra McDonald, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and principal of Sandra John Interiors in Basking Ridge.

McDonald began by turning out the chairs surrounding the table so they face the doors “to make the beautifully landscaped grounds become an extension of the room,” she says.

She also reupholstered the chair seats and added Dana Gibson handpainted pillows to faux bamboo armchairs and dressed the table with F. Schumacher’s Huntingdon Gardens Bleu Marine, featuring camellias and plumed birds that trail over a tactile linen cloth.

To further marry the room to the outdoors, McDonald says, “After repairing the plaster ceiling, we selected Pratt & Lambert Astrachan in a satin finish. The [light blue] color plays well with the centerpiece table and the outdoor blue skies.”

She covered existing floor tiles with natural sea grass carpeting to add texture and soften the room. Papering the walls with lattice-themed wallpaper and adding antique botanical prints further the outdoors-in theme.

Accent pieces such as whimsical monkey sconces and a white garden seat on which plants, flowers or people can rest add to the join-us-on-the-porch ambience.

SOURCES interior design, Sandra John Interiors Inc. in Basking Ridge; tablecloth, F. Schumacher in New York City; chair cushion fabric and Bamboo Lattice wallpaper, Thibaut in Newark; handpainted pillows, Dana Gibson Inc. in Richmond, Virginia; chest, Oscar de la Renta for Century Furniture in Hickory, North Carolina; carpeting, Exceptional Flooring Concepts in Cedar Knolls, ceiling paint, Pratt & Lambert in Cleveland, Ohio; all other objects, Sandra John Interiors.


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enlarge | Light furnishings contrast elegantly with the dark wood of the coffered ceiling and shelving. The designer accessorized the room with antique books and interesting artwork and sculpture.
Living Room

WRITER Marirose Krall
PHOTOGRAPH Asbury Park Press
DESIGNER Barbara Ostrom Associates

Though this room was dim and shadowy when interior designer Barbara Ostrom first set eyes on it, she knew it had a solid design foundation. “I loved all the architectural details in the room,” says Ostrom, a certified interior designer, professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, member of the International Interior Design Association and owner of Barbara Ostrom Associates. in Mahwah and New York City. Indeed, a wall of windows, built-in 12-foot-high shelving and a coffered ceiling all give the space a singular character.

Still, Ostrom says, “It was a very ‘wintery’ room.” The designer set out to brighten the space and create a “summer library” while preserving the room’s distinguished ambience. To do that, she decided on a palette of whites, beiges and light blues.

Ostrom covered the floor with wall-to-wall sisal then added an area rug in the new color scheme. Blue and beige throw pillows bring a bit of cozy comfort and substance to the ethereal white sofa and chair. The shelving is lined with silver grass cloth, another room-brightening strategy.

The windows, framed by breezy floral draperies, show a stunning view of the garden. To underscore the connection between outdoors and in, Ostrom incorporated plants into her design. A large tree presides over one corner, and two hydrangea plants bloom in another.

Next to the sofa, a floor lamp made from tree branches blends the man-made with the natural. Light blue ceiling panels between the wood coffers are painted with a bamboo design that draws the eye upward.

The whole room, in fact, is uplifting having been successfully transformed from dark to light. “The garden started to bloom. The room was sunny and bright. It was beautiful,” Ostrom says.

SOURCES interior design, Barbara Ostrom Associates in Mahwah and New York City; draperies and sofa, Thibaut in Newark; trim on drapery, Samuel & Sons Inc. in New York City; blue throw pillows, Kravet in Bethpage, New York;
antique tapestry throw pillows, B. Viz Design in St. Joseph, Louisiana; coffee table and white chair, Baker Furniture in New York City with Baker fabric; “tree limb” lamp, doe sculpture and deer antlers, Michael Dawkins Home in New York City; bistro table (at right of sofa), Grange in New York City.


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enlarge | The yellow and turquoise color palette draws light in through the French doors.
Pool House Kitchen

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Wing Wong
DESIGNER Dove Design Studio

The grounds are beautiful. Everything is very glamorous,” says Jim Dove, who drew on the luxury Palm Beach Regency lifestyle as the inspiration for this pool house kitchen.

Dove, a certified master kitchen and bath designer and owner of Dove Design Studio in Short Hills, began with a palette of yellow, gray and ivory with touches of magenta, beige and soft blue. For drama, he had the glass-top on a 72-by-36-inch white table matched to Benjamin Moore’s Galapagos Turquoise.

The first impression of the room is of a glamorous gathering space, however, it’s also a working kitchen. The elliptical-patterned glass doors on the hutch showcase colorful dishware, the second door from the right opens to reveal a sink and faucet, and lower doors hide a refrigerator, dishwasher and storage. The serving/casual dining table offers additional storage and a resplendent accent of light and brilliant color. The table’s almost-full-length wood sides echo the ellipses on the hutch doors and stand on mirrored supports that give it a floating appearance.

Oak counter stools are stained light gray, and 1960s cast aluminum Chinese Chippendale-style faux bamboo chairs are updated with soft gold paint and yellow and blue striped fabric.

An ivory sisal rug coordinates with hand-screened, made-to-order wallpaper in a custom combination of gray, beige and magenta. Frond-like, plaster-white pendant lights add a glow to the golden yellow ceiling.

Swimmers and tennis enthusiasts find a high-end elegance at the end of their time outdoors in this glamorous, welcoming and yet fully functional pool house kitchen.

SOURCES interior design and custom cabinetry, Dove Design Studio in Short Hills; Kool glass tabletop, Leeza Surfaces in Montréal, Quebec, through Robert Crowe; ceiling, Golden Fleece by Pratt & Lambert; counter stools, Euro Furniture in Chicago; chairs, through Dove Design Studio with Bijou Stripe fabric from China Seas by Quadrille in New York City; rug, Michael P. Maher Design LLC in West Orange; wallpaper, Paul Romano, through Dove Design Studio; lighting, Circa Lighting in Savannah, Georgia; rug, Fibreworks in Louisville, Kentucky.


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enlarge | A pot rack with lighting was repurposed to hold 24 copper pots that echo the custom 66-inch copper range hood. A six-inch horizontal band of Calacatta marble was added to the existing honed field tile on the wall behind the range.
The Kitchen

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Brett Skirkanich
DESIGNER Design Logic ltd.

If the kitchen had a familiar feel to designer Barbara Goldfarb, there was good reason. She had redesigned the kitchen in 2006 when the owners wanted to update and expand the space to accommodate their family of six, including four teenage sons.

“At that time, we took out an old service kitchen and added seating and a mudroom,” says Goldfarb, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and owner of Design Logic Ltd. in Little Silver.

The family collects antiques and likes preused materials. However, they also like an efficiently functional kitchen, and that is what Goldfarb gave them. The expanded 25-by-35-foot space was a blend of new—including Sub-Zero appliances—and old—including a cupboard and classroom doors rescued from an Atlantic City school slated for demolition. To enhance that blend, Goldfarb added fine art and copper accents. Tea-stained and distressed Irish blue limestone and white Spanish marble floor tiles set in a dramatic angled pattern harken back in time.


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enlarge | Before: A photo from a 2007 renovation shows several elements— including the chairs, perimeter cabinetry, pot rack, and banquette cushion and pillows—before they were updated or replaced in the new renovation. Photo by Phillip Ennis A center-island sink is set in distressed and tea-stained white Spanish marble. Both ends are restored teak cutting boards. Honed Irish blue limestone tops white perimeter cabinets with pewter and antiqued iron cup pulls and knobs.
A New Update
To contemporize the room in the latest renovation, the designer replaced antique chairs in the dining area with white outdoor chairs whose backrests have a folded origami look. An existing table custom made from antique granary boards was restored to new life.

Goldfarb also modified an existing pot rack to become a hanging plant shelf with copper mugs bearing succulents that don’t require constant care and also installed mini-battery operated lights in the glass-doored antique school cupboard now filled with crystal and pewter pitchers.

For a fresh look, Goldfarb had the perimeter cabinetry repainted Pratt & Lambert semigloss Designer White and changed the color scheme in the seating area to blue and white. One knife-edge cushion in hydrangea blue canvas was made to replace two cushions on the banquette, and Goldfarb designed blue and white floral and black and white awning-stripe pillows in Sunbrella outdoor fabric to withstand sunlight streaming through the double windows.

The desk area got a whole new look when the original wood desk, counter and shelves were painted white, the cork board was covered with blackboard paint and another origami-like chair replaced an antique desk chair.

Expanded, freshened and updated, the kitchen was given new life.

SOURCES interior design, antique door and accessories, Design Logic Ltd. in Little Silver; backsplash, Artistic Tile in Secaucus; cabinetry, Quality Custom Cabinetry through Design Logic and Great Kitchens in New York City; hardware, Bullet Lock in Long Branch; sink and fixtures, Better Housekeeping Shop in Red Bank; countertops and flooring, Paris Ceramics in New York City; chairs, Faz collection by Vondom in New York City; banquette cushion fabric, Fresh Canvas in Hydrangea from the Great Outdoors Collection by Holly Hunt in New York City; paint, Pratt & Lambert in Cleveland, Ohio.


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enlarge | Adding drama is a 48-inch oval light fixture with a shade made of white goose feathers. That same softness is offered in a pair of black iron chairs with white Moroccan fur cushions. Joining the conversation area on the white silk shag area rug is a white cotton sofa, bench table and zebra cube. Continuing the minimalist décor are bronzed sea creatures matted and framed for the wall and one white orchid on a nearby chest.
Guest Room

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Jaworski
DESIGNER Emily Wallach Home LLC

When Emily Wallach was invited to design the show house guest room, she took into account the setting of the 10,000-square-foot 1883 estate. “I wanted to make a current and contemporary space, but I also wanted to keep with the legacy of the house,” says the designer, who owns Emily Wallach Home LLC in Ridgewood.

She chose not to add color to the 324-square-foot T-shaped room, opting for a warm flat white paint for the walls, high-gloss black for the trim and ebony stain for the floors. Doing so, she created a “now” setting that is upscale and elegantly reflects the time period of the home.


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enlarge | High-gloss black molding brings attention to the guest room’s unique configuration while echoing the ebony floor and window alcove treatments. The bed sits on a white silk shag rug and is dressed with jeweled canvas and silk bedding and pillows for quiet elegance.
Furniture from Bernhardts Jet Set collection and from All Modern creates a contemporary ambience. And just as the dark molding adds definition to the walls, so does the mostly dark frames and trim on the furniture.

Wallach says the architectural configurations of the space were a welcome challenge. I saw it as an opportunity to show off the character of the room.

To do so, she created two distinct spaces, one for sleeping, the other for relaxing. I divided it as I saw fit, she says. Previously it had been opposite. I turned the spaces around and made it welcoming.

The designer finished the space with white fabrics, flowers and a stunning ostrich feather chandelier that harkens back to the homes nickname: The Gatsby House, which arose from the conjecture that author F. Scott Fitzgerald visited there during his Princeton days.

SOURCES interior design, Emily Wallach Home LLC in Ridgewood; bed, door cabinet and zebra cube, Bernhardt Furniture in Lenoir, North Carolina; sofa, All Modern in Boston; chairs, Mitchell Gold Bob Williams in Paramus; rug, J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown; bedding and pillows, Sivaana in Hackensack; suspended light, Vita Lighting through Emily Wallach Home; art, side tables, lamps and accessories, Wostbrock Home in Ridgewood; walls, Caviar by Sherwin-Williams; trim, Black 25-17 by Pratt & Lambert; floor, Ebony by Minwax.


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enlarge | Left: Wall coverings applied to three panels behind the bed add distinctive pattern and color. Right: Fabrics carry the warm beach palette to the cozy sitting area.
Guest Bedroom

WRITER Ren Miller
PHOTOGRAPHS Asbury Park Press
DESIGNER Valerie Grant Interiors

A refined seaside palette of coral, shell, sand and even moss creates a soothing luxurious oasis in this guest room by Valerie Grant of Valerie Grant Interiors in Summit.

To prepare the room, Grant removed the popcorn ceiling and built out the headboard wall to conceal a small side window and create a continuous wall surface. She also removed radiators to allow more room for furniture, added crown molding and had a center ceiling light installed for illumination and as a focal point.

With that work done, she was ready to add rich colors, textures and finishes. Behind the modern four-post bed in a metallic pewter finish she added a panel of silk wall covering. On each side she created panels featuring an Asian-motif wall covering in goldleaf frames. The rustic wood tops of the bedside tables were sanded, puttied, smoothed and refinished in a high-gloss tomato red lacquer, and the rustic metal bases were refinished in gold leaf for a sophisticated complement to the bed. The lamps are 1950s-era Balboa Murano glass with parchment shades.

Walls are finished in two coats of shell pink metallic Venetian stucco, and the ceiling has a “ghost” vanish border created by mixing mica powder into the stucco for iridescence.

The luxurious bedding is custom private-label through A HOME in Summit, which also provided the tray on the ottoman, custom monogramming and some accessories here and in the adjacent bathroom (not shown).

Grant then turned her attention to the guest room’s sitting area. “When designing a room, I aim for elegance and proportion, a look that is both classic and luxurious,” she says. “I also want the feeling that you can curl up anywhere.” A loveseat provides just such a spot, covered in velvet and accented with plump pillows that continue the room’s palette. The ottoman in a coral croc pattern adds subtle pattern.

The room features a large span of windows. “To highlight this feature and accentuate the classic nature of the room, I chose a drapery style with long proportions and horizontal banding details,” Grants says.

For a finishing touch, she reserved a special spot between the windows for artwork her 9-year-old daughter created just for the show house.

SOURCES interior design, Valerie Grant Interiors in Summit; Old Biscayne bed and Emerson Bentley loveseat, Schwartz Design Showroom in Metuchen; custom private-label bedding, tray on ottoman, custom monogramming and accessories in bathroom (not shown), A HOME in Summit (ahomesummit.com); Chinoiserie accent pillow, Paradise by Quadrille in New York City; panels behind bed, center with silk wall covering by Phillip Jeffries in Fairfield, sides with Asian-motif wall covering by Farrow & Ball in Washington, D.C., in goldleaf frames finished by Kenneth Caruso of Alternative Interiors in Basking Ridge; 1970s-era sunburst wall hanging and bedside lamps, The Muddy Boot in Summit; bedside tables, customized by Kenneth Caruso; throw pillow fabrics, solid from Osborne & Little in Stamford, Connecticut, and floral from Vervain in Tulsa, Oklahoma; ottoman fabric, Osborne & Little; coated linen drapery panel fabrics, Rogers & Goffigon in New York City; wool blend rug with silk accents, Stanton through Woven Floors in Mendham; wall and ceiling details, Kenneth Caruso.


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enlarge | Only one foot of full height (in the center) led the designers to embrace the angles by papering the entire room to create a cocoon-like feeling. A sofa and chairs with low backs make the room feel more spacious and allow unobstructed views to the dramatically dressed window. The furniture’s graceful curves and a collection of embroidered, fringed pillows give a come-here-and-relax invitation.
Retreat

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Debi Pinelli
DESIGNER Lin's Linens Inc.

Four designers turned an awkward third-floor space with sloping ceilings into a cozy retreat. The designers—Liz Balogh of Chrysaliz Design, Kelli Chitty of Interiors by Kelli, Francine Hyland of Fringe, the Decorating Edge, and Debi Pinelli of A&J Interiors—all have their own businesses but also work together under the name Lin’s Linens Inc., a volunteer organization that redesigns a room in the homes of critically ill patients?(linslinens.org).

Challenges included the elongated shape (12 by 27 feet), a sloped ceiling and one step up about 15 feet into the room, says Balogh, who founded Lin’s Linens after redesigning a room for her sister when she was ill and noticing how much she appreciated having a newly refreshed, pleasant place to spend time.

“We knew the focal point would be the back window with its beautiful view of the pool,” Balogh says. Chitty adds, “With the sloped ceilings we also knew we needed to bring the eye up and out.” Swags and drapery panels installed as high and wide as possible make the narrow window appear bigger and more elegant.

That quiet elegance is emphasized by glass-beaded wallpaper with a reflective quality that, although it’s the same color throughout, changes with the travel of incoming light. A beveled-glass-top cocktail table with gently curved chrome legs sits in front of a comfy sofa, while an ivory and soft gray striated wool carpeting adds coziness. Floral-motif pillows and four oversized trumpet vases—two in an amethyst hue beside the sofa and two made of mercury glass on a table in front of the window—add drama. A gilded planter with corn husk detail “closely mimics the pendant light over the cocktail table,” Balogh notes.


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enlarge | To create an equally welcoming space at the other end of the room, the designers added a cushion and pillows to the window seat and hung a window treatment with a raised center to create a swag effect. The three-tier tea cart, with a frame finished in aged gold and silver, is a functional and decorative way to serve refreshments or stow reading material or other items.
Using the same textiles as on the main window, the designers created another cozy space at the other end of the room, complete with lilac-and-silver chevron fabric on a window seat cushion and several matching and complementary pillows. A three-light chandelier in antiqued silver picks up the softly glittering wallpaper beads and emphasizes the silvery semigloss paint on the molding and closets.

“This is the first time Lin’s Linens Inc. has participated in a show house,” Balogh says. “We did this in partnership with the VNA because we have very compatible missions, and this was our way of getting the Lin’s Linens message out to a broader community while supporting another wonderful non-profit organization.”

SOURCES design, Lin’s Linens Inc. in Toms River; wallpaper, York Wallcoverings in York, Pennsylvania; custom sofa and chairs, Sofa Profiles in Los Angeles, upholstered in fabric from Marcus William by Stout Bros. in Colmar, Pennsylvania; window treatment and pillow designs, Interiors by Kelli in Sea Girt; draperies, swags, bias strips; Kravet in New York City; tassel trim, Stout Bros.; pillow fabrics, RM Coco in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; chandeliers, Circa Lighting in Savannah, Georgia; porcelain tea set on cocktail table, Kelli Chitti family heirloom; tea cart, Creative Displays in Tinton Falls; tea cart collection, from the personal collection of Francine Hyland; carpeting, J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown; trim and closet paint, Silver Lining by Pratt & Lambert; other items and other accessories, Chrysaliz Design LLC in Toms River, Interiors by Kelli LLC; Fringe, The Decorating Edge LLC in Westfield, and A&J Interiors LLC in Long Valley.


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enlarge | The Secret Garden offers a quiet space for relaxing on an iron bench that, along with others in the garden, was given new life when painted robin’s-egg blue. The view across the refurbished frog pond to the home’s original pergola at the far end is bordered by beds of pachysandra and a mass planting of tassel ferns, which offer an orderly personality but are low maintenance.
The Secret Garden

WRITER Janet Purcell
PHOTOGRAPHER Alan Tufts
DESIGNSiciliano Landscape Co.

The landscape was gloomy when Alan Tufts first visited the show house property at the end of winter. “But I saw Kousa dogwoods that were over 50 years old and thought of a southern garden, a hidden pocket garden,” says Tufts, a landscape architect with Siciliano Landscape Co. in Rumson. Thus the name, The Secret Garden.


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enlarge | An existing red stone path was updated to make it pop with beige stones. The path loops through garden beds planted with ‘Green Gem’ boxwoods, astilbe and heuchera.
Karen Siciliano, the company’s owner, adds that the 100-by-100-foot garden sits back from the property’s formal gardens and isn’t in full view. “You have “to look to find it,” she says.


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enlarge | Aged and weathered concrete pillars add character to the scene while framing the view from the pergola back through the central axis of the garden to the inviting iron bench. Bordering the vista are 50-year-old pink-blooming Kousa dogwoods.
“We maintain the property for the homeowner, who is a big supporter of the Visiting Nurses Association and this event, and we always try to help. We volunteered our time for the design and installation, and Alan volunteered to serve as coach for the project.” His landscape co-chair was Dr. Norman Hungerford of Marlboro Flower and Garden.


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enlarge | Expansive lawns kept green and healthy through­out the growing season by Siciliano Landscape Co. offer attractive underpinning for shrubs such as magnolias, crape myrtles and lilacs that bring seasonal interest.
“We divided the outside space into rooms, and each company that was involved volunteered to renovate a space,” Siciliano says. In preparation for the April 25 show house debut, her installation crews arrived on-site on the morning of April 20 for a final check, but later that day the house caught fire and the event had to be canceled. “Because our space was off to the side and far from the center of the house, it was spared,” she says. “Like Pompeii, it sits there untouched. It’s so secret that nobody has ever seen it, but we have it preserved in photographs…so now it will be secret no more.”

SOURCES landscape design, Siciliano Landscape Co. in Red Bank; terra-cotta pots, Guaranteed Plants in Locust; plants L.P. Statile in Colts Neck and Marlboro Flower & Garden Inc. in Marlboro; stone, Ryser’s Landscape Supply in Little Silver.