From the October/November 2015 Issue:

The 2014 Designer Showhouse of New Jersey

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.


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enlarge | A carved fireplace is the focal point at one end of the living room. “The muted trim and wall color are the perfect backdrop, allowing the artwork to stand out in the space,” designer Diane Durocher says.
The 2014 Designer Showhouse of New Jersey drew crowds to a Saddle River home where designers unleashed their talents to personalize every space. Proceeds benefited the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. Among the many standout designs were the living room by Diane Durocher Interiors, the master bedroom by Barbara Ostrom Associates, the master bathroom by Joseph Parisi Interiors and Tiled Interiors, and the basement music room by Mannarino Designs Inc. The 2015 edition of the show house continues through November 1. HackensackUMCFoundation.org.

Living Room

WRITER Marirose Krall
PHOTOGRAPHER Peter Rymwid
DESIGNER Diane Durocher Interiors Inc.

Diane Durocher was doubly inspired when designing this living room. She wanted to be sure the décor would complement and not compete with the ever-changing landscape visible outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. She also wanted the space to act as a foundation to display contemporary art.

“With that in mind,” she says, “I created a neutral palette that unified the indoor and outdoor spaces.” She chose off-white for the walls set against a white fireplace and trim. Furniture in varying shades of white (or transparent as in the case of the “ghost chair” in front of the fireplace) fills the room.


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enlarge | A black lacquered baby grand piano coordinates with the contemporary art above it.
There’s color as well, but it’s subdued color that acts as the underpinning for the drama of the art and the black lacquered piano. The tan sofa is an ideal accompaniment to the light blue drapery, throw pillows and carpet. “Blue is my favorite color.” says Durocher, a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers and International Interior Design Association, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and owner of Diane Durocher Interiors Inc. in Ramsey. “Anytime I can design a space that includes blue, I’m happy.”

The designer played up the room’s good bones. The fireplace, which projects from the center of one wall, begs for a symmetrical design treatment, and Durocher obliged. Matching display cases on both sides are topped by similar plants in identical vases. The artwork on the mantel is flanked by identical blue vases.

Durocher considers this room an homage to artists everywhere. “When I see an artist making a living with his/her craft, I think ‘Wow, they’re living the dream!’ This room pays tribute to artists in many areas, whether it be in the fine arts, music or design.”

SOURCES interior design, Diane Durocher Interiors Inc. in Ramsey; sofa, black bookcases beside the fireplace, brass turtle-motif magazine holder (next to armchair) and “ghost chair” (in foreground, second photo), White House Designs for Life in Fairfield; end tables, Chelsea House Inc. in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; cocktail table, Interiors by Denise Inc. in South Hackensack; octagon chair, Christopher Guy in High Point, North Carolina; swivel tub upholstered chair, Robert Allen Design in New York City; area rug, Rug Importers in Paramus; baby grand piano and bench, Steinway & Sons in Long Island City, New York; brass fireplace screen, Ivanka’s in Wyckoff; striped pillows on chair and sofa and blue silk window treatment panels, fabric by Robert Allen, trim by Samuel & Sons Inc. in New York City, fabrication by Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe Inc. in Haskell; striped pillow on chair, fabric by Kravet in Bethpage, New York, trim by Samuel & Sons Inc., and fabrication by Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe; Roman shades, fabric by Kravet, fabrication by Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe; artwork, Mark Gallery in Tenafly; table lamps, floor lamp and chandelier, Circa Lighting in Savannah, Georgia; floral arrangements, Nancy Conner Design in North Plainfield; ceiling color, Benjamin Moore Mountain Mist; trim color, Benjamin Moore White Down; wall color, Benjamin Moore Berber White.


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enlarge | A canopy bed occupies the center of the room with plenty of space to spare. Decorative moldings and colorful artwork help lead the eye through the room and fill it with interesting details.
Master Bedroom

WRITER Marirose Krall
PHOTOGRAPHER Phillip Ennis
DESIGNER Barbara Ostrom Associates

Faced with an unusually shaped, generously sized room, designer Barbara Ostrom knew just what to do. “I had to analyze how to make this room memorable.” She embraced the space’s large scope and chose furnishings accordingly.


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enlarge | In the sitting area, a Lucite coffee table catches the light while an umbrella chandelier above it catches the eye.
“I scaled everything up to put the room into proportion,” says Ostrom, a certified interior designer, a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, a member of the International Interior Design Association and owner of Barbara Ostrom Associates. The centerpiece is a 10-foot-high canopy bed that floats in the center of the room. Behind the bed, an oversized mirror in the dressing area reflects the room’s substantial trappings.

Ostrom filled the walls with decorative moldings to break up the large expanses of space. Between those moldings she added sizable, colorful pieces of artwork to draw the eye. Throughout the room, an assortment of colors, patterns and textures adds interest in every direction.


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enlarge | Using the Tree of Life pattern on the bedding as inspira­tion, decorative painter Angela Schuster of Faux Time Design created textured ceiling art.
The soaring tray ceiling could have been overwhelming—it tops out at 15 feet—but Ostrom used its extraordinary dimensions to her advantage. “I decided to make it something of a focal point,” she says. Finding inspiration in the dark blue bedding fabric, Ostrom retained an artist to apply a three-dimensional floral pattern.

Two attic-height windows added complexity to the ceiling design. Ostrom reigned in the elongated panes by draping them in a neutral fabric that lets in light and allows the ceiling art to take center stage.

The room is composed of both traditional and modern elements, which work together beautifully. “I wanted it to be very eclectic,” Ostrom says. Good design of any period goes with any other good design.”

SOURCES interior design, Barbara Ostrom Associates in Mahwah and New York City; all fabric and trim, all upholstered furniture and large silver standing mirror, Robert Allen Design in New York City; side tables (next to bed and sofa), Christopher Guy in New York City; silver side table and floor lamp next to fireplace chair, Baker Knapp & Tubbs in New York City; roll acrylic cocktail table and pedestal (under window), Spectrum Ltd. in Washington, D.C.; Louis XVI bed with canopy, Alfonso Marina & Co./Ebanista in New York City; bed linens, coverlet, comforter, sham and roll pillows, Leron in New York City; drapery, duvet and decorative throw pillows and shams, Baum Draperies in Nutley; decorative faux painting design on the ceiling and inside panels, Faux Time Design in Closter; Zenith chandelier with umbrella, Baccarat; vanity desk with lift-up mirror, Louis J. Solomon in New York City; large blue vase, blue and white jars, crystal table lamps, blue and white table lamps, blue Foo dogs, English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton, New York; antique carpet, Mastour Galleries in New York City; fireplace tool set, andiron and basket, Chesney’s in New York City; mattress and pillow top, Duxiana in Ridgewood; sculpture, antique mantel clock, Joseph Pellar paintings (in sitting area), Brewster painting (visible through bedposts behind lamp) and sculpture on night table, ACA Galleries in New York City; painting over fireplace, Sonia Grineva in New York City; custom installation of crown molding, Marut Custom Interior Wood­­­- working Inc. in Elmwood Park; all paint, Sherwin-Williams; painter of primary walls, molding and fireplace mantel, Toni Heijari Painting in Maywood; flowers and potted trees, The Little Flower Shoppe in Ho-Ho-Kus.


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enlarge | Interior designer Joe Parisi says he wanted the vanity to have a French influence, “which is why you see those legs. I wanted it to look like a dresser.” The simple yet substantial chandelier makes a striking statement at the center of the wide-open space.
Master Bathroom

WRITER Marirose Krall
PHOTOGRAPHER Peter Rymwid
INTERIOR DESIGNER Joseph Parisi Interiors
TILE DESIGNER Tiled Interiors

When creating this master bathroom, interior designer Joe Parisi of Joseph Parisi Interiors in New York City quickly decided on a design that would be “stately like the house itself, but lighter and fresher, like the homeowners.”

The décor combines a modern attitude with a French Deco sensibility. The already-spacious room looks even more expansive thanks to an airy palette of gray and white set against a smartly accessorized but uncluttered design.


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enlarge | The extra-large shower features showerheads for two and a coordinating panel of tile behind the bench seat.
The floor and the shower wall feature large slabs of marble surrounding water-jet-cut micro mosaic tiles that form center panels. The AKDO marble tiles in the shower and on the floor are 12-by-24-inch Carrara Bella honed with Radiance Waterjet/micro mosaic from the Allure Collection bordered by the Captivate Border, both in Carrara Bella and Pearl Gray. The ¾-by-¾-inch mosaic on the shower floor and ceiling is polished Carrara Bella.

Clean-lined white cabinetry grounds the elaborately framed looking glasses above it. Though the metal is intricately wrought and detailed, the structure of the mirrors reflects the lightness of the space. “They’re laser cut and paper thin. They’re light and fine,” Parisi notes.

The tile behind those mirrors needed to be extraordinary as well. Donna Martin of Tiled Interiors in Red Bank says she and Parisi considered how to keep that wall interesting without it looking too expected or staged. The answer was to combine two different tiles, “giving the wall a beautifully creative combination of a peeled-back old mosaic look, revealing a fresh, 21st-century pattern.” The addition of silver pewter tile material “creates a wonderfully reflective, glistening effect,” Martin says.

While solid tile, crisp cabinetry and finely hewn glass are predominant, it’s not without a softer side. Silk curtains billow artfully at the window. A white settee with animal print upholstery and throw pillows adds a playful touch. Parisi describes the finished room as “sophisticated and fashionable and at the same time stylish and peaceful.”

SOURCES interior design, Joseph Parisi Interiors in New York City; tile design, Tiled Interiors in Red Bank; tile, AKDO through Tiled Interiors; lighting, Circa Lighting in Savannah, Georgia; bathtub, sink, faucets and shower fixtures, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Red Bank; cabinetry, Town & Country Kitchen and Bath in Red Bank; window treatments, fabric by Christopher Hyland Inc. in New York City and fabrication by Peary Upholstery Inc. in Atlantic Highlands; chair and throw pillows, Red Bank Design Center in Red Bank; vanity top, Bedrock Granite Inc. in Shrewsbury; mirrors, Inox New York through Donghia in New York City; ceiling, Benjamin Moore Metallic Silver.


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enlarge | Anna Maria Mannarino displayed her “love of music and design” when she created this music lounge using deep tones and interesting accessories that reflect the richness of the music to be played here.
Music Room

WRITER Marirose Krall
PHOTOGRAPHER Wing Wong
DESIGNER Mannarino Designs Inc.

Like a plaintive ballad, this music room is moody and dramatic, filled with rich, deep tones and multifaceted patterns. Interior designer Anna Maria Mannarino of Holmdel-based Mannarino Designs Inc. knows all about the elements that enhance an artist’s hideaway. She is herself a jazz singer who has performed in clubs around the world.

“I wanted the space to be warm and sexy and to evoke the sultry feeling of smooth jazz,” she says. The dark teal walls and blue velvet draperies help create that atmosphere and lend a sense of being embraced by the space—and the music.


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enlarge | Contemporary art—open to interpretation just like music—surrounds the room in urbane sophistication.
The deliciously decadent wool and silk carpet repeats the blue and teal of the walls and draperies and adds a bit of passionate purple to the mix. Rosewood cigarette chairs and a velvet sofa give guests a comfy place to enjoy the music.

Mannarino filled the diminutive room with an assortment of textures and trimmings that embellish the space without overpowering it. A small-scale digital baby grand piano is just the right size to share the stage with a cello and a microphone and stool for the singer—a sophisticated space suited to musically inclined parents or children.

“Music is a lifelong passion of mine,” Mannarino says, and that is readily apparent in this vivid, theatrical space. “I firmly believe that good design enhances lifestyle in the home. Anytime you can create a space that encourages creativity or heightens the senses, it’s a good thing.”

SOURCES interior design, Mannarino Designs Inc. in Holmdel; carpet, Creative Touch in Secaucus; piano, Rockaway Music in Flemington; mauve chairs and bench, Schwartz Design Showroom in Metuchen; throw pillows, Stark in New York City; accessories, sofa and rosewood chairs, Zaksons Fine Furniture in Brick; window treatments, Rosebrand in Secaucus; end tables, Jim Marvin (no longer available); lighting, Capitol Lighting in East Hanover; artwork, James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery in Holmdel.