Tour a New Jersey Kitchen with a “Men’s Club Aesthetic”

Tudor homes are as famously dark and moody as the late-medieval British epoch in which the architecture was born—but that’s just the way the owner of this Montclair, New Jersey, abode likes it. “He’s an old-school guy, so we came up with a men’s club aesthetic,” says his designer, Birgitte Pearce, who is originally from Denmark. “A timeless kitchen doesn’t have to be white!”

The client has a basement workshop “that’s his palace,” Pearce says, and one goal was to bring back the basement stairs. The new stairwell’s line of walnut dowels with brass standoffs ended up as muse for the entire remodeling project. Now, the living metal supplies its burnished charms everywhere, from the drawer pulls to the range hood.

Carrying these tones throughout the house allowed the designer to visually connect the adjacent rooms without opening up walls, a move that would have left the Tudor bereft of its inherently boxy appeal. “Not everyone loves an open floor plan. This guy is one of those people,” Pearce says.

Extra-thick Calacatta Viola marble and soapstone countertops cast a storied spell. “In my own kitchen, I have a lot of marble, and it’s honed and has scratches. I embrace that like I would an old French bar that’s been there a hundred years but looks fantastic,” Pearce says. “I try to find ways to bring soul into a kitchen, where you have so many glossy finishes and hard appliances to warm up.”


Like the copper pots hung from an Ann-Morris rack, the finish on the Lacanche range’s custom brass hood with a Miele insert will change as time marches on. Faucet, tile and hardware: Waterworks. Pendant: Roman and Williams Guild.

bridgette pierce kitchen home tour

George Ross

A banquette in plum leather by Edelman picks up the subtle purples in the marble’s veins, while a Sub-Zero fridge is tucked behind Waterworks cabinets with brass inlay. Table: custom, by O&G Studio. Chairs: Overgaard & Dyrman. Sconces and ceiling light: The Urban Electric Co. Stair light: Allied Maker.

bridgette pierce kitchen house beautiufl

George Ross

Cool stainless steel didn’t jibe with Pearce’s warm antique vision, so microwave and steam ovens from Wolf were stashed behind mesh doors by Waterworks.

birgette pearce kitchen home tour

George Ross

When they took down the wall in the butler’s pantry, Pearce’s team discovered the home’s original dumbwaiter. The gear now makes a handsome piece of eye. candy near the espresso bar. Paint: Fine Paints of Europe Hollandlac satin enamel, color-matched to NCS’s S 5040-R10B.

birgette pearch kitchen home tour

George Ross


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Rustic Aesthetic Farmhouse Decor

Modern urban farmhouse are home design keywords that are very popular today as the natural aesthetic vibe is very much in sync with being grounded to Mother Earth and being respectful to her compassion. Growing up on farms and being surrounded by nature, incorporating rustic wood and furniture is a natural progression of the farmhouse decor style.

Warm and collected, modern rustic farmhouses are filled with casual, lived-in village charm. Designers take elements from the old world architecture, mix with practical and modern fittings thus making a statement piece.The modern farmhouse aesthetic takes the front porch and makes it whimsical with an elaborately handcarved swing with flowers and peacock detailing. Whether a triple arch spans the entire front porch of the house, or has one that is small and enclosed, a front porch is a beautiful farmhouse touch.

Create a collected fresh look yet one that is worn with time. Use a medley of colors and vary the distressed carved wood cabinets to create a gathered over time ambiance. Keep windows bare so you can see the pastures and fresh flowers blooming. Farmhouse life is centered around the kitchen so have lots of storage and sitting. An old door created into a dining table with a glass top and ox cart benches bring the village rustic charm.

Find an old steel sink for the bathroom and convert a rustic chest into a vanity. Reclaimed old doors are used to make these chest and are very earth friendly. Some have metals like iron and brass that will balance the energy in the room by grounding the negative ions into the earth. An old window frame with iron accents was used to make a mirror. Run a simple sari curtain instead of cabinet doors to cover up storage without taking away from the rough textures of the old woods.

Combine the new into the old. The bathroom glass shower disappears into the stone wall. The carved Tree of Life barn door adds softness to this rustic room. Exposed beams and a carved natural stone Buddha statue carries the zen ambiance through with a waterfall cascading behind it and lots of broad leaf palms accent the white stone walls. Exposed plumbing and electrical conduits run parallel to the cabinets. Primitive lanterns and old ceiling fans with a utilitarian feel hang from the exposed rafters. Rustic handmade wardrobe cabinets give extra storage as well giving and old world sophistication to the room.

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