This is a series of blog posts describing the houses on the 4th annual Hearth & Home Kitchen Tour of Westfield and Mountainside homes. For information and to purchase tickets for the tour, visit the website at htisnj.com.
This lovely English Tudor was built in 1928 and underwent a complete renovation 12 years ago when the current owners remodeled the home to fit the needs and tastes of a maturing family. From the start, the homeowner, together with William Kaufman of Wesketch Architects, Millington, had a new vision for this lovely estate and it began at the front door.
By raising the ceilings to meet the slate roofline at key points along the front of the house, the owner was able to achieve high lofty spaces and add interest to the overall structure. Note the peaked walnut ceiling that highlights this new cast stone entranceway and welcomes you to this lovely home. This is where the former kitchen used to be. A full-length tapestry from Belgium adorns the entranceway and the space is defined by the tumbled marble flooring that echoes the old English Tudor style. To greet you as you enter is a family portrait of ancestors of the lady of the house from Portugal. This portrait introduces the guest to the many pieces of art and artifacts from Portugal that fill the home and bring a European feel to this beautiful house.
As you enter the kitchen, formerly the dining room, you are overcome by the warmth of color and texture in this European style kitchen with the Alder wood cabinets that surround the space in double height and that reach to the second story ceiling. The stucco hood with copper inlay is a focal point of the room. The kitchen is the work of the designer, Joan Picone. The beauty of the cabinets is enhanced by the storage space they provide for favorite holiday cookware and service pieces often used for large groups and entertaining. The cabinets and center island are complimented by a counter top in “Jerusalem Gold” marble and Thermador appliances. Adjacent to the food prep area is a family eating space complete with farmhouse table and surrounded by leather embossed chairs from Portugal. The china cabinet to the left of the table is an Italian antique and decorated with etched glass windows and ornate woodcarvings.
Beyond the kitchen to the left is the family room, a favorite gathering place of family and friends with a European flair that is warm and inviting. Office and guest rooms lie beyond the family room to complete the left wing of the house. To the right of the kitchen are the formal entertainment areas – dining and living – and often the focal point of many large gatherings. A dual-sided fireplace helps to connect and define the space between the two rooms. The original entrance to the house can be found off the living room in what is now a small game room for more intimate groups. The formal dining room was once a sun porch and now seats large groups for dinner. The artwork and tapestry in this room, together with the leaded glass French doors that lead out to an extended patio, continue the European country flavor of the house. Beyond these formal rooms are the bedrooms of the homeowners, their family and their guests.
As you exit to the rear of the house, you begin to realize the depth and complexity of the property that cascades down the side of the mountain and includes multiple levels of landscape and entertaining space with a view of Manhattan. Below the main level of the backyard that has various seating areas along the extended patio, is a pool and cabana which although were part of the original home, have been completely refurbished and enhanced as a secondary one year project. Granite from Portugal provides the structure for the back stairway and lower level landing. Reconstituted bricks were used to build out the space and fountains were added to complement the serenity of the yard. The cabana houses a full bath for bathers and full kitchen with indoor eating area for late day dinners or fair weather days. A tunnel takes you back to the house beneath the main lawn and completes the living space of this magnificent property.