A Historic New Jersey Home

Located in a planned suburb just outside Manhattan, surrounded by acres of forest, this historic home is a special treat! Built around 1850 by the same team of architects that designed New York’s Central Park, the house and neighborhood have been beautifully preserved despite the pass of time. Today, this picturesque blend of Gothic Revival and Second Empire architecture is the place designer Michael Maher and his two teenage sons, call home.

The architecture of the house has been well maintained by previous owners, while the plumbing, electrical and other necessities have been conveniently updated for a 21st century lifestyle. Maher owns the architect’s original drawings for the house and notes how the floor plan has adapted easily to modern day living. The interiors still display most of the original architecture, like the original pine flooring, sliding pocket doors and archways, as well as the configuration of rooms – a definition of timeless design!


As for decorating the interiors, Maher used saturated hues, antiques and a lively mix of patterns throughout. The dining room is the scene of many large family dinners while the exotic solarium is a favorite at dance parties. The living and dining room connect and balance each other out through their contrasting color schemes.


living room

living room fireplace

The solarium’s original floors were painted a magnified rug pattern in earthy towns that complement the garden views.


This cozy breakfast nook doubles  as homework station. Maher had the great idea of opening the space through a pantry wall that connects with the rest of the house.

breakfast nook

This bedroom is my favorite of the tour!  A careful attention to pattern and color creates a fun room for all ages.

twin beds


The chicest potting shed displays artwork and antique finds!


In the garden, Maher leveled out the existing slope and planted gardens filled with everything deer don’t like! Classic details like the urn and Chinese Chippendale chair give a sense of history.



This story originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of House Beautiful. Photography is by Luke White.



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