A Contemporary Home in Tenafly, New Jersey

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Tenafly

Jewel

Architecture: Anthony Minichetti 
Interior Design: Jessica Gersten
Text: Carolyn Horwitz
Photography: Lucia Engstrom and Tim Williams

 

Metal and stone: What could be more appropriate motifs for the home of a jewelry designer? In Tenafly, New Jersey, those natural elements form the basis for interiors that are luxurious yet inviting, dominated by a warm, neutral palette. “We wanted a strong sense of earthiness in the home,” says designer Jessica Gersten, noting the contrast to the newly built structure’s white, minimalist shell. “We wanted there to be a connection to nature. There is a little bit in every single room.”

It was one mandate of her clients: Danielle Gregory, a designer and curator of jewelry collections for private clients, and her husband, Troy Gregory, who runs recruiting firm System One. “Gold and silver—they’re natural things,” says Danielle, whose predilection for mixing metals is on full display throughout the house. “It’s a reflection of me.” Further inspiration came from the Amangiri resort in the Utah desert—a commanding arrangement of geometric concrete planes that artfully play off the region’s rugged beauty, decorated with items in natural materials, hues and textures. This may seem an unlikely influence for a home in suburban New Jersey, but for the Gregorys, the resort’s organic principles and monumental scale created a sense of serenity they aimed to replicate. “The Zen feeling—it seemed so calm,” Danielle says. “It was just amazing to me.”

In their home, that sensibility can be seen in the bright family room, where caterpillar-like Togo sofas by Michel Ducaroy for Ligne Roset are covered in a charcoal and white fabric from Donghia that gives the appearance of stone—an allusion that’s mirrored in the mineral pattern of the custom Tibetano rug. The connection to nature is enhanced via a link to the outdoors through a limestone-clad loggia, which can be enclosed with mesh screens and heated for indoor-outdoor living in the fall.

In the living room, striped Armani Casa wallpaper gives the feeling, Gersten notes, of being “in a clamshell.” The split Minotti Hamilton sectionals and Mushroom City drum tables of varying heights and diameters, in a combination of brass and blackened-pewter finishes, are strewn about in a way that activates the space for a dynamic, lounge-like effect. “It’s luxury with a very elegant feeling, but grounded in earth,” Gersten says.

For the New York–based designer, the Tenafly home was a chance to dig in on a large, ground-up residence—by architect Anthony Minichetti and built by Chris Lombardo of Rockridge Construction Management—after a series of Manhattan apartments and one previous project in Tenafly with the Gregorys, decorating their “starter home.” Gersten came to interiors following a fashion career with Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani that allowed her to hone her sense of color balance, texture, proportion and overall vision. “In fashion, it’s about how textures, colors and proportions come together in one outfit. The same goes for interiors: playing with the scale of a room and how all the different proportions of the furniture speak to each other, and the texture of the rug and the upholstery and having the right balance of hard items and soft items,” she says. “So a little bit of each and not too much of any one thing.” That philosophy is evident in a natty gentleman’s den with a moody charcoal palette, where tree trunk–shaped brass-covered tables by Boca Do Lobo and a gray onyx bar offer an earthy contrast to a sartorial tufted A. Rudin sofa covered in lustrous, metallic fabric.

The various themes reach an apex in the dining room. There, matte surfaces are galvanized by a showstopper chandelier of polished nickel, brass and bronze custom designed by London-based Tom Kirk, with significant input from decorator and client. “I didn’t want anything that can be seen in any other home, and glass didn’t feel right for this house,” Gersten says. After nixing designs with two pieces, they landed on a single fixture, 11 feet long. The glamour of the chandelier, herringbone wood floors, Robert Polidori photo of Versailles and masonry fireplace create an aura of formality. Still, it remains an inviting space, with its unexpected ’70s-style chairs from Living Divani (“almost Fendi or Armani in feeling,” Gersten says) and homey, organically shaped ceramics by Gilles Caffier.

The kitchen is a similar study in taupe, accented by high-gloss cabinetry, striated stone surfaces and amber lighting by Studio Van den Akker. The chrome-and-leather Arete bucket chairs are another subtle ’70s reference—a nod to Danielle’s fondness for interiors from James Bond movies of that period—also seen in the vintage Pierre Paulin chair in her teenage son’s bedroom. Throughout, the pervading sense is one of warmth. “There’s a feeling you get when you walk in—every person who comes in is so happy,” says Danielle. “I feel like the house is living. It has every element of life.”   Jessica Gersten Interiors, jessicagersteninteriors.com; Anthony Minichetti Architect, amarchitectllc.com

 

 

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