A Matter of Trust

Young MBedAft

YOUNG BEF MBR_2When a client recently told me how nervous she was at the prospect of her home renovation, how difficult she found it to imagine the end result, I shared the story of a project in South Orange that I finished several years ago. This was a substantial renovation and is an ideal example of how well the designer/homeowner partnership can work. It was truly a journey of discovery, and one of the more propitious discoveries was in the master bedroom. When we explored the closet added by the previous owner, the remnants of an abandoned fireplace were found, which had shared the chimney with the fireplace on the ground floor.


As part of the extensively remodeled master bedroom—opening a wall and closing off a hallway bath entrance to make a suite—I convinced the homeowners that we should create a wall in mahogany, using the fireplace as the focal point. The advantages are both practical and stylistic. There is a classic elegance to the depth and sculpted lines of the panels and vertical columns of the mahogany wall. The rich wood tone is then continued in the master bath, just visible in the photo, with custom wood cabinets and checkerboard stone floor. The wall also offers storage for books, and provides a seamless housing for the gas fireplace edged in marble, and the inset TV.


What I explained to my apprehensive new client is that renovation presents the opportunity to transform an older, character filled space into an idealized environment, truly the home of her dreams. To make this happen a high level of trust between interior designer and homeowner is vital. When I saw the remnants of the old fireplace behind the bedroom wall and shared with my South Orange clients how the mahogany wall would lift the master bedroom suite to an entirely new level of beauty and usefulness, they decided to go ahead. I had worked with them before, the trust was there, and so is the result.


See more images of the South Orange renovation here, and more before and after shots here.

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