Location: Edgewater, NJ
Size: 2-bdrm, 1400 sqft house
Years lived in: 6 years
One can't help but notice an inordinate amount of outdoor furniture in Scott's patio. He can comfortably seat at least a dozen people. Scott loves to host and can do so at a moment's notice. He has service for dozens, glassware for masses, and enough holiday decorations to put the average urban dweller to shame.
How is all this possible, you may ask? Well, Scott loves New York, but in order to create a sustainable lifestyle for himself he decided to move beyond it. He lives in Edgewater, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from West 51st Street. What he loves most about his very modest neighborhood is that the New York City skyline is always visible. He appreciates the quiet streets but told me he'd become unsettled and feel too isolated if the city wasn't palpably close. Scott also likes that Edgewater reminds him of where he grew up in Pittsburgh. "I don't think there's any place I'd rather live. If I moved, it would be to another place in Edgewater."
In exchange for a NYC zipcode, Scott has a basement, a laundry chute, and a small pond in his patio. His neighbor named their immediate community "Camp Undercliff." Scott has a plaque hanging from the guest bedroom door that says, "The W at Camp Undercliff."
Scott moved in when he was a grad student so he didn't start renovating and decorating until he had lived in his house for three years. He's still working at it &mdash still collecting, still entertaining, and still enjoying the suburban escape every evening. "I don't think it will ever be finished," admits Scott.
Style: clean traditional/content appropriate
Inspiration: everything was selected based on personal taste and what was appropriate for the house.
Favorite Element:: : Family room and master bedroom are the two most dynamic spaces with the house with sloped ceilings adding the to the rustic feel and sense of being in a small intimate house.
Biggest Challenge: 1) After doing new woodworking and bookshelves in the master bedroom getting the two three-way light switches property rewired was much harder than I could ever imagine. I would absolutely hire an electrician even for simple things after that experience. 2) Finding furniture that was appropriately scaled and styled for the house. Many items were designed for extremely large homes and would have completely overwhelmed the rooms.
What Friends Say: I think most people are so surprised that something like this in a wooded area exists right next to the city. It's an amazing retreat and feels like a weekend country house every day.
Biggest Embarrassment: When people stay it looks like a Pottery Barn catalogue. The quality of the furniture is much higher and there is actually not a single piece of Pottery Barn furniture in the house.
Proudest DIY: master bedroom wood work, and patio
Biggest Indulgence: I had a couple of pieces custom made by a small furniture maker in Bucks County.
Best Advice:: Don't rush to get the entire home done in a short period of time. One's needs change as they learn how the home works. Also, making the purchases over a longer period of time gives the house a much more interesting and layered appeal (without feeling like you just purchased an entire Pottery Barn stage).
Sofa &mdash Baker Tribeca
Chairs &mdash Thomasville
Desk/bookshelf &mdash custom
Sofa & Coffee table &mdash Martha Stewart Signature,
Leather chair &mdash Thomasville,
Stools &mdash House Eclectic
Lamps &mdash Restoration Hardware
Rug &mdash Karastan
Quilt & Accent Pillows &mdash Denise Schmidt
Open shelving &mdash custom cut Metro Wire from Container Store
Desk/Shelving &mdash Thomasville
Chair &mdash Herman Miller Aeron
Rug &mdash Thomas O'Brien
Bed &mdash Thomasville
Rug &mdash Karastan
Lighting &mdash Restoration Hardware and Circa Lighting(Visual Comfort)
Quilts &mdash Denise Schmidt
Chairs/Chaise Lounge &mdash Baker Tribeca
Bench &mdash Martha Stewart Signature
Dress/Night Table &mdash Thomasville
Lighting &mdash Circa Lighting(Visual Comfort)
Teak Furniture &mdash Country Casual
Shelving &mdash Ikea and Metro Wire
Runner &mdash Flor
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