Historic Home as a Work in Progress

Historic Home as a Work in Progress

Jill Slater
Jan 25, 2012

Location: Englewood New Jersey
Size: 3500 square feet, 4 bedroom home
Years Lived In: 10 years

This 1920's interpretation of an English Tudor house has had only three owners over its near century long life. The current owners moved in about ten years ago and tread lightly. They found pleasure in the quirky layout — narrow doorways, labyrinthine corridors, small rooms — as well as the original finishes and hardware details.

Over time, as the family grew, they realized that certain updates would better accommodate their lives and their aesthetic. Previous owners changed the bathrooms over the years and added a lot to the kitchen, but the current owners started their renovation process with the master bedroom and bath (see

for before and after photos).

They brought in Think Fabricate to assess the situation, come up with the best solution, and implement it. Think Fabricate is a merging of an architecture/design firm with a custom cabinetry/woodworking firm. So, they handled most of the job themselves.

Now that this section of the house is complete, the owners plan on tacking the entrance to the kitchen and what was once the playroom. They are going to make half the space a mudroom and the rest a type of workspace for the two younger daughters — who do more sitting at desks and less playing these days.

It's a beautiful old home with great bones, and character. It will be fun to watch as the house adapts to the needs of the family instead of the other way around.

Apartment Therapy Survey as answered by the designers, Think Fabricate

Inspiration: The inhabitants! We take our cues from the preferences,
colors, likes and dislikes of the people who live in the room

Favorite Element: Walnut and lacquer, wall-mounted, TV cabinet

Biggest Challenge: Making a large characterless room feel more intimate and inviting

Proudest DIY: Found bedside table lamps on the cheap at Brooklyn's Bob and Judy's Collectibles while not really looking! Then had them refinished and added new hardware for a modern, but traditional look.

Biggest Indulgence: Faucet with custom wood escutcheon detail

Best Advice: Think through what material things you really need in your life/closet and design your storage to work around that limit.

Dream Source: The unexpected find at a local second hand shop, flea
market, or even a legit antique store!



    • Custom teak vanity, custom wall mounted system, custom cabinetry by A&G Design
    • Copper Scrim fabric panels, ceiling mounted solid brass hardware; roman shades, Christine Vuillemot fabricator by Holly Hunt
    • Bed by A Rudin
    • Silver leafing, reupholstering, and refinishing by Tri State Furniture Restoration
    • Cherry Blossom design in oil colors over hand-applied sterling silver leaf on walls by Anne B. Peabody
    • Chair fabric, velvet in Aqua by Colefax & Fowler
    • Custom Waxed Steel Bathroom shelf provided by Darr
    • Michaelian & Kohlberg Rug: hand knotted & hand spun wool
    • Cabinetry hardware/pulls, drop forged solid brass by Doug Mockett & Co
    • House of Antique Hardware to match existing antique hardware, solid brass
    • 1940's Crystal Lamps w/ shantung silk shades: shop find
    • Chair: shop find, distressed silver leaf w/ Colefax & Fowler fabric listed above
    • Grange nightstands, (Louis XVI-ish)
    • California Closets


    • Bathroom tile — blue Celeste marble mini-brick and Lino Carbone by Ann Sacks
    • Roman Shades by Holly Hunt
    • Elise organic free-standing bath by MTI
    • XO Series bathroom fixtures in brushed nickel by LeFroy Brooks
    • Aquia II Dual Flush Toilet by Toto
    • Custom shower enclosure by Mirage Shower Doors Corp.
    • Blue Celeste Marble Sills/Surround by Foro
    • Handblown Murano Glass Lighting by Leucos
    • Bathroom sconces by Waterworks

Images: Jill Slater

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