In partnership withNational Association of REALTORS®

After a Whirlwind Move, a ‘Transitional Contemporary’ New Jersey Home Is Worth the Chaos

published Nov 5, 2019
Credit: Ana Gambuto
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Nicole knew this gorgeous house was home as soon as they walked inside.

Name: Nicole, Jerome, Jaxon, and Jaden Reid
Location: Sicklerville, NJ
Size: 4,230 square feet 
Years lived in: 1

The Reids had been living in Nashville for nine years when Nicole’s husband Jerome landed his dream job: head trainer with the Philadelphia Eagles. Suddenly, this family of four found itself in a whirlwind move north. The whole process was swift as an all-star running back. The Reids’s Nashville house sold in just two weeks—so quickly that Nicole, who runs the lifestyle and design blog Home on Poplar Creek, had to temporarily move the fam in with her mother.

Luckily, they had a secret weapon: real estate agent Logina Davis. Logina was a friend of Nicole’s and a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, who lived in northern New Jersey. She suggested that the family look in the southern part of the state—which offered the more suburban lifestyle the Reids wanted and an easy commute to Philadelphia—and commuted to help with the search.

They soon had a list of potential houses, which Logina and Nicole’s aunt visited, FaceTiming Nicole and Jerome, who were still in Nashville. Then they visited the finalists in person.

“It was like, ‘I’m home. I don’t want anything else. I want this house.’”

Their eventual home? “The very last house on our list,” Nicole says with a laugh. She had all but given up and was put off by the location, which felt more rural than suburban. But the moment she walked through the door, she says, “It was like, ‘I’m home. I don’t want anything else. I want this house.’”

The neighborhood wasn’t exactly what the Reids envisioned, but as second-time home-buyers, they knew compromises were a given. And the house itself was perfect, with a big open layout that would let Nicole keep an eye on the kids, plenty of room for visiting friends and family, and a home office setup that would allow Nicole and Jerome to co-work.

As the home’s first viewers, Logina encouraged them to put in a strong offer. After it was accepted, the frantic pace kept up, but Logina kept up with it—especially at the closing, which was far from perfunctory.

It was already a long meeting, with Nicole signing for herself and her husband, who was already on his new job. The first (yes, first) problem: The earnest money was not coming through. Then, with the clock ticking toward the end of the business day, Nicole presented her cashier’s check for the down payment—only to discover that it had not been signed by the bank. A last-minute dash to a partner bank, a quick signature, and then…the earnest money was still MIA. (It turned out to be a numerical error.) “I thought the day was never going to end,” Nicole says.

Don’t know what “earnest money” means? Our beginner’s guide to buying a house translates real estate lingo to help your journey home.

The movers had to be postponed, though the kindly attorney gave Nicole the keys before the money came through. Logina was scheduled to catch a flight that afternoon, but she stayed right by Nicole’s side, entertaining the boys when necessary and helping her through the seemingly never-ending process. “She was more like a trusted friend for me throughout the entire process,” Nicole says.

With the closing woes over, it was time for the fun part: decorating. Nicole got to work marrying their style with the home’s existing aesthetic, bringing some contrast to its bright whiteness with darker, deeper colors.

“I wanted you to walk into the room and feel like, ‘I’m home’. Like walking into a room and it just hugs you.”

Funnily enough, Nicole’s favorite room is one she barely uses: the guest room. The family was far from loved ones in Nashville, so now that they’re closer to home, she’s taking hospitality seriously. “I absolutely loved designing this space,” she says. “I wanted something dark and moody and neutral.” She added board-and-batten detail, black walls, a leather headboard, and luxe pillows. “I also wanted a very plush bed. I wanted you to walk into the room and feel like, ‘I’m home’. Like walking into a room and it just hugs you.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My home’s style: My home’s style is a mix between transitional and contemporary.

Inspiration: My biggest design inspiration is Studio McGee! They have MASTERED cozy contemporary!

Favorite element of the home: My favorite element of our home is the high ceilings and abundance of natural light.

Biggest challenge, and how you overcame it: The biggest challenge is also the high ceilings! While I haven’t overcome it just yet, I have plans to add recessed paneling in the foyer and board and batten in the living room to give our home a more craftsman feel. 

What friends say about your home: Friends always compliment us on how warm and cozy we’ve made our home feel!

Biggest embarrassment: Our biggest embarrassment is definitely our garage and most of the closets! We are in desperate need of decluttering and organization. Yikes!

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY is the board and batten wall in Jaxon’s room. In our first home we did tons of projects together, but my husband Jerome was the muscle behind every single project. This board and batten wall, however, was completely done by me, which has given me the confidence to tackle more projects I’ve been wanting to for months. 

Biggest indulgence: Our biggest indulgence was the custom-built cabinets in the office. I knew before we moved in that I wanted a statement piece in the office since it would be the very first thing you see when you walk through the door. I contacted a cabinet maker before we even had a sofa! I wanted something that was colorful, stylish and functional. And secretly, I wanted shelves I could style.

Best advice: Don’t rush. Many homeowners feel they have to fill up their space quickly with “stuff” for the sake of completing a room. A well-loved home includes a collection of items you love that have meaning to you. Feel out your space first and get to know your home. The last thing you want to do is find yourself constantly redecorating because you’ve filled your home with things you don’t really love. Our home is far from where I would like it to be but everything has been carefully thought out.


Home Office:


Living Room:


Jaden’s Bedroom:

Guest Bedroom:

Jaxon’s Room:

  • Board and Batten Wall Color – Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore mixed by Behr 
  • Wallpaper – Amazon
  • Rocker – Amazon
  • Kid’s Sofa – Overstock

Master Bedroom:

Sitting Room:

Thanks, Nicole!