Photo by Marisa Pellegrini of the Christopher Peacock green kitchen
Twin Maples Centennial Show House is not your typical glamorous historic show house. Like a typical woman, she is constantly evolving and reinventing herself as she grows older. She beaconed a bevy of creative and talented designers to give her a new ball gown. They, in turn, created eclectic design spaces punctuated with vintage and modern elements so you know where she’s been and where she is headed. She traded in her old petticoat for a new energy efficient one complete with a new geothermal system, energy efficient Marvin Windows, Demilec blown-in insulation, and Pella doors. As she opens her doors this month of October, here are some green snippets about her new décor.
(Photo by Marisa Pellegrini)
Once you are inside the home, you can’t help from being drawn into Marshall Watson Interiors’ dining room. His mix of antique, vintage and family and friends heirlooms with newer pieces gives a warm feeling to the room reminiscent of a time when people embraced the art of dining. The sheen of the Venetian-like plastered walls, made out of recycled marble dust and several coats of beeswax, reflects the magnificent crystal chandelier in the dining room, whose twin is in the White House.
Adjacent to the dining room is the colorful atrium room designed by Creative Wallcoverings and Interiors. Fair trade beads were used to accent the window treatment to capture the light adding to the playfulness of the room.
Across the hall from dinging room is the “livable” living room designed by Elaine Griffin Interior Design, a long time designer for Oprah’s At Home magazine. She was given a tall order to make a living room the size of a hotel lobby into an inviting space. Combining antiques and oversize, yet comfortable Ralph Lauren pieces, she created different vignettes that made the room ideal for large parties or just a simple get together of friends.
The kitchen is always the heart of the home. Twin Maples’ new kitchen, pictured at the beginning of the article, is no exception. Not only did Christopher Peacock Cabinetry create a kitchen where guests would linger and perhaps overstay their welcome, he used all green materials to make it a safe haven for families. The Company utilized FSC certified wood, water based glues, and his signature low VOC paint. Eco-friendly Caesarstone countertops and wall tiles were added to the space to create functionality, beauty and easy care. All the appliances installed were top of the line energy efficient appliances including Wolf and Sub-Zero. This kitchen is Christopher Peacock’s New Jersey show house début.
The adjacent butler pantry was designed by Jim Dove of Canterbury Design Kitchen Interiors, who used Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry, which is certified by the KCMA Environmental Stewardship Program. In addition, the walls were finished with Veli Velluti a decorative finish which is low VOC, water based, and environmentally friendly.
The main bathroom designed by Joan Picone features vintage hinges, knobs and key hole, and a recessed toilet paper holder in keeping with the historic character of the house.
French Sconces in the Minion-Gutierrez room
On the second and third floors, vintage and antique pieces are scattered throughout the rooms lending character and elegance to the designed spaces. Minion-Gutierrez opted for French antique sconces and other vintage pieces to adorn their Robert Adams Study. C.R. Interior Designs used an antique bed as the anchor of her Nap Room. J. Decorat used a refurbished garbage find chair for her desk in the Study room. The list is endless of how each of the designers used pieces from their own or borrowed collections to give each one of their rooms a distinct personality.
Sandra Carter Interior Design, capitalized on the reuse theme by refinishing two of Twin Maples’ own vintage pieces, an oval table which now sports gold leaf feet and a lovely settee. In keeping with Sandra Carter’s deep raspberry walls and her love of color on the second floor landing, she dressed the settee in a bright, striped material creating a youthful look to compliment the traditional style of the piece.
MARKETPlace Designs created a multi-functional, timelessly designed master bedroom retreat. Special design features were the multi-functional furniture allowing for an office in the bedroom. Many older and smaller homes have fewer rooms and combining a office functionality to a table via a drop down drawer and file drawers as a part of the bedside table illustrates that a room can be used for many purposes. In addition, the Designer used a Kindel furniture headboard to lessen her carbon footprint since it is made in Michigan.
(Photo by Bobbie Kingsley Photography)
On the third floor is the Mediation Garden featuring decorative painting by Spotlight Studio Designs taking to heart the theme of re-purposing and re-using. The faux finishes from low VOC Faux Effects were used to give items in the space a second life, such as the demi-lune table, bath tub, and floor. The collage walls were handcrafted from recycled book pages, sheet music, and paper. Trueform concrete was used to create the bath tub surround and bench top.
Elegance, charm and grace are exhibited on all of the main floors of the house, but fun is theme in the Lower Level of the home. This is where the Grand Dame lets down her hair with her eco-friendly wine room, theater, and mod-playroom.
(Photo by Marisa Pellegrini)
Who wouldn’t want to sip wine in this old Tuscan eco-friendly wine room created by NLM Designs Interiors and Raiser Contracting? The room boosts old wine barrel stools, Kravet green upholstery, eco-friendly furniture, and old shutters with hidden pin dot LED lights adorn the ceiling.
While the adults linger with a bottle of vintage Twin Maples, the children would have a ball across the hall in their own eco-teenage hideaway created by Morning ‘til Night LLC. Mod meets fun in this playroom with its chairs made out of recycled seat belts, a pineapple paper lounge, bamboo carpet, and natural wood furniture made out of reclaimed teak.
Next to the playroom is Interior Decision Inc.’s “Living with Green” bathroom and laundry room. The bathroom featuring Encore Ceramics‘ recycled content tile on the walls, concrete tile on the floors, and energy efficient fluorescent lighting on a sensor activated by movement to conserve energy, as well as a hand-painted decorative mural using non-toxic finishes.
Adjacent to the bathroom is a laundry room containing Bosch Energy Star stackable washer and dryer, Tobias Stucco, a nontoxic wall finish, concrete tiles, organic cotton curtains made from Robert Allen’s new green line of fabrics and a concrete countertop made of Trueform Concrete. Laundry will never seem like a choir again.
Audra Frank of Frankly Green lends a hand with the Ivy Coatings Paint.
(Photo by Bobbie Kingsley Photography)
As you continue on your exploration of the Lower Level, the faux handpainted art work done on canvas stops you in your tracks. It is stunning and it looks like real wood panels. This is a technique that cleverly places highlights and shadows that fool the eye into thinking it is real. Spotlight Studio Designs, who also designed the Meditation Garden mentioned above, used eco-friendly products from Faux Effects to create this faux molding.
Before you leave, Twin Maples has one last request. It is to visit her green living and building exhibit room. Most noticeable in the room is the Alternative Energy Wall Display created by Anastasia Harrison, of WESKetch Architecture, featuring both foam and cotton insulation. In addition, Ms. Harrison created a montage of green living tips which hangs near the display. A must see before colder weather sets in.
Also, located in the room are flooring options by Shehadi Rugs and Carpet of Chatham, a Marvin Windows display by Jaeger Home Concepts illustrating how important energy efficient windows are, DaVinci Synthetic Slate Roofing Products, and a Get Clean Starter Kit, eco-cleaning supplies by supplied by Ms. Harrison, a Shaklee distributor.
In the next room adjacent to the energy exhibit is the actual Water Furnace heating and air conditioning equipment, which is part of the geothermal system. On the equipment is a diagram as to how the geothermal system works. On the wall across from the geothermal system is a BP Solar PV panels, donated by Vanguard Energy Partners. It is an up-close and personal encounter of the solar kind.
As you leave the Main Home, you can’t help but notice the surrounding landscape. It is the embellishment of the exterior which lends warmth and serenity to the home. Twin Maples’ landscaping was outdated, minimal, and not befitting this Belle. In the front of the house, Cross River Design created an additional outdoor space in keeping with the architectural design of the house complete with water feature and lush bushes and trees, reminiscent of years gone by when outdoor spaces were a part of a home’s entertaining. Cording Landscape created a side lawn serene transition from the front driveway to the side yard of Twin Maples with its meandering walkway and seasonal interest. Simonfay Landscape Service Inc. dressed up the rear of the property near the rear driveway with a tranquil path surrounded by various foliage, native to New Jersey.
Although Twin Maples main house sparkles, it is her Carriage house which is the green jewel. She will be featured in my last installment of Twin Maples.
For ticket and hours of operation, please visit the Twin Maples’ website.
- Twin Maples Show House’s Carriage House, Green at its Best
- Twin Maples, a Historic Home Gets Gussied Up with a New Green Look
- Team NJ ENJOY Solar Decathlon House: Thermal, Longevity & Low Maintenance
- Energy Efficient Home Design: The Harpoon House, Tiny but Practical
- Recycled Window House Married Beauty and Harmony