Modern Serenity

Modern Serenity
To freshen the dining room, the coffered ceiling was painted white. The partition screen offers privacy as well as adding interest to the space. Texture was brought in with horsehair wallpaper as well as the velvet dining chairs. The silhouette of the dining table is organic.
Modern Serenity
The original staircase had traditional balustrades, but they were swapped for stainless steel cables which open the foyer and give it an airy feel.

When a well-traveled couple from Moscow was house hunting in Holmdel, New Jersey, their goal was to find a sophisticated home that offered a touch of urban flair in the suburbs. What they found instead was a sprawling 10,000-square-foot home that offered incredible views but lacked in character due to its builder-grade finishes. To transform the home, the couple, who also own a home in New York City, turned to Montclair, New Jersey-based interior designer Satomi Yoshida-Katz of YZDA | Yoshida + Zanon Design Atrium for a complete transformation of the property.

“I’m a fan of simple, clean lines that look refined but have functional design,” Yoshida-Katz explains. “I like neutral shades and soothing colors with a splash of color, comfortable furnishings, and a surprise or two thrown into the room.”

With a tight nine month deadline, Yoshida-Katz’s first step was demolition. She ripped out walls, flooring, spiral staircases and lighting fixtures to start with a clean slate.

“The home was very sterile,” says Yoshida-Katz. “It didn’t have a lot of character and it was added on to over the years, so the style was not consistent or unified. I wanted the space to be upbeat, contemporary and warm.”

The homeowners are fond of elements of modern Japanese design, which made Yoshida-Katz the perfect designer for the project. Although she has lived and worked in Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, she was born in Japan, and her roots have had a major influence on her work.

One of the biggest challenges was to unify the vast space, which includes multiple sitting areas. For a cohesive look, Yoshida-Katz stuck to a muted color palette of cream, beige and grey, which give the space a serene vibe. She also used natural materials such as wood, stone and tile through out the home – which gave it warmth, as well as a connection to the exterior landscape.

Although the home’s color palette is neutral and understated, Yoshida-Katz added flair in other ways. She commissioned custom pieces and played with texture and proportion, and use oversized furniture to fill the vast rooms.

One of the home’s most dramatic features is a row of oversized custom lights suspended in the double-height entry. The light’s architectural lines are repeated in the new staircase; the traditional dark wood balustrades were replaced with stainless steel cables which add interest and open up the space.

The dining room is also sleek and simple, with clean lines and a soothing color palette but Yoshida-Katz softened the space with a custom-made walnut table in an organic shape. Texture is brought in through horsehair wallpaper and velvet upholstered chairs offer a touch of shimmer.

Elsewhere in the home, Yoshida-Katz inserted character with multiple built-ins, ranging from bookshelves to recessed niches in a long hallway which are used to display pieces of art.

The end result is a home that looks crisp and clean, but manages to feel accessible. “I wanted to make the home a cozy and comfortable space while staying true to the client’s vision of having an urban lifestyle in a beautiful suburban setting,” says Yoshida- Katz. “It is all about being serene and calm but seamlessly modern and upbeat.”

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Photography Courtesy of Peter Rymwid Architectural Photography

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