Tour a 100-Year-Old Home With an Eclectic Twist
Discover the traditional (and not-so-traditional) touches in this New Jersey home, with HGTV Magazine.
Kerri Pilchik isn’t afraid to mix things up — in the rooms of her home or in life. After 14 years working as a lawyer, she decided to go all in with her passion for interior design and started juggling classes while caring for her two kids. One of her very first projects: a four-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot Colonial in Ridgewood, New Jersey, that she and her husband, James, bought. Here, James and Kerri sit with Maya, 12; Jake, 10; and beagle Minnie Bagel, 3.
Built in 1920, it had excellent period details, including high baseboard moldings and built-in cabinetry. “I wanted to bring that charm into the 21st century,” says Kerri. A blend of bold colors, a lot of pattern play and fun flourishes made it happen. Statement fabrics were also a thing: “If there’s a window, nine times out of ten I’m using fabric around it,” she says. While holding true to the house’s original design, this bright and welcoming space is living proof that sometimes, the road not taken turns out to be the one that leads you home. Although the house celebrated its 100th birthday this year, hanging out on the deep front porch never gets old.
Classic meets cool! The walls are covered in grass cloth by Phillip Jeffries; the ottoman has an eye-catching Peter Dunham fabric. (Fun fact: The piece was made to measure so the family of four could all rest their feet there.) Old built-ins get modern flair with a display of accessories in various sizes and finishes. Oomphing up the traditional tan sectional from Lee Industries: a sprinkling of punchy pillows. Kind of traditional: beadboard-back shelves. Not so traditional: ottoman with an abstract pattern.
It’s filled with family traditions, past and present. “We’re Jewish, and we have Friday night dinner here,” says Kerri. “On Sunday afternoons, we do a happy hour with crackers, cheese, wine and juice.” The marble-top table is a Craigslist score; the chairs (with backs featuring a John Robshaw print that Kerri added) and the credenza were gifts from her parents. The chandelier is by Foscarini. Not so traditional: sleek acrylic chandelier. Kind of traditional: mid-century chairs.
At 138 square feet, it’s not the largest, but Kerri gave it major presence. She had the upper cabinets painted Simply White and the lower ones Coventry Gray, both by Benjamin Moore, for contrast. Extending the tile to the ceiling gave the illusion of height; an expanse of white quartz countertops with gray veining opened up the space. The Roman shade, made with Schumacher fabric, is there for the cheer. Kind of traditional: subway tile backsplash. Not so traditional: cabinets in two colors.
On the simple, cute side, this area includes a Tolix-style chair from Industry West and a banquette from Ballard Designs that’s upholstered in an outdoor fabric (so Kerri’s homemade Bolognese sauce won’t leave its mark). The oversize window is what Kerri calls a “fun free-for-all” — it holds a rotating display of vases, souvenirs and the kids’ art. Kind of traditional: shade with a valance. Not so traditional: square table with a banquette.
The couple’s third-floor retreat is boho lite. “I couldn’t be too crazy because James had to be comfortable there, too!” says Kerri. Neutrals blend with blues, purples and pinks, including lampshades decked out in Madeline Weinrib fabric and a bench covered in a print from Schumacher. The silver leaf light fixture is by Aerin. Kind of traditional: nailhead trim headboard. Not so traditional: graphic lampshade.
Like mother, like daughter: This is the bed frame Kerri slept on as a child. She chose the Schumacher shade fabric for its relative chicness, hoping it will stand the test of time. A chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids lends a vintage flourish that plays off the bed’s vibe. Maya can often be found perched on the pouf by John Derian, making string bracelets. Kind of traditional: diamond grid rug. Not so traditional: showstopper shades.
This used to be a bedroom, but a previous owner morphed it into a giant bathroom, much to the delight of tweens Maya and Jake. Kerri refreshed the white tile with a border of swirly Thibaut wallpaper, and added splashes of color with a Society6 shower curtain and a cushion-top bench — a sweet little spot for DIY pedis. Kind of traditional: diamond grid rug. Not so traditional: showstopper shades.