THIS IDYLLIC RETREAT IN WATCHUNG TAKES DESIGN CUES FROM TUDOR AND GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE
BY JENNIFER VIKSE
Nestled behind a stone pillared private gate and among 5.4 acres of land in
Watchung, NJ is a custom home so charming and over owing with detail, it’s fit for a modern day fairy tale. In fact, an actual castle once stood by the site, in an area once known as “Castle Tract.”
Built in 2003, this 11,000-squarefoot custom build is replete with high quality nishes and details, beginning with its car entry. Ornately decorate iron gates open onto a long driveway and course to this Tudor, tucked into a wooded area just 40 minutes from Manhattan.
“The idea of [the home] was conceived and designed in great detail by [owners] Valerie and Vince DeVito, after multiple trips to England where they were influenced by the timeless grandeur of 12th- to 15th-century structures of the Gothic and Tudor periods,” explained Caroline Gosselin of Prominent Properties/Sotheby’s International Realty, which has listed the home for sale.
“Their dreams were realized by the now dissolved Barnan Group, an architectural and building rm in Summit. The interior design was a meticulously appointed collaboration between Valerie DeVito and Diane Gote of Design Works Inc., also in Summit.”
The home’s exterior is done in masterful stone masonry, though its Tudor/Gothic style windows perhaps strike a viewer first. The front door is a solid wood arch with iron accents under an arched entry with period etchings artfully crafted into the stone. A slate roof is the perfect final touch.
“This house was a labor of love for the owners,” noted Gosselin.
Just inside the front door, the foyer greets with dual staircases accented by wrought iron railings, bringing design cues from the home’s exterior. Through an archway on the left is the dining room, in a modern design for the medieval age-inspired house. A coffered ceiling with tray lighting sits over the room. A clean, contemporary light rug is atop the hardwood floor, while a shaded chandelier hangs over the table. The built-in glass bar lights the space, and a star-burst mirror does the same on the adjacent wall. The contemporary dining table is surrounded by armchairs covered in lime green leather.
Across the hall is the formal living area, done in neutrals under a dark wood beamed ceiling. The first of four fireplaces in the home is sited here, a marble design that takes center stage, with an inset cast iron stove.
Contemporary sofas and armchairs create a sitting area, and just beyond a stone accented half wall with wooden beams is a cozy entertainment space with built-in shelving and a flat screen TV at the center.
The gourmet kitchen is finished in earthy tones and textures. Wooden beams provide a broad, arched entry into the space, with stone walls over windows and stove, wooden cabinetry, and Honed Calcutta Gold Soprano marble countertops. Pendant lighting hangs over the island (with seating for four) and a Dynasty range, grill, and other high-end appliances complete the layout. An iron piece depicting the family crest takes residence over the stove, along with a tile backsplash inset from the stone.
“The iron piece in the kitchen is one representation and the center front window on the second floor also has a crest in stained glass,” explained Gosselin. “But my favorite customization is the big ‘D’ (for the family name) formed out of rock at the top of the chimney on the rear-facing exterior. Very subtle and tasteful.”
Beyond the working kitchen is a breakfast room, with seating for eight on
rattan chairs around a dark wooden table, under a Tiffany light on a heated floor.
In the ornate library with its custom mahogany shelves, paneled walls surround
another marble fireplace under a coffered wood ceiling—the shelves accented with arches. Sconces hang on either side of the fireplace as well as from a chandelier at the room’s center. A heavy desk sits on top of a colorful red rug, a red leather armchair behind it.
A special treat is the wine tasting room. Under a turret whose windows allow light to illuminate the space, 20-foot peaked ceilings make this a bright, clean space. Wine is set out on a marble slab table at the its center, atop hardwood flooring.
On the upper level, the residence’s signature cues are repeated in the form of arched doors. The master suite is large and clean with its modern furniture and wrought iron bench sitting at the base of the bed. Through French doors, a sitting room beckons with another of the home’s unique marble fireplaces under a wooden panel.
Built-in shelves on either side of the fireplace feature his and hers desktops; while cozy, contemporary chairs in natural hues with matching footrests are sited atop a whitewashed rust rug. A flat-screen TV sits on top of an understated media center, while an ornate light fixture
The en suite is finished in dark wood cabinetry over hardwood floors with a French door leading out to a terrace. Matching Flokati lamb’s wool rugs sit on the floor. White marble countertops complete the space. A soaker tub is part of the oasis, under Gothic windows. Large double walk-in closets by California Closets complete the suite.
A home gym featuring unique windows and doors is accented with wrought iron embellishments. A sauna and steam room finish off the space, which includes a spiral staircase with access from the garage.
A second bedroom features wood paneled walls, arched doors, and a walkout to the outside, as well as a built-in desk.
The house’s lower level features a large game room with billiards, a ping-pong table and other recreation possibilities, along with a media room, bathroom, dry bar, and storage.
Outside, the natural atmosphere is enhanced by an inground pool, private dog run, and blue stone patio with seating and dining areas. The house also features a four-car garage.
Prominent Properties | Sotheby’s International Realty
$2,500,00 / Gavin Parker, Caroline Gosselin Sales Associate
555 Millburn Avenue, Short Hills / 973.985.6117 (mobile)
973.376.8188 (office) / gosselingreene.com