A COLTS NECK RANCH HOME OFFERS A STYLISH TWIST ON COUNTRY LIVING

BY ERIK SCHONING

True to its name, Colts Neck has horses equestrian farms are a holdover from the enclave’s origins as an agricultural community. And while much of the township has left that history behind, one Colts Neck property is paying tribute to the community’s storied past with a timeless farmhouse look and bucolic charm.

Designed by Ginny Padula of Town & Country Design Studio and built by GT Builders, the home is a modern twist on a pastoral, refined style. “It’s a bit more rustic than a lot of homes in the area,” said Padula. “This was a fun project for me; I love that mix of stone and brick and rough wood and dark stain. It’s very natural.”

A low, sleek front façade is a compelling counter to sprawling, towering homes that overwhelm at first sight. This home is relaxed, spread out, inviting, and the three key exterior components wood, brick, and exposed beams echo throughout, becoming a sort of calling card as you move through the home.

The central living area blends kitchen, living room, and entertaining area in a modern, open floor plan. Again, dwellers are treated to plenty of dark stained wood flooring mirrored by exposed beams running along the ceiling. In a playfully rugged touch, the kitchen and dining area is done almost entirely in gray brick, an unconventional touch that lends a bit of edge to the country home aesthetic.

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“The fact that it’s all brick in that space is gorgeous,” noted Padula. “It’s something unusual that we haven’t done in the past. We’ve done accent walls with brick, but we’ve never done a whole space. That was great to work with.”

The kitchen is a complicated mix of materials, and Padula noted the difficulty of finding cabinetry that would play well with the brick. To balance the bold, custom designed copper hood built by GT and the kaleidoscopic patterns of the granite countertops, Padula and her team went for understated white cabinetry with black drawer pulls and knobs. It’s a classic example of a home calling for the understated, and in such a bright, well lit kitchen, it’s the right choice.

The stone fireplace, too, is a nice touch, framed by a chandelier and a pair of exposed beams you might think yourself at a ski lodge in Wyoming. The true genius of this central area is its flexibility. In keeping with contemporary design trends, the home is always adaptable and ready for any use. The intermingling of the bar space with the living room makes the room perfect for game days or cocktail parties. The fireplace ties all of that together; it’s both casual and formal.

“We were going for a rustic feel with the stone fireplace and the oversized thick roughhewn mantle with a raised hearth,” explained Padula. “Because of those high ceilings in there, we had to make sure it held the weight of that space.”

The bar is a marvel in its own right, featuring copper detailing, a granite bar top, and an antique mirror. The attention to detail is palpable. The installer built it on site for the homeowner and stained it to match the rough wood on the walls. It playfully echoes the mahogany and crystal home bars of yesteryear while stripping down and modernizing that look. Here, as elsewhere, you’ll find an intentional continuity.

“Again, we were tying all the spaces together, between the kitchen with the copper hood, the copper detailing on the bar, and the rough sawn wood that mimics the mantle and the beams,” said the designer.

When you’ve got a good thing, run with it. The master bedroom feels like a miniature version of the central living area, with airy ceilings, plenty of natural light, and a stripped down walk in closet. In the master bathroom, Padula noted the interesting touch of a tasteful window in the shower; here, as in the bar area, there is a deliberate lightening up of what are typically the darkest areas of a home. The same method is on display in the movie theater, where a clever gray and white movie poster backdrop frames the screen, and in the wine cellar, where more of that ever present gray brick keeps the space from dipping into the medieval.

In better weather, the rear deck makes for perfect entertaining. From here you can see the white horse fencing that marks the edge of the yard while harkening back to the region’s roots. The deck railing, however, is as modern as it gets, a sleek wire cable railing that keeps the space firmly grounded in the present.

“What’s nice is they did the cable railing to not obstruct the view,” Padula said. “There’s a lot of property back there. I love how they tied in that detail as opposed to just doing a standard fence.” Ultimately things change for a reason, and the homeowner, Town and Country, and GT Builders seemed to agree in their philosophy that a home could be totally modern while still paying tribute to the way we lived then. And so, dark wood plays off of massive windows, copper meets brick, wood meets metal. Its log cabin meets loft, an unlikely pairing that simply works.

Town & Country Design Studio
25 Bridge Avenue, Suite 100 / Red Bank, NJ 07701 / 732.345.1441