Passersby often slow down while traveling along the Shrewsbury River to catch a glimpse of the crisp white cedar shake facade of a newly completed waterfront estate, buried deep into the folds of native New Jersey wetlands. Cleverly coined the Hidden River by its owners, the five-bedroom showpiece defies traditional home builds in Rumson. Topped with a cedar roof and finished with jet black accents and raw natural stone, the custom home echoes coastal California charm, featuring a bright, indoor-outdoor floor plan and expansive views from every room on the property.
“The concept of our home was to have the view take center stage,” noted the owner, a local real estate agent who purchased the property with her husband in 2019. The couple spent five years searching for the perfect slice of earth to build their dream estate, and when they stumbled upon the two-acre riverfront property in 2019 (its current structure had been severely damaged by Super Storm Sandy), they instantly knew it was the one. “We love Newport Beach, and we wanted the California living experience in New Jersey,” continued the homeowner. “In true California style, we designed the spaces to flow from interior to exterior seamlessly.”

A quarter-mile-long driveway studded with old-growth trees leads to the front entrance, a dramatic double-glass door framed by a stunning mosaic of natural stone. The doors open to reveal a light-drenched double-height foyer, finished with white oak plank ceilings and warm wooden beams. In the center of the room rests a white-washed driftwood accent table under a large teardrop lighting fixture, with views of the river and surrounding landscapes floating in the distance.
The owners called on an impressive collective of creatives to bring their vision to life. Merrick Construction led the development, while Best Landscaping designed the grounds and backyard hub. Principal Darice Asaro of Hidden River Design conceptualized the interiors, opting for a calming palette of warm woods, whites, cool grays, and soft blues to capture the coastal-chic aesthetic. Visitors are treated to a treasure chest of thoughtful touches around every bend. A full temperature-controlled wine wall in the dining room, for instance, nabs unanimous praise not only for its impressive collection of global labels, but for its backlit agate stone construction, which vacillates between shades of blue, gray, and amber. A pair of vintage beaded chandeliers and a ten-person wooden dining table bring a taste of old-world glamour to new construction.

The meticulous attention to detail that was poured into every space is apparent, from the counter-height kitchen windows designed to maximize views to antique doors from New Orleans in the billiard room. Even a space as small as the powder room received the first-class treatment, ornamented with a custom mosaic tile wall by New Ravenna, a petrified wood vessel sink, and a full-length French provincial mirror so guests can touch up their makeup while checking their entire outfit.
The kitchen, rendered in shades of white, wood, and stone, is swimming in natural light. Large, double center islands are topped with Calacatta Cremo marble and offer endless entertainment possibilities with ample space for a full spread of hors d’oeuvres for holiday parties. Hidden Sub-Zero refrigerators are paneled to resemble an armoire, and a custom 60-inch Lacanche range with both induction and gas burners sits under a plaster hood accented with white oak detailing. Floating shelves are decorated with hanging botanicals for a sprinkle of greenery, and there’s even a cozy built-in desk in the corner where the homeowners can work while dinner slowly simmers on the stove.
An open-concept family and dining room is located just off the kitchen. The family room is anchored by a custom stone fireplace with a lentil mantel and features a built-in wet bar comprised of backlit gemstone white quartz that softly illuminates the room. The dining area is cloaked in shiplap walls and floor-to-ceiling glass and finished with an eight-person glass table beneath five-foot-tall hanging pendant lights by David Trubridge. “The lights cast shadows on the interior walls that make dining feel romantic,” added the homeowner. “When you look up, you’ll see into the lounge with glass railing and louvered doors that slide to close. With the press of a button, the Lutron blinds drop out from custom moldings, creating the perfect atmosphere for movie night.”

The primary suite masterfully blends elegance with ease, inspired by the homeowners’ numerous trips to exotic destinations. Double doors accented with crystal handles open to reveal tall vaulted ceilings with custom wooden beams. A cast stone fireplace lightly toasts the room, while cozy bouclé accent chairs offer the perfect perch for enjoying a glass of wine before bed. To save the homeowners a trip downstairs, the designer installed a custom beverage center that pulls out of the armoire like a drawer.
The master bath dances along the crossroads of timeless and modern. Vintage accents like antique double doors and golden fixtures are juxtaposed with contemporaries like a freestanding jetted tub, heated broken jointed Calacatta marble floors, and a rainfall steam shower with a built-in bench.

The home’s amenities practically ring in at resort status, from the third-floor gym equipped with a Peloton and Tonal system to the billiard room covered in Phillip Jeffries Gaucho Cloth in Midnight Ride. For yet another Easter egg, a bookcase houses a secret accouterment: a ping pong top. Outside, the backyard entertainment hub features a catalog of vacation-style amenities amid the feral beauty of the surrounding wetlands, from a pickleball court to several daybeds and lounge chairs under black-and-white umbrellas. An outdoor kitchen is ready to sizzle steaks even in the winter months thanks to glass panels that lock in warmth. There’s an al fresco family room with a fireplace, phantom screens, and built-in heaters, plus a black glass tiled swimming pool with sun loungers and a built-in spa built by Steele Pools. When the river calls, the dock is mere feet away


Nicole Spread

Hidden River Design