Simple Pleasures

One Ridgewood family gets a home that’s company-ready but cozy enough to kick back, play board games, read, and yes, sometimes even watch TV.



Photography by Kim Baker

Couch potatoes may have met their match in interior designer Kim Baker, who recently transformed new construction in the Somerville section of Ridgewood—a kind of blank canvas, if you will—into a home that takes the concept of enjoying some downtime to a whole new level. Baker, a Ridgewood-raised and -based interior designer with 18 years of experience, certainly had the chops to meet the desires of this client, a family of four and their two dogs who like to play together and entertain. Consider, for example, the two equally extra-deep, pillow-strewn sofas from CR Laine she chose to demarcate the living room and the large coffee table that both invites a game of Monopoly and provides the perfect perch for a tired pair of feet. And on the floor? The softest silk and wool rug from Dansfield & Ross.

At 16 feet by 29 feet, the space provided Baker with a lot of room for improvement. She had to add furniture in the right proportion to make it cozier and more welcoming. Working from a coffered ceiling and millwork by Kurnat Woodworking, she warmed the walls with Silver Lake paint from Benjamin Moore and hung soft linen curtains from ceiling to floor. As a result, she said, “It doesn’t feel like a huge room.”

In addressing the family’s desire to entertain, she chose furnishings that could multitask. Two square ottomans can function both as side tables and extra seating, as can the large leather ottoman flush beneath the television console.

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The softest blues, taupes and grays are carried into the kitchen, above, and dining room, right. Baker chose a pine farm table for the kitchen eating area to speak to the Jacobean oak flooring, again incorporating durable materials. Of the coordinating designs, she said, “There’s a clean simplicity to it that will always be in style.”

She even worked in a comfortable arrangement for the readers in the family: a tufted chair with another ottoman from Vanguard accompanied by a faux fur throw, which the client, a realtor with the Laura Gill group at Keller Williams in Ridgewood, said is her daughters’ “favorite accessory.”

On the couches, chairs and ottomans, Baker used durable fabrics to meet the demands of the family’s girls, ages 8 and 10, plus Aussiedoodle Daisy and Goldendoodle Maddie.

The living room’s finishing touches included an abstract seascape above the limestone fireplace that reinforces the color scheme, an Arteriors lamp on a side table and a mix of white objets d’art on the charcoal shagreen coffee table.

The family, meanwhile, is putting it all to good use, relaxing after school and work, and in the colder months turning on the fireplace and playing board games.

“When we have family movie night, there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out on the couches,” says the owner. “This is definitely our favorite room in the house!”

Baker chose to carry the color scheme of soft blues, taupes and grays into the kitchen and dining room, which had been previously updated. She used Benjamin Moore Gray Owl on the walls and complemented the dark Jacobean oak flooring with a dark pine farm table in the kitchen’s eating area. She also added two white wooden stools under the counter and chose matching white wooden chairs for the table. In the dining room, she played up its elegance by selecting a mix of glass, fabric and silver pieces for the tablescape and bar.

Overall, Baker said, she enjoyed the project, particularly because she and her clients seemed to be of one mind. “As soon as I [shared] what I wanted to do, we did it—fast!”

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A Bergen Moment

"On a warm and sunny Sunday, I took a bike ride to the Englewood picnic area at the Palisades Interstate Park. Many families were enjoying the pleasant day, having a Mother’s Day picnic. Because I am particularly interested in photographing bridges, I took this image of children playing in a brook near the Park Drive Bridge. I especially liked the girl with her festive dress!”
—Mario Burger, Edgewater, flickr.com/photos/jag9889

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