Father Knows Best

The owner of a new-construction home in Mahwah was clear on what he wanted— including an interior designer’s touch.
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By Haley Longman
Design by Jennifer Pacca 
Photography by Peter Rymwid

This homeowner knows real estate. A developer and builder by trade, the single father certainly understood what he was doing when it came time to build a new home in Mahwah for himself and his teenage son. But he needed some help with the decorating part of the equation, so he brought in an award-winning designer—Jennifer Pacca of Jennifer Pacca Interiors in Hillsdale and her staff—during the planning stage, and once the house was framed, to help bring his dream home to life.

“He liked a very traditional look, with warmer colors like beiges and neutrals, but not cool grays like we’re seeing everywhere,” Pacca says. “He wanted traditional with a clean style, and kind of left it to us to make the suggestions.”

That they did, proposing a pale green-and-beige color palette that would be carried from room to room. The family room, right off the kitchen with three sets of French doors that lead to a veranda overlooking a gorgeous woodsy yard, is the guys’ main hangout space (aside from a cozy media room that the designers also revamped). So Pacca made it formal yet functional, with elegant fabrics and a “homey” sectional sofa by Vanguard Furniture. Mixed metals of silver and gold, as seen in the accent chairs from the same brand, the studs on the couch and on the chandelier from Currey & Company, are complementary but not matchy-matchy. “We like to use coordinated finishes that are not the same so that it creates an evolved look, as opposed to what you’d see if you just walked into a furniture store to buy a set,” Pacca says.

There are also stunning architectural details in this space, including coffered ceilings, wainscoting in the foyer and formal arches in the opening from the living room into the foyer. “We wanted to add some detail to the home,” the designer says, “but still keep it simple and clean.”

While builder Don Brennan and kitchen designer Recon Construction were responsible for the cabinetry and overall layout of the brand-new kitchen—including the unique curved wooden island—Pacca helped choose the Feiss Lighting fixtures, the Calacatta Gold countertops, the finishes, the furniture and of course, the color scheme, which she borrowed from the surrounding spaces. “Every room kind of flows into the next,” she says. A gold-and-green fabric lines the chairs at the table, and a marble floor matches that in the foyer. “This way there weren’t too many breaks in flooring materials,” Pacca adds. “Each room has either the dark wood or that marble.”

Cohesion follows up to the master suite too, with metallic elements to add interest, such as mirrored trim on the bed, lamps made of glass or ceramic, a waterfall bench at the end of the bed and a glistening crystal chandelier to illuminate the entire space.

Over roughly a year, Pacca also designed all the home’s bathrooms and the son’s bedroom and bathroom (pictured at left). Now she’s already planning her next project with this knowledgeable client. “We’re currently working on the public spaces in an apartment building he’s developing,” Pacca says, “all within his style.” 

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