Ridgewood By The Sea?
The new-construction colonial had to feel right in its suburban neighborhood—and also fulfill the owner’s dream of a New England coastline vibe.
A Hoboken family with two children found themselves house hunting during COVID and up against throngs of New Yorkers also seeking a suburban lifestyle. Slim real-estate pickings foiled this couple’s plan for more than a year until they met the construction-and-design team at Ridgewood’s MIF Design LLC.
Demolishing a 1960s ranch set the stage for a new-construction colonial with shake-and-shingle siding to complement their Ridgewood neighbohood. Mission accomplished, “it doesn’t scream ‘new,’” says principal designer Yana Bouchkanets. But blending also posed an interior design challenge.
“I grew up in New England, and I wanted more of that coastal vibe while keeping with the character of the town,” says homeowner Carrie. The family also loves Martha’s Vineyard, so Bouchkanets speaks of the 2021 project as “Martha’s Vineyard meets suburbs.”
Did the design hit its mark? Carrie calls the coastal marriage of white and blue “classic,” and her husband Rob, a Nutley-area native, adds: “I feel that Yana really understood Carrie’s vision.”
With room to grow that their two-bedroom apartment had lacked, the family is celebrating a lifestyle that combines beauty and function, performance fabrics—for two kiddos, ages 3 and nine months—and an open concept.
Bouchkanets, who works as a team with husband-contractor Mike Flider, recognized that decorating with white could be “challenging” but knew that the magic was in dimension-enhancing details and a warmer transitional aesthetic.
So—the kitchen may be the whitest room here, but in no way is it stark and cold. “I introduced a lot of white specifically to create a lot of natural light, and we added color strategically in some areas to create interest without going too dark,” she says.
A key player in this inviting, non-antiseptic design is the rattan in two Serena & Lily selections: Balboa island stools with basketweave cushions and Riviera bistro chairs at the round table. The white oak flooring throughout the main level is another warmth booster.
For style sizzle, Bouchkanets perched polished-nickel globe lighting above a quartz-topped island reflective of Carrara marble. Paired with a custom hood, the white shaker-style cabinets score design points with polished nickel and glass. The backsplash gets its wow from beveled subway tile, Thermador appliances are a cook’s bestie and a walk-in pantry—a “must for our clients”— doubles as a coffee bar.
The formal dining room is just as family-friendly and flows seamlessly with the kitchen, design’s cue to host both Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. “The space feels formal for entertainment and also casual to enjoy daily,” Bouchkanets says. Coastal tones appear in the sky-blue grass-cloth floating above white panels, while a brass chandelier evokes warmth. Look to the gray wood-tone table from Restoration Hardware for texture but the white chairs for glam and a practical side—performance fabric.
The coastal theme marches on in the powder room, where the Serena & Lily wallpaper—hand-painted like blue-and-white vintage tile—joins a Carrara-topped vanity, brass lighting and white mirror with cutout frame.
Because Rob works from home, his office had to combine good looks, such as a coffered ceiling and French doors, with purpose. Not a problem with pearl-colored built-ins that hide the printer but highlight treasures. “Throughout the house we have pockets of storage,” Bouchkanets notes. While the gray-tone desk and off-white upholstered chair mean business, the room welcomes playful colors from abstract art and a Lulu and Georgia rug.
The family couldn’t be happier with the transformation of this diamond in the rough, and Bouchkanets shares their excitement. “It’s the most amazing feeling to bring a home back from the ‘dead’ and transform it into a beautiful custom home for a family,” she says.
By Donna Rolando
Design by MIF Design LLC
Photography by Linda Pordon Photography