KNOF De­sign Com­pletes El­e­gant Fam­ily Home in Moun­tain Lakes

Upscale Living Magazine - - Design - | In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture and De­sign: KNOF De­sign; Pho­tog­ra­phy Credit: Sean Litch­field

KNOF De­sign has cre­ated an el­e­gant, colour­ful and lay­ered in­te­ri­ors scheme for a pri­vate fam­ily home that merges a re­cently mar­ried cou­ple’s tastes, in the form of clas­sic French in­te­ri­ors and the ge­om­e­try of the art deco pe­riod. The new scheme is for a 6-bed, 6,500 sq ft prop­erty in Moun­tain Lakes, New Jer­sey, which is part of a 4,000-strong lake­side com­mu­nity lo­cated within the Man­hat­tan com­muter belt.


The project also had an emo­tional as­pect for Su­san Knof, Founder and Creative Di­rec­tor of KNOF De­sign, as one half of the client cou­ple is a long-time friend.

“It was in­spir­ing and spe­cial to know how sig­nif­i­cant the new home was for my friend, rep­re­sent­ing, as it does, the cre­ation of a solid base for her new life chap­ter”, Su­san Knof com­mented.

The scheme wasn’t just an in­te­rior for the cou­ple, how­ever, but also for their col­lec­tive six chil­dren from their first mar­riages, as well their new­born baby son.

“Sev­eral of the older chil­dren are full-grown and were only likely to be vis­it­ing at week­ends or dur­ing hol­i­days”, Su­san added. “Nev­er­the­less, key spa­ces, such as the din­ing and fam­ily rooms, had to be fur­nished for the pos­si­bil­ity of all nine fam­ily mem­bers be­ing present at the same time”.

The project was a lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenge ad­di­tion­ally for the de­sign com­pany Founder, who splits her work life be­tween Lon­don and Mi­ami. With ad­di­tional cur­rent pro­jects in Lon­don, Sofia and West Africa, this is some­thing of an on­go­ing chal­lenge for Su­sanKnof, solved by be­ing very much on the ball in terms of time zones and also hav­ing a great in­ter­na­tional ar­ray of key sup­pli­ers and teams. Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also key, of course, as well as, in this in­stance, the pre-ex­ist­ing de­signer-client re­la­tion­ship and know­ing her friend’s tastes and style extremely well.


The in­te­rior’s brief was fairly min­i­mal, with the cou­ple en­trust­ing Su­san Knof with the cre­ation of a scheme that would work with the prop­erty’s scale and di­men­sions, the fam­ily’s lo­gis­ti­cal re­quire­ments and their per­sonal tastes, in­clud­ing “her” pref­er­ence for French fur­ni­ture and “his” for the lines and ge­om­e­try of art deco. “The an­swer to the lat­ter chal­lenge was very much to treat both in­flu­ences with a light touch”, Su­san com­mented, “so that the scheme avoided clashes of style or any kind of ob­vi­ous, themed look and main­tained a co­he­sive feel through­out. The two pref­er­ences are present in­stead in ma­te­rial choices, such as the use of slick mir­rored fur­ni­ture, par­tic­u­larly in the master bed­room, strong geo­met­ric framed fur­ni­ture in some in­stances, glam­orous chan­de­liers and dis­tressed tim­ber fin­ishes.”


The house is ar­ranged so that it opens up im­me­di­ately on en­try into two for­mal rooms, with the for­mal liv­ing room to the right and the for­mal din­ing room to the left, both are clearly vis­i­ble one from the other. The spa­ces were de­signed with a sim­i­lar, link­ing pal­ette of colour and ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing strong blue tones, tex­tured fin­ishes and lay­er­ing, as well as fur­ni­ture with a dis­tinctly lux­u­ri­ous feel. Sub­tle added glam­our comes from dynamic, large-scale flo­ral wall­cov­er­ings, metal­lic fin­ishes in gold and brass and stand­out chan­de­lier light­ing.


Both for­mal re­ceiv­ing rooms also fea­ture highly pol­ished ex­ist­ing tim­ber floor­ing, with new over­laid rugs. In the for­mal liv­ing room, the rug is by Eloise and is a lightly pat­terned ab­stract-style rug in soft blues and greys, hand-knot­ted in In­dia us­ing denim bam­boo silk. The strik­ingly bold rug in the for­mal din­ing room is a vin­tage piece in rich blue pat­terns, sourced from ABC Car­pet & Home in New York.

Both rooms also fea­ture stun­ning wo­ven silk wall cov­er­ings from Phillip Jef­fries. In the for­mal liv­ing room, the Tir­reno Blue Amalfi

Silk wall cov­er­ing is used, whilst a large-scale wild meadow flower print in the for­mal din­ing room is the WISH Bright in silk linen.

The din­ing room also fea­tures tim­ber half-pan­elling on the walls and this helps to balance out this strong print and pre­vents it from over­whelm­ing the room.

The cur­tains in the for­mal liv­ing room are a linen and vis­cose crys­tal mol­e­cule fab­ric from Chase Er­win and fur­ni­ture in­cludes a but­toned Cam­bridge Sofa in tufted, vin­tage in­digo vel­vet and two el­e­gant Miles leather chairs in Mi­lano stone leather, with brushed­brass frames, sourced from Restora­tion Hard­ware. Soft cush­ions are a play­ful mix of metal­lic fab­rics, with gold or de­tailed bead­ing. Some were pur­chased whilst Su­san Knof had four spe­cially made from in­ter­est­ing fab­rics sourced to com­ple­ment the scheme.

A strik­ing cir­cu­lar cof­fee ta­ble with a pol­ished-brass frame and black mar­ble top is the Camilla by OKL, whilst a nar­row, Margo Scal­loped Con­sole against the back wall is in hand-forged steel with a gold leaf coat­ing and mir­rored glass top and was man­u­fac­tured to be­spoke di­men­sions to fit the wall re­cess per­fectly. A white globe Flos light sits on top. The third ta­ble in the room is a strik­ing lily pad “Justina” in­ci­den­tal ta­ble, with a gold fin­ish and an art­fully bent base.

Two Theo drum stools by Kelly Wearstler sit along­side the con­sole ta­ble and are made up of a bur­nished brass base and cus­tom bouclé fab­ric with sub­tle blue fleck­ing, whilst a two-part nest of ta­bles along­side the sofa is in con­trast­ing shades of faux sha­green in white and char­coal on an an­tique brass frame. Be­hind, a Vis­ual Com­fort Stu­dio Aspen floor lamp has a nat­u­ral pa­per shade and a gold-leafed or­ganic tree-shaped base, con­tin­u­ing the nat­u­ral ref­er­ences, in­ter­est­ing shapes and metal­lic fin­ish themes in the room.

“For the walls, I was given ac­cess to art­work that al­ready be­longed to the clients, Su­san Knof ex­plained. ‘Luck­ily, the por­trait of the re­clin­ing lady above the con­sole couldn’t have been a bet­ter choice. Her green and blue out­fit fits per­fectly with the scheme and the an­tique frame adds con­trast to the room’s con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings.’

A grand pi­ano al­ready be­long­ing to the cou­ple is po­si­tioned to the rear left side of the room, whilst the fi­nal strik­ing piece of fur­ni­ture is a stun­ning hand-painted screen in sil­vered leaves. This floor-stand­ing screen, from Ar­gento, fea­tures four pan­els and is dec­o­rated sans tra­verse with Ja­panese fly­ing cranes, in­spired by a Ja­panese orig­i­nal. The dec­o­ra­tion in­cludes crushed eggshell in­lays and was hand-tooled with gold leaf.

‘This stun­ning piece serves as a back­drop to the two arm­chairs and also en­sures the wall has its own pres­ence in the room and isn’t bland,’ Su­sanKnof com­mented, ‘bal­anc­ing out the fire­place on the back wall and the large win­dows di­rectly op­po­site. Also, be­yond this func­tional ra­tio­nale, every­one in­volved in the project also pretty much fell in love with the screen at first sight and so it had to be in­cluded!’

The for­mal din­ing room has at its cen­tre a To­rano mar­ble rec­tan­gu­lar din­ing ta­ble with a white mar­ble top and bur­nished brass base from Restora­tion Hard­ware. The eight ac­com­pa­ny­ing din­ing chairs are Wexler Square chairs in in­digo vel­vet with match­ing bur­nished brass bases, with two ad­di­tional Wexler Bar­rel­back chairs at the ta­ble ends. The blue not only works with the vin­tage rug in the room, but also ref­er­ences the blue vel­vet sofa in the form­ing liv­ing room. Blue is picked up again in the new car­pet up the stair to the first floor, which has a steel grey-blue pat­tern with leather edg­ing, sourced from Stark Car­pets.

The eye is also drawn to the back of the for­mal din­ing room and its stand­out piece of fur­ni­ture: a back­lit, gold-leafed Pre­view-A gilt dis­play cabi­net, with an LED-lit, ivory painted in­te­rior and four framed and glass-in­set ad­justable shelves, plus a strik­ing scal­loped gold pat­tern to the front of the glass doors, used to dis­play the cou­ple’s wed­ding crys­tal.

Light­ing in the room is glam­orous and dra­matic and in­cludes an over­head Soscik chan­de­lier, made up of swoops of in­ter­lac­ing metal chain over a nickel-plated frame. Stream wall lights by Chris­tian Lava for Terzani to ei­ther side were hand­made in Florence and Si­cily and fea­ture metal chain that ap­pears to float down from an un­du­lat­ing nickel-plated frame in cas­cad­ing tiers.

To en­sure the room could en­com­pass both with the gold leaf and brass fin­ishes of the fur­ni­ture and the sil­ver metal of the chan­de­lier, Su­san Knof’s fi­nal choice was an orig­i­nal, art deco, verre églomisé sil­vered and gilt wall mir­ror with a bev­elled edge plate that uses and uni­fies both colours of metal. Be­low it is a washed dark blue con­sole with gold ac­cents (the Cu­rios­ity Cren­denza by HFH), whilst white lac­quer tray ta­bles with an­tique nat­u­ral brass ac­cents along­side, by Jonathan Adler, add a more con­tem­po­rary note. Cur­tains are once again a linen and vis­cose crys­tal mol­e­cule fab­ric by Chase Er­win.

The third ma­jor liv­ing space is a more in­for­mal and in­ti­mate fam­ily room, which looks out onto the back lawns and where a qui­eter and more neu­tral scheme can be seen. The plan here had to be very func­tional to en­com­pass all the fam­ily at leisure time and is cen­tred around an enor­mous sofa: the Po­liform Bris­tol Sofa de­signed by JeanMarie Mas­saud and up­hol­stered in Paris Avo­rio with in­te­grated ta­ble in Cenere oak.

There are lots of tonal greys in this room, in­clud­ing light linen cur­tains; Phillip Jef­fries Can­vas Linen wall cov­er­ings in Sil­ver

Mink and match­ing painted re­cessed pan­els in the ceil­ing. Fur­ni­ture in­cludes a Chan­de­lier Longue Chair by Cierre Im­bot­titi, pur­chased through DDC in New York, which is a fea­ture piece, hand­made with capi­tonné up­hol­stery cush­ions on a sup­port­ing metal frame and de­signed Ste­fano Con­fic­coni.

Two Iron Scaf­fold leather stools, in­spired by a mid-20th-cen­tury de­sign, with sup­ple leather seats atop a tubu­lar steel base, fea­ture slop­ing wings and a low camel­back and are lo­cated to ei­ther side of the bar, which takes the form of a leather trunk. The May­fair bar cabi­net is in sad­dle black leather, edged all around with scores of hand-ham-

mered brass rail­heads. The lower doors of the bar open onto a stain­lesssteel in­te­rior and are fit­ted with a shelf for bot­tles and bar­ware, whilst the hinged top lifts and the front panel drops down, cre­at­ing a handy spot for craft­ing cock­tails and pour­ing wine. A mir­ror be­neath the lid show­cases the glim­mer of glass­ware and de­canters. Be­hind the bar is a full-height photo wall, fea­tur­ing pro­fes­sional black and white fam­ily pho­tos, with all 32 frames cus­tom-made for the scheme in dis­tressed cream washed tim­ber with a heather gray Bel­gian linen matte or sur­round.

Other fur­ni­ture in this room in­cludes a softly tufted dark grey leather Onda Pouff by Po­liform and a strik­ing Ar­gen­tinian-made and su­per-soft cowhide patch­work rug with a soft leather border, in an ar­ray of neu­tral shades, from tans and tau­pes to deeper browns. The cof­fee ta­ble in the cen­tre of the room is a glass and iron Ma­son cof­fee ta­ble, with three re­claimed tim­ber crates by ABC Car­pet and Home.

‘The slightly rus­tic flavour to this room was a con­scious de­ci­sion’, Su­san Knof ex­plained, ‘so that it would work with the stone-framed fire­place, which was in­her­ited and deemed too costly to re­place. In­stead, it’s been given a more con­tem­po­rary feel thanks to a be­spoke-made re­claimed rough-sawn wood man­tel on the top’.

Fun ac­ces­sories in­clude the let­ter M (for the fam­ily sur­name), lit up in lights over one fire­side cup­board area, which is used for keep­ing toys

out of sight in the evening, and a movie-style stand­ing light, which is a sub­tle nod to a fam­ily of film fa­nat­ics. To the other side of the fire­place is a book­case, given added depth by be­ing back­lit, with sha­green-em­bossed wall­pa­per to its rear.

Up­stairs, the master bed­room has a dis­tinct deco feel, with mir­rored-ac­cent fur­ni­ture in­clud­ing an Amelie Mir­rored Con­sole in hard­wood with mir­rored ve­neers, as well as mir­rored bed­side ta­bles from Z Gal­leries. These fea­ture hand-ap­plied sil­ver leaf and sil­ver beaded trim whilst the draw­ers are ac­cented with brushed sil­ver hard­ware. Two glass bed­side’Aba­cus” lights are from Mer­cury and fea­ture a fluted glass body and a lus­tre-fin­ish iron base with an an­tique bronze fin­ish and white linen shades. The chair at the van­ity ta­ble is a vin­tage French side chair, up­hol­stered in vel­vet.

The room fea­tures light linen cur­tains and Brian Yates Back to Na­ture nat­u­ral linen wall­pa­per. A cof­fee ta­ble is the RH Emelia Round side ta­ble, mir­rored with an an­tique­cream fin­ish and sil­very ac­cents, ex­tend­ing the glam­orous feel of the room. The di­a­mond­pat­terned rug in the room, over the pol­ished tim­ber floor­ing, was cus­tom-made by Stark Car­pets, whilst the linen-up­hol­stered Bed Blanka has an an­tique white-washed fin­ish and a grey vel­vet RH Lous Bench ot­toman at its foot. A faux-fur throw is used as an ad­di­tional rug un­der and along­side the bed. The bed­room over­head light is a vin­tage, dis­tressed

and white­washed six-light Sa­lento metal chan­de­lier from Hor­chow and a floor lamp, also from Hor­chow is the Ar­wen Crys­tal floor lamp. Cush­ions in the room were cus­tom-made by KNOF De­sign.

The young daugh­ter of the house’s room fea­tures a highly tex­tured pur­ple and pink colour­way, which in­cludes a large-print, ze­bra-pat­terned rug from Stark Car­pets in Cus­tom Wild with a spot pat­tern in light laven­der and bright pur­ple and bright pur­ple edge de­tail. The an­i­mal print theme finds fur­ther ex­pres­sion in the wall treat­ment; Cole & Son’s “Folie” wall­pa­per: a play­ful take on a French toile with a trop­i­cal feel and il­lus­tra­tions of flamin­gos and palm trees.

The fur­ni­ture in the room all has a vin­tage French feel and in­cludes a French Empire Play Ta­ble and Mad-

eleine Play Chair from Restora­tion Hard­ware, plus a Blythe Desk by Pot­tery Barn Kids in a vin­tage “sim­ply white” fin­ish, with a mini vin­tage French desk chair in pink linen. The Co­lette bed fea­tures a kiln-dried hard­wood frame from Restora­tion Hard­ware, with a head­board in an­tique ivory Bel­gian linen and gen­er­ous bed­ding in soft lilac cot­ton, dressed with a cus­tom-made satin bol­ster cush­ion and co-or­di­nat­ing dec­o­ra­tive piped pur­ple vel­vet cush­ions. Other cus­tom-made cush­ions in the room are in oyster silks and richer vel­vets. A zingy ta­ble lamp has a pink zigzag chevron ce­ramic base with a linen shade and sits on a white­washed tim­ber bed­side ta­ble.

The room fea­tures a vin­tage 4-arm pewter chan­de­lier with glass beads and faceted crys­tal. Other fur­ni­ture in­cludes a dec­o­ra­tive wall mir­ror and a Bel­lina dresser in hard­wood with an heir­loom white fin­ish, plus an Heir­loom White Mar­celle tall book­case. A be­spoke gi­ant pin­board on one of the walls is for pho­tos, post­cards and notes, made up of silk rib­bon di­ag­o­nals over a subtly tex­tured back­ing. A fun faux fur po­lar bear bean bag chair com­pletes the look.

The young boy’s room is a fun room, with play­ful lay­ers and pat­terns, in­clud­ing su­per­hero bed­ding from Pot­tery Barn Kids on the Ella Bed by Room and Board and a sec­tion of great, squig­gle wall­pa­per by Vivi­enne West­wood in the in­set al­cove. A bed­side lamp, in green zigzags on white ce­ramic with a Hor­chow lamp­shade echoes the one in the girl’s room and sits on white lac­quer bed­side ta­ble from West Elm.

Posters, in­clud­ing vin­tage su­per­hero posters in cus­tom frames line the walls, whilst the toy bas­kets on the floor are Kneatly Knit Rope Bins. The chest of draw­ers is a blue, chro­mat­ic­three-drawer dresser, whilst the rug in the room is a wo­ven cot­ton her­ring­bone pat­ter in Swedish blue. A wall-mounted sus­pen­sion bridge iron dis­play shelf is by Pot­tery Barn Kids.

The bed­room has a study nook with cus­tom book­shelves set into the re­cess. Here, a mid-cen­tury mini desk in Thai Blue by West Elm, has a solid eu­ca­lyp­tus wood base and lac­quer fin­ish and ac­com­pa­nies a Charles Eames Eif­fel chair, with maple base and legs. A stuffed pa­pier mâché gi­raffe head com­ing out of the wall is a fun ad­di­tion, as is the cast iron “Stu­dio” floor­lamp in in­dus­trial yel­low from the School House Elec­tric & Sup­ply Co.

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