Ditching the New Build for a Charming Colonial Fixer-Upper
September 12, 2018
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After setting their sights on a custom new build, this city family happened upon their dream house. A charming colonial fixer-upper with loads of potential stole their hearts and with Maureen Ursino leading the design helm, this home was transformed into a modern farmhouse with serious cozy vibes. Sneak a peek inside this charmer shot by Raquel Langworthy.
When looking at this beautifully edited, bright and wonderfully personal home it’s hard to believe that just a year ago it almost didn’t happen. I was initially hired by my clients last summer to design a custom new build about 30 minutes outside of New York. At the time, the young couple was living in Hoboken, NJ and eager to find the perfect first home to welcome their first baby.
We were in the midst of design development when one day the wife called me and said, “I’m so sorry, but we’ve fallen in love with another house in the town over.” She explained the house was an older home and needed some work, but it had given them “that feeling” and they were sure this is where they wanted to raise their family. I agreed to pivot my efforts!
They settled on their new house quickly and as soon as I visited, I immediately understood the appeal. The house is in a beautiful, walkable New Jersey suburb, situated on a cul-de-sac with a gorgeous lush lawn, a large patio, and lots of privacy, but most importantly, it offered a unique canvas for which we could pay homage to their roots and also look to the bright future.
The couple, who were married on their family’s 200-year-old farm in Pennsylvania, wanted to design a modern farmhouse that felt bright, fresh, and clean, while also still being comfortable and family-friendly. They used the opportunity of a new home to focus on the furnishings.
We went with a warm neutral palette, bringing in color through natural elements and texture. One of my favorite parts of the home are the beautiful oversized windows. We intentionally selected furnishings and textiles that allowed the natural light to really illuminate the space and provide the airy, clean feel we wanted to achieve.
The home has 8’ ceilings, which can be a little tricky, but they can also enhance the sense of intimacy in a space if treated correctly. For this reason, we decided on lighting fixtures that were large in scale, but translucent or white to allow the light to spread around the home.
The couple inherited a few keepsakes from their family farm, including an original copy of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. We wove these items in to their story via styling moments, which add the personal touches I feel are so important to any project! The project took about 5 months and the family was able to begin making memories in their newly designed home this summer. 
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