February 16, 2009

Real friends, real estate, real good times.

(The subtitle for this post should be, "OMG I'm off today and I slept for 11 hours!")

As the headline suggests, this weekend was a real treat. First, three of my dear friends came over Saturday night for a barbecue (that's right; we fired up the grill. Take that, Old Man Winter!). They came bearing amazing food and gifts -- take a look at this fabulous flower arrangement that Spence just "whipped up" for my special day (and I don't mean Valentine's day. Someone in the shore house turned a year older this weekend.). I mean...the talent. Can't stand it. ;-)

And speaking of Spence, he and Jim had a quite a coup this weekend...Their house was featured in the
New York Times' real estate section yesterday!

Their lovely Glen Ridge, NJ, home has served as a showcase for the talented couple's projects (something they're both hoping to pursue as full time professions; Jim has already been hired for home design projects and real estate staging consultations. I think you should call him if you live in the metropolitan NY/NJ area! And Spence's talent for arranging both flowers and the events they're created for can't be beat.). The house is a living portfolio that's a perfect representation of Jim's design capabilities, and how unexpected treatments can be used to make a house of any style truly represent the people that live in it. To them, any house is a blank canvas.

Here's the outside of the house...a comfortable suburban ranch tucked away on a quiet cul-de- sac. The lime green door is a tip-off to what you're about to see inside...

The entry hall envelops you in goodness; the deep color is daring, yet it's like a warm hug that beckons you to come inside. Love that! And yes; that painting is a
Home Goods' special (birds of a feather, we are) hung upside down to make a bit of a statement and add a touch of whimsy (that sounds so HGTV of me).

Their large living room has smartly been divided into two distinct seating areas. The secretary has moved with James over the years; it's a rescue from his parents' basement that he coated in a warm, rich paint and silver leafed on the inside. Flat-screen technology has enabled it to become the perfect TV stand in its latest iteration.

And I wish I had a before picture of those wonderful white wing chairs (alliteration day at the shore house!). They are also rescues, from Spence's family, and were recently covered in fabulous white pleather (easily wipes clean, all you mommies out there afraid of white. Or, non-mommies like myself who spill the occasional drop of red wine. Oopsie.). The nail head trim really gives them a presence, and perfectly marries the modern with the traditional. I love these chairs. And covet them.

The dining room around the bend houses another family heirloom (the table) that fits the space perfectly. I also love the panels flanking either side of the window, that in essence become the window treatment.

The master bedroom is super cozy, and I love the unexpected use of etageres at the bedside. I actually never really noticed that rug before these Times' photos (all taken by Richard Perry) and now I think I covet that, too.

The Times did not show the kitchen, which I wanted to share because I think they've done a fantastic job using color (and new appliances) to perk up a tired suburban kitchen. The deep orange on the inside of the cabinets is another bold use of color that really makes their vintage kitchenware pop.

And they kept the doors on some of the upper cabinets, so it's a great compromise of open/closed storage.

Here's what the house looks like when winter's gone and everything's in bloom:

This house is currently on the market. As I briefly mentioned, Jim and Spence are at an interesting crossroads in their lives (you know that "we're-not-getting-younger-so-let's-do-what-makes-us-happy" crossroads? Lord knows I'm standing in that intersection myself!). They really want to follow their creative passions so they're hoping to pack up and move full-time to the Jersey Shore (steps from the shore house, in Asbury Park, NJ). I'm so happy for them, and admire their decision to do what makes them happy.

And while I'm on the topic of being happy, I was beyond happy to see Rent last night as it stopped at NJPAC as part of it's National tour. With three original cast members, including the yummy Adam Pascal (worth the price of the ticket alone), you'd think I'd be entirely content focusing on the show. But the "new Laura" -- one that has a home that needs some fixing -- was entirely transfixed by the stairway that led to the loft on stage. "That's the perfect size and layout for the widow's walk access." It's kind of all I could think about, so I quick took a picture so I could move on and enjoy the show.

And I did. (Move on, and enjoy the show!)

Now, on to your blogs. I've missed you, my lovelies!


Leigh said...

That is a fabulous home! I wish they lived closer so they could give me some advice on decorating! I love the den area. Beautiful!
I am so glad you had a nice weekend. Happy Birthday! YOU!

Liz said...

Wow... thanks for sharing pics of this home! So chic and interesting! I love people who do bold things in their homes, especially that orange couch! :)

Joyce said...

Laura- First, Happy Belated Birthday!! You weekend sounded wonderful! Are you a valentine baby? That is right we both are so close, but I think I have a few years on you!
Second, of all I miss you! I'm glad you had the day off to catch up.

Third- oh my goodness their home is beautiful! I love the special touches!

Enjoy the rest of your day my friend! xoxo

pve design said...

I always love being given tours of real homes where real people live! Looks like a sweet spot. Wishing your friends much success and that the rest of your week is great and a safe trip coming up for you!

Love my cookie plate! Thanks for making the trip to my place. If I had only known it was your b-day!

Sue said...

Your friends house is lovely...Love the orange in the kitchen...and the master bedroom is gorgeous. Love the color in there too.... It your birthday over the weekend?? Happy Happy birthday to one of my favorite Joisey Girls....

Aimee "Roo" said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!! :)

That home is absolutely gorgeous. What a fabulous way to spend your weekend of celebration.

Lorrie said...

Wow,I really enjoyed touring this home, what a great job they did. Hope you had a very Happy Birthday!

Blondie's Journal said...


Spence & Jim's home is gorgeous, and yes, the rug in the master is worth noticing! The color inside the kitchen cabinets is something my little designer daughter has been pushing me on instead of open shelving at the lake. I must say I am impressed.

Happy Birthday to you sweetie and I hope this is a year you will be movin' on...in a great way!!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Happy Birthday, Dear Laura!

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Sounds like you had a blast, Laura, and what a cool house and flowers. :-)

I'm tickled about you itching to get a pic of that staircase instead of the actors. LOL!

Wishing you a year filled with much, much happiness!


Sheila :-)

Tina said...

Whoa! Stop the loaded U Haul! I could move right in!
Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Oh my, I missed buying the Sunday Times this weekend....but the web NY TIMES RE link was fun to view!

A belated happy birthday, Laura! So glad you spent the day being treated well by friends.

Spence and James' house is so special! What an eye they have for color and design. I hope they have much success with their move!

tam said...

Awww sister I was glad to hear from ya! Diggin on some of the decorating in your friends home... Very cool ideas!
Happy Birthday Ole Girl! LoL! Mine is next month-UUGHH! I need just a few Benjamin Button years-lol! Oh well not gonna happen I know.
Glad you had a good time celebrating this past weekend!
Now have an awesome week!~Tam:D

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Hi Laura, I saw that house in Sunday's Times..I am addicted to the Real Estate section. There is some serious decor talent in that house. The colors on the walls were down right exciting. I found a little inspiration in the furniture too. Glad to hear that you had a happy birthday. Wishes for a very happy and healthy year.
♥, Susan

modernemama said...

I'd move in there in a heartbeat - and those lilies are fabulous

Liz@Violet Posy said...

What a totally gorgeous home! I love their style modern yet with historical class a beautiful mix. Good luck to them selling their home.

Maya@Completely-Coastal said...

... so I hear it's your birthday. Congrats and all the Best!!! Fun to grill in the winter, isn't it..., we had a few of those too, just couldn't wait for warmer days to have grilled fish. That ranch is great..., love the open storage concept in the kitchen, that's something I want to incorporate too once we get around to finally install that new kitchen!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Still chuckling about the stairs! You HGTV-Diva, You! ;-)



Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Laura, what a great tour of your friends home. They have done an outstanding job. I'm sure it will sell in no time.

Linda Lou said...

happy Birthday Laura, don't tell us your age, I know its much younger than ME!! That home is beautiful, the outside does not do justice to the inside, love the colors of the paint they chose--how much are they asking?

Renovation Therapy said...


Jersey Girl in DC said...

Was is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!! Looks like you had a great day!

Their work is beautiful! I know how they (you) feel about not getting any younger and wanting to do what you enjoy. I feel the same way! Gotta keep paying the bills for now though with my current gig. Keeping my fingers crossed that something else comes along soon though :)

desiree@lookiloos said...

Happy Birthday! I've missed you too. Life can get so crazy. Hard to think we fit everything in...sometimes something has gotta give. Your friend's home is simply wonderful.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

What a fun house tour! I got such a kick out of the lime green door, the painting hung upside-down, and the painting in the kitchen. Just the way they used color in general. Loved it!

j.cro said...

I'm a horrible friend - I have your birthday WRITTEN DOWN and I still forgot to wish you happy tidings!!
Ugh, I'm sorry! Belated Happy Birthday my friend!!

Laura @ Shoot-Scoop said...

First things first, happy birthday! What a absolutely beautiful home.

I need to meet these people ;-)

Maureen said...

I have so much to say in my head that I am afraid I won't remember it all in this comment....

1. Most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (I remember you told me the date, then I forgot, so I am a bad blogger friend. So sorry.) May you have many happy and healthy more.

2. I love the secretary/TV cabinet. Fabulous idea.

3. Two of my living room pictures are from Homegoods... such great finds.

4. Oh, see, I only have a memory for three...

Plus this is getting long...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...