By Jessica Ganga and Victoria Zielinski
Unique Homes Magazine had the opportunity to visit the Princeton Aspire Show House, where designers showcased their elegant and creative designs for each room and area of the home. Located just minutes away from downtown Princeton, this home seamlessly blends modern design with art, creating the perfect balance of the two.
Foyer of the home that leads to the offices.
Walking into the home, the first thing you can’t help but notice is the accent wall that travels from the bottom to the top of the staircase. It’s designed by Joe Berkowitz of JAB Design Group. Inspired by a black and white photo he saw, the basis of the foyer is a mix of “edgy” and “traditional contemporary.”
It’s warm and inviting despite the accent color being black and white. The textured wallpaper is a subtle twist, which adds an eclectic focal point. An added touch: Walk up the steps to find the exact image Berkowitz admired for his design.
From the foyer, to the right, is the library, a “dark, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking room,” as described by the designer, Amy Manor of Red Bank Design Center. Manor drew from a childhood memory to create a space that welcomes diversity and is a space without judgement. Continuing with the theme of the home, Manor incorporated art from artists featured in Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, N.J.
The home’s library featuring art from Parlor Gallery.
His & Hers Offices:
Gentleman’s Office: When designers Vivian Hung and Joe Giamarese approached the design of the masculine office space, they took into account the pandemic of 2020. What was important to them when creating the space was keeping in mind how this place will function as a work-from-home space. According to Hung, the design duo loves texture, but didn’t want to be bold with it. They incorporated pattern and texture with the carpet and the drapery that created a calming energy throughout. The main centerpiece of the office? The desk that played with the mix of materials, contrasted well with the carpet and fit perfectly into the space.
Lady’s Office: A true creative escape. This space is one that evokes fun, creativity and a place to genuinely retire for work. Designed by Vicki Kelly Gindy and Tram-Anh Poprik of Red Bank Design Center, the use of color and art combine to make this escape for the “mind, body and spirit.” At the center of the office sits a piece by artist Ray Geary that brings the whole look and feel of the office together. The flow of the colors can’t help but make anyone entering the office stop and say “wow.”
Kitchen + Mudroom
“Overall Asian styling with a cool California modern flare” sets the tone of the home for designer Ginny Padula of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath, providing the cabinetry and permanent fixtures for the kitchen, butler’s pantry, mudroom, bathrooms, and more. The kitchen, showcasing design elements that are sleek, earthy and natural, creates a modern, yet comfortable and warm space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. Unique touches, such as the cozy breakfast area, matching countertops and backsplash, and large island, add to the cohesive flow of the space, making it the perfect space for gathering with family and friends.
The lady’s office featuring art from the Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ.
The kitchen and breakfast nook look out to the backyard featuring a small pond.
Moving toward the mudroom, designer Tamu Rasheba Green of Lux Pad Interiors sought to create a transition space offering a calming atmosphere from the outside world to inside the home. The mudroom, featuring custom built-ins, closets, and an enclosed powder room, allows for the homeowners to “remove physical baggage” and “release tension of the day” by providing a personalized space to decompress before entering the home’s main quarters.
Designed by Anna Maria Mannarino from Mannarino. The great room flows seamlessly from the kitchen and features a floating stand-alone fireplace that is the centerpiece of the room. For more photos and for Anna Maria’s contact information, click here!
The floating fireplace is the great room’s focal point.
Designer Sam Ciardi of Samuel Robert Signature Spaces was tasked with incorporating the homeowner’s 12 antique wooden panels that depict the Chinese New Year zodiac signs. The result: an earthy room filled with plants, earth tones and “the ultimate expression of minimalist design.”
Celebrating the atypical and unexpected, the drawing room, the work of designer Alirio Pirela of Pirela Atelier, creates an inviting space with a medley of different styles that blend together seamlessly. From American Art Deco to European Mid-Century masters and modern emerging artists, the result is a multifaceted space perfect for a serene retreat from the day-to-day.
The dining room was designed around the antique, Chinese wooden panels.
The drawing room features stunning art and sculptures.
Master Bedroom + Bathroom
A truly opulent and sophisticated space, the master bedroom, designed by Judy King of Judy King Interiors, embraces comfort and style. A soft mural wall blends with a striking full-wall fireplace and unique accent pieces drawing attention to the room’s distinct decor, and an impressive walk-in closet and master bath highlighting the experience of getting ready for and ending the day.
A 9-year-old’s imagination and curiosity about the world, travel, and life inspired designer Diane Durocher of Diane Durocher Interiors to create a timeless bedroom that will grow with him. A walk-in closet and bathroom provide plenty of space, and the decor, such as a large canvas map hanging from the ceiling above the bed, create infinite possibilities for discovery.
The master bedroom features a warm and inviting sitting area with a fireplace.
Carefully curated pieces add some fun to the home’s guest bedroom.
Designed by Gail Davis of Gail Davis Designs, the guest bedroom of the home is a warm and inviting, en suite space for guests. The warm space is accented by the statement bed that features the soft and comfortable linens by Deborah Sharp Linens. For lighting, the room utilizes the natural light that floods in through the large windows, but also uses shorter, standing lights, creating a cool-toned atmosphere. For more photos and Gail’s contact info, click here.
Lower Level — Wet Bar and Gallery Space
The lower level of the home is a large, open space with plenty of amenities. Designed by Ginny Padula of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath, the area was envisioned as “an entertaining space that was both cool and modern yet comfortable and soothing.” Features of this level include a yoga studio, simulation golf room and a theater. The main space, where people would gather, is relaxed with soft-toned fabrics, which perfectly contrasts the main staple of the floor: the bar.
The downstairs bar is the perfect spot for family and friends to gather around.
Acting as an art gallery, the lower level features a painting by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.
For the Showhouse, though, the lower level was transformed into a pop-up art gallery featuring work provided by Chelsea Art Group, which is based in New York City. There were so many interesting and beautiful pieces in the space, featuring a painting hung up near the bar area by famous pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.