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Bold Accents Elevate a Scotch Plains Home

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Jacob Snavely  |  Designer Kate Mazza

The look is comfortable and contemporary with daring accents

Danielle and Mitchell Wexler had multiple goals for the interiors of their Scotch Plains home. “They wanted a comfortable, contemporary aesthetic with some fun and moody risks,” says designer Kate Mazza of Passaic County-based Mazza Collective.

White millwork keeps the entry bright but interesting. The table features a faux-wood base. “The furnishings are sculptural but neutral and add complexity to the spaces with beautiful textures and patterns,” designer Kate Mazza says.

It’s clear that comfort is key in the family room, which is outfitted in deep, plush seating. According to Mazza, the sofa and armchairs offer more than coziness — they’re also practical for this young family. “The upholstered furniture is comfortable and family-friendly with generous, ergonomic proportions and stain-resistant finishes.” The relaxed-profile chairs keep the look casual. “They make the space feel welcoming,” Mazza notes.

In the family room, neutral furnishings lay the foundation for the dramatic black fireplace wall and statement elements such as gold powder-coated cocktail tables and graphic black-and-white stools. “The cool forms and materials add visual interest,” Mazza says.

The dining room welcomes family and friends with a custom live-edge table, designed by Mazza, that takes center stage. “It’s handmade out of red oak and has a custom stain that shows off the texture of the wood grain.” Above it, a gilded chandelier fills the double-height space, drawing the eye with its gleam while pointing downward to further emphasize the table. Abstract art above the console features light and dark hues, coordinating with both the pale wood of the table and the deep navy upholstery on the chairs.

Mazza notes, “In the dining room, we highlighted the unique ceiling with a geometric chandelier that mirrors the shape of the architecture.”

That painting hints at a moody vibe that’s more pronounced in the family room. “Instead of just replacing an outdated fireplace mantel,” Mazza explains, “we redesigned the entire wall with custom moldings in a dramatic black paint. We used eggshell and semigloss finishes for the wall and the trim to create subtle depth and light bounce.” It’s a vivid juxtaposition against the neutral tones of the space.

A painting in the family room was done by the homeowner’s grandfather, Dr. Horace Shaffer. “The piece is so colorful and complex, it was a perfect accent for the space,” Mazza says.

Mazza’s design strikes an ideal balance between bold elements and comfortable, livable furnishings. “With the clean, contemporary architecture found in this home, it can be challenging to decide where and how to add interesting features and focal points,” she says. “To address this, we were thoughtful about where to place them and how to balance their strong visual presence. The resulting home is wonderfully unique and reflective of the lovely homeowners. The design risks paid off to create a truly unique, timeless home.”

The dining room has a linear aesthetic that is reflected in the rug, console and light fixture.