Web Exclusive  

Pub Room Offers Plenty of Options for Fun

Writer Ren Miller  |  Photographer Meghan Balcom  |  Designer Anthony Passanante, CMKBD, Allied ASID  |  Millwork and Contractor Spencer Cosgriff  |  Location Wayne, NJ

Home office and a powder room are part of the same renovation in Wayne, NJ

The pub room features an oak bar, music corner and much more to keep the family and guests entertained.

Hobbies, heritage and happy times came into focus in a new pub room that was part of a wide-ranging renovation of Mary Jo and Brian Sullivan’s home in Wayne.

When the Sullivans bought the house in 2013, the structure itself was unchanged from when it was built in 1963. “We lived in it for 10 years before undertaking a renovation,” Mary Jo Sullivan says. “At that point our family had expanded [today with seven children ranging in age from 8 to 18], and we knew exactly what we wanted to do.”

The pub room is largely separated from the rest of the home, located above the garage and accessed from an interior staircase at the end of the room (visible to the right of the piano).

For the pub room, “they really wanted a space where their family can go to have fun,” says Anthony Passanante, a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and owner of Anthony Albert Studios in Waldwick. A 34-by-19-foot space over the garage with a massive ceiling was the perfect spot for it. “The space is incredible,” Passanante says. It has room for a bar, pool table, Pac-Man™ Arcade table, televisions, plenty of seating and a music area. “Brian and I don’t play any musical instruments, but we love live music,” Mary Jo says. “Our kiddos took our love of live music to the next level. The music corner gets a ton of use, whether the kids are up there jamming together or one is up there wailing away at the piano, music is an outlet — and a healthy one at that. Hearing them play together is such a gift. Anthony knew the pub needed to revolve around the musical instruments, and he nailed it.”

The bar and wall cabinetry that Passanante designed along one wall is another focal point, made of oak with a rustic beige stain and leathered black granite countertops. The area includes a beverage refrigerator, sink and generous storage space. The cabinetry on the wall was inspired by wine lockers found in some restaurants. “I took that idea and came up with this design,” Passanante says. Two towers of cabinets with brass mesh-insert doors sit on a run of lower cabinetry and are separated by glass shelves in front of a mirror.

The pub room receives abundant natural light and also has recessed ceiling lights for evening activities.

The family’s Irish heritage is reflected in the bar, in fact in the entire pub room. “Brian’s parents were born in Ireland and came to New York City in their early 20s,” Mary Jo says. “Classic Irish pubs were definitely an inspiration for the pub room design.” The mirror behind the bar, for example, features a Celtic knot design in the corners and an Ireland-shaped center emblem with an interesting origin. “In 2015, Brian’s cousin James collected slate roof tiles from the home where his father was raised before it was demolished,” she says. “James had the tiles carved into the shape of Ireland and gave one to each cousin. We kept ours wrapped up and planned to feature it somewhere in our home one day. The pub seemed like the perfect spot. Anthony’s vision for how the tile should be displayed was so much better than we could have ever imagined.”

Brian Sullivan’s Irish heritage is represented by a Celtic knot design in the corners of the mirror behind the bar plus, in the middle of the mirror, an emblem in the shape of Ireland cut from a roof tile from his ancestral home.

Above it all, the high ceiling got some special attention as well. Passanante wanted to highlight the architectural detail by covering it with oak panels, stained rustic beige like the bar. While most of the wood in the pub room is quarter-sawn oak, the ceiling is plain sliced oak and the flooring is a wider plank oak. Passanante is quick to credit Spencer Cosgriff of Sterling Ridge Contracting LLC in Ramsey, who was responsible for the wood ceiling, wood walls and all of the millwork as well as plumbing and electrical work and more. “He really understands the luxury market,” Passanante says.

Passanante carried the blue walls from the pub room to the adjacent powder room and chose a patterned tile for the floor. To avoid covering a lot of the tile with a vanity, Passanante found a small sink made from a single piece of marble set on unlacquered brass legs.

In addition to other spaces in the home, Passanante designed a powder room just off the pub room and Brian Sullivan’s office on the first floor. The office is similar to the pub room with its blue tones, but here the wood is walnut. Passanante designed the desk, which is walnut with blue leather inlays in the top, as well as two book cases with open shelving on top and storage on the bottom with doors to hide office supplies. Cabinetry between the bookcases is a little taller than the desk, offering Brian the option of standing there to work if he doesn’t want to sit at the desk. The desk chair is upholstered in leather, as is a sofa, where the family’s dogs come to hang out with him while he works, Passanante notes. “The office is stunning,” Mary Jo says. “I was so obsessed with the color and design of the cabinetry that Brian and I decided to carry matching wall paneling around the entire room. It’s classic, manly and just beautiful.”

“Brian and I absolutely love our home and could not be more grateful to Anthony and our amazing contractor, Sterling Ridge.”

Brian Sullivan’s office, featuring a desk and bookcases designed by the designer, offers the option to sit at the desk or stand and work at the counter behind it. The doors open to the living room, where there’s always a fire going in the winter, Mary Jo Sullivan notes.