Web Exclusive  

Two-Room Tackle

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Raquel Langworthy  |  Designer Antoinette Allande Anderson  |  Location Upper Saddle River, NJ

Ingenuity and creative kinship inspire a makeover in eclectic fashion

Sometimes a home requires a full-scale rehab. Other times the priority may be one or two spaces, as was the case in an Upper Saddle River center-hall Colonial-style home owned by Rose Marie and Mike Carter. Rose Marie — an investor, equestrian and busy mom of three — tapped the expertise of interior designer Antoinette Allande Anderson to refresh the home’s entryway and living room in time for a special celebration: their daughter’s high-school graduation party.

In the entryway, a modern floral wallpaper plays off the boldness of the existing black and white stone flooring. The eye is also drawn to the fancy glazed chintz table skirt with decadent bullion fringe in the center hallway. New light fixtures in gold and silver finishes represent traditional forms updated in contemporary ways.

Everything had to be selected and installed within a 2½ month timeline, says Allande, principal of Antoinette Allande Interiors in Hoboken. To meet project goals, the designer had custom furniture made by local workrooms to avoid shipping delays. She also procured vintage pieces to be refinished or reupholstered. “I jumped through hoops, installed everything and, in the end, got invited to the party!” she says lightheartedly.

Left | A new black lacquered finish freshens the homeowners’ antique bench. The framed print above the bench — “Equestrian Entrance, 1957” by Slim Aarons — resonates with the wife, who has a passion for horse riding. Right| A console and mirror from CB2 “add a little contemporary touch to the otherwise traditional space — an interesting mix in my opinion,” Allande says.

The result is an eclectic scheme where elements of tradition mix with contemporary glamour and Hollywood Regency. “My client has amazing taste and loves many different genres,” Allande says. “She is an aesthete — my favorite type of client — because she values beauty and will not settle for less.”

In the foyer, statement wallpaper in a modern floral print plays up the boldness of the existing black and white stone flooring, as does the homeowners’ antique bench, which was given a rich black lacquered finish. Painting the ceiling, doors and trim in a high-gloss light gray added another element of sheen, while upgraded lighting offered a more modern take on classic forms. Above the bench, artwork titled “Equestrian Elegance, 1957” by Slim Aarons “is a nod to Rose Marie’s passion for horse riding,” the designer says.

With the exception of Grandpa’s chair that was reupholstered and relocated to the husband’s study, everything in the living room “had to go,” her client said. Working from a clean slate and a fresh white paint scheme, Allande addressed the room’s function first with a custom sectional large enough to accommodate family lounging, television watching and entertaining. Super comfy and upholstered in a performance fabric, the sectional also holds up to the family’s two golden retrievers — “the V.I.P. members of the family,” Allande jokes.

“I always begin with the function of a space so we started with the [large] custom sectional” in the refurbished living room, the designer says. Contemporary pieces blend with vintage finds and sumptuous textiles in the eclectic design scheme. The dazzling chandelier “is the hero in the room,” she adds.

Vintage rattan bookcases from 1st Dibs display artwork and objects. “I like the natural element mixed with the bold black, white and gold finishes,” Allande says.

The living room’s crisp white envelope is punctuated by sumptuous textiles and dazzling gold, black and pink accents. Contemporary pieces also merge with “a healthy mix of vintage furniture with lots of character,” Allande says. The pieces include reupholstered Vladimer Kagan swivel chairs, period rattan bookcases sourced from 1st Dibs and a 1970s-era Chinoiserie-style mirror found on Chairish.

Chairish was the source for the retro LaBarge mirror. “LaBarge pieces are so original with their Chinoiserie style — a la ’70s era,” Allande says.

The “hero of the room,” Allande says, may be the sculptural gold-finished chandelier that echoes nature with its tree-like branches and dripping quartz crystals. “We absolutely fell in love with it.” Abstract artwork — painted by Allande herself — also has its place as a finishing touch in strokes that complement the room’s palette. “I love making art for my clients,” she adds. “A little piece of me gets to remain in the interiors I design.”

Editor’s Note: As time moves on so has the family. They have relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where Allande is assisting on a ground-up construction project. “It’s very exciting,” she reports.