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Star Quality

Even when there’s no Christmas tree glimmering in the bay window or wreath on the front door, this New Jersey home sparkles with that certain something

Written by Sally Finder Weepie
  • John Bessler

    Only a house with matinee-idol good looks would do for a New Jersey couple whose lifeblood flows through the entertainment industry. That’s why Paige Gaines eyed a home aficionado  screen classic as she pointed to what she wanted in a new home.

    “I loved the Hamptons beach house in Something’s Gotta Give,” Paige says. “It’s appealing no matter your taste. I mean, what human being wouldn’t want to live there?”

    Dan Mazzarini, one of our 2018 New Trad designers, couldn’t argue with that. But he could up the stylistic star value, shaping the interiors of a home that’s defined by classic architecture yet suits the lifestyle of a young family of five. “It’s a traditional-feeling house that lives like a modern home,” Mazzarini says.

    That’s evident from the first step inside the foyer, where stately millwork ascends the height of the soaring two-and-a-half-story space. A custom plaster chandelier, 6 feet in diameter, matches the room’s scale and its airy palette.

    Interior and residential designers: Dan Mazzarini and Brian Humphrey, founding partners; Sabrina Alias, lead architectural designer; Sarah Peterson, lead designer of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, BHDM,
    New York City; 212/564-6400;

    Chandelier “Avron Royal Chandelier”: Bourgeois Bohéme; Benches “Phillippe Bench”: Bliss Studio;

  • John Bessler

    “I wanted the house to be light and lovely,” Mazzarini says. “But against that, I juxtaposed deeper rooms for a sense of coziness.”

    The most dramatic spaces, the dining room and library, are located at the front of the house. Here, formality reigns.

    A hand-painted design on rich chocolate-color walls sets a tasteful backdrop for the dining room. A paneled ceiling and a cascading three-tier crystal chandelier further the formal air. “This isn’t how they live most of the time,” Mazzarini says. “But they do like to entertain, and this gives them a place to welcome guests in style.”

    Chandelier: Ironies; Walls hand-painted: Dean Barger Studios; Chairs “Classics Side Chair”: Bolier; Chair fabric “Casablanca” in Carrera by Great Plains: Holly Hunt; Dining table “Regency”: Rose Tarlow; Rug “Contemporary Rug” 1504188: ABC Carpet & Home; Buffet “Crescent Console” by Barbara Barry: Hickory Chair; Fabric on buffet table in window “Majestic” in Mineral: Cowtan & Tout; Trim: “Fancy Bullion Fringe”: M&J Trimming; Drapery fabric “Couture” in Atlantic from the Mokum collection: James Dunlop Textiles; Crystal stemware "Elizabeth" stemware, William Yeoward Crystal;

  • John Bessler

    Like the dining room, the library is wrapped in deep color, a moody blue with gray undertones lacquered over custom millwork. “It’s one of my favorite rooms,” Mazzarini says. “It’s a warm, cozy cocoon for Paige and Colby at the end of the day, a beautiful, adult space for them to hang out in.”

    Rug similar available as 37: Misha; Chair “Jasper Hall Chair”: Michael S Smith;

  • John Bessler

    The rear portion of the house, meanwhile, caters to the entire family with an open floor plan that keeps parents and kids connected, whether they’re lounging in the family room, whipping up dinner in the kitchen, or gathering for a meal at the casual eating spot in between.

    Again, millwork sets a tailored, traditional tone. A coffered ceiling and furniture-style cabinetry outfits the cooking space, and a paneled ceiling and muntined bay window highlight the family room.

    Side chairs “Sandino Occasional Chair”: Palecek; Fabric for wing chairs “Marrakesh” in Mist by Great Plains: Holly Hunt; Dining table: RH; Wing chairs, pottery, large wood urns: homeowners’ collection. Pendant lighting “Avanti Chandeliers”: Gregorius Pineo;

  • John Bessler

    The family gathering zone offers plenty of soft seating for conversations around the fire. Splashes of chocolate and peacock blue reinforce the home’s color story. “Including some saturated color gives this big room warmth,” Mazzarini says. At the same time, a neutral canvas on walls and the ceiling keeps the mood light.

    The merry and bright crescendos during the holiday season, when wreaths dangle from sashes and a lavishly decorated tree calls dibs on the bay window nook. It glitters with both Christmas balls and nods to Paige’s Jewish heritage.

    “I have a menorah and a fun little ‘oy vey’ ornament,” she says with a smile. “We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. We also host Thanksgiving, so I like my decorations to have a tone of fall-to-winter festivity rather than too red and green.”

    Sofa “Silhouettes English Arm Sofa,” chairs at tree “Belknap Chair” from the Winterthur Estate collection: Hickory Chair; Sofa fabric “Blakeney Check” in Sand: Cowtan & Tout; Chair fabric “Vanity Fair” in Malibu by Great Plains: Holly Hunt; Coffee table: Julian Chichester; Carpet custom: Stark Carpet; Drapery fabric “Hillevi” in Dune: Peter Fasano; Drapery hardware custom: Morgic Metal Designs; Woven chairs antique: Paul Marra; Solid red fabric for pillows “Windsor Felt” in Copper: Lee Jofa; Dark blue print fabric for pillows “Yukka” in Indigo, discontinued: Studio Four; Beige print fabric for pillows “Florentina” in Sand and Bisque: Rose Tarlow; Floor lamp “Terrazo” by E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort: Circa Lighting; Sofa table antique: Ruby Beets; Sconces flanking fireplace circa 1940: Fireside Antiques; Daybed custom, blue urn: homeowners’ collection.

  • John Bessler

    The personal touch and personalized decorating continues in the family’s private spaces. Mazzarini gave each of the Gaines kids—Martin, 9; Everett, 7; and Savannah, 4—a room that reflects who they are and what they love.

    “Martin is the adventurer, so his room has a camping vibe,” the designer says.

    Bed “French Académie Pane Bed”: RH; Linens: A Touch of Lace; Teepee “Black Stripe Teepee”: Crate & Barrel; Bench antique: Holler & Squall; Hand-painted oars: Ropes and Wood Creations;

  • John Bessler

    “Everett’s room is even more cozy with twin spool beds and a hand-painted ceiling by the same muralist who did the dining room.”

    Ceiling hand-painted: Dean Barger Studios; Bed “Jenny Lind”: Crate & Barrel; Linens by John Robshaw: A Touch of Lace; Area rug: Dash & Albert, an Annie Selke company; Framed artwork flanked by door and window custom by Michael McGuire;

  • John Bessler

    The master bedroom, with a gabled ceiling, Palladian window, and layers of linens atop the four-poster, serves as Paige and Colby’s sanctuary, a place of calm for the parents of three little ones.

    Vintage pieces here and throughout the house mix with new, giving the just-built home a sense of history and character, a collected air.

    “I like to include things that tell a story,” Mazzarini says.

    Lantern “Beckmore Lantern”: Currey & Co.; Bed “Mabry”: Mecox; Linens “Mirasol” by Matouk: A Touch of Lace; Bedside tables discontinued, similar items available: Bernhardt; Blue settee antique: Red Chair on Warren; Fabric for settee “Silk Luxe” in Frozen by Great Plains: Holly Hunt; Drapery fabric “Fenton” in Fragonard: Rogers & Goffigon; Lamps flanking bed “Estate”: Barbara Cosgrove; Rug antique: homeowners’ collection.

  • John Bessler

    His affinity for prowling flea markets shaped an amalgam of finds for the Gaines family and their rooms, treasures from markets as near as Long Island and as far-flung as Paris.

    Pendant lights “Emerald” in Antique Brass: Charles Edwards; Sconces “Rock Crystal Wall Sconce” by Barbara Barry: Kallista; Vanity custom: J. Tribble; Flooring “Hand-Clipped Thasos Marble Mosaic”: Country Floors; Bath soap container and cup “Faceted Metal Bath Accessories”: RH; Chair at vanity vintage “Hepplewhite”: homeowners’ collection.

  • John Bessler

    “I love how Dan created a beautiful setting but included unexpected things,” Paige says. “He considered every molding, every sconce, every fixture. Every detail mattered. Every room is so livable. And that’s what I love the most.” 

    Interior and architectural designers: Dan Mazzarini, Brian Humphrey, Sarah Peterson & Sabrina Alias

    Ceiling lights “Darlana Medium Lantern” in Antique Burnished Brass by E. F. Chapman for Visual Comfort: Circa Lighting;