Paul and Jackie Sterchele relocated to Flemington, New Jersey, from Cincinnati, Ohio, also fell in love with the secluded location of the 1980s center-hall colonial. While the house had a great deal of work, with its dark, cramped layout and no flow from room to room, Paul and Jackie were charmed with their soon-to-be neighbor’s horses and looked forward to loving solitude at a very rural area of the Garden State. They awakened with Therese Bush-Hilgar of Decor and builder and You Joe Natale to start the rooms and welcome from plenty of natural light.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Paul and Jackie Sterchele and their feline, Madison
Location: Flemington, New Jersey
Size: 2,800 square feet; 4bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
That is intriguing: The owners converted a dark vanity in the bedroom to some light-filled window chair, now a favourite spot in the house.
Audrey Kerchner: What inspired your interior layout?
Jackie Sterchele: I desired an uncluttered layout to the home, and it was important that each chamber get a great deal of natural light. In the den, we substituted the traditional fireplace with a European-inspired Stovax fireplace. The mantel is cherry wood, and our designer, Therese, utilized the reddish tones as an accent color for the room.
AK: What do you love most about Flemington?
JS: I love that we’re in the middle of character and how rural it’s. We also like that we’re not in the confines of a neighborhood. We really see the seasons change and all of the critters that come through our lawn throughout the year. The solitude is wonderful, and our window coverings are more for decoration and not because we need to keep folks from seeing in.
Fireplace: Stovax; seats: Klaussner; wall paint: Fennel Seed and Colenta, Benjamin Moore; cabinet: Hooker Furniture
AK: Where do you feel most at home in your house now?
JS: The den. The fireplace keeps the room warm and cozy, and it is just off the kitchen, making it effortless to be in the den and speak to somebody from the kitchen. It’s also the central gathering place for when we have folks over. Our 16-year-old cat, Madison, loves all the new seating options.
Couch: Kincaid Furniture
AK: Tell me about your kitchen layout process.
JS: My inner designer and my own kitchen designers out of Cranbury Design Center were super useful. It was important for us to have a silent, top-of-the-line dishwasher, and we’re glad we decided to go with you from Miele. The first time I used it, it was so silent that I didn’t believe it was actually turned on and working. Light was also a priority for me, and we added as numerous hood and high-top ceiling lighting as possible, in addition to additional windows.
JS: I also desired the refrigerator to be camouflaged, so we covered it with wood paneling to match the cabinets. We positioned the granite island so we are able to watch TV while eating foods.
AK: What was your main design dilemma?
JS: When I had to offer you a theme to all of our remodeling projects I would need to say it would have been to bring in as much light as you can, and to have enough cabinet storage area for the function of decluttering the countertops and tabletops. We put windows from the kitchen, dining room, living area, den and the master bedroom to flow lots of light into the house.
AK: What did you do to make your house your own?
JS: The first formal dining area was closed off by the kitchen, therefore throughout the renovation it was opened into this eating location. We use it much more now, and when we entertain it becomes part of the flow in and out of the kitchen.
AK: How did you find your property? Can it be love at first sight?
JS: When we moved from Ohio, nothing was on the market at the time, so we rented and waited to find just the right home. We loved the house, but the home was just so dark. The first thing we did was request our builder to put in a picture window from the living room to allow more natural light. The built-in bookshelves are all utilized to display images and family treasures. My husband snuck in an Eagles football helmet, even though, when I wasn’t looking.
AK: Where is your favorite spot in the house?
JS: The vanity area in the master bedroom was dark when we purchased the home. It had two sinks and a mirror but no natural light coming from. We didn’t require the additional sink, so we converted the space into a little seating area by including a window, and drawers were built into the chair for additional storage.
Whenever I come in the bedroom, I always love looking out of the window in the scenery. It makes me happy.
More: A Guide to Transitional Style