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HOME TOUR: a "livable luxe" NJ dream house by Karen Wolf

This residence tells the personal style story of every family member who lives there, room by beautiful room.

photos by Raquel Langworthy

"Warm, livable luxe." That's the calling card of Karen Wolf, creative principal of Karen B. Wolf Interiors, located in Short Hills, NJ and one of the most sought-after interior design firms in the NY/NJ area. And this 8,000-square-foot, 5-bedroom home in Bamm Hollow - an upscale community in Lincroft, NJ - showcases her mastery of that design aesthetic.

"The homeowners are commercial developers, so their love for design and craftsmanship made it a great partnership," says Wolf of her clients' insightfulness. "In their line of work, they have a healthy exposure to creativity and a high standard of excellence, and those factors were brought into the mix."

According to Karen, these busy clients - despite being in the biz - did not have the "personal bandwidth" to develop their own home, so they did the next best thing; they purchased a spec home from the widely known and respected construction company, Toll Brothers. "I was called upon by the owners to take a blank slate from 'expected' to 'special'," recounts Wolf.

Karen selected a decorative bowl from Phillips Collection that ties in beautifully with the runners on the foyer's dual-staircase. The entry table is from RH.

In the family room, a generous Vanguard sofa is adorned by decorative accent pillows from Decorum and Classic Home. Nested cocktail tables from Four Hands sit atop a subtle gray and white carpet from Exquisite Rugs that plays flawlessly off the textural, Phillip Jeffries paper-clad walls.

A spherical Kalco hanging fixture, abstract painting from Celadon Art, and deep slate leather and suede quilted chair by Design Master all compliment the existing floor-to-ceiling fireplace.

To keep the home from looking too "cookie-cutter," Wolf incorporated warm, innovative touches wherever possible. "The common spaces were designed with dramatic features, but always keeping family living in mind," she explains. "We added custom ceiling treatments in the family room and living room, a mirrored panel wall in the living room, and custom built-ins and art throughout."

This living room vignette illustrates the designer's determination to turn the home from "spec" to "spectacular."

Wolf adds a spark of Mid-Century Modern in the dining room with sputnik-style chandeliers from Robert Abbey. The sleek table is by T3 Custom Furniture, and the chairs- white with contrast mock croc navy blue backs - are by Precedent. Agate-inspired paintings from Art Addiction add visual interest to the walls, while action happens below with a striking geometric carpet by Exquisite Rugs.

Whether it's an intimate concert or family sing-a-long that's played on the Steinway piano in the living room, a built-in banquette provides ample seating for a captive audience. The glass chandelier is by Savoy House.

The homeowners placed their complete trust in Karen and her team, so the only real challenge was how to give each of the many rooms its own distinct look and feel. Talk about a pleasant dilemma! She successfully kept the "livable luxe" theme cohesive while still making each one a showplace in its own right. And as far as the bedrooms, Wolf took her cues from the well-defined personalities of each one's occupant.

Guided by the homeowner's request for a "transitional Ralph Lauren look" in the master bedroom, Wolf nailed it, giving special care to every detail. Highlights include a soft black velvet Restoration Hardware tufted headboard, custom draperies, mirrored nightstands from Vanguard, and an elegant glass chandelier from Murray Feiss.

The "X" and "O" pictures from Leftbank Art above the ballet slipper-pink Precedent headboard are part of the love Karen gave to this precious bedroom. "The youngest daughter is all about Disney, Frozen, and mermaids, so this room speaks to her fairytale dreams," she says. Delicate glass pendants by Jamie Young dangle above each side table from Little Seeds, and pretty bed linens by Kate Spade are the perfect fit for a mini princess.

custom window shade by Karen B. Wolf Interiors; petite tea table and chair set from Pottery Barn Kids

Wolf went with a "mod" vibe for the middle sister's bedroom. "She's in her pre-teen years and loves all out 'glam'," describes Karen. The charcoal channel-tufted bed from Bassett Furniture is flanked by hot pink lacquered nightstands by Society Social. At the foot, a faux fur and clear acrylic bench from Wayfair brings a dramatic flair, as does the black shade and crystal chandelier from Dainolite. Wolf accented the walls with an iconic Twiggy photo from Oliver Gal, and a black & white psychedelic print wallpaper by JF Fabrics.

A mix of stylish throw pillows from Pottery Barn Teen and Safavieh elevates the glam factor, which extends into the middle child's attached sitting room.

The oldest daughter loves horses so the designer took a more rustic, farmhouse approach to her space, adding such elements as a horsehair bench from Lee Industries at the foot of the Precedent bed, and a galvanized light fixture on the ceiling.

The stikwood wall and barn doors behind the Wayfair swing chair are creative additions to Karen's farm-inspired design for the young equestrian's bedroom.

scenes from the oldest daughter's sitting room, all decked out in elevated farmhouse chic

A bonus room at the top of the stairs became a hangout space for the three girls. Karen added triangular wood beams, poufy feather chandeliers, and a splashy color palette with pops of orange to keep things playful.

custom built-in with extension desk by Karen B. Wolf Interiors

As one would imagine, the family absolutely adores the home Wolf and her team created for them. Considering all the personal touches and character infused into the project, how could they not? The designer herself sums it up best: "As important as it is for many people to have a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing home, it's equally important that our homes reflect who we are as individuals and families... and this home does just that!"

Karen B. Wolf, creative principal of Karen B. Wolf Interiors

To learn more about Karen B. Wolf Interiors, visit:


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