From apartment life in Hoboken to a coastal community in New Jersey, a young family was excited to put down roots in a new location. However, their spacious 1990s home was in need of some major updating. They called on Salt Design Co. to maintain the integrity of the space while creating a modern feel throughout—think minimal renovations and beautiful new furniture and accessories. With the help of Milano Builders, who oddly enough were the original builders of the home, they were able to completely gut and redo the primary bathroom and modify existing architectural elements to better suit the family’s needs. 

Of course, the pandemic put a few hiccups in the process, so it took roughly 18 months from start to finish. That said, the clients were thrilled and even took a little while to start living in and enjoying the updated areas of their home—they didn’t want to disrupt the design! Fortunately, Salt Design Co.’s vision was too alluring to miss out on. They now have popcorn movie nights in the family room and enjoy cocktails on the curved sofas of the moody living room, which was inspired by a London hotel. Designer Sarah Church Brady tells us more. 

Tell us about this home. Where is it located? 

This home is located in the heart of Rumson, New Jersey, a coastal community located about an hour south of New York City. This particular street is one of the most beautiful in the Two Rivers area, with established Sycamore trees lining the quiet, suburban road. The homes, many of which are classic colonials, are set back from the street on large properties, giving the neighborhood a historic grandeur that we wanted to capture before we even stepped foot inside. Given the close proximity to the ocean, we knew we wanted to include a coastal influence, but stay true to the architecture and sophistication of the home.

The builder you worked with on the renovation had actually built the original home! What was the process like working with them?

From start to finish, it was a pleasure working alongside Milano Builders of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, even during a Global Pandemic! Having originally built the house in the late 90s for the prior owners, they knew the ins and outs of the home, and the process was seamless as they were familiar with the original construction. It was a fun process for both of our teams, seeing the transformation as we updated the twenty year old home, while attempting to maintain the original character and charm. 

Tell us about the clients. What were their goals in the renovation? 

Having recently relocated to Rumson from city apartment living, this young family nearly quadrupled their living space. They had grown accustomed to a small apartment, and now faced with so much space, they almost didn’t know what to do with all of it. They wanted to create spaces that were family-friendly and casual, but fit the sophistication of the home and its location. They love to entertain family and friends, and their main requirement was that they wanted their home to feel comfortable and welcoming. 

Design wise, what was the “jumping off point” for the project? 

While maintaining a casual feel, it was important to create moments of sophistication throughout the designs to balance the grandness of the original architecture. Details such as symmetrical consoles and artwork in the family room, and an untrimmed arch with dark wood cabinetry in the foyer add juxtaposition to the casual textural elements throughout the rest of the home. We wanted the house to feel fresh and modern, but established, like the home itself. In doing so, we combined more traditional pieces with updated silhouettes, and layered in vintage and found pieces. 

See more (+ snag design tips from Sarah) in the slideshow.