Steeped in Architectural and Scenic Grandeur
2006 Custom European Style Estate Mendham Borough, NJ
Located on 17 spectacular acres in Mendham Borough and overlooking Sisters of Charity Monastery, Spring Meadow Mansion, singularly redefines the notion of “dream home.”
Finished in 2006, the 10,000-square-foot, six-bedroom home is regal and ornate – modeled after the Palace of Versailles and boasting a multitude of intricate details such as Parisian sconces and lighting treatments, antique doorknobs and mahogany flooring, to name a few. But, contrary to the more formal design elements of the home, Spring Meadow Mansion is also a place of peace and solitude, providing an escape from the rigors of everyday life – whether relaxing beside the heated swimming pool, growing vegetables in the Hartley greenhouse or strolling through the apple orchard with 21 organic apple trees – part of 13 1/3 farm-assessed acres attached to the property.
The owners, a 57-year-old business executive, and a 55-year-old stay-at-home mom, spent three years designing and decorating the home, thoughtfully selecting even the smallest elements such as nickel back-plates, crystal hinges, copper ceilings and a gutter system with copper and solid-brass brackets.
Drawn to the neoclassical work of architect Robert Adam, the mom was determined to bring a sense of age to the newly constructed home, opting for honed marble, antique silver finishes and colors in cool shades and tones.
I wanted the home to feel like it was built years ago,” the mom said. “I loved the carvings and moldings in Versailles and wanted a home with a lot of architectural detail.
The basic flow of the home is loosely based on a design by Scholz Homes, a company that develops architectural plans for luxury properties. Using the plan as a rough guide, she set to work making the home her own, turning one of the then-seven bedrooms into a master bathroom, part of a newly created luxurious master bedroom suite. Upstairs, on the third floor, there is a stained-glass studio.
Throughout the three-year build out, the mom did most of the interior design herself, consulting with an architect/designer friend on overhead lighting and other key pieces while scouring the Internet in search of rare, antique treasures.
To create a sense of intimacy, yet ensure that the rooms would be a substantial size, each bedroom, as well as the family room and library, contains a wood burning fireplace with a gas starter.
For his part, the business executive took a lead role in designing several rooms, including the English Style media room, poolroom and library, along with the basement area, which features a lounge, wine room, recreation room, gym and the workshop; originally designated as a space for the business executive to create handcrafted furniture.
“I wanted to make it feel warm and comfortable and complete,” he said, noting that the lounge is his favorite room in the home.
This architectural masterpiece boasts a chef’s kitchen, equipped with a dual-fuel French-top stove made in Burgundy and an assortment of top of-the-line appliances. Throughout the years, the kitchen has served as an intimate gathering place, ideal for preparing family meals made from garden-grown vegetables. On the flip side, the kitchen also doubles as nerve center for elaborate celebrations, which have included a bat mitzvah reception, as well as 50th and 80th birthday parties.
Further adding to the allure of the home, Spring Meadow Mansion is a modern “smart house,” with wireless audio, Lutron lighting systems and interior fiberglass insulation, among other state-of-the-art features. The home has additional unique elements, including a safe room with escape hatch leading to the backyard and a fully electric dumbwaiter. The owners even put in a fence set in a 9-inch cement curve to prevent their three whippets from digging out of the yard.
As impressive as the architectural details are, one of the most exquisite features is the spectacular view. Sitting in the family room, the owners will often unwind near the hand-carved fireplace mantel, gazing out in the distance beyond to the monastery and apple orchard. The third-floor balcony also boasts dazzling 180-degree views.
“You can see other homes in the distance, but it’s basically private,” the business executive said. “Waking up every day to that view and your own piece of the planet is pretty amazing.”
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