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Feathering the Nest

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A Jersey City condo goes from hodge-podge bachelor style to married-couple chic

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How do you choose from among duplicate furnish- ings? What do you keep or how do you integrate your styles?

When newlyweds Aimee Sharrock and Paul Tagliareni combined households, moving into his one-bedroom condo in downtown Jersey City, “I decided not to take my furniture with me” and to live with what was already in place, Sharrock says.

But shortly after the dust from the couple’s wedding in Italy settled, the young, well-traveled professionals changed course. “It wasn’t reflecting our lifestyle or how we wanted to live,” Sharrock says of the bachelor-pad environment, which lacked storage, style and warmth.

Eager to elevate the style and make it feel more like home, Sharrock did a little shopping. Dual black étagères, a black dining room table, black chairs and more all arrived around the same time. “I thought every- thing had to match,” she recalls of the pieces, which completely overwhelmed the space. “It was really bad,” she now says with a laugh. Her husband didn’t disagree. After returning home from a business trip, “The first thing he said was, ‘What happened here?’’’

23Far left: Chic and comfortable, the living area contains a balance of calming neutral tones, mixed metals and reflective surfaces. Pale blue velvet drapes soften  the windows while grasscloth wall covering “adds luster, warmth and elegance to the space,” designer Joshua David says. To give tight quarters a more light and airy feel, “all furniture is up on legs,” he says, including an L-shaped linen sectional that maximizes seating without adding bulk.

Left top: When newlyweds Aimee Sharrock and Paul Tagliareni combined households, they moved into his home: a circa 1863 brownstone that had been converted into condos. The building retains its original architectural detailing and is close to the waterfront, transportation, great restaurants and more. “We love it here,” Sharrock says of the Paulus Hook neighborhood. “We are big Jersey City buffs.”

BEFORE: “When I moved in, it was very much a bachelor’s pad, Aimee Sharrock says of the living area’s hodgepodge look.

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5Left: The designer blends modern with tradition and a touch of Hollywood glam in the dining room. A modern drum chandelier with crystal accents took the place of a diminutive ush-mounted xture. New trim around the perimeter of the ceiling emphasizes the room’s proportions, and a fresh coat of high-gloss white paint on the ceiling reects natural light from the adjacent room.

BEFORE: Black, black and more black. “I thought everything had to match,” Aimee Sharrock says of the ill-proportioned étagères and more that ate up floor space and impeded trac ow between the dining room and living area.

MARRIAGE OF TASTES

Sharrock then took to the Internet in search of a local design professional. “We are big Jersey City buffs and try
to support the local community and business owners,” she says. Besides “design is not my wheelhouse.” Drawn
to photos on interior designer Joshua David’s website, Sharrock made the call. The pair instantly clicked and spoke for nearly an hour about her decorating dilemmas. “I’ll be there tomorrow!” said David, principal of Joshua David Home LLC.

After touring the approximately 750-square-foot space, discussions continued about what the clients hoped to accomplish, their lifestyle needs and how long they planned on staying put. “We weren’t going to stay here forever,” Sharrock says “so we made sure to keep costs at a minimum and not rehaul the entire unit.” At that time they took inventory of what they wanted to keep or part with. Any new purchases or investment pieces would have to be versatile enough to adapt to their next home.

Photos from the couple’s wedding in Tuscany and their travels around the world gave the designer a window into their personalities and everyday life. “They have roots in tradition but are a young, modern couple,” David says. Consequently, the décor would be “elegant and traditional with a more mod-
ern edge” he says. Because they love to entertain, discussions revolved around how to open up and create
better circulation among rooms, maximize seating, storage and more.

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7Plush bedding, pale blue gray walls and a chic Roman shade elevate the style of a once dark bedroom. On display are framed photographs of the couple’s travels and a snow-covered New York City scene. “I like photos that capture the moment,” Sharrock says.

8Far left: A tiny closet gave way to a tidy and efficient built-in storage unit for two. Stylish ottomans in a Greek key pattern flip open for extra storage and seating. The spaceenhancing mirror and painted console were relocated from the living area. On the lower shelf is a jardinière the couple picked up in Italy. Left: To gain storage and countertop space, David swapped two pedestal sinks with mirrored vanities that strike a balance between under – stated glamour and functional design. New oval pivot mirrors provide relief from the otherwise straight lines and sharp angles in a typical bathroom.

GRACIOUSLY GROWN UP

Mostly everything in the living room is new. “We started with the sofa,” David says, because it’s typically the “most expensive piece and usually requires the most lead-time.” They chose a linen-covered semicustom L-shaped sectional from Williams-Sonoma Home. The sectional hits the mark for its comfort, style and proportions — “not super deep but between an apartment size and a normal-depth sofa” to maximize seating without adding bulk, David says.

To make the compact space feel more roomy, David says, “all furniture is up on legs” for a light and airy feel. This includes the modern Collins bar from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams that stylishly stores bottles and glassware when entertaining. Lightreflecting mirrored and glass surfaces also enhance the illusion of space. Walls are covered in chic grass cloth. “It has a natural slight sheen so adds luster, warmth and elegance to the space,” he says. Layers of texture, mixed metals and a combination of wood grains enrich a neutral palette of cream, gray and beige, along with accents of blue, which appear on the luxe velvet drapes in the living area and bedroom. When designing, “You set the language for a room,” David says. “It can be any combo you want, but once you determine what it is, you repeat
that throughout. It’s a European mentality of mixing and matching.”

The dining room achieves the same balance of finishes, textures and styles. Traditional table and chairs in black matte and glossy finishes pair up with a mirrored buffet and a fun, white lacquered contemporary console. A drum chandelier with crystal accents adds a bit of Hollywood glam. “I adore the chandelier. It made the room,” Sharrock says.

HIS & HER STORAGE

David also amped up storage in myriad ways. Gone is the tiny bachelor’s closet in a dressing room, for instance. In its place is a floorto-ceiling closet that spans the length of the wall and holds clothing and other items the couple need for events and travel. He also made the bathroom a more functional retreat for two by swapping out pedestal sinks with mirrored vanities that “doubled their storage and made it more airy and spa-like,” he says. As a more cost-conscious alternative to custom-sized vanities, the designer suggested two readymade pieces from Restoration Hardware that fit in with the rest of the apartment’s aesthetics.

In the small, once dark and cramped bedroom, “we kept everything clean, light and simple,” David says. Walls were painted a light French gray, and a sunburst mirror — which was relocated from another room — captures light from the window. Plush bed ding from Restoration Hardware’s Italian Border Collection “makes you feel like you are away at a Four Seasons Hotel,” Sharrock says, while chic Roman shades in a timeless trellis pattern soften the windows.
“Every space captures our style,” Sharrock says, including their passion for travel, which they incorporated with books, mementos and photographs from their trips around the world — Africa, Dubai, New Zealand, Fiji and more. Rather than art for art’s sake, “the artwork is all about the photos they’ve taken and the memories created,” David says.

MOVING UP, MOVING OUT

Eventually, Sharrock and Tagliareni decided it was time to move on. “I felt we were getting too cramped,” Sharrock says. They purchased a new home nearby: a circa 1863 brownstone with four floors and “lots of living space.” David is once again assisting with the transformation. “We are knee deep in a two-part extensive renovation,” he says.
Though there will be more spaces to fill, “everything from the previous residence has been reused to great effect.”
And the apartment? Thanks in large part to the design choices made it sold in one day, over the asking price — and had multiple offers, Sharrock says. “People commented that it felt like an oasis” away from the hustle and bustle of the city. “I have amazing respect for Josh and what he brings to the design process. He has a wide range of knowledge and doesn’t try to break your budget.”

Article Written by Megan Fox and Featured on DESIGN NJ

SOURCES: Overall: design, Joshua David Home LLC in Jersey City.  Living room:  sectional, “Addison” from Williams-Sonoma Home; large linen throw pillows, Safavieh; fur pillow, Restoration Hardware; bar, “Collins” from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; side chair and drapery hardware (Estate Collection), Restoration Hardware; coffee table, Arhaus; silver-base side table, Arteriors Home in Carrollton, Texas; brushed brass side table, “Mia” from Grandin Road in West Chester, Ohio; floor lamps, Crate & Barrel; linen wallpaper, Manila Hemp from Phillip Jeffries Ltd. (T) in Fairfield; velvet drapery panels and lining, The Shade Store; assorted accessories, Bergdorf Goodman and ABC Carpet & Home in New York City.  Dining room:  dining table and chairs, homeowners, from Restoration Hardware; white console, West Elm; bar cart and mirrored buffet, homeowners; chandelier, “Fascination” from Horchow in Dallas; buffet lamps, “Villena” from Uttermost in Rocky Mount, Virginia; mirror, “Mythos” from wayfair.com; assorted accessories, Bergdorf Goodman and ABC Carpet & Home; wall color, Pewter Vase from Behr. Bedroom: bedding, Dune, Italian Border Collection from Restoration Hardware; Roman shade fabric, Kendo Crystal from Pindle & Pindler in New York City; walls, Light French Grey from Behr. Dressing room: storage stools, wayfair.com; Paris print, Arhaus; side table and mirror, homeowners; jardinière from Italy, homeowners. Bathroom: “Strand” vanities and “Sutton” oval mirrors, Restoration Hardware. T = To the trade.

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