You may remember a few years ago I featured uber-talented designer Matthew Frederick from M Frederick Interiors on my Designer Admirer series. You can read the post I wrote about Matthew and his stunning designs and range of furniture here.
Matthew operates out of his design studio in Far Hills, New Jersey, about 45 mins from Manhattan. Although his work stretches across the US from coast to coast, he has also designed houses for clients in far and exotic places like Russia and France. You can find contact details and see more of his portfolio here.
Courtesy M Frederick
Matthew contacted me after that post and we struck up a friendship, with him kindly inviting me to join him walking the New York International Gift Fair when I visited there in 2011. That was pretty bold given we’d never met and had no idea who or what the other was like, but I accepted the invitation gratefully. You can imagine my relief and pleasant surprise when we met at the entrance to the gift fair!
Matthew was so generous of his time, ideas, information and contacts. He introduced me to his suppliers, colleagues and friends, some of whom I’m still in contact with such as the gorgeous girls Carolyn and Cynthia from Diane James Home whose blog The Buzz is one of my regular reads.
Matthew at the NYIGF we attended in August 2011
Matthew opened my eyes to a way of decorating and designing, doing business and exploring creativity that I never would have discovered on my own. The gift fair is about ten times the size of the Sydney ones for starters. I watched him like a hawk and absorbed everything like a sponge. It was fascinating seeing the exhibitor stands he homed in on, the products he singled out, the ideas he had and the way in which he sifted through the thousands of items on show. Had I gone by myself it would have taken me all week and I would have missed plenty. Plus it was great to have his company at mealtimes rather than sitting by myself on the sidelines with a crummy sandwich trying to look inconspicuous!
We have been in regular contact since and I have watched his business go from strength to strength. Matthew’s latest work, a major house renovation in Mendham, NJ, was recently featured in LUXE. interiors + design magazine (you can read it here) and he kindly offered me the chance to feature it on my blog.
The early 1900s house was originally clad in brown siding with a green asphalt roof, so one of the first changes was to reclad the house in white painted cedar shingles and the roof with natural cedar. Matthew joined forces with John James Architects for the project in order to restore the estate to its original glory – a major undertaking which involved a complete exterior renovation and a rework of every room in the expansive house, including gutting the kitchen and all bathrooms.
The renovation itself took about 5 months although the project has been ongoing for the family for the past 6 years. The carriage house, above, was also renovated and the upstairs turned into guest accommodation while the ground floor serves as a garage.
A new portico was added to the front of the house, to create a sense of grandness and give the house more presence. The gardens of the 13 acre property were also given a makeover, with lots of hydrangeas, grasses, hedging and stonework added to create room-like spaces and create structure and interest.
According to Matthew, it was common practice in the area to take architectural elements from the turn of the century mansions when they were razed and incorporate them in the “smaller” homes in the area. “The leaded glass windows in the TV room and the amazing curved windows in the sunroom were all take from a house in the area in the 40s. I think the balustrades on the front stairs are also taken from the same house.”
To allow more light into rooms and brighten the house, many of the windows and doors were widened, with transoms added above some.
The interior design and decor is suggestive of holiday homes in the Hamptons and Nantucket where the family regularly holiday. The vibe is a relaxed, comfortable yet elegant home, oozing a chic coastal style with fashion forward touches such as lacquered ceilings and modern artwork.
The colour palette is dominated by whites and neutrals, teamed with an interesting mix of natural materials and textures such as jute, seagrass, linens and warm woods. Matthew adds personality with colourful artwork and eclectic decorative accessories.
The sculpture is from a selection designed by Matthew for Chelsea House.
Matthew’s favourite space in the house is the kitchen. “It was the biggest transformation of any of the spaces we worked on and it is just a great room to eat in and sit in and just plain hang out. The seating area in the kitchen used to be the breakfast table and we repurposed it and it’s where everyone hangs out”.
The splashback and benchtop are Carrara marble with the double pendant light from Visual Comfort. The elegant barstools are custom designed by Matthew.
The master bedrooms features a majestic custom canopy and bed linens from M Frederick Interiors. The gourd lamp on the mirrored chest of drawers is from Visual Comfort.
The spacious master bathroom features statuary marble wall tiles combined with a mosaic tile on the floor to create the effect of a runner. All bathroom tiles, lighting and fixtures are from Waterworks.
Images courtesy of M Frederick Interiors
The family bathroom features a pair of mirrored medicine cabinets sourced from Restoration Hardware. The white subway tiles, the marble penny rounds on the floor, double sconce lighting and bathroom fixtures including the handy padded polished nickel stool are from Waterworks.
I’m sure you’ll agree that Matthew has succeeded in creating a beautifully appointed, elegant but entirely liveable and welcoming home for this lucky family. Matthew’s design mantra is “Elegant living for everyday life” and I think he has certainly achieved that.
If you’d like to keep up with his news and follow Matthew’s blog and other social media, you can subscribe here.
Thanks for sharing your latest project Matthew. Hopefully we can welcome you Down Under before too long to share your skills and design secrets with us aspiring designers and home renovators!
PS Don’t forget this weekend is the Southern HighlandsTown & Country Open Gardens. More details here.
Welcome to Melinda Hartwright Interiors Blog - a journal of my home, my life and my style. I am a wife and mum to three little ones, an interior decorator and stylist, a crafter, DIYer with a passion for all things interiors.