There is something very special about an old home: the history, the details, the imperfections. Designer Elizabeth Braha was tasked with restoring just such a home: an 1891 Arts and Crafts–style home just a block from the beach in a seaside town in New Jersey. The owners purchased the home more than 30 years ago, as their summer home, and began a slow and careful restoration 10 years ago with Elizabeth at the helm.
“I especially love the perfect imperfections in an old home that give a home its warmth and moody atmosphere,” Braha says. In this historic home, she points out, “not all the rooms are perfectly square and symmetrical, but the flow of air when the doors are open is just perfect.” Even the air circulation was considered, she proclaims: “The open-feeling elegance yet casual charm is very unique and not a style found in many old or new homes.” The owners were told it was designed by McKim, Meade, and White, who had done other work in the area, but after visiting other homes by the architects, Elizabeth is unsure.
“It's beautiful nonetheless,” she says.
Scroll on for the tour.
“Untitled” by Michael Zelehoski (price upon request)
Doris Leslie Blau Swedish Rug ($16,000)
Knoll Saarinen Oval Dining Table ($5081 and up)
Kohl’s Adduce Reach Floor Lamp ($533)
Serena & Lily Parisian Bar Cart ($995)
Chisholm Larsson Gallery XVI Festival du Marais 1979 Poster ($610)
Cost Plus World Market Champagne Metallic Cable Knit Throw ($45)
BK Antiques French Art Deco Dressing Table ($4875)
Mark & Graham Beachport Stripe Pillow ($40 and up)
West Elm Parsons Mini Desk ($299)
One Kings Lane Jonah Floor Mirror in Gold Leaf ($549)
Serena & Lily Color Frame Duvet Cover & Sham ($38 and up)
John Robshaw Mali Lavender Decorative Pillow ($175)