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Restoration of old barn into stunning pool house

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The restoration of a 150 year old post and beam barn into a stunning pool house with its wide-open kitchenette in New Vernon, New Jersey has been designed by Arturo Palombo Architecture in conjunction with interior design studio Papyrus Home Design. The entire structure was relocated in order to provide ‘at-grade’ access to an existing pool terrace at the rear, while introducing a new garage underneath. “We rebuilt the structure, poured a new foundation and set out to give it a summer house vibe that was light, airy and indestructible to the elements—mainly parties and kids dripping in wet bathing suits,” states the interior designer. The new pool house features a two-story family room with summer kitchen, direct access to a pool and pool terrace, changing rooms, powder room with shower, and a sleeping loft above.

The kitchenette’s warm palette,  is different from the main house’s black-and-white kitchen, emphasizing the prominent beams that were salvaged from the original structure and floorboards reclaimed from a nearby barn. The walls are Super White by Benjamin Moore to set off the shaker inset cabinets’ subtle pewter hue and steel pulls. The cabinet wall sets the stage for the rest of the room’s gray gradations that simultaneously contrast with the wood’s browns and draw out its grays.

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What the kitchenette lacks in an oven and stove, the adjacent outdoor kitchen makes up for with its barbeque and pizza oven. The stools at the island, pedestal breakfast table with chicken wire chairs, cowhide rug, and dining table matched with Lucite chairs were sourced from a variety of Van der Loo’s favorite shops. “When creating a space that needs to be a combination of modern and rustic, it’s important to choose furnishings that aren’t too much of either extreme, especially on the rustic side because it can look too kitsch,” notes the interior designer. “I was careful to pick items that could ride that line and be fun conversation pieces.”

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There is no lack of dining areas inside thanks to the three seating configurations that accommodate 18-plus people.

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View from the summer kitchen to the living area of the family room. The original barn beam structure was re-introduced and is well defined through the use of light colored wall and ceiling elements. Our collaboration with Papyrus Home Design was a big part of the success of this project.

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Detail of the Summer Kitchen. Bischoff Cabinetry, Kitchen fabricator. The pearlescent mosaic backsplash from Mediterranean Tile & Marble provides the opportunity to glam things up amidst the simple, neutral tones.

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The color scheme continues with countertops made up of concrete colored Silestone and a walnut inlay that serves as a cutting board across from the sink. The faucet and appliances are stainless steel to add a modern, industrial touch to the space. Appliances include a dishwasher and beverage fridge tucked within the island, a microwave inside the appliance garage, and a Liebherr refrigerator to create the perfect party pad.

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View of the Entry Hall toward the Living area beyond.

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Photos: Katrina Mojzesz

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