Is there anything better than a virtual home tour? Designer Dream Homes is a series featuring the living spaces of our favorite interior designers and home decor influencers, where they give us the full lowdown on how they live. It’s all the things we love about browsing virtual real estate listings, with the added benefit of hearing exactly what it is that makes these dream homes so special.
Erin Coren is one-half of the design team behind Curated Nest.
“We chose this location because it is a short hop on the train to Manhattan, close to beaches, and has a beautiful, lush property,” explained Erin.
The 3,600 sq ft Storybook Tudor home was built in the 1930s and features “a round turret, slate roof, Juliet balcony and flower boxes to give all the charm.” While Erin “can appreciate almost all design styles,” she has a particular soft spot for “historical homes and the unique architectural details that come with.”
She specifically appreciates the “beautiful Storybook Tudor details throughout the house,” calling her first impressions, “out of a fairytale from the outside.” Once inside, they found it was more of a nightmare. “The home had original details, [but] there were years of renovations done by past owners who thought pink shag carpet, wood paneling, and painted pepper tiles were great ideas.”
Fortunately, as an interior designer, Erin wasn’t put off. “While it scared others away from purchasing it, to me it was love at first sight.”
“The exterior was what we fell in love with first,” said Erin. The home features 1.2 acres “draped in Japanese Maple, Weeping Cherry, and Willow trees,” creating an outdoor space that Erin says “was critical,” particularly coming from city living. But the outdoor space is still a work in progress. “Currently, there is a blue stone patio with a water fountain that needs some TLC to restore to its original glory. We plan to extend our patio adding an outdoor fireplace and kitchen in the near future.” Additionally, “creating a Tudor-esque garden that flows from the inside out is very important” to Erin.
Also on the property, “there is a carriage house that has been converted to a 3-car garage and guest house.”
The home features original flooring where possible, “which consist of random match oak planks of various sizes and wood dowels,” said Erin. “In the kitchen, we matched the style to the original by starting fresh but keeping it consistent. In the mudroom, we installed cement tile floors with radiant heat to melt and dry snow that gets tracked in.”
“Our kitchen was one of the biggest projects in our renovation,” said Erin. “Previous owners had renovated it in the 90s, removing all of the original details. We wanted to add back details to the kitchen that were removed over time and essentially made us fall in love with the home.”
These details included a wooden beam over the island, new windows, and “cabinets [made to] look like furniture with the toe kicks.”
A Turreted Room With a View
Enhancing the storybook vibes is the round turret on the home’s second floor. “You feel like you are in a fairy tale with dome ceilings, a round-shaped room, and 3 iron windows. The windows open out so it feels very Romeo and Juliet.”
The Primary Bathroom
“With old homes, there are always "fun" surprises that come along the way,” said Erin. This proved particularly true with the primary bathroom. “We had to do a gut renovation of our [primary] bathroom after realizing there was a slow leak going back 40+ years essentially rotting the floor joists.”
Fortunately, the unpleasant surprise led to a much-loved end result. “[We] created a timeless marble bathroom with a glass steam shower and brass shower body.”
Stunning Iron Windows
“Most Tudor homes are known for their lack of natural light,” explained Erin. But this special home is an exception to that rule. “Our home has expansive original iron windows that are over 100 inches wide in every room. While they are very inefficient with single pane glass, they're stunning and we could never remove them!”
Bonus Carriage House
One of the secrets to our home is the additional bonus of the carriage house! What was once made for horses, previous owners converted the original doors to open for cars,” said Erin “Over the garage is a finished guest house/office with a full bathroom... It has been a perfect place for my husband to work from home.”
One Special Piece
“When we lived in the city, I imported a bone inlay chest from India,” Erin told us. “It was previously our foyer entry chest, then our son's changing table/dresser, and now a lovely cabinet in our living room. It is a piece of furniture that is sentimental and will stay with us forever for its variety of functions.”
Since moving in, they've turned their Tudor into the fairy tale they always knew it could be. But as an interior designer, Erin recognizes that she’ll never quite be finished. “Our home will always be a work in progress!”