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All in the Details
02/28/2011 - By A.J. Perna
Photography by AK Photo / Al Kruper
True Craftsmanship Shines Through in the Frick Familys Rumson Home
In 2006, Richard Fricks office of employment was to be transferred by his company from his native Philadelphia to New York City. At that time, the Fricks had a toddler on their hands and Richards wife, Melanie, was pregnant with their second daughter. The upcoming move was the perfect chance to relocate to a more relaxed suburban area and allow their growing family to avoid the daily hustle and bustle of city life.
At first, the Fricks considered Connecticut as an option, but they wanted to stay closer to the rest of their family, who all still resided in the Philadelphia area. Richard and Melanie decided to visit with some friends who lived in Rumson and talk about life in their town. There, they discovered wonderful, safe neighborhoods, a highly regarded school system, easy access to beaches, and a short drive to the ferry for Richards commute to the city. There was little need for additional convincing; the decision was made and the search was on.
Along a tree-lined stretch of road in Rumson stood a mixture of older as well as some brand new homes. In the Fricks estimation, each home seemed to blend into the next - except one. It was a new construction that just happened to be for sale and was in move-in condition. From the road, it is hard to miss. A nearly 7,700 square foot yellow cedar shake home, set back on an acre and a half, amidst all the other white, brick and beige houses. As much as the unique nature of the outside of the home appealed to Richard and Melanie, it was the details and architectural nuances on the inside that sealed the deal.
Their soon-to-be home was a spec project by a local builder, who had purchased the property. Upon completion of the main structure, the builder set out to experiment with elaborately detailed custom trim, moldings and tray ceilings in every room. Richard explains that, Even the moldings have moldings!
That astounding attention to detail truly makes each room a separate work of art. At first, a home that could be considered very formal in its design was slightly intimidating for Melanie. Five years later, that small qualm is but a distant memory. The Frick home is open, inviting and comfortable - a space with formal details, but a distinct lived-in family feel.
The Fricks spend together time, watching a bit of television, under a 25 foot multi-level tray ceiling in the family room equipped with a custom entertainment center. The gas fireplace is flanked by double French doors on each side and has a tumbled-marble surround and Corinthian columns which steady the intricate mantle.
Richard and Melanie host many family gatherings, with meals in the formal dining room. The pomegranate color of the walls is deepened further when juxtaposed against the white paneling. The chandelier over the long, mahogany table suspends from a one-of-a-kind, intricate medallion.
Richards office has built-in cherrywood cabinets and shelves with marble-topped ledges on both sides. Above is a cadet-blue, hand-stamped tin ceiling set into an elongated inset that follows the lines of the large bay window.
Richard and Melanies oldest daughter sleeps in what they consider to be the coolest room in the house. The double dormers are a nice feature, but the kids really love the hidden play/sleeping area tucked behind a small door.
To keep from covering up the trim on the floor to ceiling windows, the Fricks have kept treatments and coverings to a minimum. This is best exemplified in the Garden Room - a bright, cheerful seating space with a gas fireplace and walk-off patio.
The breakfast area is one of four octagonal rooms in the home. Mahogany inlays in the floor mirror the shape of the vaulted room and nicely compliment the other 5,000 square foot of natural red oak hardwood floors throughout the rest of the home.
The gourmet kitchen has two long islands - one with a sink and appliances for workspace, another for eating and everyday living. Both are topped with hearty, green solid granite countertops. Built into the cherrywood cabinetry are multiple Viking ovens and a six- burner stove with griddle, highlighted by a tumbled travertine backsplash.
Three steps up brings you to the highest point in the house. The master bedroom features a built-in champagne breakfast bar, double tray ceilings and a door leading to a stone balcony, perfect for enjoying morning coffee.
Cherrywood, marble, tile and beadboard set a luxurious and relaxing stage in the octagonal master bath. A tub with Kohler jets and a steam shower complete the effect.
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