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The Cutting Edge
11/01/2007 - By By Michael Berman & Photography by Al Kruper

The Cutting Edge

The Melnicks’ Home - Front View

The Melnicks find comfort in a Modern Masterpiece

The Melnicks’ home is a testament to a different point of view than that of the traditional mainstream. Their home celebrates shape and line, volume and space, and utilizes glass, metal, and concrete to service a vision that is very personal and heartfelt. The interior walls are painted in a gallery white and serve as a canvas on which collections, works of art, and furnishings supply the splashes of color. Exterior landscaping is kept to a minimum to allow the home's sculptural elements to shine through. Think different, think industrial, think cutting-edge design, and if you think you’re in the wrong place, think again. Located on one of Holmdel’s family-friendly subdivisions, the Melnicks have created a 7,000-square-foot architectural wonder that's outside the box and inside of it at the same time. Dana and David Melnick consider themselves “design junkies” interested in “using building materials in new ways.” When the opportunity came to custom design their home, the challenge was far too exciting to pass up. The Melnicks had been living in a builder's model contemporary-styled home in Holmdel, but they dreamed of something a lot more unconventional…a home they could really make their own. They enjoy living in the town and its convenient location, so they wanted to stay in Holmdel. Their real challenge came after purchasing a 1-acre-plus lot in a subdivision of custom-built homes and getting started with the design and building phase. The Melnicks' unique home took more than 2 1/2 years to complete, and was inspired by their love of modern art and architecture. The overall concept was an open floor plan, utilizing industrial materials such as concrete, metal roofing, and exposed trusses, while incorporating splashes of natural light, which meant using a lot of glass. The result is a modern work of art, unique and powerful in its singular vision. Picture Notes: 1. The entry to the Melnick home is dramatic and unconventional. The curved wall of windows supplies much light, while naturally finished oak flooring and a collection of brightly colored miniatures (set on a long glass shelf) add points of visual interest while grounding the space. Collections of black and white framed photographs create a strong horizontal visual element and lead to an informal dining area. The dining room table is crafted from African zebra wood, and the brightly colored chairs seem to glow when illuminated by natural sunlight. 2. The kitchen is sleek and forward-thinking. The stainless cabinets were hard to come by for a residential application, but Dana’s relentless pursuit of her vision would not be denied. Dana mentioned that modern and diverse building materials and surfaces are much more readily available today than they were when they took on the home's construction challenges. The countertop material is black and white speckled granite, and once again artistic collections supply the color accents. The conservatory room is naturally illuminated and well-landscaped with containers, planters, and trees used to capture a truly natural setting indoors. This room is the ultimate “outside in” solution. 3. The master bedroom and bath offer as much detail as is found throughout the rest of their home. The bedroom ceiling is lower than those in many of the other spaces in this ultra-contemporary home, lending a more intimate feel here. The walls are decorated with a grouping of black and white vintage (1940’s) photos of New York City and collections of furniture miniatures. The master bath seamlessly continues the modern industrial theme featured throughout this unique home's design. The architecture includes glass block, which is used as a sculptural element as much as a privacy screen; the plumbing fixtures are all exposed. The Melnicks' great room features soaring 28-foot ceilings, a formed wood-burning fireplace (which is as much sculptural as it is functional), and an exposed metal roof that doubles as a ceiling. Dana mentioned that when it rains the house becomes a musical instrument performing a percussive concerto for those lucky enough to be home at the time. The leather furnishings, along with the multi-colored rug set upon oak flooring, all serve to soften the grand space and invite friends and family to sit back and stay awhile.

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