A Private Hideaway

When you turn onto an almost hidden driveway on Bordens Brook Way in Holmdel and wind up a slight incline, you enter a completely different world tucked into this lovely suburban neighborhood. Welcome to the heavenly retreat of the Thackeray family, Ann Marie and Cory and their four children. A visitor to this stately yet incredibly contemporary mansion is immediately soothed by a sense of utter privacy and relaxation.


When the family moved here three years ago, Ann Marie set out to create a family home regardless of the size of the house. “I wanted cozy areas, comfortable furniture and creativity all around my family,” she said. Throughout, the furniture and décor was lovingly chosen and placed to bring her visions to reality.


By Webster’s definition, “cozy” may not be the apt word choice to describe this 7,800 square- foot home on five acres. (By the way, that measurement doesn’t include the expansive finished basement complete with game room, a fully loaded gym and home theater.)


But it’s almost impossible to describe this home with words; it’s about feelings and emotions. “I grew up in Jamaica, and Cory and I met in the Cayman Islands,” says Ann Marie. “I wanted to bring both the serenity and luxury from the island lifestyle here,” she explains. “First and foremost, I wanted to create a homey feel here.”


The family side of the house is decorated in a soothing, welcoming palette of light colors throughout. The kitchen, the hub of this wonderful home, boasts everything a chef could ever imagine. Extravagant touches abound, such as reclaimed metal inlays on the refrigerator and range hood, as well as the oversized, impermeable Israeli limestone island that makes the kitchen the go-to spot inside for family gatherings and parties.


The other side of the interior of the house is “Cory’s side,” according to Ann Marie. It is flush with rich woods, a reminder of her husband’s younger years growing up in woodsy Vancouver. Cory’s man cave, flanked by the colorful stained-glass entry, is a bar that would make anyone want to take a seat and unwind. The manly undertones of handcrafted dark woodwork continues on into Cory’s oversized, private office.


Every space in the home has a distinct personality, be it from a honeycomb coffered ceiling in the family room to the Swarovski crystal inlaid kitchen coffer that reflects Ann Marie’s love of “bling.” Somehow, these multiple personalities of the Caribbean Islands and Pacific Northwest manage to work together to make a home that remains incredibly cohesive.


Outside, the freeform pool, complete with Caribbean resort-style swim up bar and oversized hot tub — Cory’s favorite place to relax -- almost takes a backseat to the sprawling “pavilion.” With room for more than 50 people, the covered kitchen-BBQ-TV-dining space is the perfect place to entertain.


Cory loves technology, and he is captivated by the idea of owning what may be one of the smartest homes in Monmouth County. An extensive set of wires ties the home together – quite literally. The poolside waterfall and underwater lighting is managed by the home’s Control 4 system, like everything else in the house. The lights, the doors, the security systems, the audio/ video systems -- everything is wired and accessible on their phones for the family’s pleasure.


And while it is surely state-of-the-art, make no mistake about it: the Thackeray home is the picture of classical architecture mixed with contemporary elegance.


The home boasts not one, but two, oversized "his" and "her" garages with plenty of space for vehicles, tools and "toys." Palatial steps lead to the backyard paradise and the serenity of a stone deck with crackling outdoor fireplace.
It's the perfect place to unwind after a hard day.
The multi-level patio gives way to a sprawling fun and relaxation zone. There is glass everywhere. Cory loves windows, so there are many to bring the outside indoors. (No curtains necessary because subtle tints maintain complete privacy.)
The jewel of this resort-like retreat is a freeform pool, and it wouldn't be reminiscent of the Caribbean without a to-die-for swim-up bar and luxurious hot tub. Nearby is the Pavilion, a magnificent place to entertain, with a covered kitchen-BBQ-TV-dining space that can hold up to 50 people and offers something for everyone.
Downstairs is a fun-zone with a fully equipped gym and games galore. The basement is also home to the server room, the "heart" of this palace, which houses the wired brains of the Control 4 system.
A family space is light and bright, beautifully decorated and welcoming. The ultimate "man cave," however, boasts dark woods and a fully stocked bar.
Staircases are works of art here; there's nothing utilitarian in this beautiful oasis. The main flight leads to the
The chef's dream kitchen boasts top-of-the-line appliances, indelible Israeli limestone countertops and reclaimed metal decorative overlays, with a crystal-studded coffer above the kitchen island. Nearby, the dining room, with unique coffered ceiling, provides space for everyday dining and incredible family gatherings.
The home's master suite is a true getaway, situated away from the happenings of the home and lovingly decorated to offer a place to unwind and relax after a day of work and play.
A 450-square foot master walk-in closet provides space for anything your heart desires, with plenty of his and hers space in this luxury add-on. Same goes for the oversized master ensuite, complete with sunken tub and a fantasy shower that takes you away from it all. Light fixtures that are mini crystal chandeliers shower the areas below with a diffuse glow touched with soft sparkle.


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20 Sep 2017

By Bari Faye Siegel / Photography by Al Kruper