September 25, 2017

J. Patryce Design Renovates a 100-Year-old, Four-Story Hoboken Townhouse

Joan Enger of J.Patryce Design resurrects a century-old Hoboken townhouse by mixing modern flair and traditional twists.

by Danine Alati interior designer Joan Enger of J.Patryce Design photographer Christian Harder

NEW OLD THING: Enger refers to her aesthetic as “classic modern, blending clean lines with traditional twists.” She says her team was “steering a bit more modern,” as seen in the furnishings and décor items in the living room, but they decided to “dial it back” once they realized they could resurrect the original posts and stair railings that connect the four levels; the front doors were custom designed and restored to their original proportions.


Joan Enger of J. Patryce Design
Copious amounts of natural light penetrate this home through large,
custom windows including in the master bedroom.

When Joan Enger, principal of J.Patryce Design, first encountered a 100-year-old four-story townhouse on Garden Street in Hoboken, the property was in complete disarray. Uninhabited for almost 50 years, it had unstable and rotted joists, graffiti-clad front doors with plywood panels for windows, waist-high weeds overtaking the backyard, and a gaping hole in the roof the size of a car. But Enger saw its potential. She and her Hoboken-based firm purchased it with the intention of revitalizing it in collaboration with Jensen Vasil Architect and her husband Kyle's firm Key Development.

Joan Enger
Left: Copious amounts of light penetrate the home through large, custom windows in the master bedroom. Right: The front doors were custom designed and restored to their original proportions.

Scouring design books and blogs for inspiration, the team established a visual vocabulary for this 22-foot-wide space. Once they decided on wood flooring, they let the rest of the design scheme flow with custom-designed features throughout including the moldings, casings, and cabinetry; windows and skylights; stone and marble baths; and front entry doors that were restored to their original proportions along with the large parlor windows.

Joan Enger
Left: Enger segmented outdoor space into a grassy area, fire pit/seating spot, and a lounge/dining space with a customdesigned kitchen. “We used organic materials such as IPE and bluestone to create a wonderful, calming outdoor space,” she adds. Right: Copious amounts of natural light penetrate this home via 10-foot-tall telescoping doors in the kitchen.

"Since we were not building this for a specific buyer, it needed to be done in a way that would appeal to a broader audience," Enger explains. "We kept the furnishings and overall palette on the lighter side." With 11-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows on the parlor floor, the home is flooded with natural light and has a direct connection to outside; 10-foot-tall, four-panel telescoping doors link the kitchen to the lavish backyard that's as highly designed as the interiors. Enger and her team delineated the yard into three spaces: the firepit/seating area, a turf-covered portion in the center and a semi-covered area for lounging/dining and outdoor cooking, all accessible to the kitchen via a custom-made modern IPE and cable wire staircase.

Joan Enger.
The ktichen features custom cerused oak kitchen cabinetry with custom brass pulls and a unique brass ladder rail—“It’s a dream kitchen,” Enger admits.Right: Copious amounts of natural light penetrate this home through large, custom windows in the kids’ bedroom.

"We included all of the latest design and technology features and thoughtfully planned every inch of the brownstone as if we were moving in ourselves," she says, adding that she was pleased the home sold in summer 2016 to a "lovely family of five who appreciates every last detail. Considering it was such a labor of love, we wanted to know and like the future homeowners." And the feeling was mutual: The family contracted J.Patryce to furnish the home a second time.

Joan Enger
The overall palette remains light and bright, with the exception of the dark marble herringbone powder room floor tile and custom stone vanity.

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