Great Escapes

In these crazy, stressful times, who hasn’t wanted a place that’s all theirs? We found two New Jersey residents who created their own private spaces.

On the Waterfront
Peggy Loundy wanted a space for herself, but never imagined it would be in an open-air shed overlooking Barnegat Bay. A busy mother of two teenage daughters with a large family that often just pops in, Peggy craved a place to drop out. When Peggy and her husband, Mike, purchased the Ocean County property ten years ago, they built a shed as a boathouse to store the girls’ sailboats, jet skis, and other boating paraphernalia.

Slowly but surely, Peggy claimed it for herself. “It was just too cute,” she says, “so I started putting furniture in here. It eventually evolved into my own spot.” An avid shopper who loves the hunt, Peggy says as she found things, she just put them in the shed, and the cozy atmosphere evolved over time.

“I like the creative process,” she says. “And then I get bored and do it again. I constantly move things around.” Although it’s ultimately her space “to read, watch movies, have a glass of wine, and watch the truly spectacular sunsets,” the kids have started to use it too. “It’s a little oasis for all of us,” Peggy says. And, it’s still a boathouse of sorts: furled sails are stored in the rafters, a reminder of what could have been.

Resources: Furniture: Brielle Furniture, Sea Girt, 732-282-0030; Creative Space, Middletown, 732-945-5595.


Tee Time
Although an avid golfer, this Bergen County homeowner—we’ll call him Peter—had never considered creating a sanctuary to his treasured pastime—it was his wife who suggested it, while in the midst of undertaking a major renovation. “We didn’t put something down on paper and make it happen,” says Peter. “It just evolved, step by step.”

The room originally was meant to be a second-story family room, built above an expansive living room/great room. But, the 2-handicap player explains, “We needed a place for all my golf collectibles.” Thus, the golf room was born. The couple brought in interior designer Steven Fioravanti of Greenbaum Interiors and decorative painter Cindy Nelson to create the enormous mural of St. Andrews, the famed golf course in Scotland where Peter has played a number of times. There’s no doubt a serious golfer lives here: There are trophy-filled bookcases—“our woodworker did amazing work,” says Peter—and a putting green cut into the carpeting.

Although not technically for practice, says Peter, it is functional. “The kids have a lot of fun with it,” he adds. In the ultimate irony, Peter admits he doesn’t actually hang out here by himself much. “I love this room, but it’s not really a place I escape to or hide in,” he says. “It’s a room I want to share with family and friends. It gets a lot of use.”

Resources: Interior Designer: Steven Fioravanti, Greenbaum Interiors, Morristown; 973-425-5500. Contractor/Builder: John DiPeri, J. DiPeri Contracting, Oakland; 201-337-3366. Woodwork: Eddie Niche, Niche Brothers, Hewitt; 973-728-0127. Decorative Painter: Cindy Nelson, Paintiques, Ho-Ho-Kus; 201-803-5630. Architects: Fred Klenk, Klenk Architects, Franklin Lakes; 201-848-8844. Mike Scro, Z+ Architects, Allendale; 201-785-8855.

Make It Your Own
Interior designer Steven Fioravanti of Greenbaum Interiors in Morristown offers tips to help you create a personal sanctuary.

Start With A Passion: Embrace a hobby or favorite pastime and use this space to express it. It doesn’t have to be as single-minded as Peter’s golf room, says Fioravanti, it can be a crafting room, a reading room—whatever is special to you. Develop a theme and go with it.

Personalize It: Perhaps most important—this is the room where you want to keep your treasured memorabilia, whether that means diplomas, trophies, and awards, or just favorite family pictures. Peter has his hats from golf courses around the world; Peggy has favorite antiques she’s collected.

Keep it Comfy: Pick comfortable upholstered pieces, durable fabrics and carpets, and a coffee table you can put your feet up on while watching television. “This is not a room to make fussy,” says Fioravanti.

Make it Inviting: Ultimately you want family and friends to join you in your space. “It’s not a showcase,” warns Fioravanti, “It’s a place to welcome friends and family.”

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