From Challenging Attic Space to ‘Chic-Shed’

A designer transformed a room in this New Vernon showhouse into an ultra-feminine getaway.

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Because the sloped walls at this New Vernon showhouse did not have wallboard, they wouldn’t hold the tented fabric. “We had to devise a way to add wood at the top and center to hold the fabric covering,” designer Karla Trincanello explains. Photo by Wing Wong

The space was not ideal—and that’s being kind.

Designer Karla Trincanello says the attic room at Tyvan Hill in New Vernon (part of the Mansion in May Presents Splendor in September showhouse in 2020) was “as unappealing as possible.”

In addition to steeply sloped walls, the room had a long, narrow entry flanked on one side by a pitched ceiling and on the other by a curved concrete wall.

But Trincanello, owner of Florham Park-based Interior Decisions, was undaunted. “I studied the space and thought it would be a great ‘chic-shed.’ I’ve long wanted to do a room for a woman as her own space.”

Trincanello, a state-certified interior designer and allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers, used the unique bones of the room to her advantage. “The sloped walls reminded me of a tent,” she says, “which led to the concept of draping the walls with a beautiful soft-pink, sheer fabric to create that illusion in a luxurious way.” Though the tenting made the room seem larger, the designer “was careful to scale the furnishings so the room wouldn’t appear crowded.”

Custom built-ins line the sloped wall, creating useful space in the tight entry hall. Trincanello designed a long desk/giftwrap center flanked by two tall cabinets, one of which includes a wine refrigerator. The other features a display case for a wedding gown. “People [on the tour] loved the idea of displaying their own gowns rather than storing them away.”

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