A fresh take on Faircourt, the illustrious Gilded Age Estate in Bernardsville Inspired by Tuscany’s distinctive country villas, the elaborate Faircourt mansion in Bernardsville has been restored to reflect both its former glory and its future aspirations. Simplifying an ornate mansion and re-imagining it to meet the standards of today’s modern lifestyle was a challenge that Annabelle Selldorf, a New York-based architect (whose projects have included the Frick Collection, Neue Galerie New York and Brown University), along with interior designer Matthew Frederick, quickly accepted. The resulting two year renovation process transformed the mansion using a graceful balance of Old World...
Built in 1897 for industrialist Anthony R. Kuser--and once home to the late philanthropist Brooke Astor-- Faircourt was reconfigured in 1916 by architects Hoppin & Koen to include opulent details like extravagant woodwork and gilded ceilings. Set on approximately 13 acres originally landscaped by John Charles Olmsted, a son of Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame, this estate is a unique treasure in the storied Somerset Hills Mountain Colony. A refined yet warm aesthetic details the interior spaces with widened windows and glass doors to invite natural light and views into the gracious floor plan. A contemporary wing was created out of what were formerly service rooms, installing bright, airy living spaces that are a stunning counterpoint to Faircourt’s historic character. This light-filled wing offers a center-island kitchen adjoining a two-story family room, where a retractable glass wall imported from Germany frames pastoral vistas. The architect then carefully refurbished period details in the entrance hall, living room, dining room and library. This involved restoring elaborate plasterwork, oak paneling, Spanish tilework and fanciful Adam-style ceilings. She also redefined the second story’s assemblage of bedrooms into an elegant primary suite and added five more bedroom suites. The revitalization of Faircourt is seen in the primary bath’s marble tub, sink and shower, a choice alluding to the use of marble in other rooms. A hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper in the primary bedroom highlights the concept of Orientalism often seen in great homes from this era. The use of contemporary paintings, muted tones and fine wool curtains provide an artful contrast to the estate’s Gilded Age heritage. Bringing 21st century comforts to Faircourt was essential to the livability of this premier residence. Highlights include a brand new kitchen with Boffi cabinets imported from Italy, Gaggenau appliances and radiant-heated floors; a new gas fireplace, and RGBW LED lighting accented the bookcases and fireplace in the family room; a quartz wet bar and dressing room with power drapes and new carpet in the primary suite; and radiant heated floors and new glass shower doors in the baths. Other unique design features of Faircourt include: • Bronze-accented wrought ironwork in the entry opening to a foyer and 60-foot long gallery • A glass-enclosed loggia featuring a marble and granite floor • A bar/trophy room centered by a stone fireplace • An oak-paneled library lined in built-in bookcases, imported from France • A walnut-paneled living room edged in gold leaf-accented moldings • Lower Level wine cellar, workshop and greenhouse area
For an estate of this size and scope, there are a number of corresponding amenities such as a maintenance-free VersaCourt tennis court, heated saltwater pool, three-hole putting green, heated parking courtyard, an orchard with 72 peach, pear, apple and cherry trees, a 45,000-gallon stone cistern, deer fencing and an irrigation system serving the lawns and gardens. Upper and lower garages provide protected parking for multiple vehicles, a car lift, new workshop and epoxy flooring. Serving the property is a Savant Smart home automation and security system, a diesel generator providing 95% power to the home, underground electric and natural gas.
Continue Reading Show Less