This beautifully unique Craftsman/Mediterranean home located in the historical Montrose section of South Orange is not to be missed. A 5 BR/3.1 BA w/ CAC, exquisite woodworking, and renovated kitchen Every detail has been thought out from front to back giving the home a warm, cohesive feel. From custom milled wood trim in the family room to match the front parlor/dining room to the connected elements of the front and back fireplaces & kitchen hood. The kitchen w/ 6 burner/4 oven range and stand alone refrigerator & freezer features a lg raised island perfect for small gatherings or lg parties. The flow from kitchen to the deck to expansive yard make entertaining a breeze while still feeling cozy & intimate. The spa-like master bath is every homeowner’s dream. Close proximity to Jitney & NYC train!
2016 Taxes: $15,557
- Flow of the first floor living and entertaining spaces makes this house perfect for entertaining and family living, but cozy enough for two. The kitchen is literally the heart of the home: convenient cooking zone, but a big crowd can hang around the island and easily flow to any other room or the deck. The raised island is great for casual dining for a few or setting up a buffet for fifty. We designed this space and added additional archways so the house feels more open but doesn’t lose the charm of an historic home. Dining room combines with the front parlor to be great for dinner parties and game nights with the fireplace roaring. Additional chairs always get pulled over to the fire. Family room just steps from the kitchen has a gas fireplace and tons of windows. It’s bright all day and warm and cozy at night. Comfortable for two to lounge but can fit a larger group.
- Master suite is an oasis. Tons of well organized closets, a bathroom with lots of storage, huge soaking tub, private commode and comfortable shower make it feel very spa-like and private. Two walls of windows in the bedroom area and the adjacent park-like property mean you wake up feeling like you’re in a treehouse.
- Mudroom is an essential, practical space. This multi-purpose room serves as closet/laundry/office and makes it so easy to unload groceries, store coats, bags, shoes, and sports equipment, etc. Makes it much easier to be a “shoes off” house!
- Butler’s pantry is our morning coffee bar/snack bar/an easy spot for kids to prepare quick meals or snacks without taking over the kitchen. Provides tons of food/china storage. We’ve set this up as a real bar during parties and a dessert buffet during holidays.
- Huge deck off kitchen/dining room and adjacent gated/fenced-in side yard are ideal for warm-weather entertaining. We’ve set up volleyball or badminton nets in the side yard, hosted school events, team pot-luck barbecues. It’s spacious, and the landscaping and tons of evergreens we put in make it feel lush and private.
- Expansive driveway and oversized garage: in actuality, it’s totally utilitarian but being able to get in and out all day without moving cars makes this seem pretty luxurious. Also being able to entertain on the side yard without having cars in the way is very pleasant!
- Natural light and tons of windows: we removed dozens of overgrown “weed” trees over the years to take advantage of the abundant natural light—and planted many others for privacy and to play off the Mediterranean feel of the house. Original leaded glass windows throughout the first floor were repaired/maintained to keep the historic feel and new windows were installed in the new kitchen, family room and mudroom with the same proportions and scale as the originals to make the house feel cohesive. The leaded windows in the library make this room so special, bright and tranquil.
- Wood trim throughout the first floor and other elements repeated. Who could paint all this wood? Though white trim has been in “favor” (and much easier to decorate around) we decided to not only keep the wood trim but added matching trim (custom milled!) wherever necessary. The trim on the ceiling in the current dining room/parlor and current kitchen inspired the trim in the new family room. The restored fireplace in the front parlor inspired the hood in the kitchen and the mantle in the family room. Old and new in this house are blurred and it makes the house feel very comfortable and cohesive.
- Historic Montrose District location: when guests come over for the first time they ooh and ahh over the grand homes in the area. South Mountain station is really close, as is Route 280 which makes driving to the PATH train super quick and convenient (or driving to areas West). Downtown SO is walkable and in the warmer weather, we meander into town on foot for dinner and ice cream. The Valley Art District in West Orange is an “up and coming” area and we take a quick drive over for dinner often. Marshall School and Grove Park are a quick walk away and the winding streets in Montrose make it pleasant to walk around.
- Lots of flexible space and storage throughout the house. When our kids were little it was great to have four bedrooms on the second floor. The third floor became a guest room/sleepover room/hangout space. As our kids got older the third floor turned into a great living/sleeping/lounge space with cozy reading nook. The basement room has also evolved. When the kids were younger it was great for movies, crafts, games and get togethers. Now it’s a comfortable workout room that has also hosted about ten teenaged girls for a New Year’s Eve sleepover! We’ve added custom shelving to closets and bench storage throughout the house so there’s never an excuse to leave stuff out and not be organized.
LETTER TO FUTURE OWNER
Dear Future 215 Warwick Homeowners,
Over ten years ago we walked into 215 Warwick Ave. and looked past the dated wallpaper, old bathrooms, and non-existent kitchen, and felt transported into a brownstone-like structure with high ceilings, beautiful trim and tons of space our family craved. Since then we’ve worked tirelessly to renovate and improve the old and dated while respecting the hundred-year-old architecture and good bones we fell in love with. Within our first few months, we hired tree removal experts to remove overgrown “weed” trees and trees that had been permitted to grow too close to the home. This immediately flooded the house with natural light and brightened the space. During the day we barely need to turn on lights!
Our first major project was the master suite. We created a private en-suite with custom closets, a spa-like bathroom where two could easily get dressed and where the stresses of the day could be soaked away in the large tub. Many other projects followed, but all work together to blend old and new so the house “works” for today’s family life. The kitchen-dining-living rooms on the first floor are a perfect example of this. We love hosting friends and family and this home has allowed us many opportunities to have gatherings, large and small.
Some of our favorite memories here include the New Years Eve parties we’ve hosted, whether a group of six or 60. Dinner Parties and game nights with friends, where we pull chairs around the fire and laugh into the morning hours. Mother’s Day brunch which turned into a family volleyball tournament in the side yard and croquets out back, with cousins singing and dancing on the trampoline. School events, team potlucks and prom pictures for over fifty kids and their parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends on the hottest day in June. This home has allowed us to share so much joy with friends and family.
The Warwick Avenue neighborhood has evolved over the past ten plus years. Dozens of new families have moved in and there are plenty of younger children, yet couples who have been here nearly fifty years—who continue to cherish their homes and expansive, lush gardens—remain and are a big part of the culture. There are social gatherings up and down the block, with rotating hosts and guests and it’s been a wonderful way to meet neighbors. The flat streets and quiet blocks of Montrose are great for running, walking and biking. During warmer weather, we enjoy meandering through the neighborhood to downtown South Orange to visit the library, shops or to enjoy dinner and ice cream. The Montrose District location is convenient for commuting, whether via the nearby NJ Transit stations, a quick drive east on 280 to the PATH train, or by car, with 280, the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway all within a few minutes away.
With our children mostly grown, it’s time for 215 Warwick Avenue to embrace a new set of smiling faces. Whether you choose to host lots of gatherings in the abundant space or prefer the quiet the neighborhood offers, we wish you many years of peace and happiness here.
With warmest regards,
The Current Owners of 215 Warwick Avenue
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