A grand statement of taste as well as a chronicle of American country living, Historic Tall Oaks stands poised on Bernardsville Mountain. The impeccable and lush landscaping starts at the pillared entryway and carries throughout the estate's 6.4 rolling acres.
Tall Oaks was designed for exquisite living from its start and much of its original charm has been retained. Among its nineteen rooms, some of the beautifully preserved historic appointments include its high ceilings, layered crown molding, solid-core interior doors and original hardware.
The impressive kitchen was restored and given a wall of windows with french doors opening out to the terrace. All three levels of the home's heart pine floors were also refinished and add to its charm.
The home's rear terrace offers a front row view of the New York City skyline. Adjoining the estate, the 276-acre Sherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary provides Tall Oaks a privileged measure of privacy and seclusion.
Its timeless design keeps it as though suspended in time, you can almost imagine the sound of the music and marvelous parties this home did in fact once play host to. Formerly owned by legendary bandleader Tommy Dorsey, Tall Oaks hosted many parties, musicians and celebrities over the years.
The home's formal dining room exudes warmth, and with access to the rear terrace courtesy of the french doors it is also perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining. The room also showcases many of the home's historical features such as the heart pine wood floors, large fireplace and pocket doors.
Pocket doors open to reveal the home's formal living room where one of it's seven fireplaces is a focal point. Multiple pairs of french doors line the back walls of the living and dining room for easy access to the home's extraordinary outdoor space.
Tall Oaks was at one time owned by swing-era bandleader Tommy Dorsey during the height of his career. A gracious host, the mansion accommodated the Dorsey family as well as their celebrity and musician friends. The legendary Dorsey “Blue Room” still hosts his billiard table and piano.
The book-lined library is centered on a Nettie Darr table, one of Barry Dixon's first designs for Mike Reid Weeks and inspired by his grandmother's parlor table. Tall lucite floor lamps provide light at either end of the oak daybed.
Quarter-sawn white oak lends this kitchen an updated modern-cabin feel. Tall banks of cabinets bookend the room and provide ample yet understated storage, and concrete countertops add a touch of rusticity.
A bank of tall pantries balance the room without taking up much square footage. Throughout the kitchen and the adjacent living space, wide-plank, white oak flooring creates a clean base that is easy to maintain and is friendly to the back, legs and feet while cooking.
Even the refrigerator is disguised to look like the cabinetry. To the left, tall pantry cabinets store everything you need for cooking. The designer says, “Shallow pantry cabinets are one of my favorite kitchen design tricks - they hold a tremendous amount of items within easy view."
A contemporary home office features a sleek glass-topped desk, stylish modern guest chairs and tall built-in bookshelves that flank a tall window and bring both light and added function to the space. The French oak flooring continues throughout most rooms in the 11,400-square-foot home in Newport Coast, California.
Tall pantry storage, a kitchen island and an appliance garage are all additions, hiding clutter and upping the kitchen's efficiency. New white oak paneling eases transitions between the older parts of the home and the new.