Blue Haven

We love blue.” When Dan and Samantha Anderson, a young couple embarking on the creation of their dream home in Morristown, told this to Scott Sanders, he knew this project would be special. As it just so happens, the Manhattan-based designer loves blue, too.

The Andersons enlisted the services of Sanders—who’d honed his talent at Ralph Lauren where he created the company’s first interior design department—while the house was still in the planning stages, giving him a clean canvas and endless possibilities. His challenge was to create an interior that would harmonize with the Dutch-Colonial style of the 9,000-square-foot farmhouse envisioned by Clinton architect Cyril Beveridge. Completed in 2010 after four years of work, the result is celebrated in Picture Perfect: Designing the New American Family Home (Pointed Leaf Press).

At the start, Sanders took into account the lifestyle of the couple and their active young daughters, Julia and Alexandra. The family loves to entertain, and the hub of the house is the kitchen, breakfast room and family room. Considering this, Sanders selected

“a very long table that can be made longer, with side chairs and armchairs fashioned of wood and covered with reversible seat cushions that can be changed if there is a spill.” He chose wood floors for the kitchen and breakfast area to allow for fallen food to be swept up and for chairs to slide easily. For the rest of the house, he sought carpet that was “very forgiving”
and durable fabrics with kid-friendly patterns.

With such a large home, Sanders needed to establish continuity throughout the rooms. Enter the Andersons’ beloved blue, which Sanders used as a common thread. “Blue is universal: It could be warm or cool, and it plays well with other colors,” he explains. “I tweaked it so that in the formal part of the house it’s softer, and in the library, kitchen, breakfast room, and family room it’s brighter.

In between is wallpaper striped with blue and green so there’s always this backdrop of blue.”

Julia and Alexandra chose their favorite colors—pink and purple, respectively—as a base for Sanders’s design in their bedrooms. Since children’s tastes evolve, he selected white furniture and added personality with carpet and drapery fabrics that incorporate a variety of colors. “So, five years down the road, they can paint the pink room yellow and won’t have to change anything else,” he says.

Sanders’s most audacious moves were with the lighting. “There’s a chandelier in the family room that Dan and Samantha originally said ‘no’ to, but which I felt was perfect,” says Sanders. ”It was an unusual fixture: a combination of traditional elements with rustic wrought iron. Though it was a little bit of a stretch, they went for it. When they saw it installed, Dan said, ‘I’m so glad I listened to you.’”

For Sanders, the house’s showpiece is the “man room.” “I had never done one before. Dan didn’t give me any direction other than a Sotheby’s ad with a vignette of a burgundy drape, dark wall, and dark cabinets, and to say that he wanted to do manly things there,” he says. “I made it slicker with a zebra-skin rug, upholstered the walls in navy blue felt, and put nail heads on the walls.” A testament to Sanders’s versatile design, the man room has since transformed into a family room, in which the Andersons often gather to watch movies or entertain.

“It doesn’t feel like there is a velvet rope anywhere,” says Sanders when asked what he appreciates most about the home. “The family and their guests feel like they can enjoy every room.”

Scott Sanders’s favorite New Jersey resources

“I love working with Mads Jepsen of
Scandic Builders [Basking Ridge] and Mike Scheier of Scheier Building [Califon]
because of their attention to craftsmanship.”

“For design, nothing beats the stores in
Lambertville. There’s always a new shop opening up, and each has a specific

The living room (above and below) has clean, simple lines and a restrained palette that delivers a light, airy feel with a classic tone and a hint of formality. A pair of wool-silk damask sofas provide plenty of seating for comfortable conversations around the fire. Muted prints on the footstool and pillows and a cream-colored silk rug offer texture and interest.

The serene master bedroom expresses the same simple, elegant style as the rest of the home. Here, a window framed by toile pinch-pleat drapes, a checkered Roman shade, and a comfy club chair upholstered in striped silk and highlighted by button-tufting, create a perfect space to unwind.

An unconventional round table with a curvaceous base steals the spotlight in the dining room. The homeowners requested a “sexy” space, so Scott Sanders gave them a shimmery rug, plush seats and bold accessories. An oversized chandelier makes a dramatic statement.

A collection of cobalt decanters brings color and shine to a console table;

A white porcelain bowl of cherries and Wedgwood blue pitcher make a fresh statement;

Set against the dining room’s grass-cloth walls, a cluster of hand-blown pears and a peony bouquet top a mirrored cabinet.

A crystal globe table lamp with pleated white shade is just the right size for this shelved mahogany bedside table—which has room for lots of storage without cluttering the table top—and a hand-painted Sheridan-style arm chair offers a sculptural silhouette;

Ralph Lauren nickel lamps with colonial blue pleated shades flank a collection of shiny silver objects and a decorative tray

Lucky houseguests will find this cheerful room a pleasure. A golden toile design, based on the original pattern rendered in the French village of Jouy-en-Josas in 1760, features pastoral scenes. With a checkered duvet, creamy white Ralph Lauren bedside lamp and wooden shutters to filter the sun, the room is warm and welcoming.

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About this article

Author: Issue: Mar/Apr 2012
Credits: Photographed by Michel Arnaud