Grounds for Celebration

Mature trees and perennials enliven this expertly sculpted landscape. An abundance of pink flora is fitting for Deb Belfatto, cofounder of Susan G. Komen’s North Jersey affiliate, since it is the signature hue for breast cancer awareness.

Mature trees and perennials enliven this expertly sculpted landscape. An abundance of pink flora is fitting for Deb Belfatto, cofounder of Susan G. Komen’s North Jersey affiliate, since it is the signature hue for breast cancer awareness.

For Deb and Joe Belfatto, hospitality is about more than serving finger food and cocktails. The Belfattos, who purchased their circa 1904 mansion in Summit 18 years ago, have hosted a myriad of functions through the years and what they most enjoy is connecting people. ”I love putting different personalities together and letting them see that they have things in common,” says Deb Belfatto. ”They may not end up friends, but each will find a new level of respect for the other.”

Over the years, the couple’s entertaining has run the gamut from fund-raisers for nonprofits (including Susan G. Komen’s North Jersey affiliate, which Deb cofounded in 1997) to an outdoor barbecue for 300-plus guests—complete with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and a barbershop quartet—and the wedding of a close friend.

The sprawling, six-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Georgian colonial home that affords them the space to entertain was originally designed by architect John N. Cady and set on seven wooded acres. By the time the Belfattos moved in and began their renovation in 1993, the property had been whittled to three-quarters of an acre. When the Belfattos embarked on a three-phase renovation to restore historic details, they acquired an adjacent property (increasing the grounds to 1-1/2 acres) and expanded the residence with a master suite sitting room, a custom wine cellar and family room.

”We’ve created a gathering place for joy and celebration. The grounds feel very isolated and private, but it is only five minutes from downtown,” says Belfatto. ”It’s like having my own arboretum. It’s a true sanctuary.”

 


Mature trees and perennials enliven this expertly sculpted landscape. An abundance of pink flora is fitting for Deb Belfatto, cofounder of Susan G. Komen’s North Jersey affiliate, since it is the signature hue for breast cancer awareness.


Relaxing and refined, the master bath boasts grand pillars, double sinks, marble countertops, a jetted tub and separate shower.


A custom-made billiard table that doubles as a tasting surface is the centerpiece of this stone-clad cellar. Tailor-made racks hold 3,500-plus bottles. The temperature-controlled space is also outfitted with a built-in sound system.


A 2005 expansion added a sunny sitting room and custom, walk-in closet to this master suite. Classic touches such as the elegant arched doorway and crown mouldings keep pace with the home’s traditional elements.


The charming foyer showcases an eclectic formality, with an intricately patterned chest, multitiered chandelier and checkered floor painted by Morristown artist Barbara Dalton.



The kitchen remodel was tackled in the first phase of renovation. To create this oversized cooking area, the original kitchen, library, laundry and powder rooms were combined. Here, details such as a painted tin ceiling, exposed red-brick wall, built-in storage (right), a farmhouse sink and a faux-painted floor lend period charm, while modern must-haves (generous counter space, updated lighting and high-end appliances) offer optimal efficiency.


Located just beyond the kitchen—with room for casual dining—this bright catch-all room, added in 2005, features hardwood floors, a coffered ceiling, window seating and a fireplace.


Designer Charlotte Moss of New York City helped fashion this spacious room where pastel hues prevail. The home’s original leaded glass windows and the ornately carved mantel woodwork and columns were expertly restored.


The landscaping, by Statile & Todd of Far Hills, offers year ’round interest. In spring, a profusion of daffodils greets guests heading up this slate staircase. In the fall, mums brighten the walkway.


The covered, circular portico with tall columns and detailed balustrade create a formal and gracious entrance.

 

 


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