Design details are revealed in the Mansion at Natirar’s historic restoration and expansion
Peapack-Gladstone, N.J. – April 18, 2017 – When the Mansion at Natirar reopens this June following an extensive restoration and expansion, its inspired new design is destined to propel the venue to the top of the most-wanted list for Northern New Jersey events. The work of Los Angeles-based SFA Design, the new vision preserves the integrity of the original Tudor-era estate, which presides over 500 acres of protected land along the Raritan River in Somerset County, while introducing fresh, modern and eclectic elements that create moments of discovery at every turn.
The 35,000-square-foot Mansion’s restoration will create separate, defined areas for Natirar club members and public gatherings. Its expansion will introduce a brand-new Grand Ballroom and Conservatory whose design is inspired by, and will connect guests to, the vast expanse of countryside just outside.
“What sets The Mansion at Natirar apart from others in the area is its ability to draw you out to the landscape, the view, the sunsets and nature,” said Natirar Founder Bob Wojtowicz. “The new Ballroom and Conservatory will take full advantage of that attribute, drawing the outdoors in through expansive windows, rustic design elements, and a spectacular living wall feature.”
The Mansion’s new Foyer will serve as the arrival and reception space for Natirar guests. Its existing limestone fireplace and ornate light fixture have been beautifully restored, and the original glass panels replaced with restoration glass. Floors are being resurfaced with high-quality porcelain and a circular sofa in a light, neutral fabric will provide an inviting spot to relax.
Making a highly anticipated debut in June will be Natirar’s new Grand Ballroom, which will be accessed from the Mansion via the connecting Conservatory. Ideal for high-powered meetings and sophisticated social events, this magnificent new space will be a natural for weddings with a rustic chic aesthetic.
The Grand Ballroom will feature brick walls, wooden doors, and textured acoustical fabrics, echoing the rustic detail inherent in Natirar’s acclaimed restaurant, Ninety Acres. Iron chandeliers will hang from open beams across the vaulted ceiling. A living wall – the visual highlight of the space – will cover most of the back wall, blurring the line between indoors and out in an artistic, natural way.
The Mansion’s living wall will be both inspirational and functional, as it cleans the air and reduces noise levels. Nine plants have been mindfully selected to reflect the momentous events taking place in the ballroom: The delicate pink blossoms of aeschynathus rosta (lipstick plant) and hoya carnosa will represent the femininity of a bride while pellionia pulchra, (satin plant), will evoke the beauty of her gown. Asplenum (bird’s nest fern) will bring the beauty of the outside in, Spathlphyllum (peace lily) and variegated pothos will celebrate diversity, rhipsalis capilliformis (long beard) and philodendron (silver satin) will symbolize the generations, and ficus repens, with its small heart-shaped leaves, will signify the love that has brought those generations together.
The Mansion's living wall, pre-installation
The Conservatory will be a gathering and reception area as well as an indoor space for wedding ceremonies and other events. It will feature a brick façade accentuated by black metal-framed windows that contrast with the natural, green surroundings, creating a modern farmhouse feel. Large glass doors will give the space ample natural light and an indoor-outdoor ambience.
A new Conservatory Patio will invite guests to gather in the warmer seasons. This space will feature a linen sofa and lounge chairs in light neutral fabrics and accented by throw pillows, by a sleek, rectangular fire pit. The clean lines, simple landscaping and natural elements will let nature take center stage. Trees with dangling lights will add a romantic touch at night.
Inside the Mansion, bridal parties can retreat to a Bride’s Room for last-minute preparations, to change, or to spend a few special moments with loved ones. Most of the room’s original architectural elements will be retained, with unexpected pops of color and luxurious textures and fabrics added. The lavender color scheme will be luxe and feminine, while white paneled walls will add depth and character.
The Women’s Restroom will be light, feminine and modern with paneled white walls and stalls, white marble floors with a gray vein, and modern, simple fixtures. The Men’s Restroom will, in contrast, be masculine and bold, with white stone walls and floors, modern sconces, sleek fixtures and floating dark stone counters.
Several rooms in the Mansion’s interior will be devoted to Natirar club members. Passing through the reception area, members will enter the Parlor and Sitting Room, an intimate lounge with beautiful, modern details and a luxe, moody ambience. Faux marble wallpaper in slate gray and copper will be framed by millwork in dark teal. Wood floors will be stained in a dark mahogany. Comfortable banquettes covered in luxurious jewel-toned velvet, a Chesterfield sofa and leather chairs will create an inviting conversation area and will be complemented by glass side tables and a sleek coffee table with brass trim.
The Sports Lounge, adjacent to the parlor, will feature a rich, masculine palette and a pleasingly diverse mix of textures. An antique area rug will anchor two large back-to-back sofas on the dark wood floor. Leather swivel chairs will be juxtaposed with a modern chandelier, game tables, historic artwork, and eclectic accessories.
The main social space of the area will be the Members Bar. Leather barstools with brass arm rests and legs will accentuate the long bar and complement the caramel-colored leather banquettes. A local artist is crafting a one-of-a-kind wood table from trees found on Natirar’s extensive grounds. Wood-paneled walls are being restored to their original finish to complete the sophisticated vibe.
No detail has been overlooked in the restoration of the Mansion, whose history dates back to 1912. Among the original elements that are being retained are its copper and slate roofing, fine oak paneling, molded plaster ceilings, graceful arches, stone fireplaces, heraldic carvings, leaded glass windows, and period lighting fixtures.
Natirar is one of the country’s most bucolic retreats, formerly owned by the King of Morocco, and set on a 500-acre estate in New Jersey’s Somerset Hills. It is a public private partnership between Somerset County and Robert Wojtowicz, Natirar’s founder. In 2017 a complete renovation to the historic Natirar Mansion will be complete, including restoration to the 1912 Tudor and the addition of a new Grand Ballroom, ideal for galas, weddings and exclusive meetings. Natirar already boasts one of New Jersey’s most acclaimed restaurants, Ninety Acres, built in the estate’s restored carriage house, which includes a cooking school, a private club and a 12-acre farm. Secluded, yet easily accessible, the Natirar estate is less than an hour from New York City and 90 minutes from Philadelphia. www.natirar.com
Eric Mower + Associates