Designer Profile: Jeffrey Butler Haines, Butler’s of Far Hills
When the homeowners of this Spring Lake beach house wanted to transition into living there year-round, their architect approached interior designer Jeffrey Butler Haines with the plans. Haines, with his intense attention to detail, was the perfect choice to maintain the integrity of this 100-year-old home while seeing to the homeowners’ needs.
Haines managed to accommodate the homeowners’ desire for more open spaces (as well as a polished, more modern look) with the need for the spaces to be comfortable, livable, and, above all, true to the “old Spring Lake” beach house aesthetic. Even through an extensive renovation, Haines made sure to retain the important details of the original design that initially drew the homeowners to the house. At the end of the year-and-a-half-long project, they were certainly satisfied with their decision to “hand over the reins” so to speak, letting the designer do what he does best.
Certain sections of the home, such as the third floor, may not look like much was changed, but this speaks to the designer’s skill at making updated spaces perfectly fit the “bones” of the home. Instead of removing all of the walls to the third floor (and thereby completely gutting the staircase), Haines recommended that the homeowners open up the ceiling and maintain the character of the staircase by adding pine paneling in the flavor of an old Spring Lake cottage, drawing inspiration from the home’s original flat-panel doors. The bathroom on the third floor is completely redone, but maintains a vintage, early 1900s feel.
The colors and textures chosen for the home are represented in both large and small scale, subtly tying the spaces together. The canvas for the exciting accents of apple green and aubergine is a palette of putty grey, cream, and china white surfaces. All of these colors are rearranged and repurposed throughout the home. The dining room explodes with the bright freshness of apple green, with the other colors playing a supporting role, and in the breakfast nook, pillows with various patterns of aubergine, apple green, and grey anchor the space to the rest of the home’s design.
Nailhead trim, specifically requested by the homeowner, is used in a few different places in various sizes to incorporate this beloved pattern without making it the theme of a space. In the powder room, the walls of vinyl grasscloth are edged with nailhead trim in the corners, creating a beachy, natural space that is practical to use. In the front hall, the rug’s edges feature a larger size nailhead trim, which travels upward in a smaller scale via the embellishments on the upholstered chair.
In addition to the small details, Haines created some larger custom pieces for the home. To better define the open space between the kitchen and the living area, he envisioned the concept for a central island that cantilevers over the step leading from the kitchen into the living room. Not only does the island provide convenient storage and a central gathering spot for standing guests to gravitate toward, but it also creates an intimate feeling in the family living area and provides a half-wall to bank furniture.
Another custom piece is the entertainment unit, meant to house all the accoutrements of entertaining, without the feeling of having a bar in the home. The sable-finish mahogany piece, backed with creamy white paneling, has a classic, yet modern flavor. Geometrically-scored glass sparkles with the lighting in the space, which also reflects off the glasses stored on the shelves.
Jeffrey Butler Haines is an interior designer with an exceptional skill in “siting” a location – adapting every minute detail to the location, history and feel of a space – a kind of “dramaturgy of design,” bringing his projects to the next level. His New Jersey showroom, Butler’s of Far Hills, opened 27 years ago. Here, one can find his retail showroom, design studio, presentation area and design library. His other retail location, the J. Butler Collection, on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts, opened in 1998 and is carefully curated by Haines himself, creating an eclectic mix representative of his particular style. The store is open from June to Labor Day each year, and from here, Haines reveals his much-anticipated “color of the year” every summer. He also offers event planning services, ensuring the utmost in elegance and ambiance for any occasion. His incredible attention to detail makes him an asset for any project or event.
Text by Ellie Sywak
Photography by Wing Wong, Memories TTL