Before and After: A Historic House Gets a Serious Makeover
Tom Kligerman uses his powers of reinvention to transform a 1920s playhouse into a modern living space.
Is there anything better than a makeover? There are too many film scenes to reference and an entire genre of television to cite, but nothing is more hypnotic than a good Before and After experience. This is mostly because it forces us to be remain patient despite the promise of a big reveal. In the design world, that anticipation is even greater. The leap from an uninhabitable home to an incredible one is something designers can visualize the minute they set foot in a space. The rest of us need help.
Thomas A. Kligerman, of the award-winning design and architecture studio Ike Kligerman Barkley, provides the ultimate transformative thrill with his staggering renovation of a six-bedroom town and country estate in Summit, New Jersey. His deftness with this architectural and interior metamorphosis was especially impressive given the home’s original condition and roots. A historic property, the mansion and guest house saw many famous guests, including Madame Chiang Kai Shek, whose arrival inspired the Chinese pavilion built on the grounds. “It is a house that has had three lives,” says Kligerman, “a play house from the 1920s renovated into a rather sad house at some point, then our taking it and making it into a fully renovated six-bedroom house.” (Kligerman and his team also inherited a four-scale, 120-pipe church organ which did not make the final cut.) Balancing history and tradition, he created an elegant residence with beautiful finishes and architectural details that blend formal and casual living that preserve those distinctive days of yore with an expansive fireplace, bright gourmet kitchen, a conservatory, and plenty of uninterrupted views.
We asked the highly regarded architect to walk us through the good, the bad, and the ugly on the following slides. Get ready for a ta-dah moments.