Julieta Alvarez is originally from Argentina but now calls Montclair home. She is the founder of Julieta Alvarez Interiors, a design firm that works in both residential and commercial spaces. After coming to the US in 2000 to pursue a career in interior design, Julieta studied at the New York School of Interior Design, worked for a real estate developer, and a boutique interior design firm before starting her own firm in 2015. She talked to Montclair Girl about perhaps the most important project she’s ever worked on: her family’s home. Julieta took MG inside her home to give us a sneak peek of the space’s transformation. Keep reading to see the before and after.
Montclair Girl: Where is the home?
Julieta Alvarez: Watchung Avenue, Montclair.
MG: Who is the family who lives there?
JA: My family. My husband Bart, my daughter Olivia (almost 6 years old), and my son Lars (19 months), and me.
MG: What is the square footage of the home?
JA: It is 2000 square feet.
MG: How many bedrooms/bathrooms?
JA: There are 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
MG: What year was the property purchased? What year was it built?
JA: We purchased it in 2018 and it was built in 1924.
MG: What was the inspiration behind the decor and/or renovation?
JA: I am the designer and inspiration comes from everything I see daily. I always make folders for different clients, including my home, of color palettes, finished spaces, pottery, art, you name it.
MG: Any IG/Pinterest inspiration?
JA: So many. My favorite account to follow on Instagram is Marc Costa. He curates spaces that have a ton of personality. I tend to stay away from designing spaces that look “too decorated” so it is a great feed for me to follow.
MG: What are three key pieces in the house or a specific room that are essential to the overall design?
JA: In a living room, it is essential to have unique accessories and/or art so when guests are over, they can look around or peruse coffee table books while the host is out of the room making them a drink for example. You want your guests to be entertained “visually.”
In a bedroom, a big rug and comfy bedding are essential. You want it to feel cozy and inviting so I always recommend a big rug that goes all the way in front of the nightstand so when you step out of bed, your feet hit a soft and warm surface. The bedding needs to have everything from shams to a throw at the end of the bed and either two decorative pillows or a long lumbar pillow that has some pattern and color to tie everything in.
For a den or tv room, a deep and comfy sofa/sectional is essential. You want to stay away from the tight seat or back cushions and ideally have a bench seat cushion which is ideal for laying down.
MG: Please share any photos and the descriptions of unique pieces that really brought the design together.
JA: Overall, I used all neutral tones in grays, cream, and whites with lots of texture. I like the juxtaposition of an elegant velvet combined with a rustic sisal rug. The sleek surface of marble with a cowhide. When I work on natural spaces, I always strive to bring as much texture and juxtaposition as possible to keep the space interesting.
MG: Were there any additional expenses you didn’t think you’d encounter?
JA: No, thankfully.
MG: What stands out about this property compared to others?
JA: It is my home so it is always a work in progress and my own laboratory.
MG: Please list your contractors/designers/other vendors who made this possible.
JA: Carlos at Charley’s Painting Services. He can paint, clean gutters, make custom-made mudroom cubbies, install tiles. He outfitted my garage to be a gym, he can do it all.
MG: Please share all links to different pieces in the home, paint colors, room by room in as much detail as possible.
JA: The living room paint color is “Linen White” from Benjamin Moore. The sofa is from Interior Define and the art is from Patricja Korseniak. The dining room’s table is from Crate and Barrel; the chairs are from Design Within Reach; the light fixture is from France and Son; and the wallpaper on the ceiling is from Rebecca Atwood. The sunroom’s sofa is from CB2; the runner is from the Hobbit Door House and the flush mount light fixtures are from Allied Maker. The side tables are custom made.
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