Scotch Plains isn’t known for modern architecture. But a Red Bank firm managed to wed a Northern European aesthetic — with plenty of sunlight and natural oak details — to this old town steeped in Revolutionary War history.
“The design seems familiar, but all details, technology, and engineering tell you it’s modern,” said architect Rimvis Mati, chief executive manager of Trinity Dominion.
The project took two years, but it was worth the wait. The Cooper House, named after the street it was built on, won an award this year for the best custom home by the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey (SBACNJ). The firm also walked away with a couple more honors for marketing and the best brochure.
Rimvis, a Lithuanian-born architect, believes the massive custom windows from retailer Doleta — the largest being 28’ x 15’ — are the home’s best feature. But the design is alluring in more subtle ways. A theme of marble, wood, and gold runs throughout the rooms. A Carrera slab set into the oak floor welcomes guests into the living room with golden light fixtures from Dutch studio Eichholtz overhead. The same cut of stone reappears in the kitchen as a waterfall feature, then again in the bathroom as the shower wall and the bathroom floor.
Trinity Dominion worked with Wall-based firm Feldman & Feldman Architects in Wall Township to ensure his design would work in an American market, where homes tend to be larger and have more storage space than homes in Europe, Mati said.
“We put a European home on American paper,” Mati told Jersey Digs.
Mati settled on a building with 9,000 square feet, including six bedrooms, and five and a half bathrooms. The realtors wanted to make it even bigger, but Mati’s most trusted collaborator — his architect mother, Terese Mati — put her foot down.
“My mother said ‘I will not design it any larger,’” Mati said.
The home came fully outfitted. Most of the furniture was imported from Europe, including whimsical pieces from Lithuania-based JotJot. A surrealist portrait by acclaimed Vilnius artist Migle Kosinskaite hangs in the living room tying in all the golden accents.
“Even the champagne in the refrigerator was from overseas,” Mati said.