John Dransfield and Geoffery Ross's Stately Georgian Revival in New Jersey

Built in 1929 by a famous New York architect, the historical estate lends an air of hospitable warmth and impeccable taste.

In Somerset County, New Jersey designers John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross make their home in a Georgian Revival with a storied past. 
In Somerset County, New Jersey designers John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross make their home in a Georgian Revival with a storied past. 
Photography by Patrick Cline. Original text by Robert Leleux.

Ten years ago, when designers John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross, owners of the celebrated home furnishings and accessories company that bears their names, purchased a small 19th-century farmhouse in posh Somerset County, New Jersey, it was merely intended as a weekend retreat, an occasional alternative to the couple’s homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. But as they settled into the Garden State’s Hunt Country, a nearby house captured their imaginations: Cherryfields, a stately Georgian Revival with a storied past, built by famed New York architect A. Musgrave Hyde in 1929.

Clockwise from top left: The study's autumnal palette is extended even to the leaves of the nagel-wing begonias; to accentuate the architectural beauty of the spiral stair in the foyer, a dramatic charocal gray was chosen for the walls; the library's whimsical furnishings add a sense of wit and playfulness to the room's classic lines; in the home's second grand foyer, an 19th-century Russian crystal chandelier contributes a touch of old-world glamour.
Clockwise from top left: The study's autumnal palette is extended even to the leaves of the nagel-wing begonias; to accentuate the architectural beauty of the spiral stair in the foyer, a dramatic charocal gray was chosen for the walls; the library's whimsical furnishings add a sense of wit and playfulness to the room's classic lines; in the home's second grand foyer, an 19th-century Russian crystal chandelier contributes a touch of old-world glamour.

At the time the couple first became enamored by it, Cherryfields was still owned by Nancy "Princess" Pyne, who’d lived there for half a century, and who, along with her friends Sister Parish and Albert Hadley, had transformed it into a residence of renowned style and grace.

Though the proportions of Cherryfields' living room are grand enough for a dinner dance, Dransfiled and Ross created multiple informal seating areas by boldly placing a round table at the center of the space.
Though the proportions of Cherryfields' living room are grand enough for a dinner dance, Dransfiled and Ross created multiple informal seating areas by boldly placing a round table at the center of the space.
John and Geoffrey's Go-To Styling Tips

   

  • POWER IN NUMBERS

    Use enough of anything, and it will look impressive. One cattail is puny, but a mass of them is a knockout.

  • COLOR THEORY

    Don't get hung up on matching colors, as they'll look too pat and lifeless. All colors fade and oxidize with time in a most beautiful way. 

  • SMART ACCESSORIES

    Use overscale ethnic jewelry to accessorize vases, classical busts, or footed pedestals. 

From left to right: Vintage touches abound in the light-filled kitchen; chinoiserie china hangs on the stirped walls above a Victorian mantlepiece; a Moroccan rug anchors the home's yellow library. 
From left to right: Vintage touches abound in the light-filled kitchen; chinoiserie china hangs on the stirped walls above a Victorian mantlepiece; a Moroccan rug anchors the home's yellow library. 

A couple of years later, when Dransfield and Ross heard that Cherryfields was up for sale, they quickly arranged a tour. On the morning they arrived at the house and were greeted at the door by the silver-haired, Chanel-suited Pyne, they became certain of two things: that Cherryfields would be theirs, and that its patrician proprietor would become a permanent fixture in their lives. Within a year, the couple had traded houses with Pyne, who still freely roams her old home and grounds, supplying spry counsel and choice anecdotes about her old compatriots Malcolm Forbes and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (who used to weekend next door).

Clockwise from top left: An abstract collage provides stimulating contrast to the library's well-ordered symmetry; in the master, grass-cloth wallpaper provides warmth, sophistication, and texture; an antique velvet-upholstered settee was a gift from a friend; the master bathroom possesses the air of a gentlemen's club, complete with antlers and dark, lustrous wood. 
Clockwise from top left: An abstract collage provides stimulating contrast to the library's well-ordered symmetry; in the master, grass-cloth wallpaper provides warmth, sophistication, and texture; an antique velvet-upholstered settee was a gift from a friend; the master bathroom possesses the air of a gentlemen's club, complete with antlers and dark, lustrous wood. 
John Dransfield and Geoffery Ross's Stately Georgian Revival in New Jersey
From left to right: An Italian campaign canopy bed provides an air of romance to a serene guest bedroom; in another guest room, a brass canopy bed dressed in colorful floral linens gleams against dark walls; a bathroom retains many of the charming 1920s fixtures, including built-in cabinetry and carved wood cornices.
From left to right: An Italian campaign canopy bed provides an air of romance to a serene guest bedroom; in another guest room, a brass canopy bed dressed in colorful floral linens gleams against dark walls; a bathroom retains many of the charming 1920s fixtures, including built-in cabinetry and carved wood cornices.

As Dransfield and Ross began stocking their new home with rare and exquisite finds—a sinuous settee that once belonged to cosmetics mogul Helena Rubinstein, a silver-painted staff that Tony Duquette crafted by hand for tobacco heiress Doris Duke, a pair of pale wood trestle tables designed by Syrie Maugham—they happily parted with their other residences and moved full-time to Cherryfields. "It’s a special, beautiful place," says Dransfield. "We feel so lucky to live here."

A guest bedroom is alive with pattern and color. A hand-beaded leopard-print "hide" rug, by Dransfield & Ross, lends a lighthearted touch to a cozy hearth. 
A guest bedroom is alive with pattern and color. A hand-beaded leopard-print "hide" rug, by Dransfield & Ross, lends a lighthearted touch to a cozy hearth. 

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