The current owners of bandleader Tommy Dorsey’s home, fell in love with Tall Oaks the first time they saw it. They completed a careful and loving restoration of this magnificent home in 2000, being careful to maintain the look and feel of the era during which the home was built.
This is a home that envelops you in a big ol bear hug. It exudes warmth and coziness which is truly amazing since the rooms are all quite large. It’s convinced me that any home, no matter the size, can feel warm and inviting.
It has a grand porte-cochere at its entrance, great for keeping dry on rainy days when arriving back home from errands.
This stately Georgian-style mansion is located at 200 Old Army Road in Bernardsville, New Jersey. It sits upon Bernardsville Mountain and backs up to a 276 acre wildlife sanctuary. As if that wasn’t wonderful enough, its mountain top location provides a view of the New York skyline!
Tommy Dorsey lived and entertained here during the peak of his career from 1935 to 1944. The grand entrance hall runs all the way from the front of the home to the back. The home has beautiful heart pine floors on all three levels.
This home is not decorated for the minimalist. There’s an abundance of warm, rich colors and a lot of mixing of patterns. They all work beautifully together and as we tour this wonderful home, there is so much to be learned by just observing how the furniture is arranged and how different patterns are combined and mixed to create inviting spaces.
You’ll also see a fair amount of wallpaper. Look at the beautiful detail on the fireplace mantel and the heart pine flooring. Sooo beautiful! Great chandelier!
I absolutely love the kitchen because it’s so different from the kitchens of today. The cabinetry looks original, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen stainless cabinets before, have you? I wonder if those were here when Tommy Dorsey lived here. The roosters, the pot rack covered in copper pots and baskets and the farmhouse table give the kitchen a French country feel.
See the little pass-through area on the left? It opens up to the butler’s pantry on the other side. We’ll go in there in just a second. You’re going to love it!
A view of the other end of the kitchen. The wall on this end of the kitchen was opened up with floor-to-ceiling windows and a French door leading out to the terrace.
Such a fabulous butler’s pantry! I love, love, love the glass-door cabinetry and the plaid wallpaper! I also really like the soft color the cabinets are painted. It looks great with the plaid wallpaper and kind of picks up the lighter stripe in the wallpaper. I wonder where those little doors underneath the cabinet go? I guess they open up to the kitchen. Okay, I just scrolled back and I think there are drawers on the other side which makes me wonder why they have doors there. Ummm, a mystery!
This is one of my favorite rooms in this home. I think it’s a small den just off of the kitchen. I love the raspberry red wall color! I see a fire aglow in the fireplace. Notice the wonderful old windows with transoms.
I’m not sure where this room is in the home. It seems to be a mirror image of the one we just saw so maybe they are across from each other. It has a more masculine feel so perhaps they are his and her parlors or sitting rooms.
I have never seen paisley wallpaper before but I love how it looks here! On second thought, I guess that’s not a paisley pattern, but it really reminds me of paisley. I was thinking as I toured this home, if I ever renovate my downstairs powder room and have to replace my pheasant wallpaper, I would consider going with either plaid or paisley wallpaper after seeing this home. One of the bathrooms in this home has plaid wallpaper and it looks great! I think that bath is only visible in the video tour of this home so I’ll link to the video at the end of this post so you can see it.
The staircase in this home is wonderful! Love that brass chandelier!
Notice how there are windows on the landing…keeps it light and bright.
Notice how the runner on the stairs actually continues for a little ways at the top of the stairs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done before.
The master bedroom has two baths and two dressing rooms. The rich wood tones and warm colors in this big room give the room a cozy feeling despite its large size. As I look at this home, it gives me the same feeling that the home in the movie, Home Alone always gives me. Just feels like a real home.
One of the two dressing areas off the master bedroom.
I wish the tour took us into all 6 bedrooms…at least we get to see one more. Love the fireplaces in the bedrooms! Just imagine decorating them all for Christmas! I would be in mantel-decorating heaven with 7 mantels to decorate! 🙂
There are two master baths. The home has 5 full baths and 4 half-baths. Definitely no waiting for a bathroom in this home!
I’m guessing this room is on the lower level. It’s appears to be a rec room of sorts.
Notice the coffered/beamed ceiling. More gorgeous heart-pine floors!
I wonder if this was once a porch. Looks like it would make a great mudroom!
Lots of great areas for entertaining.
Since this home sits atop Bernardsville Mountain, it has wonderful views overlooking the skyline of New York.
I’ll leave you with this evening view…such a beautiful home!
Take a 3-minute video tour of the home (complete with Tommy Dorsey music) and hear the current owners describe the home in THIS VIDEO. I loved hearing when Tommy Dorsey lived here, the neighborhood children would sneak up the driveway to listen to the music being created. Some of the views of the home in the video (like this one below) are really wonderful. ~~~sigh~~~
You’ll find additional pictures of this home at Turpin Realtors.
Thanks so much for all your input yesterday regarding if I should move the tree we planted back a couple of feet. I will let you know what I end up doing. You made some great points and I appreciate all the wonderful suggestions and advice!