Mrs. Charles F. Coffin's house, at Montclair, New Jersey, is an . . . interesting example of half-timber work. Located at the foot of the Orange Mountains, crescent-shaped terraces of field stones and large forest trees form a striking foreground. From the covered gateway a winding path leads to the several flights of stone steps that give access to the main entrance.
The main part of the first story is built of red brick. The remainder of the building is in half-timber work, with the stucco tinted a rich buff. The roof shingles are bright red. The plan is pre-eminently spacious in its arrangement. The hall is octagonal, with a vaulted ceiling. The eight openings are finished with flat Tudor arches. It is partly wainscoted, the upper walls being sand finished and stippled a dull gold on an underlying brownish tone. In the apex of the dome is placed an electric disk light. On either side of the front door is a low closet, with fret-sawn panels in the doors and top: one serves as a screen for the radiator, and th other as a coat closet. Above these closets are high windows, glazed with opalescent rondels.
The Reception Room.
The reception-room is back of the hall, and separated from the stairs by an ornamental screen, into which Moorish tiles are inserted. A half-timber effect is introduced on the stairs and in the reception-room by filling the lower panels with tapestry. The ceiling is in dull gold.
The Dining Room.
The dining-room is to the right of the hall, and like the reception-room and hall is trimmed with quartered white oak, stained a dark brown. Above a low base are panels in oak, filled in with burlap studded with nails. The walls above are covered with burlap, decorated with a grape design. The pans of the ceiling are light brown. Beyond is the kitchen, partly occupying a wing beyond the main building.
The Living Room.
The living-room is on the opposite side of the hall. The woodwork is stained a dark green. There is a heavy beam ceiling, and the walls are covered with burlap of a gray-green tone. The plaster panels of the ceiling are also tinted green. The facing of the fireplace is green and blue glass mosaic, with touches of purple; above it is a picture built in, and specially painted to harmonize with the colors of the mantel.
A Bedroom. [Barr Feree did not describe the bedroom.]
Pictures and text from Barr Ferree, American Estates and Gardens, Munn and Company, New York, 1904; digital editing by Sarah E. Mitchell.
Copyright © 2003 Sarah E. Mitchell