As the summer evenings come to an end and the crisp autumn wind rolls in, it is hard to believe that we are entering the fourth autumn season since redesigning the Inn. My involvement with the Inn began as a patron more than two decades ago and what a pleasure it is has been to become the exclusive interior designer for the Inn. As President of Butlers of Far Hills, the Annex at Butlers of Far Hills, and the J. Butler Collection in Nantucket, MA, my involvement at the Inn has provided an opportunity to fuse my interests in design, entertaining and overall style. While designing for a venue of classic hospitality and entertaining, I created the Jeffrey B. Haines Signature Style of Entertaining available exclusively to events held at the Bernards Inn.
Very often I am asked “What is the style that inspired the design of the Bernards Inn?” I like to think of the style as “traditional with a touch of Park Avenue” – traditional with bright, clean and modern touches. It is these touches that will keep the Inn feeling timeless and youthful over the years – Don’t we all like to look and feel a little younger as the years go by?
I was inspired by and worked to capture the classic elegance of the Somerset Hills estate homes. I hope that the Inn feels as though you have walked into our grand home and we have opened our cupboards and pulled out our finest pieces for you to enjoy. This leads me to a nice design tip -- always use a touch of silver throughout your home, it will add just that bit of brightness that you might be missing.
Often I am inspired by the colors and textures of a particular season. For this fall season, I have added handpicked pumpkins and gourds of varying textures and colors to the exterior containers of the Inn. And on the inside, I pulled out a very special piece from my J. Butler Collection. The front entry table at the Inn features a large silver champagne bowl filled with pumpkins of varying colors, shapes and sizes and amazing complementing succulents. Succulents are great for their color, texture and low maintenance. They require little watering and attention -- which is great for a busy inn!And in the Library Bar I am featuring an old bird bath from our collection at the Annex. I called upon my dear friend Carol Magadini, owner of Larkspur & Thyme, to creatively fill the bird bath with gourds, grasses, and other seasonal materials. It’s magnificent -- come take a peek! As the Inn continues to evolve and the seasons change, I hope to continue to share my seasonal tips and decorating touches with you, as well as address many of the design questions that we continually receive about the Inn.