Realm Designs, Inc., founder Sandra Lambert is perhaps best known by her clients as having a keen memory.
“Clients have asked me how I remember the smallest details on their projects," she said in a 2011 interview with Patch. "I tell them that with each project, I imagine myself as the client, immersed in the space. So it is as if, for a short time, it is my home or office.”
That attention to her clients was key to Lambert's recent triple play in interior design, when Realm Designs received awards in three different categories of the 2012 Design Excellence Awards Competition of the American Society of Interior Designers-New Jersey Chapter.
Realm was cited for work in large residential, small specialty room and retail design.
The firm won the Silver Award for Residential Several Spaces/10,000 square feet and over for a private residence in Watchung; a Gold Award for Residential Single Space for a dining room in Basking Ridge; and a Gold Award for Retail for a liquor store in Flemington.
“We’re very proud of our ability to work in a variety of design venues, be it one room, an entire home or a large commercial facility,” said Sandra Lambert, founder and principal interior designer of the firm. “Each project brings different needs and challenges and each has a distinctive personality–the personality of the people living or working there and the personality of the space itself. Our job is to marry those elements to achieve a truly stunning balance.”
The Watchung residence is home to Irv Cyzner, owner of the highly respected commercial real estate firm Cyzner Properties, and his wife, Jan. The Cyzners turned to Realm Designs to help turn the interior into a unique space they could showcase, according to Lambert.
“It was essential to marry elements of scale, texture and shapes that would achieve a space that was timeless,” Lambert said. “The result is a home that blends classical clean lines in a slightly modernistic way, a skillful blending of traditional, retro and period pieces.”
Over the years the Cyzners had collected beautiful art and antiques, according to Lambert. Incorporating these special and sentimental objects into their home was very important, she added.
“The client already had a stylistic direction in mind leading with the principals of famed architect Robert Stern.” Lambert said. “Working with clients with such a keen eye for beauty and quality was a treat.”
The redesigned dining room is in the Basking Ridge home of Maryann and Gerard Burdi.
“The Burdis hail from large Italian families, where the gathering for meals is a gathering of life,” Lambertsaid. “Maryann is a wonderful cook who loves to open up her home to friends and family and they wanted their dining room to be European-style yet family-friendly and inviting to guests. So we designed a room where the traffic flow is warm and inviting.
“The challenge was staying within the existing footprint but making it look like an expanded and very different space,” Lambert added. “There is a lot of function squeezed in, as well. We hoped when guests visited they would say, ‘This is a room I want to spend time in.’”
Realm’s work at Central Liquors in Flemington won the firm their third award of the competition. The store is a family-owned business serving the area for more than three decades and is best known for its unique and extensive selection of premier wines.
“Owners Steve and Christine Little wanted to increase the visibility of their products while offering aclean and inviting environment, including a wine tasting bar and Internet sales area,” Lambert said. “The goal was to appeal to longtime customers but at the same time achieve a welcoming, sophisticated atmosphere for hosting wine tasting events.”
Although confined to the store’s existing floor plan, the new sales floor now seems visually larger, the wine tasting area highlights special reserve wines and ample circulation space allows room for customers, according to Lambert.
“Our challenge was to take the vision they had for the space and make it work with unique products,” Lambert said. “It also was essential that existing clientele felt just as comfortable visiting as they had before.”