Historical Legacy - Ulana and Anthony Joslin's Locust Farmhouse
Ulana and Anthony Joslin are truly a love-at-firstsight story. When they first met in Hoboken at a club, Ulana recalls with a smile, Anthony told her he was going to marry her someday. Sure enough, they were married in 1996 and now have four beautiful children. Anthony grew up in Middletown, and Ulana was from Rockaway Township in northern New Jersey. She moved to Hoboken after graduating from Rutgers. Anthony graduated from Monmouth University after spending two years at Berklee School of Music in Boston studying bass. But he decided the professional musician’s life would make it hard for him to have the stable family life he so desired.
After their marriage, Anthony and Ulana lived in Jersey City, renting an apartment. Anthony began commuting to New York City, working in the finance industry, and Ulana began graduate school, studying early childhood development. They began their own early childhood family development with the birth of Sophia, their first child, in 1999, after which Ulana became a full time professional Mom. When they had four children (Sophia, Charlie, Lilly and Nate) in five years, they both knew it was time to find a wellsized home for their family to grow into. They began to think about having more room for their family to enjoy the country life. Both Ulana and Anthony had fond memories of the Jersey shore, and a search of historic proportions soon began.
Ulana’s parents were Ukranian immigrants, and she grew up on an organic farm in Rockaway, New Jersey. Her parents owned an apartment building in Red Bank, and she remembers as a child coming down to Monmouth County to help clean up apartments and or help her father take care of landscaping chores, repair plumbing and maintain the building for her parents’ tenants. They would sleep in an empty apartment or the basement while doing the work and go to the shore when they had time to get away.
Anthony had always had a fondness for the Locust section of Middletown. This historic area was settled in the 18th century and featured a farming and fishing economy. The picturesque water views and lush topography became a draw after the Civil War as a place to build elegant summer residences and shingle style cottages. Ulana and Anthony moved into a mother/daughter with Anthony’s Mom while they looked for just the right spot to call home.
They soon found a ca. 1920 farmhouse (which included an addition) on 2.9 acres that called to them as a place to put down roots. In fact, according to Ulana, the first time Anthony walked the lot he said it was where he wanted to teach his son to play baseball. They moved into their new old house in 2000, but always wanted to redesign and create a more appropriate addition for the home they now called their own. They had a shared vision, and Ulana was passionate about designing the home of their dreams around the historic farmhouse. They were inspired by Dutch colonial detailing and gambrel roof features they hoped to incorporate in their re-imagining process, and they also knew they wanted to incorporate a porte cochere (a roofed structure extended from a building over an adjacent driveway to protect individuals getting in and out of vehicles) that they had seen in Monmouth Beach.
Ulana and Anthony hired architect Jim Daley to help them flesh out their ideas and make their dream a reality. They both knew that the overriding design challenge and goal should be to make the expanded house look like it had always been there on this site. They wanted to integrate their redesign into the original farmhouse and create a seamless visual impression to the overall design. They committed to nearly a full year of construction and starting in 2004 lived in a trailer on the site with dogs, cats and four children, moving into the mostly finished home in November of 2005. After a false start with a contractor left them with a big hole in the ground, they began working with Ken Ruby of Middletown based Ruby construction, who was also a childhood friend of Anthony’s. They worked with their creative and building team for 11 months with Ulana overseeing every detail and went on to build their vision. The resulting 4,000 square foot addition and original farmhouse total approximately 6,050 square feet of creatively integrated, seamlessly designed and historically inspired living space. The Joslin’s have enjoyed every aspect of their home over the years and have happily made their own history part of this historic property’s legacy.
Ulana speaks often of “integrity of design” when she describes her family’s goal in designing and adding to the original 1920’s farm house on the property they purchased in Locust. The original farmhouse is now the left hand side of this sprawling and elegantly designed home. The wraparound porch, gambrel roof and porte cochѐre all figure prominently in the overall design and create enormous curb appeal. The classic buttercream historically inspired exterior paint and white trim details accent the incredible attention to detail this home’s design features so prominently. The property includes some barns and out buildings that have weathered warmly over the years and harken back to the property and town’s farming history.
Although nearly seamless in design, the older section of the house includes intimate spaces and beamed ceilings. The elegant newly constructed entry features mahogany doors with side lights and classic black and white checkerboard tile flooring. Natural light floods in from 85 windows. French doors added to the original part of the house, dating back to the 1920’s, lead to the wraparound porch and create balance, since the dining room features the same French doors. Large family gatherings can be accommodated by the historically inspired dining room table (that seats up to 16) Ulana received from her mother. Ulana’s mother enjoyed collecting antiques, and many of her pieces are now included in the interior design of the Joslin home.
The Joslin home works in a circle, with the kitchen being the hub of activity. This gourmet kitchen features Viking professional series appliances, including a 6 burner stove (with griddle), custom recessed Wood Mode cabinetry with crystal pulls, decorative corbels, a farm sink and a massive corner-sited center island to accommodate multiple stools. The great room addition off the kitchen is truly a fully integrated living space. The fireplace and mantel surround incorporate classic detailing, and multiple French doors lead to a built in pool outside as well as a patio space to enjoy some summer sun. The vaulted ceiling and exposed beams give this room an open feeling, and the doors and windows let natural light stream in and allow for welcome pastoral views of nature and landscaping beyond.
One of the Joslin children’s rooms features brightly colored walls, and the darkly stained oak flooring offers a nice counterpoint to the wall color, white furnishings and painted moldings. The Joslin home is family friendly while retaining a focus on classic and timeless details. Ulana and Anthony have created a unique combination of a historic home with artfully integrated new construction that makes this a truly memorable and enjoyable architectural gem.