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How We Live

Monroe Street

Photos courtesy of Corporate Realty

At first glance, 711 Monroe Street may look like a typical Hoboken brownstone, but what typical family has a 5,000- square-foot house? The property, which is on the site of a former glassblowing company, was transformed into a dream home for the family who purchased it more than 15 years ago. This remarkable home boasts four levels of living space, seven bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, separate studio apartment, and a three-car, heated garage. Yes, you read that right—in Hoboken no less.

The enormous “great” room on the first level is a completely open space for working, playing, and relaxing. This level has heated floors, a gym, pool table, conference table with whiteboard, living room, and entertainment center. Posters of classic ‘80s and ‘90s movies like The Breakfast Club (a personal favorite) and Edward Scissorhands hang next to a large flat-screen TV. No movie night would be complete without a vintage popcorn machine. The style is eclectic with a red, yellow, and black color palette contrasting well with wooden details. De rigueur in a great room is the proverbial longhorn steer skull.

Upstairs, the mezzanine level overlooks the great room. A chef-worthy kitchen boasts two ovens, two dishwashers, an enormous kitchen island with seating for seven, and an impressive collection of cookware. The light oak cabinets pair nicely with dark wood flooring. Next to the kitchen is a dining table, fully stocked bar, and a second sitting room. The décor is vintage- homey featuring sofas and chairs with floral and striped patterns, Oriental rugs, wood ceilings, and chandeliers.

Each level has its own outdoor space. The third floor’s is the largest with a 16-foot deck, two patio sofa sets, a table for eight, and a charming trellis with hanging flower baskets. For cooler weather there’s an indoor deck on the top level with sliding glass doors leading to the bedrooms.

A wood-burning fireplace is tucked in a cozy nook on the third floor.

I could picture myself choosing one of the many books from the library on the fourth floor and spending a winter evening there.

In a city where one-bedroom condos are the norm, 711 Monroe offers urban living on a grand scale with all the best features of a suburban home: backyard, deck, garage and driveway right here in the mile square.

But what stands out about this property more than its grandeur is its warmth and hominess.

This is a place where a large family could comfortably gather, yet still find privacy for solitude or quiet conversations. Basil from Corporate Realty tells me that this home was intended to be a place where “extended family and friends could not only visit but be able to stay over. It was not unusual for them to have office parties for 100 people.”

Indeed, the owners made sure that everyone in the family felt at home. I’m told that the elevator was designed for grandparents who were frequent visitors. A large bathroom with three sinks and three vanities was custom-made for the family’s three daughters. If the walls could talk at 711 Monroe, they’d have wonderful memories to share. —07030

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