Living in Janace’s Vision
The Gennusa family shares a dream home.
In a quiet neighborhood near three of their four children, Janace and Thomas A. “Tom” Gennusa II built their dream home. It was a carefully planned and executed project with their son Thomas A. “Tommy” Gennusa III (TAG Homes, Inc.) serving as the contractor. “We knew we would have a quality home with Tommy as our builder,” says Tom, an attorney with Gennusa, Piacun & Ruli.
Janace and Tom selected Dodie Smith (C. Spencer Smith, AIA, LLC) as their architect and Leah Richardson as interior designer. “Janace had a vision of everything she wanted in our new home,” Tom continues. “No detail was too small for her attention.” Fortunately, with Tommy, Dodie and Leah signed up as a team, it did turn out to be Janace’s dream home.
Tom goes on to explain that even the lap pool adjoining the loggia was Janace’s concept, “She wanted it to be elegant as well as functional. It was her idea to have the unique water fountain coming out of the tile wall behind the pool, and since there’s an iron fence between the pool and loggia she knew it would be a safe place for our nine grandchildren to enjoy.”
When the home was completed the Gennusa family had a great celebration. “We are all very family oriented,” Tom says. “It was a happy time for all of us.” Unfortunately, Janace became ill several months later and passed away. “There’s sadness in each of our hearts that she isn’t here to be enjoying our lovely home, and yet we all know the house is a constant reminder of how special she was.”
The open floor plan features the living room, dining room and kitchen all overlooking the loggia and swimming pool. The shelves flanking the fireplace in the living room were designed to be just the right size to display the beautiful pottery Janace created. There is a special restful feeling in the living space that’s bathed in a soft cream color. Lush furnishings provide a cozy setting, while an elegant large chandelier hangs from the handsome coffered ceiling. Limestone tile floors are featured throughout the entire downstairs, except for the all marble master bathroom.
“Janace came up with the idea to tuck a banquette in one corner of the living room,” Tom says. “She said it would be an ideal place for the two of us to enjoy breakfast or lunch.” An oval table and two lucite armchairs complete the setting.
The dining room adjoins the kitchen and adds to the feeling of elegance with eight traditional leather covered chairs and end chairs upholstered in a soft cream-colored fabric.
The architect’s favorite feature in the house is the unique winding stairway that hugs the wall in the entry. “It took careful planning to design a stairway that would be attractive, yet unobtrusive,” Dodie Smith says.
Also downstairs is the master suite, featuring a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room that doubles as a prayer room. “Janace wanted a special space where we could have devotions and keep our religious memorabilia,” Tom says. “It overlooks the pool and seems to complete her dream of having a house that would always be very personal to us. Her memory is ever here.”