The Record Homescape 10-01-2020




Kitchen islands have become centers of attention

Cooktops and second sinks enhance versatility


One of the most popular

islands for Americans these days is the kitchen island . According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders , 76 percent of respondents said a central island was high on their list of must-haves .
“ Ten years ago , the island was solely a prep station atop cabinet boxes ,” notes Linda Fennessy , of Kitchen Magic , a kitchen remodeling company with several locations in New Jersey . “ Now walk into someone ’ s kitchen , and it ’ s the first thing you notice . For some homeowners , it ’ s even considered a status symbol .”
The pros at the National Kitchen and Bath Association ( NKBA ) concur , especially noting the popularity of “ waterfall islands ,” in which a stone or quartz countertop extends down the side of the cabinet to the floor in a fluid , seemingly unbroken natural line . “ Islands are no longer an afterthought or something small to squeeze into the space ,” says the NKBA , they have become focal points … meant to create impact , and the design must make a statement .”
Other 2020 island trends include mix-and-match materials , such as stone and wood or metal , and mixed colors . Then there ’ s classic furniture looks for islands that take their cue from vintage tables .
And because today ’ s kitchen is often open to living areas , visual order is important . Hence the trend toward more under-cabinet appliances and storage .

Designed for Living

Living large in a small space

The Designer : Heather Higgins , ASID , CID , Higgins Design Studio , LLC , Wayne , NJ , www . higginsdesignstudio . com The Challenge : How to visually enlarge a modestly sized apartment , provide full access
Heather Higgins
Opening the kitchen to the adjacent living space and impressive city views visually enlarges the space and facilitates socializing with guests . LED lighting highlights the grid of white lacquer panels beneath the countertop .
Interior designer Sharon Sherman , whose firm Thyme and Place Design is located in Wyckoff , says , “ I think TV and movies and magazines have glorified the kitchen island . The idea of a long uninterrupted piece of countertop with storage below and the family all standing around enjoying food and fun is an idealized image of the American kitchen . Don ’ t get me wrong , I love islands and have a 42 X 98-inch island in my kitchen . I can do prep work and talk to my husband while he sits on the other side , and it is great for entertaining . But with the configuration of my kitchen , I do walk around it a bit . So , it ’ s important to
Vented overhead , this central island features a cooktop , plenty of countertop space and storage . The design matches the cabinet style of the kitchen .
This spacious kitchen easily accommodates a sizeable central island with classic styling that incorporates a second sink , seating for casual meals and storage .
MICHAEL IAN to lofty city views and create a welcoming sanctuary for socializing with friends and family . The Solution : I met the challenge in this small highrise apartment , which overlooks New York City ’ s East River , by designing an open , multi-functional , contemporary living space that maximizes storage and provides a relaxed setting for guests . The clients , a warm , gregarious couple relocated from the land “ Down Under ,” were busy professionals who like to entertain informally .
The kitchen was opened to the adjacent living space and impressive city views to visually enlarge the space and facilitate socializing with guests , while preparing meals . The custom , whitelacquer upper cabinets and island , figured grey sycamore lower cabinets and charcoalstained rift cut oak flooring , in tandem with the stainlesssteel appliances and quartz countertops , blend seamlessly with the style and color palette of the adjoining areas .
A small alcove , adjacent to the kitchen , was converted
consider the layout [ of the room ].”
In a small kitchen , an island may obstruct the work space and flow of traffic . So , Sherman says , “ First , make sure there is enough room . I have been in so many kitchens where there is not enough space between the counters , and you can ’ t [ fully ] open the dishwasher or oven door . You need space to stand at these appliances .”
If you ’ re thinking about adding an island , get out the tape measure . “ An island requires a minimum of 36 to 42 inches all around for walking and opening appliance doors ,” advises Fennessy . “ When space allows , the ideal layout for accommodating an island is an L-shaped kitchen , but it also works in a galley kitchen . A U-shape layout is a bit trickier designwise , and it doesn ’ t allow for an island visually . So , some homeowners are foregoing the peninsula in an existing U-shape kitchen for an island because the latter traps the cook in one space .” When situating an island in your kitchen layout , remember to include electric outlets for appliances . As Sherman notes , “ You don ’ t want to string power cords across the kitchen . So , have electric at the island if you want to really make good use of the space .” BIGGER BETTER ?
Not always , say the experts , even when you have the space . “ Islands can totally be too big ,” says Sherman . “ First is the practical part : if you can ’ t reach the middle of the counter , it ’ s just wasted space , and you can ’ t clean it . And second , if it is larger than the material [ slab ] you want to use for a top , you will have a very big , very unsightly seam in the center .”
into an inviting sitting area encircled by compelling city views . In stark contrast , the oversized wall-mounted photographs of polar bears express the client ’ s bond with wildlife and wilderness environments . The built-in sleep sofa provides both cushy lounge seating and welcoming accommodations for overnight guests . The drapery , which disappears into the wall , can be drawn to provide visual privacy . The boldly striped flat weave rug and mix of accent pillows set a fun , casual tone .
The living area , surrounded by city views and open to the adjacent kitchen and sitting area , is a restful retreat to entertain friends and family . The varied tones and textures of the neutral color palette are punctuated with accents of bright turquoise and green . The framed images , above the sofa , are part of the collection of wildlife photographs taken by the clients during their travels .
The master bedroom provides a peaceful , comfortable haven high above the

Want peace with neighbors ? Then know your boundaries

Violating property lines can have consequences


Being a good neighbor means more than baking up

brownies as a sweet welcome when someone moves in next door . Sure , anything chocolate goes a long way , but place a fence , deck , driveway , addition — even landscaping — too close to the property line and the path to tranquility has just been trampled .
The problem is many people have no clue where their property line begins and ends . “ A lot of times what looks like the property line , for instance a 100-year-old rock wall , is not the property line ,” said Matthew O ’ Connor , chief operating officer at Terrie O ’ Connor Realtors with North Jersey offices . “ It ’ s a lot more complicated than people realize when you get into the details .”
Even when homeowners have an idea of their property ’ s borders , perhaps from markers that a surveyor planted in the lot ’ s four corners , they may not be aware of townrequired setbacks for different types of projects , he said . Seldom should a homeowner build right on the property line ; municipal zoning typically requires a setback .
The consequences can be severe for those who stray into their neighbor ’ s domain . For instance , if that new addition crosses the line or violates setback requirements , the town will seek a remedy — even if it means some demolition . O ’ Connor knows of one case where that in fact happened . Fortunately , this waste of time , money and labor with additions doesn ’ t occur every day ; it ’ s far more common with fences and decks because residents don ’ t always do their homework about property lines , he said . So , what are some ways to determine a property line ?
Survey : One of the best ways to locate your property line is to check the survey that was performed when you bought the house , said O ’ Connor , calling it “ a real legal description of the lot .”
Surveys often describe the property by metes ( distance ) and bounds ( direction and where to stop ), not the language of a layperson . But they also include site improvements like a pool , fence or deck that can guide the homeowner on their property line search , said Jeremy Klapper , vice president of Behar Surveying Associates in East Rutherford . For everything from a grand addition to a simple fence , many towns do require a survey before issuing a permit , he said . Although an older survey may satisfy your curiosity about your property line , Klapper said for new projects , towns typically require a survey not more than 5-10 years old .
Markers : Many times , a surveyor will also be asked to mark the lot ’ s four corners , which can be quite useful in calming potential neighborhood feuds about boundaries . An older marker in New Jersey will typically be a stake in the ground , while a marker installed in the last 20-30 years will be either an 18-inch iron rod in a non-paved area or a nail in a paved area , Klapper said .
If questions remain , he added , the newer markers contain a plastic hub or a disc with the surveyor ’ s name and license number . ( For more information go to nj . mylicense . com / verification .) Markers buried underground could be tracked down with the skillful use of a metal detector but don ’ t go digging without first calling 811 or your utility
Surrounded by lofty city views and open to the adjacent kitchen and sitting area , the peaceful tone of the living area provides a relaxed setting to entertain guests . The varied tones and textures of the neutral color palette are punctuated with turquoise and green . The framed images are part of the collection of wildlife photos taken by the clients during their travels .
city . The built-in custom wall unit provides storage along the entire length of a wall from floor to ceiling . The unit ’ s figured grey sycamore finish , also used on the lower cabinets in the kitchen , creates interest , but maintains the quiet tone and restful quality of the space .
The end result ? A relaxing retreat for both clients and guests !
The New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers ( ASID ) offers a resource for consumers interested in obtaining the services of a qualified pro-fessional interior designer . For more information , visit Find a Pro section at www . nj . asid . org .