P NORTHJERSEY . COM | THURSDAY , OCTOBER 1 , 2020 | 7LF
A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE RECORD
INTERIOR DESIGN ❚ HOME IMPROVEMENT
Kitchen islands have become centers of attention
Cooktops and second sinks enhance versatility
By KATHIE ROBITZ SPECIAL TO HOMESCAPE
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
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANASTASSIOS MENTIS PHOTOGRAPHY
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 .
IT ’ S NOT A CLICHé , FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
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
PHOTO COURTESY OF KITCHEN MAGIC
Vented overhead , this central island features a cooktop , plenty of countertop space and storage . The design matches the cabinet style of the kitchen .
PHOTO COURTESY OF THYME AND PLACE DESIGN
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 .”
See KITCHEN ISLANDS , Page 8LF
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
By DONNA ROLANDO SPECIAL TO HOMESCAPE
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
See PROPERTY LINES , Page 8LF
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 .
ANASTASSIOS MENTIS PHOTOGRAPHY