ASPIRENJ.COM MARCH 2011
REAL PEOPLE | REAL DESIGN | REAL ESTATE
NEW JERSEY ESTATES:
CIDER HILL IN UPPER SADDLE RIVER, TUSCAN VILLA IN SUMMIT, CARRIAGE HOUSE IN MORRIS TOWNSHIP, MAHWAH, PALADIN ESTATES IN CHESTER TOWNSHIP
ALSO: OUR DINNER GUEST is TOM SZAKY of TERRACYCLE, CHALLENGING TERRAINS, GREEN DEMOLITIONS, ASPIRE’S DESIRES, NJASID 2010 AWARD WINNERS, REPURPOSING EXPERT EASE
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THE HUDSON C A N T E R B U R Y D E S I G N
C O M
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perfection reflecting your every desire.
everything is inspired by your unique
View our website portfolio of creative
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NEW JERSEY ESTATES
COVER STORY CIDER HILL IN UPPER SADDLE RIVER
CARRIAGE HOUSE IN MORRIS TOWNSHIP
MANOR HOUSE IN MAHWAH
PALADIN ESTATES IN CHESTER TOWNSHIP
TUSCAN VILLA IN SUMMIT
an insider’s look at some of New Jersey’s most magnificent for-sale properties
12 NJASID 2010 AWARDS grande finales 22
CHALLENGING TERRAINS mountains, mazes & pools Oh my!
A NEW BREED OF LANDSCAPER 26 pathways to a green education
20 DINNER GUEST waste not – want yes 30
SPIRE’S DESIRES A slumber party
XPERT EASE E purposeful ways to repurpose
AY IT FORWARD P ecological coup
OCIAL SEEN S Kula for Karma Fundraiser ASID Holiday Celebration Talk of the Town McIntosh Audio Event
SPIRESIDE CHAT A Braen Stone Industries, Inc. a rock solid family tradition
Unique pools and spas that fit your Extraordinary Home and Lifestyle
BUILDING, SERVICING AND MAINTAINING THE FINEST POOLS FOR OVER 50 YEARS
201 . 327 . 0428 644 Wyckoff Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430 www.lehmannpools.com Div. of V. Lehmann Construction Co. Inc. NJ Home Improvement Contractor Reg. # 13VH02492300
PrOvIDING OUr CLIeNTS WITH
exTraOrDINary DeSIGN exCePTIONaL QUaLITy OUTSTaNDING ServICe
WE hANdlE every dETAIl
SERVING NY | NJ | PA | CT 560 Central Avenue New Providence NJ 07974
908-665-7997 creativewallcoverings.com Monday thru Friday 10 am - 5pm Evenings and Saturdays by appointment
Photograph by Wing Wong
Eileen Curtis is the author of the novel Sisters and Strangers, published by HarperCollins. Her agent is shopping around her new one, Summer Sisters. Her short stories and articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including First for Women, New Jersey Monthly, Orange Magazine, and the Times Herald-Record. A former resident of Montclair, NJ, Curtis is an adjunct professor of English at Sullivan County Community College in New York.
Jared Flesher is an award-winning freelance journalist, writing often about energy, agriculture and the environment. His work has been published by The New York Times Online, The Wall Street Journal Online, Grist, The Christian Science Monitor, and New Jersey Monthly. His first documentary film, The Farmer and the Horse (www.thefarmerandthehorse.com) was released in August 2010.
MARCH 2011 VOL. 3 NO. 1
Steven Mandel Publisher Amy Sneider Editor In Chief Michelle Vilotti Copy Editor
Barbara Gref is a former newspaper publisher and an award-winning journalist who most recently has won top honors from the Associated Press for her magazine work. She lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she and her family make green power at a micro-hydroelectric plant.
Laura Soles Creative Director Angelene Coronel Graphic Designer Charles Cording Graphic Designer Alberto Coronel Web Master Jennifer Esposito Advertising Sales
Alice Garbarini Hurley is a freelance writer whose work appears regularly in Good Housekeeping magazine, where she was on staff for 10 years as Senior Lifestyle Writer. She has also written for In Style, Country Living, The New York Times, Vogue Knitting, iVillage.com and Greenwich and Westport magazines in Connecticut. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her family.
aspirenj.com Follow Aspire on Facebook: visit http://www.facebook.com/ASP1RE.NJ
After producing television commercials for Young & Rubicam and a stint as Revlon’s Creative Director, Henry Kuryla was a founding Principle of Renning, Kuryla, Lieberman, Flynn Inc. (RKLF), which introduced Clairol Herbal Essence to the world. He then started Arc Films Inc., where he produced, wrote and directed commercials and documentaries. He has also written real-estate advertorials for The New York Times.
Margaret (Peggy) LaRose is thrilled to be a contributor to ASP1RE magazine. She is a freelance writer. Previously she was a writer for It’s A Wonderful Town magazine. Prior to that in what seems like another lifetime, she was an attorney working for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She lives in Cornwall, NY with her family.
Follow Aspire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AspireMagazine ASP1RE magazine is published five times a year by: ASPIRE One Communications, LLC 271 Rte 46 W, Building G, Suite 109 Fairfield, NJ 07004 (973) 575-0885 All rights reserved ©2011. Reproduction of the articles or photos contained herein without the express written consent of ASPIRE One Communications, LLC is strictly prohibited. Not responsible for typographical errors.
For advertising rates, deadlines and information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan Pritchard is the author of many books including the ever-popular Native New Yorkers, and No Word For Time, and is an occasional guest on the History Channel. He has written and collaborated on articles for Spirituality and Health, Hudson Valley Museum Guide Magazine, Millennium Magazine, New York Spirit, Native Peoples, Wake Robin (in affiliation with Smithsonian Magazine), Tone Magazine (Spiritual Frontiers), NEARA, Resonance Magazine, and many others. He has also coached young writers at Marist, Pace and the Omega Institute.
Anne Marie Soto is both a freelance writer and a public relations/marketing consultant. Her clients in the design field include the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.
E-mail comments and suggestions to: email@example.com To submit new product information, articles or a home for consideration e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org For reprints or copies of ASP1RE e-mail: email@example.com COVER PHOTO: Cider Hill, Upper Saddle River, NJ Photography by Tony Khoury, TDKhometours
Photographer: Denise Keegan for Polo M.A.
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your prized possession... reflects your personality, love of family and achievement. We understand.
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Photographer: Peter Paige
Photographer: Denise Keegan for Polo M.A.
Photographer: Peter Paige
973-402-7400 â€˘ 212-254-1844 â€˘ www.PoloMAinc.com
Virtue Tile is very versatile At Virtue Tile we have gathered the works of extraordinary craftspeople from all over the world and housed their creativity to satisfy the most select taste. From Traditional to Contemporary design solutions, our vast array of environmentally friendly and handcrafted ceramic tile, natural stone, glass and metal tiles will be sure to transform any space in your home. Our experienced personnel are ready to assist you in your choice to bring Elegance and Beauty into your home.
Richard Barr/Plumberry Design, Inc.
Eastern Design Group
Marileee Schempp/Design 1 Interiors
160 Broad Street Summit NJ 07901 908.273.6936 â€˘ 800.222.3163 â€˘ www.VIRTUETILE.com
10/27/10 1:12:50 PM
Our design team creates interiors that reflect elegance and comfort. We believe an interior is more than a beautiful space, and seek to provide each client with a home that becomes their own personal refuge. By understanding the familyâ€™s taste and lifestyle we develop rooms filled with details that make a home or small, whether traditional or modern, comfortable and livable, no matter how grand country casual or formal. Feature photo by Marisa Pelegrinni.
JIMI HENDRIX SIGNED GUITAR
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WORLD SERIES TROPHY
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7. N.Y YANKEE STADIUM INSURANCE POLICY (1927) 8. N.Y YANKEE PLAYER INSURANCE POLICY (1924) 9. N.Y YANKEE ACCIDENT INSURANCE POLICY (1923) 10. N.Y YANKEE WORLD SERIES RING (1977) 11. N.Y YANKEE WORLD SERIES CUFFLINGS (1998) 12. SID BERNSTEIN AUTOGRPAHED BEATLES PROMO POSTER (1965) 13. HANK GREENBERG AUTOGRAPHED BAT 14. (1971)1600 BMW CONVERTIBLE 15. (1950) ORIGINAL PEDAL CAR 16. ORIGINAL TRAVELING SIDE SHOW HAND PAINTED PROMO PANELS 17. ORIGINAL 1933 ANHEUSER-BUSCH BEER CASE
Sophisticated technology. One-touch simplicity. 3-D HiDef Smart Home Computer Music Stealth AV Given the multitude of today’s technologies, your electronics needs can’t be satisfied with product alone. Enjoying the full potential of today’s Digital Lifestyles requires a vast palette of talents. From Architecture and Design through Programming, Installation, Acoustics and System Optimization, your Audio/Video dealer needs expertise in diverse disciplines. And in northern New Jersey, affluent homeowners consistently turn to a single source: Talk of the Town. Our sumptuous facility features eight purpose-built showrooms outfitted with the most prestigious brands in audio, video and system control. More importantly, our team of experts
319 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale, NJ 07401
have engineered each environment to bring out the full capabilities of every product we display, coupled with intuitive ease of use. Whether you’re contemplating a media room, dedicated home theater or audiophile sound room, you’ll see and hear State of the Art components performing at their best. Interested in WholeHouse Automation or the latest in “Green” technology? From lighting and draperies to HVAC, security and sprinklers, Talk of the Town can place every system in your house under fingertip control. Interested in enjoying the Digital Lifestyle? Visit Talk of the Town and see what you’ve been missing.
NJ â€˘ American Society of Interior MARCH 2011
SILVER AWARD Residential Several Spaces / Under 5,000 sq. ft.
The client is a sophisticated world traveler and wanted to integrate her collections from varying continents. The interior space for the first floor project encompasses 925 square feet of loft-like open space with varied ceiling heights. It includes an entry, living room, dining room and library/music/game room. The clientâ€™s objectives were to create a dramatic multi-use space for dining and entertaining, and to provide an intimate area for watching television and movies. She wanted the ability to easily reconfigure the space for large or small gatherings and control the aesthetic environment with carefully edited art and furniture, lighting and color. Using mostly simple geometric forms of squares and circles, and a subtle palette of neutral tones, like oatmeal, and contrasting deep rich espresso browns mixed with a pop of color and the unexpected touch of glam â€“ the space has a feeling of symmetry, balance, organization and clean lines. It is the forms and color that hold the entire design together, allowing pieces from different decades and provenances to dance under the same roof lyrically. Sensory experiences prevail here. Antiqued wide plank ebony-stained wood floors and beams, rough brick walls glazed with antique finish, mohair covered upholstery and silky origami pleated drapery juxtapose with glamorous pale blue glass bead wall covering, a white plastic modern table based on Moorish design, glossy painted ceilings that reflect light, and carefully edited collections of finials, antique books, and boxes all set in a quiet gallery-like order that allows breathing room and calmness to permeate through the drama and richness of fabrics, grand scaled accessories, and architecture.
The library is also used as a music/game room, with an antique harp and piano anchoring the space. Mid century buffets and chests share space with 19th century tables, 20th century accessories and 21st century modern art, while Europe meets Indonesia and Modern America. The custom wool tufted rug was based on a modern version of a David Hicks design, and inspired by the Greek key handles on the pair of mahogany chests. Lighting is varied and layered, using a combination of recessed halogens; chandeliers track pin point lighting, and candles, all adjustable depending on the mood. www.merylsterninteriors.com
Designers 2010 award winners WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
SILVER AWARD Residential Bathroom
The project 132 sq. ft. involved a mansion, left empty for many years and purchased by a construction company for renovation and re-sale. Untouched since a 1950’s addition the master bathroom was in dire need of an update for buyer appeal. Although the bath wasn’t large, the owners requested a dramatic ‘spa like’ environment to enhance the bedroom suite as an additional selling feature of the home. The space had a tub, a private toilet room, a small vanity with a sink and a large linen closet but a big drawback was the lack of a shower. During programming, I discovered a hall closet behind the bathroom tub that could be reversed into the bathroom and therefore creating a solving the problem. The new shower features a rain forest shower as well as a hand shower and bench seating. The sink plumbing was moved to the linen closet space as a vanity alcove for a beautiful double sink washstand. The view from the entry is now the arched mirrored double sink, which creates an illusion of depth in the room. Second, it provided an area along another wall for linen storage in a mirrored chest. The mirror above this chest concealed a television. Walls are a soft blue-green strié with randomly painted silver leaf raindrops suggesting that a warm summer shower had just occurred.
4x4 luxury shower
For an added amenity, radiant heated floors were installed under the marble floor as a secondary heating source and for an appealing comfort feature. A freestanding, silver-leafed Waterworks soaking tub with chrome tub filler sits on the platform over a marble inlaid border. www.interiordecisons.com
NJ • American Society of Interior MARCH 2011
BRONZE AWARD Residential Bathroom
As part of a total renovation of a 5686 square foot Short Hills home, I was hired to work closely with the architect on all phases of the project. My responsibilities included the design, lighting, cabinetry, hardware and all finishes. The house was a circa 1970’s contemporary, in need of major updating. The client asked me to maintain a contemporary feel with luxurious amenities, and colors and materials that were “in nature.”
The 221 square foot space
The master bath was a critically important component. provided an opportunity for a functional and dramatic layout, featuring a large massage tub and deck and separate water closet with etched glass panels. His and hers vanities, a dressing table, tub face, doors and trim were all constructed in cherry. Continuing the ‘natural’ feel, I chose large porcelain tiles with a ‘burnished copper’ finish. A single brass ‘medallion’ was used as a focal accent which emphasized the symmetry of the space.
with a cathedral ceiling
The ‘state of the art’ steam shower is tiled with polished and etched glass tiles. The shower floor is the mosaic version of the outside floor tile. A lighted niche contains a ‘fog-free’ shaving mirror. www.design1interiorsnj.com
Designers 2010 award winners WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
NJ • American Society of Interior
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN RECOGNITION The Environmental Design Recognition is awarded to a space that protects occupants from unhealthy environmental components and has a low impact on the environment, while being energy efficient through energy conservation and utilizing renewable and/or sustainable resources.
Suzan Lucas Santiago
Our client is fully committed to doing business the right way; this corporation is taking a number of steps to minimize the impact of its business activities on the environment. From their recycling, Green IT, and printing programs to their investments in wind power to their socially responsible investment funds, they are working to reduce greenhouse gas emission and helping ensure environmental sustainability both in the US and abroad. They are also members of a broad range of environmentally focused organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate leader Program, and committed to the disclosure of their domestic environmental footprint through the Carbon Disclosure Project. www.santiagodesigngroup.com
Environmental attributes specified to complete this project include: Greenguard and Green Seal Certified products for various wallcoverings, paints, textiles and laminates Natural Fiber content in various textiles Anti-microbial and humidity resistant ceiling tiles to aid the indoor air-quality of the space Low or no VOC’s and Green Label Plus certifications for most finishes Urea-Formaldehyde free materials in various ceiling laminate and solid surfacing finishes Office partitions allowing for daylight penetration into the open office work area Majority of lighting fixtures specified use compact fluorescent lamps and all fixtures are controlled by occupancy and/or light sensors
Inclusion of products that are manufactured and distributed locally (within 500 miles of project) 16
Designers 2010 award winners GOLD AWARD Residential Bathroom
As part of the renovation to provide a larger 160 SF master bathroom for this traditional home, the client wanted a space that embraced the bathing experience, providing an environment to unwind and recharge without the day’s family interruptions and a space that provided ample storage for less slightly bath products and toiletries.
The cathedral space added drama while the addition of a more “human scale” wall paneling, painted pale gray, provides intimacy that linked the painted bench-made cabinets with Calcutta stone countertops. A protective decorative stone cap wraps the upper cabinet that rests on the countertop to provide a water barrier. A bathroom “breakfront” provides linen and bath toiletry storage and a space for easy television viewing from the tub. A towel warmer adds a touch of luxury and a heated floor system adds comfort to the pentagon shaped Calcutta stone flooring. Tile detail was kept simple and understated with an inset mosaic stone rug and decorative border so that no surface was overlooked. White café curtains with hand sewn pinch pleats, accent banding and hand-forged pewter hardware add softness to this space while also providing privacy. A Chippendale-like style foot detail, seedy glass panels and nickel polished faucets and bath appliances complete this pristine and charming environment. This space provided the calming environment for the ultimate bathing experience. www.kbkinteriordesign.com
INDUSTRY PARTNERS Meryl Stern
Castel Tile Donald Kaufman Collection at Eagle Paint Erika Compton/ Faux Paint Artist for Brick Wall Junior’s Painting PET Electric Plain and Fancy Custom Cabinetry SP Krest/Millwork Tony Linardic/ Wallpaper Contractor Wildflower’s/ Floral Arrangements
Benjamin Moore Paints CMI Interiors, Inc. Hardware Designs, Inc. Photographer Peter Rymwid Virtue Tile
Wendy Gonzalez & Suzan Santiago
Armstrong Ceilings Benjamin Moore Paints Flexco Wall Base Formica Solid Surface Interface Carpet Tile Maharam Upholstery Pratt & Lambert Paints Shaw Carpet Virtue Tile Wilsonart Solid Surface Wolf Gordon Wallcovering Photographer Archana Belur, Assoc AIA, LEED AP
Bol Architecture Lundy’s Drapery Hardware Mary Calale Window Treatments Mediterranean Tile and Marble R&G Construction Cabinet and Millwork Toto Waterworks
Photographer Peter Rymwid For a complete list of 2010 NJ ASID AWARD WINNERS & IP’s go to www.aspirenj.com WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
25 E. Main Street, Ramsey NJ â€˘ 201.785.1313 National Kitchen & Bath Association Member Builders Association Member License #13VH05031400 18
Modern GlaMour Combining the best of the past with today’s innovations, that’s the St. Clair difference. Our designs feature a refined use of materials and sophisticated finishes that result in a perfect fit for your life and style. When you choose St. Clair Kitchen & Home you will be assured the reward of an expertly planned and beautifully appointed kitchen like no other.
110A Valley Street, South Orange, NJ 07079 | 973-762-9500 | www.stclairkitchenandhome.com
Diane Durocher Interiors Sophisticated
Diane Durocher, ASID, CID • Ramsey, New Jersey • 201-825-3832 • www.dianedurocherinteriors.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
TERRACYCLE /ter • ra/ n. being Latin for earth /cy • cle/ n. meaning to reuse. The name was coined when we were just a fertilizer company, turning organic waste to worm poop, but works just as well now that we are an alternative for non-recyclable waste. www.terracycle.net
By Jared Flesher
CEO Tom Szaky’s office, the tables are made of recycled doors, the walls are built of empty soda bottles, and an arsenal of Nerf weapons is kept close at hand. Shooting wars break out from time to time between the boss and a militia of fresh-faced TerraCyclers. Szaky calls himself an “eco-capitalist.” He wants TerraCycle — the company he started out of a Princeton University dorm room in 2002 — to do at least three things: make a lot of money, do something good for the Earth, and have fun. “What type of company are we? We’re a new-age waste management company,” he says. But figuring out exactly what that means has required some trial and error. TerraCycle’s original business model was based on worm poop. Szaky dropped out of Princeton on the calculation that there was money to be made from feeding food waste to worms, bottling their excrement in empty soda bottles, and then selling it as plant fertilizer. The idea was novel — TerraCycle’s entire product was made from and packaged in garbage — and it earned the company an avalanche of media attention. Inc. Magazine named TerraCycle “The Coolest Little Start-Up in America” and Szaky “The #1 CEO Under 30.” All this good press, however, didn’t translate into profitability. TerraCycle needed to expand, and Szaky soon realized his fledgling company could collect a lot more than food scraps and empty soda bottles. He moved TerraCycle to an abandoned factory in Trenton (the rent was cheap) and started collecting nonrecyclable garbage — including empty juice pouches, chip bags, and yogurt cups—garbage, with the brand names and logos of giant food companies plastered all over it. What Szaky discovered was the earnings potential of “sponsored waste.” Companies such as Kraft Foods agreed to pay TerraCycle to organize brand-focused recycling programs. School children started earning their school two cents for every Capri Sun juice pouch they diverted from the garbage and mailed to TerraCycle. TerraCycle then transformed the juice pouches into consumer products, such as Capri Sun pencil cases and lunch bags, and started selling them at big box retailers like Target and Walmart. “The environment wins,” says Szaky, “because millions of pieces of unrecyclable garbage are now being diverted from landfills.” This year Terracycle will collect 1.5 percent of all American juice pouches. Their goal next year is 3 percent, and that is just the beginning, says the ambitious 28-year-old CEO. “TerraCycle’s singular purpose is to, at the end, eliminate the idea of waste,” remarked Szaky. He’s thinking big — he wants “terracycle” to become its own verb, just like “google.” And he wouldn’t mind making billions of dollars in the process. TERRACYCLE REFOCUSES Far from the streets of Trenton, TerraCycle now collects 32 different waste streams in 11 countries. And those numbers continue to increase every quarter. The latest evolution in TerraCycle’s business model is that it no longer actually makes anything to sell. Rather, it manages recycling programs, licenses the TerraCycle brand to manufacturing companies, and lets them do the work of transforming the garbage into consumer goods — all in exchange for a share of the profits. Szaky’s new office sits where the worm poop used to be bottled. “That was a big lesson: Focus on what you do uniquely well, and have everything else partnered or licensed or outsourced or somehow not your problem,” commented Szaky. TerraCycle’s shift away from manufacturing worked wonders for the bottom line. After years of not making money, the company turned profitable a year - and - a - half ago. Szaky’s well aware of some criticisms of TerraCycle. Friends sometimes question him for doing things that seem more about “capitalism” and less about “eco,” such as encouraging kids to collect Oreo wrappers at school, then turning the wrappers into kites for kids thus promoting the purchase of even more Oreo cookies. Szaky’s the first to admit that marketing for food companies is an important part of his business. “Does TerraCycle promote the companies that it partners with? One hundred percent,” he says. “They look for our system to bring them sales lifts, because people like their products more.” But Szaky’s unapologetic for collecting branded garbage — therefore keeping it out of a landfill — and stamping it with the TerraCycle label. “The concept of recycling doesn’t comment on the product,” Szaky says. “You could put a recycling logo on a nuclear warhead as long as it’s recyclable. The logo just says this material that this product is made from is recyclable. That’s sort of what we do for anything nonrecyclable. When Oreo puts a TerraCycle logo on their package, we’re not commenting on whether we think Oreo is a good or bad product.” Szaky lays the responsibility for what Americans consume squarely at the feet of the American consumer. “People complain about all these issues with consumer products,” he says. “I don’t think people understand that the most powerful vote they cast everyday is what they buy. If you’re going to vote for a Big Mac, then America will serve more Big Macs. What the consumer needs to understand is that their vote is very, very important and they shouldn’t make it in a passive way. Or, f#*@ it, if they make it in a passive way, they shouldn’t complain about it.” The responsibility Szaky has appointed himself and his company is single-minded, though still wildly complex. “What I’ve seen many environmental companies do is take on too many battles at once,” he says. “I think for a company to be successful, it has to focus on a specific battle. Ours is garbage.”
What do you do in your spare time? “I’m learning how to fly a glider plane. Hopefully I’ll get a plane once I get my license and can fly around here.” Age: 28 Righty or Lefty? Righty Cocktail of Choice? Vodka Tonic Favorite Food? Uni (sea urchin sushi) Favorite Dinner Music? Jazz Preferred Dinner Companionship: “A group of really interesting people having really good conversation.” If He Could Have Dinner With Anyone Living: Mick Jagger
CHALLENGINGTERRAINS 72 man hours: Time to map out maze after corn is planted Hundreds and hundreds: Miles of old stone walls in Sullivan County 54: Weeks it took to build a pool and patio suspended 30 ft in the air 4 feet: Height of topiary snail in New Paltz About 50 years: Age of locust tree roots to landscape around
Meet the Wizards Behind the Challenging Terrains By Alice Garbarini Hurley
Keith Buesing, Coral Acres Landscape Design, Gardiner, NY You might find it tough to keep shrubs shapely—but for Buesing, trimming topiaries is a passion. The Hudson Valley native is known for his green whimsy. “The nice thing about this art form is that it’s constantly changing and growing,” he says. He uses smaller evergreen plants for appendages and bigger ones for the body. His favorite picks: boxwood, Taxus, arborvitae and juniper. And he almost
always trims them by hand. “Sheers are better for articulate work like this,” he notes. His parents started the Coral Acres Nursery in New City in the 1950s, and his first inspiration
was coaxing a rooster shape from a hemlock tree. You may have caught his green car at the car wash in Maybrook, NY, the lizard in front of The Bakery in New Paltz or the whale’s tail that was on the corner of Routes 299 and 44/55. Now that’s what we call cutting-edge art. (845) 255-6634
Lehmann Pools Digging Deep Vic Lehmann, Lehmann Pools & Spas, Mahwah, NJ This family business was started in 1918 by Lehmann’s grandfather, a general contractor. They did their first pool in 1955 and that winter, Lehmann’s dad went to a swimming pool convention in New York City, which would prove to be pivotal. “He got expert advice and by the early sixties, all we did was pools,” says the third Lehmann, who runs the company today. By now, the company has put pools in the trickiest terrains, including a 25-foot-deep peat bog on a property adjoining the Celery Farm in Allendale, a farm from the 1800s preserved as a freshwater wetland. “It was very difficult,” says Lehmann. “Our truck sank the first day. We had to bring in a big crane to pull it out, and then put down timber mats, to disperse the weight of the vehicles.” They also built a vanishing-edge pool
at Hawks Nest in Mahwah, a private residence and horse farm—where the backyard had a 45-degree slope. Mission accomplished. (201) 327-0428 www.lehmannpools.com
Keith Buesing Topiary Artist
B&B Pool and Spa Center 39 Years in the Water
Bagin Brothers, B&B Pool and Spa Center, Chestnut Ridge, NY This company is run by the three Bagin brothers—Bruce, Craig and Drew. And Craig is proud to say they had one of the first in-ground pools ever installed in Old Tappan, NJ—in 1957 by their Dad, a mason contractor. Now fast forward. B&B’s portfolio includes other amazing firsts,
such as a pool 30 feet above ground (with an automatic safety cover) in Demarest, NJ that had a dramatic slope; a condo pool engineered precisely because of tidal water problems; and tricky construction in winding Nyack, NY, which overlooks
the Tappan Zee Bridge and Hudson River. “It was determined that one pool in Nyack would have slid down the mountain, so we designed a concrete structure to hold it in place,” says Bagin. “All of these hilltop sites require a lot of engineering and soil testing. You can’t take shortcuts. I look at these projects as a personal challenge." And that pool perched high in the air in Demarest was not just a blue-ribbon win for the customer. It also earned B&B an award from the New Jersey Concrete Association for the best use of concrete that year. (888) 476-2829 www.bbpoolandspa.com
Davis Family Amazing Mazes Davis Family, Stony Hill Farm Market, Chester, NJ Last year, the Davis Family’s beloved corn maze was a Jersey Fresh attraction for the 10th running year. “We’re part of a company called Maize Quest. So an artist designs what we want—we try to go with what’s going on in the country—and then we plow the field and plant the corn,” says Brandt Davis, who works the farm with his parents and siblings. In 2008, the maze design was VOTE 08. “A corn maze is agricultural entertainment,” he says. “It helps keep small family farms in business.” But starting in June has its
challenges: After planting, it takes 72 man hours to map the mazes out, and the work must go on even if it’s drizzling or baking hot. “It’s something we have to do,” Davis says. “It’s got to be done.” The farm also has rope, tile and kid-friendly mazes. (908) 879-2696 www.stonyhillgardens.com
Photography by Alan and Linda Detrick ©
Beth Pellegrini, Cording Landscape Design, Towaco, NJ Award-winning designer Pellegrini has met with every landscaping thorn, from big locust tree roots she had to plant around for her space at a fundraising showhouse last year to the all-seasons flowering garden she orchestrated at a home on Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair. “Talk about challenging terrain,” she says. “We had to build a ramp to get everything up the hill. But mountains are much more interesting than flat land. Any time
you’re working on a slope, it offers a lot of opportunities.” She added a skyline patio overlooking New York City at the very top, replacing an old horseshoe pit, and decided to tune up the color for all seasons, with Japanese
maples, red winter berries, purple spring bulbs, summer hydrangeas and Russian sage. “It’s like a carpet of purple on the slope,” she says. She once did a series of waterfalls at another hilly Montclair address. (973) 263-5003 www.cordinglandscape.com
All Island Group Cityscape Master Bob Drucker, All Island Group, Farmingdale, NY Bob Drucker gave his word, so he can’t reveal which celebrity enlisted him to do her New York City pool. Suffice it to say that you would be impressed. He and his team
are city pros, used to working in brownstones with booms and cranes, due to limited access for machinery. Now they’re adding an indoor pool and
spa at a home near Central Park. “I invented a system of water hydraulics that allows a floor to move to different levels. It can be at the same level as the rest of the patio, or the platform can be lowered to become a seating area or sun deck. Or it can be a lap pool. Within one minute, it goes from a patio to a full pool,” says Drucker. “We do unusual high-end projects. Even if we have to do it by hand, or up on a skyscraper, we never say no.” (631) 753-0004 www.all-island.com 24
Cording Landscape Design Upper Echelon
Borst Landscape & Design, Allendale, NJ Tuttle tells the story of a client who grew up in Ridgewood, NJ and loved its charm.
He and his wife, after much searching, found the perfect location and style of home but with a very small, extremely sloping backyard. The previous owner had made a significant portion of
the yard unusable. The couple absolutely wanted a private yard big enough for a freeform pool with retractable cover, outdoor kitchen and space for entertaining. After creative design work, Borst Landscape overcame the challenging topography with a series of terraces, creating a dream backyard that exceeded the family’s expectations. (201) 785-9400 www.borstlandscape.com
Borst Landscape & Design Backyard Magician
Gay Donofrio, Perennial Gardens, Bethel, NY Most of Donofrio’s work is at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan County, a big second-home community for city dwellers. “People have taken note of the beautiful geography,” she says. “It’s prettier than the Hamptons.” She works within
Perennial Gardens miles of miles of sturdy stone walls—originally built to mark farm boundaries—and plants hillsides with big sweeps of ornamental grasses. Upstate Farm Country
And when clients spruce up abandoned dairy farms, they ask her to spruce up the land. “We’ve got every terrain challenge you can imagine up here,” she says, noting that rocky soil often has to be excavated to make room for a rich organic substitute. Donofrio even transformed her own farmstead, from 1885, adding a couple of small ponds to attract ducks, geese and barn swallows. No stone left unturned in her quest for beauty. (845) 583-5760 www.perennialgardenslandscape.com
A New Breed of
Landscaper By Barbara Gref
In North America, there are more than 70 plant species that are categorized as invasive. Purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard and Rosa multiform.
WALKINGPATHS Spend an afternoon with Deb Adamsons and you’ll never look at the outdoors in quite the same way. No vine will seem the same. No cheery red berry. No wild rose. To say that you will become suspicious is an overstatement. Let’s just say you’ll become aware that Mother Nature is not always what she appears to be. When she earns her certificate from the New York Botanical Garden, Deb will be specializing in plants that are unwelcome in most settings. These invasive species can be defined as species that cause harm to the environment by loss of biodiversity, to human health or to the economy. While we call such plants “invasive,” they are really part of a long and storied history of human inventiveness gone awry. Adamson explains: “It isn’t that these plants are bad. It’s not their fault.” Some of these foreign plants began their stay here with the greatest of innocence. The invasive Japanese stilt grass, for instance, was introduced in the U.S. in 1919 when it was used as packaging material for porcelain shipped to the States. Bittersweet, which leads Adamsons’ invasive plant hit parade, was imported from Asia as far back as 1860 as that lovely crimson berry found often in our Christmas wreaths, it looks pretty but wreaks havoc on its horticultural surroundings. In almost all these instances of plants gone wild, it’s a case of good intentions with bad results. Even as she takes this new path in her life, Adamsons is aware of the controversy simmering below the surface. Certainly, she says there are those who feel these plants are just following their biological calling and that nature is “taking its course.” And yes, she has seen new patches of sunlight opened onto a landscape or new views opened to human enjoyment because trees have been downed by invading vines or killed off by an unyielding foreign newcomer. “Sometimes it’s a good thing,” she admits. But too much of this is too fast, too furious and too suddenly damaging to be taken for granted. Ultimately, Adamsons says, we can all take one step at a time when it comes to restoring, preserving and learning to appreciate the art of nature, as nature intended. For Adamsons, the best clients are those who want to learn about which plants to keep, which to get rid of and about the best ways of maintaining the natural beauty of the land. “It’s the whole idea of stewardship,” she says. “It’s thinking about the next generation.”
One of the newsiest of negative impacts has been seen in the western wildfires; these are fueled in many cases by brush that is non-native and has reproduced beyond human control. Economists estimate that the ecological damage caused by invasive species and the resulting erosion of property values adds up to a loss of $138 Billion annually in the United States. Adamsons says some scientists’ think the proliferation of these plants is an effect of global warming, others say it has to do with our loss of connection to the natural world: (They) think the American public just doesn’t have the same kind of intimacy we once had with our landscapes. She goes on to say, “There in it lies the cruel irony; conversely a lot of invasive species are carried into new habitats on the soles of our hiking boots,” Adamsons explains. Some trail managers ask hikers to wash their boots before setting foot on new terrain. In an even more direct response, certain states have developed Do Not Plant lists and those who break from the list are actually breaking the law.
Charles Birnbaum Natural Resources
Photograph by Charles Birnbaum
Charles Birnbaum Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, D.C. Birnbaum is president and founder of the CLF, a not-for-profit that honors cultural landscapes, which provide a sense of place and regional identity; map our relationship with the land over time; and are part of our national heritage. “My message in general is to always work with the land—the design grows out of the nature of a place,” he says, whether woodlands or steep terrain. Cultural landscapes range from thousands of rural acres to historic homesteads and can be grand estates, farmland, public gardens and parks, scenic highways, even cemeteries. CLF is co-sponsoring the Every Tree Tells a Story Exhibition of photos, which opened in Newark (and celebrated the 4,000 Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees at Essex County’s Branch Brook Park) and will travel to the Philadelphia Flower Show in March. (202) 483-0553 www.tclf.org WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
In endless ways, life depends on how well you sleep, and how your bed makes you feel. A Vi-Spring bed is entirely handcrafted from luxurious certified natural materials, without chemicals, polyesters or foam that can be harmful to you. A Vi-Spring is designed to be perfectly supportive, but yet sumptuously comfortable. A Vi-Spring is designed to breath and control body temperature, so you are balanced and comfortable in all ways, all night. www.vispring.com 877-484-7774 Also available at ABC Carpet & Home www.abchome.com
You can transform any space into a guest room or simply maximize space in a bedroom with a stylish, sturdy and comfortable wall bed from California Closets. Our wall beds are designed to integrate into our systems, hiding a comfortable bed behind a face and finish that fits your style. For more information on California Closet’s wall beds, go to www.CaliforniaClosets.com/northjersey 973-882-3800.
The Hästens Luxuria represents an entirely new bed design for the company. The basis of this bed is Hästens’ patented spring system, which is then padded by layers of horsehair and other carefully selected natural fibers to give the Luxuria greater softness. All beds carry a 25-year guarantee; and all are available at Hästens stores and authorized dealers nationwide. Store locations and additional information can be found at www.hastens.com.
is listed with the FDA for home use to increase local circulation, relieve aches and pains, reduce morning stiffness and provide muscle relaxation. Designed for people of all physical capabilities and ideal for those who have difficulty exercising. Backed by over 30 scientific studies supporting its effectiveness and safety. For more information, contact NIMS at 305-575-4200. www.nims-inc.com 30
In addition to the DUX Bed, Duxiana specializes in fine European bed linen and the finest quality down with a variety of vendors ranging from contemporary to traditional. Our staff provides expertise in designing, coordinating and customizing any of your bedding needs. Sold exclusively at DUXIANA® store locations worldwide. www.duxiana.com In New Jersey the store locations are Ridgewood 201-670-4488, Summit 980-522-8200, Red Bank 732-450-9011
OrganicPedic by OMI
Scientifically designed, the Floating Bed provides gentle “floating motion” for better sleep, or relaxing with friends. For your bedroom, living room (as a sofa/guest bed), deck or yard (more living space, new bedroom). $3,995 w/Memory Foam. “Like being rocked to sleep in the arms of God” – A.L., hotel guest. www.floatingbed.com 888-528-6031
OMI is the Standard for Certified Purity. The 81 mattress can be reconfigured in 81 different ways to create a custom-tailored fit. Made from 100% natural latex (no synthetic blends), certified organic cotton and Eco-wool, it can be customized as a consumers body and sleep needs change. OMI mattresses are GREENGUARD certified and EPAs LEED indoor air-quality program. OMI factory is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. www.omimattress.com. Also available at ABC Carpet & Home www.abchome.com
Offers premium sleep products using eco-friendly materials that are durable,affordable and comfortable. You can experience Keetsa at their beautiful showroom at 69 Mercer St in SOHO, or learn more about them at Keetsa.com. See what other consumers are saying about them at Yelp.com. You don’t have to spend a lot of green to go green. www.Keetsa.com WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
REAL PEOPLE | REAL DESIGN | REAL ESTATE
REAL ESTATE Inside Exquisite NJ Estates
REAL ESTATE Inside Exquisite NJ Estates
REAL ESTATE Inside Exquisite NJ Estates
REAL ESTATE Inside Exquisite NJ Estates
Designers Working Abroad Connecting Communities
Closets/Athletes/Collections/Gear Kitchens/Cabinets/Spices/Pans How it all Fits
Outdoor Sculpture The Lawn is Your Canvas
Heirs to the Estate
Building Homes For Heroes Community Support for Severely Wounded & Disabled Veterans Guest List Realtor / Mystery Writer Jessica Dee Rohm Pay It Forward Zoe’s Cupcake Café ASPIRE’s Desires Pergolas / Arbors / Gazebos
and more 32
Gates & Pillars Entryways
Design Sense Personalizing a Summer Rental Guest List 33 rpm Devotee
Guest List Event Planner Extraordinaire Craig Neier Mayo Center of the Performing Arts Civic Pride & Elbow Grease
Expert Ease Authenticating Art & Antiques
Expert Ease Soundproofing Rooms
Ascent of a Woman History in Ownership Market Makers Inheritance Law
Pay It Forward Having the Conversation with Your Children Expert Ease Home Theatres Sharing the Experience
Borst makes dreams come true.
260 West Crescent Ave ., Suite 1, Allendale, NJ • 201-785-9400 www.borstlandscape.com
We asked 4 recycling experts: â€œHow can one re purpose materials in a meaningful and creative way?â€? By Margaret LaRose
, the owner of Decorator Depot has been working as a set decorator for 18 years. She decided that she wanted to save the set pieces that were generally discarded once a movie was completed. So three years ago she started her company Decorator Depot. Now she collects materials from estate sales, auctions and garage sales as well as movie sets. Decorator Depot specializes in renting and selling these items for production and staging needs. The goal is to provide personalized service for whatever their clients might need. Whether you are looking for a unique or hard to find piece to be used for still photography, furniture for film or television, or to stage your home to facilitate the sale of your home, this is the company that can help you. www.thedecoratordepot.com (914) 771-7720
Marci Kessler recycles clothing through
her company, DoubleTake, a consignment boutique. However, this is no ordinary boutique. DoubleTake gives women who have designer clothing that is too valuable to throw or give away the opportunity to have these items sold on consignment to women who appreciate them. With four stores and over 20,000 items the company provides a large selection of previously owned apparel as well as footwear and accessories at savings well below wholesale. Such a large selection provides the quality and fashion-conscious customer the opportunity to have a designer wardrobe at a fraction of the cost. DoubleTake has an excellent reputation; it has been featured on both the Martha Stewart show as well as the Nate Berkus show. www.edoubletake.com Short Hills: (973) 564-6464, Red Bank: (866) 678-6464, Englewood: (201) 569-1112, Ridgewood: (201) 445-2525
In terms of recycling, takes it to an entirely different level. Ms. Booker is one of America’s foremost contemporary sculptors. She primarily uses recycled rubber tires to create her powerful abstract sculptures. In a 2003 interview with the author Jan Garden Castro for Sculpture magazine, she stated, “I’m excited to be using a material that has been a foundation for this country and the world. I’ve used tires to translate ideas of universal importance into visual works. Now viewers can appreciate the potential of tires in new and different ways.” Her sculptures are so much more than her use of the tires. Manipulating this material she often invokes imagery of the feminine, as well as the physical and emotional struggle in race, class and gender. www.chakaiabooker.com Photos: © Chakaia Booker courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York
, the founder of “recycles.org” believes you bring people together so they can share resources. The organization, which was started in 1994, is a nonprofit network that connects people who have computers they wish to donate with nonprofit organizations that need that equipment. As Mr. DiBella states on their website “This nonprofit network is focused on the productive transfer and reuse of office and school supplies. We make it easy to keep good, used technology out of the waste stream while putting it back into service where it can help most. Posting used equipment through our exchange network for direct donation to participating non-profit organizations is a quick, simple and confidential process.” www.recycles.org
CARRIAGE HOUSEMORRIS TOWNSHIP
THE ENGLISH IN SEARCH OF
COUNTRYSIDE This storybook parcel of property in Convent Station, NJ offers contemporary comforts in a traditional setting By Alice Garbarini Hurley Photography by David Gruol
et back for a moment to the Morristown of the early 1900s. The town fathers boasted that within a mile of its Green lived more millionaires than in any other spot like it in the world. And tucked into that desired address is tree-lined Convent Station, a place as picturesque as it sounds—an enclave that is home to rich and textured history. In 1912, after traveling in England, yachtsman and empire builder George Marshall Allen set his sights on creating a Tudor country estate on 10 tranquil acres in this pocket of Morris Township. Historians say he had fallen in love with the beautiful English manors he had seen—especially Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire, the inspiration for his dream mansion. He hired noted New York architect Charles I. Berg, who traveled abroad to study the estate, but before the manor came the buildings that would house the gardeners and servants, and a garage (with stable) for the Allen carriages and cars. While the main residence, which Allen named Glynallyn, was being erected, the Allens moved into the gardeners’ cottage. That way, Allen would be right on site and able to supervise every step until the doors of The Castle officially opened in 1917. The Castle still stands, a gracious private residence that is beautiful to behold. And next-door, at 16 Canfield Road, the estate’s original buildings have colorful tales to tell of days gone by. The residence includes the four-bedroom converted Carriage House; a classic greenhouse (the Allen estate had sweeping vegetable and flower gardens, lovingly tended for years); the gardeners’ cottage, with two small apartments that can be rented or converted for a mother-daughter annex; and even the original kennel. Among the snug, storybook features: the rare wood-shingled roof modeled after the thatch roofs Allen admired in the English countryside and the original casement windows he requested.
THE SEASONS GO ROUND & ROUND History is everywhere, starting with the plaque by the front door that reads, THIS HOUSE IS LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES to the curved antique brick wall in the spacious newly renovated kitchen. The hearth of the home has a sitting area, breakfast room and pantry. The lovely brick wall follows the curve in the garage, where drivers turned the Allens’ carriages around. The original stable—with sliding barn doors—is now a wood-paneled study, but you can still see the timeworn feeder where the horses got their grain. A spiral staircase that led up to the hay loft now connects to the master bedroom and office. Upstairs, you’ll find cozy old-fashioned details, like exposed beams, an old-school transom window and built-in cupboards and drawers. Outside, a bluestone terrace overlooks the pool. WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD The home is within walking distance of a bike path/ walkway, and the Convent Station train station. Built during the 1870s to serve the 200-acre complex of the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, which was the first secondary school for young women in the state, it is now a stop on New Jersey Transit’s commuter train to New York Penn Station. Shopping is convenient at the high-end Short Hills Mall. And award-winning dining is on the menu at The Madison Hotel where Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille put down roots in Morristown more than 75 years ago. Rod’s takes reservations for intimate meals served in its authentic railroad dining car. Here at 16 Canfield, everything old is new again.
CARRIAGE HOUSEMORRIS TOWNSHIP
COUNTER CULTURE The modern elements of the Carriage House dream kitchen:
• Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers • Custom maple cabinetry • Soapstone countertops • Two center islands • Built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator, freezer drawers and wine cooler • Wolf gas range with two ovens, grill and griddle • Antique copper range hood • Wolf warming drawer • Stone floor with radiant heat • Original casement windows • Breakfast room with built-in L-shaped bench and leaded windows with woodland views • High ceiling
SOURCES: Roof: E.J. PETERS CUSTOM BUILDERS • 973-402-8881 • www.ejpetersconstruction.com Contractor: CATANIA CONSTRUCTION • 610-260-6084 • www.cataniaconstructionllc.com The Very Special Wood Roof: E.J. PETERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC. • PO Box 284 Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046 Appliances: KARL’S APPLIANCE • 973-227-1777 • www.karlsappliance.com Kitchen Designer: RIBBON & REED CABINETRY, INC. 201-664-7059 • www.ribbonandreed.com ROD’S STEAK & SEAFOOD GRILL • The Madison Hotel • One Convent Road, Morristown, NJ 07960 For additional photos and information on this and other ASP1RE featured homes, go to: www.aspirenj.com WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
CIDER HILLUPPER SADDLE RIVER NJ
By Eileen Curtis Photography by Tony Khoury, TDKhometours
CIDER HILLUPPER SADDLE RIVER NJ
As soon as we saw Upper Saddle River, we knew that was it,” says Angel, who hails from Columbia but speaks English fluently. “The schools here are excellent, and it was just 35 minutes from the Red Bulls’ new stadium in Harrison.
How huge an international soccer star is Juan Pablo Angel of Upper Saddle River? He’s so big that when Angel, 35, played for River Plate in Argentina back in the late 1990s, fans donned angel wings to sing his heavenly praises. In 2001, when the star moved from Argentina to the premier Aston Villa club in Birmingham, England, his 9.6 million pound sale was a team record. Fans like Prince William and Tom Hanks were cheering him on. In England, Angel, his wife Maria Paula Gutierrez , and their two boys, now 9 and 7, lived in an exclusive enclave outside Birmingham called Four Oaks, home to many Aston Villa megastars. It’s where sports cars crunch long gravel driveways, but also where Angel’s family came first. “It was a great place for the kids,” says Angel. “It was warm and friendly.” Still, when Angel got an offer to play for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer in 2007, he and his family decided to go stateside. They had vacationed in New York and around the country—“we loved it,” says Angel—so they went searching for an American twist on the Anglophile Four Oaks. They found it—a place sure to make the angels sing. “As soon as we saw Upper Saddle River, we knew that was it,” says Angel, who hails from Columbia but speaks English fluently. “The schools here are excellent, and it was just 35 minutes from the Red Bulls’ new stadium in Harrison.” When they drove past a 9,000 sq. ft colonial on a quiet cul de sac in the prestigious Cider Hill section of town, they knew they’d struck gold. The 5-bedroom, 8-bath home was built on spec in 2006, but it fits them like a glove. Angel and his wife are partial to a mix of the contemporary and the traditional, and this light-filled home with mellow brick exterior fits the bill. It boasts plenty of WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
CIDER HILLUPPER SADDLE RIVER NJ
windows, clean lines, high ceilings, and an open floor plan—perfect for parties and a modern lifestyle. The family spends most of its time in the large and airy kitchen, warmed by a high-end Wolf stove and elegant Salerno custom cabinetry. With details like raised wood panels, crown moldings, marble fireplaces, French doors, and European white oak floors with decorative borders and inlays, this home also honors the traditional. Angel also praises the home’s solid construction, like its steel beams. He adds, in the American vernacular: “This place was a no brainer.” In fact, they are the first family to call the home, well, home. It comes with perks. A domed ceiling, perfect for all manner of angels, rises above the second floor master suite, which also features an elegant sitting room, along with a balcony overlooking spectacular grounds. The couple can gaze out at manicured gardens and the heated, in-ground kidney shaped swimming pool, which boasts an attached cabana. The pool area is bordered by a sparkling limestone patio. Inside, off the master suite, the heavenly library with coffered ceiling-which serves as Angel’s office—is fully clad in cherry wood. When the snow flies, he can read beside the granite and marble fireplace. On the 2,330 sq. ft lower level, the family can watch movies together in the media room. Or the kids can put on a play in the little theatre. Angel has spent a lot of time on the road as a footballer, so home is where his heart is. “I can’t wait to get back and see the family,” he says, and you can hear the happiness in his voice. “The house is perfect for relaxing.” The life of a sports star and his family can be hectic, which may be why Angel and his wife crave simplicity. The walls were originally painted in bold colors, but the couple revised with soft white, cream, and in the great room, which boasts a second floor balcony, a light gray hue. The soft palette makes nature’s own delights shine even brighter. “It was a full moon the other day,” Angel says. “We were sitting in the great room and we could see the beautiful moonlight coming through the high windows.” But the home is more than just tranquil. It’s a great place to entertain. This past Halloween when the neighborhood kids knocked on the door, they weren’t as interested in the candy as in kicking the soccer through the goal on the front lawn. Who could blame them? The place is a real treat.
Interior design: BoConcept Hedsy L. Reyes 201-967-5300 • www.boconceptnj.com Custom Cabinetry: PETER SALERNO INC. 201-251-6608 • www.petersalernoinc.com For additional photos and information on this and other ASP1RE featured homes, go to: www.aspirenj.com
Dazzling window treatments. Breathtaking woodwork. Inspiring designers. (And you thought we were just a furniture store.)
INTERIOR DESIGN . CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS . BLINDS . FURNITURE . ACCESSORIES . FINE CABINETRY ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING . CROWN MOLDINGS . FIREPLACE MANTLES . BUILT-INS . WINE CELLARS
Crown Plaza Shopping Center, 461 Rt. 46 West . Fairfield, NJ . 973-244-2144 . tandchome.com hours: m-t-w-f: 9:30am–5pm, th: 9:30am–7pm, sat: 10am–4pm, sun: 12pm–4pm
MANOR HOUSEMAHWAH NJ
Roughing it in Style A Lavish Country Retreat Salutes the Great Outdoors “It’s almost surreal. Living with nature and wildlife and the seasons, surrounded by mountains with a river running through, is like living in rural Maine or Vermont, but you’re just 30 miles from Manhattan!” Bob Myers Mahwah, New Jersey By Henry Kuryla Photography by David Gruol
MANOR HOUSEMAHWAH NJ
took over ten years for Bob Myers, a prominent local builder and avid hunter and fisherman to find the perfect spot to build a secluded, country retreat for his family and friends. He finally found and fell in love with the spectacular, five-and-a-half acre site of the former Patterson Rod & Gun Club in Mahwah. Located on the Ramapo River, framed by the Ramapo Mountains, this rustic encampment built in the 1940s for wealthy gentlemen to hunt and fish on the weekends, is directly adjacent to thousands of acres of pristine parkland. Here, it is said one can ride on trails for eight straight hours without ever having to cross a single paved road. On the property were two structures, a small cabin on the river, and a larger near-by cabin. Both were badly in need of repair. Myers restored and updated the cabin on the river. He knocked down the other, and in its place built a grand, 11,000 sq.ft., 18 room, five and a half bath manor house with five fireplaces and seven bedrooms. This luxurious country manor with a formal living room, dining room and a two-and-a-half story entry foyer featuring a stunning bridal staircase, reflects Myer’s love of the Old West. “When I lived in New Mexico, I became fascinated with its culture, its architecture and its lore. I’m sure it’s related to my passion for the great outdoors,” he said. In the soaring great room, with a nod to America’s original, roughhewn outdoorsman Buffalo Bill Cody, Myers built a replica of the massive, triple-story, stone fireplace in Cody’s historic Colorado home.
He recalled, “Browsing in a flea market in Pasadena, we came upon a photo album of a family’s trip through the Southwest in 1930. In it was a picture of a man standing in front of a gigantic, stone fireplace, labeled Buffalo Bill Cody’s Colorado Lodge.” In the billiard room, he built an authentic, turn-of-the-century Wild West saloon with a vintage, 100-year old, black-walnut bar. “I had that bar in storage for over a decade, just waiting for the right opportunity to give it a proper home,” he said proudly. The living room, great room and gourmet kitchen with a built-in barbeque, all open out to an expansive walled garden with spectacular mountain views and another massive stone fireplace. Upstairs is a sumptuous, grand master suite and three bedrooms. Downstairs are the turn-of-the-century saloon, billiard room, a home theatre, a full gym, a second guest suite and a security safe room. The restored cabin on the river with its great room, fireplace, full bath and kitchen is a perfect home base for hiking, hunting, canoeing, kayaking or fly fishing on the trout-stocked river out front. With beautiful sunrise and sunset views of the Ramapo Mountains, in a wonderful, pastoral setting on the banks of the Ramapo River, this luxurious country retreat just 30 miles from midtown Manhattan, perpetuates and keeps alive the rustic tradition of its original occupants. Myers has truly taken the concept of roughing it, to a whole new level.
SOURCES: Plumbing & HVAC: VAN NATTA MECHANICAL 201-391-3700 • www.vannattamechanical.com Windows and doors: KOLBE MILLWORK CO., INC. 732-842-5666 • www.kolbe-kolbe.com Appliances: SILVER CITY APPLIANCES 845-356-1809 • www.silvercityinc.com Tile: PORCELANOSA 201-995-1310 • www.porcelanosa-usa.com For additional photos and information on this and other ASP1RE featured homes, go to: www.aspirenj.com
PALADIN ESTATESCHESTER TOWNSHIP NJ
The Future is Now
Architectural Rendering by Karl Tanner
“The methods, materials, attention to design and the stringent standards of LEED certification provide our homeowners with energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly homes that will perform for generations to come.” Chris Dover President, Paladin Homes, Inc.
PALADIN ESTATESCHESTER TOWNSHIP NJ
By Henry Kuryla Paladin Estates, an exclusive enclave of luxury estate residences has the honor and distinction of being one of the first and largest communities of its kind in the United States. Each luxurious, energy-efficient home will achieve Gold/Platinum certification. LEED – “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” – is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and sustainability of high-performance green buildings. The families in Paladin Estates will be among the first in the country to enjoy this new standard of living. “The LEED standard requires a higher quality of construction and closer teamwork from design through delivery.” Mr. Dover said. “And by incorporating the best materials and avoiding the temptation to cut corners, we achieve long-term durability and sustainability. Our homes will perform for generations to come.” Surrounded by rolling countryside and picturesque family farms in the New Jersey Highlands, it is quite fitting that Paladin Estates is located in Chester Township, which is well known for its long-standing commitment to green stewardship by preserving its land through public investment in open spaces. This affluent community in Morris County, 40 miles west of New York City, retains much of its original charm and rural character, offering an upscale country lifestyle with excellent schools and services. The beautiful parcel of land comprising Paladin Estates was once the grounds of an historic country estate. This legacy of luxury is reflected in the first showcase residence, set on 2.6 acres and built to the highest standards of LEED certification (Gold/Platinum), including spray-foam insulation and geo-thermal heating/cooling. With five bedrooms and five baths, the home offers gracious estate living with every modern-day amenity and convenience. Premium custom features include a Vermont slate roof, a granite block and stucco exterior, and archtop, triple-pane windows. This sprawling, 5,300 sq. ft. home with an open floor plan, features a grand two-story entry foyer, a formal living and dining room, great room, family room, library, gourmet kitchen and a three-car garage. Each Gold/Platinum certified Paladin Estates’ residence exceeds industry standards with premium, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art heating, cooling and ventilation technology making these luxury homes 50% more energy efficient than the current standard for home-energy efficiency. The residences are built with materials that do not have harmful chemicals, called VOCs (volatile organic compounds), often found in construction materials such as paints and adhesives. “A Gold/Platinum certification means you have a low-maintenance, non-toxic home with clean air and water, and that significantly reduces energy consumption and costs for its residents.” Mr. Dover added, “Our customers are those looking for the very best in quality, technology and performance, understanding that the long-term value of their investment will be enhanced.”
At a Glance: LEED Green Building Certification The “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” or LEED green building certification, provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built for long-term durability and sustainability by recognizing superior performance of green design in five key areas: sustainable site development, water and energy efficiency, stewardship and sensitivity to the impact of materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in the design process. Administered by the United States Green Building Council, the LEED rating system has four certification levels for new construction in which points are awarded for green building techniques and practices. The minimum number of points required for a LEED certification is 40. There are also higher levels that can result in higher rewards: Silver Certification (50-59 points), Gold Certification (60-79 points) and Platinum Certification (80 -110 points). Homes built to the highest Gold/Platinum standard, use less energy, water and natural resources making them the most environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost effective. At Paladin Estates every residence will meet Gold/Platinum certification standards.
SOURCES: Architect: MAX PARANGI ARCHITECTS, P.C. Max Parangi, Carolina Fajardo • (914) 686-3359 • email@example.com Design: BELLA STANZA INTERIORS Nadia Filadelfo • 201-313-3828 • firstname.lastname@example.org Green Consultant: ALPINE GREEN SOLUTIONS Robert Orfino LEED AP, CSDP, CIAQM, CEA • 732.275.1056 • www.alpinegreensolutions.com For additional photos and information on this and other ASP1RE featured homes, go to: www.aspirenj.com WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
TUSCAN VILLASUMMIT NJ
A growing family, with two young children and a third on the way, were looking for a bigger house on a larger piece of property in Summit. They loved the community but were not interested in the more prevalent architectural styles in the area, a classic Colonial or an English Tudor. They were thrilled when they found a 4,000 sq. ft., Tuscan-style villa on Summit’s Northside. This 20th century American interpretation of classic Italianate style, looked large and impressive from the front, but in truth was only 16 feet wide from front to back. Built in 1922, the rooms were small, and the layout was cramped. It was not large enough for their growing family, and its configuration was not conducive to family life today, but having renovated their two previous homes, they didn’t seem to mind a new challenge. They decided to buy this property The homeowner explained, “Everyone thought we were crazy, out of our minds. They were convinced we had totally lost it. What they didn’t know was that we had become addicts – renovation junkies. We got hooked renovating our two previous homes. It’s like a high. First being able to see what others can’t, and then taking on the challenge to make it into a reality. Can I do this? How will it turn out? Can I actually pull this off? But I have to say, when it finally all comes together, it is beyond thrilling!” The family lived in the house for a year while figuring out how to adapt and expand this old-world jewel into both an elegant residence for entertaining and a modern-day home for their family. After removing the overgrown wisteria from the front façade and returning it to its original color, which a historian from Rutgers found under several coats of old paint, the front elevation was restored and left exactly as it was originally built. Nearly everything else is new – from the mechanicals, to the roof, the windows and fine oak flooring, to the major addition which more than doubled the size of the home to over 11,000 sq.ft. The space was re-configured and opened up to reflect how we live today. Its spacious, free-flowing rooms are accented with elaborate millwork and gorgeous cabinetry by European master craftsmen. It is now an elegant, palatial residence with four fireplaces, seven bedrooms, nine full and two half baths. It has been updated with modern-day amenities which include a four-story elevator, radiant-heated floors and 11 flat screen televisions. The formal rooms on the first floor were designed for entertaining on a large scale. The grand reception hall with its sweeping staircase is flanked by the living room, dining room and the adjacent great room with its spectacular beamed ceiling. At charity events and their annual Christmas party, 150 guests were easily accommodated. In addition to renovating, the lady of the house also loved to cook. The gourmet kitchen, with professional grade appliances was designed with the idea that one day she would open a catering business. That didn’t happen. She rolled her eyes, “What was I thinking? Taking care of my family is more than a full time job. But it is a dream kitchen to cook in.” The bedrooms, including a grand master suite are upstairs. Downstairs there is a recreation room and a game room for the children and their friends. The grounds were as carefully designed and thought out as the interiors. A wall of California fold-away doors open out to a columned, center courtyard with an al fresco dining patio and its own outdoor kitchen. The beautifully landscaped, multi-tiered property also includes an expansive lawn. Two years after the house was finished and they had sworn off any more renovations, her husband’s work took the family to California. While they would have liked more time in Summit to enjoy the fruits of their labors, it was mitigated by the fact that their new house in La Jolla needs an awful lot of work.
By Henry Kuryla Photography courtesy of Lois Schneider Realtor SOURCES:
Architect: ROSEN GROUP Jack Kelly • 908-273-6565 • email@example.com Construction: R. KELLER CONSTRUCTION CO. Rob Keller • 973-989-4004 • firstname.lastname@example.org Interior Design: OAKLEIGH INTERIORS Patricia McBride • 973-984-5600 • email@example.com For additional photos and information on this and other ASP1RE featured homes, go to: www.aspirenj.com WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
green demolitions By Evan Pritchard
Steve Feldman has found an original way to be thankful for his recovery and pay it forward. As President of Green Demolitions, his chain
of retail outlets, Feldman discovers discarded luxury kitchens, bathrooms, and fixtures from demolished or renovated houses before they impact a landfill. He then sells them for 50-80% off their real value
and donates a portion of the proceeds to an organization that helps recover lives seemingly lost to alcoholism and addiction. In other words, he figured out how to raise money for
a really important cause that wasn’t attracting donors, by reselling items people couldn’t give away, to people who really needed them. Talk about your win-win scenario.
In 2008, The New York Times referred to Green Demolitions as “recycled luxury” at discount prices. People looking to renovate a simple kitchen can save thousands of dollars, $58,000 in one recent sale, to be exact. Until Green Demolitions, it cost thousands of dollars just to have one’s old kitchen hauled away into a landfill. The dumpster rental alone could be as much as $700.00. With Green Demolitions, hauling is free. In addition, these “luxury bargain hunters” are reducing the demand for new lumber and stone, thus lessening the stress on the environment.
The ever resourceful Feldman says the Green part is not just in reference to the earth, it refers to the greening of lives once withered by drugs. Green Demolitions currently handles over 1,500 demolition donations a year, including on the average, 400 kitchens. Salvage items including priceless architectural
and lighting fixtures, and in some cases beautiful antiques, stock a growing number of Green Demolitions store outlets, (including one in Riverdale, NJ) serving the Northeast Region of the US.
Feldman does not forget to mention the greenback dollars many people save or earn every time a kitchen is redirected. Here is a brief breakdown of what happens every time a homeowner donates their kitchen (or entire home) to Green Demolitions.
Green Demolitions reduces the burden on landfills by two million pounds a year, saving homeowners thousands of dollars, and helping to create a better future for our children. According to author Robin Wilson,
demolition of a single 2,500 square foot home creates approximately two tons of construction waste that ends up clogging a landfill.
Boost Your Eco-IQ with Smart Little House Is your house making you sick? Cutting corners on materials can cause not only structural weakness, but on-going allergic/toxic reactions and in some cases harm to the environment. If we do our homework, we can find new, innovative “smarter” products that were not available ten years ago, products that don’t harm us or the earth. Chris
Murphy, the founder of the Smart Little House store is happy to do your homework for you.
Donors may call 888-887-5211 x102 www.greendemolitions.org Consumers can find product and store information www.greendemolitions.com
He has done the research and rounded up the products that you need to buy and install to make your house truly safe to live in. These are the same products top architects specify for LEED certified houses. These include non-toxic Mythic Paint, VT Natural Coatings semi-gloss floor finishes, Duravit wall-hung toilets that use half the water, American Clay plaster, and Forbo Marmoleum Flooring tiles to name a few. His group also provides consumer education, building design and LEED project design assistance. You can have these LEED certified products shipped to your door just by logging onto www.smartlittlehouse.com. Then start building your Eco-IQ. WWW.ASPIRENJ.COM
Dry-laid stonewall SOCIALSEEN
Bluestone treads and caps Proposed Patio Rendering 1 of 4
Photo by: www.ultimateExpressions.com
ASID NJ CHAPTER HOLIDAY PARTY On December 7, 2010 members of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers gathered at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park to celebrate the holiday season and honor its Industry Partner members. Attendees also brought toys for Strengthen Our Sisters, an organization that provides safe, supportive shelter for homeless and battered women and children in northern New Jersey. ASID NJ Chapter has been supporting Strengthen Our Sisters at the holiday season for more than a dozen years.
while your project is still
Chapter President Diane Evans, ASID, Jim O’Brien, IP, Jim O’Brien Architects
Gwen Nagorsky, ASID, Ria Gulian, ASID
set in stone. visit our 12,000 sq.ft. indoor/o u t d o o r d e s i g n s h o w r o o m featuring weber®
Mary Brennan, ASID, Maureen Fiori, Allied Member ASID, Michael Frodella, Park Avenue Club, Marlene Wangenheim, Allied Member ASID
and lynx® grill displays and an extensive true value ® hardware department Building Relationships Always Exceeding Needs Rona Spiegel, ASID, Dane Rohmann, IP & Valerie Dodds, IP, J&S Designer Flooring
Dave & Nicole Grech, IP, Trueform Concrete
Masonry, Landscape and Hardware BuiLding suppLies
1434 ringwood ave. HaskeLL, nJ 07420 convenientLy Located off exit 55 on 287 p : 973.835.1419 w : www.braensupply.com 54
Marie Donnelly, ASID, Nancy McNeilly, ASID
Karen Topjian, ASID, Diana Rattazzi, IP, Benjamin Moore, Tariq Qari, IP, The Rug Importer
KULA FOR KARMA 3RD ANNUAL FUNDRAISER On November 11, 2010 at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Kula For Karma had close to 300 guests attend their 3rd Annual Fundraiser!! Kula for Karma is a 501(C)3 Bergen County based non-profit that offers therapeutic yoga, meditation instruction and stress management support services – at no charge – to those who have been challenged by difficult circumstances including illness, addiction, abuse and post traumatic stress disorder. Kula’s goal of selfless service, is to enhance the lives of Children, Teens and Adults with Cancer, Children and Teens with Autism, and Special Needs, Teens At-Risk, and returning Combat War Veterans. With a team of over 270 volunteer teachers, President and Founder Geri Topfer and Executive Director, Penni Feiner have grown the organization from 2 programs in 2007 to over 40 programs today! For more information please visit their website: www.kulaforkarma.org
Event Committee: Front row from left: Jeanne Placier, Doreen Merkowsky, Christina Francisco, Geri Topfer, Penni Feiner, Barbara Infeld, Pam Smith 2nd row from left: Alexa Thomas, Heidi Francus, Lynda Ferrara, Donna Wuhl, Staci Zampa, Gloria Maturo, Marla Sacks Top row from left: Ann Cranston, Michelle Proscia, Marie Zaporoshan, Felicia Sieradzky, Maria Ruggerio
TeenKula: Bottom left: Amanda, Annabelle, Ashley, Sydney, Jennifer Middle left: Christine, Amanda, Gabrielle, Jocelyn, Rachel Top left: Julia, Jacob, Greg, Jeremy
Heidi Francus, Maureen Keating, Dr. Mark Schlesinger, Penni Feiner, Geri Topfer, Dr. Steven Topfer, Lynn Hoffman, Dr. Micheal Harris, Donna Wuhl, Dr. Maz
Art Zucker, Dr. Mark Schlessinger, Rocco Labella, Geri Topfer, Penni Feiner
Lisa Oz, Heidi Francus, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Craig Neier
Heidi Francus, Donna Wuhl co-chairs of the event
Geri Topfer and Lynn Hoffman
Robert Wuhl, Comedian
TALK OF THE TOWN & McINTOSH CELEBRATION
Talk of the Town hosted a special “Friends and Family” home entertainment and music celebration on November 18th at their Allendale location. The event provided a first-hand look at some of McIntosh’s legendary audio gear and allowed people to experience the intense emotional impact made possible by true no-compromise music reproduction. Guests enjoyed high fidelity demonstrations and three informative discussions including; Advantages of Digital Audio and High Power in Amplifiers.
Bobby Dodge (Purchasing), Linda Passaro Talk of the Town’s Cathy Henkel (Accounting), (Global VP McIntosh), Charlie Randall (President Mark Boecker (Sales), Bobby Dodge (PurchasMcIntosh), Bob Dodge (Director of Operations) ing), Sergio Rodrigues (Strategic Marketing), and Albert Chua (Sales)
Susan Pash, Anita Hamrah, Linda Passaro, Maria Roberts, Maureen McElwain
Susie Richards, Sophia Meneve, Linda Passaro, Pura Kahn, William Lanchantin, Jen Boyer
Rob & Wren DiGisi learning from Talk of the Town’s Craig DiNapoli & Helena Loman learn from McIntosh Expert Marc Lamb and Talk of the Ken Quartarone About the McIntosh Soho II Town’s Mark Boecker about home theater home audio system with turntable systems
Michael Busacca, David Baker, Sophia Meneve, Joanne Busacca
Crowd enjoys the McIntosh Home Theater
CORDING landscape design
Photos by Alan & Linda Detrick
Dedicated to landscapes of inspiring beauty, fine design & intimate outdoor spaces.
Unsurpassed planning and exquisite choices join together to create a rich tapestry of finery in this unique Saddle River haven. Softly colored marble sprawls across the kitchen which offers gourmet appliances, triple pantries, versatile storage, and oversized breakfast nook with access to backyard where regal meets Zen. 4 en suite bedrooms plus master retreat on the second floor. Fully finished basement boasts 12â€™ ceilings, pub, fireplace, and guest wing with private kitchen.
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with offices in 50 countries around the world to match premium properties to premium clients. Chester Township, NJ Listed at $4,500,000 USD Listed by: Flor de Maria Thomas
ColdwellBankerPreviews.com 800.575.0952 Dedicated to luxury real estate.™ ©2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.
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E L E G A N C E T U S CA N - S T Y L E Summit, New Jersey
Exceptional craftsmanship and top amenities in this exquisite 11,000+ sq. ft. Northside Tuscan-style estate were built into this residence with unsurpassed quality and 21st-century vision. Noteworthy features include a four-story elevator, four fireplaces, 11 flat screen TVâ€™s (one is a 70â€? computer screen), 800 amp electrical system, seven-zone heating/air conditioning system, Crestron automated system with surround sound, lighting, music and camera video surveillance, two laundry centers, five ensuite bedrooms, and so much more.
Offered at $5,000,000
NORTHSIDE BEAUTY Summit, New Jersey This stunning Northside Colonial has been totally renovated and expanded with sophistication and elegance. Features include four fireplaces, a dramatic two-story entry foyer, a gourmet kitchen and separate breakfast sunroom with vaulted ceiling, along with an adjacent family room and first-floor home office. The master bedroom suite is dramatic, with a vaulted ceilinged sitting room, while an expansive lower level offers a guest suite, kitchenette and family room. Elaborate mechanical systems also include gas-powered generator.
Offered at $2,985,000
U P S CA L E L I V I N G Summit, New Jersey
Well-proportioned, generously-sized rooms create an atmosphere of easy, upscale living in this classic Colonial charmer, set in a picturesque neighborhood setting. At the heart of the home is a open great room that encompasses the kitchen, breakfast area and media room, with abundant windows, property views and deck. Lovely custom cabinetry, high-end stainless appliances and center breakfast island with granite countertop adorn the kitchen. Spacious private guest quarters add versatility and appeal.
Offered at $1,499,000
R E G A L V I C TO R I A N Summit, New Jersey
This elegant turn-of-the-century Victorian is grand and gracious, with a wraparound porch that harkens back to a bygone era. Features include 12 ft. high 1st-floor ceilings, elaborate moldings, rotunda reception hall, first-floor library, formal dining room with fireplace, two-story family room addition, high-ceilinged summer porch, state-of-the-art kitchen, master suite with decorative fireplace, walk-out lower level recreation room, exercise room, game room with bar area, and more. Just a few blocks from town and New York City trains.
Offered at $3,480,000
By Eileen Curtis
You might say the Braen family has brought the Stone Age to the 21st century—and that’s a compliment. For five generations and over a century of business, the Braens have operated quarries and sand pits, produced asphalt and concrete, and left no stone unturned when it comes to, well, stone.
Since 2000, they’ve also operated Braen Supply, Inc., a subsidiary of Stone Industries, New Jersey’s hottest masonry and building supply business. Now you can experience the stone age for yourself by visiting their new retail and wholesale store in Haskell, NJ. It’s the Taj Mahal of design showrooms—6,500 sq. ft. of stone cold wonder. Walls of natural stone rise in splendor, fountains bubble, verdant plants bloom in borders (inside, mind you), while roaring fireplaces warm the spirit. Sure, it’s palatial, but it’s never intimidating. “The whole idea is to make things easy for the customer,” says Scott Braen, president and chief operating officer of Braen Supply. That’s been the Braen family credo since the late 19th century, when Samuel Braen took the helm of a quarry business in the Valley of the Rocks, near the Paterson/Totowa border. The story goes that he won the quarry in a gambling bet. The gamble sure paid off. By 1977, the late Samuel Jr. had established Braen Stone Industries, which operates quarries, two hot mix asphalt plants and has its pulse on every rock that rolls. We recently sat down with Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Janet Braen, the wife of the late Samuel Jr., and son Scott Braen, to chat about the business. What was your vision for the new retail showroom in Haskell? Scott: We already operate a wholesale location for experienced contractors in Haledon, but we also wanted to offer regular homeowners a one-stop shop for their masonry, landscape, and hardware building supplies. It’s intimidating to walk into a building supply store when you’re not a pro.
The Braen Family Janet R. Braen–CEO & Chairwoman Scott A. Braen–President & COO Samuel Braen III–Production Supervisor Samantha L. Braen–Director of Human Resources/ EEO Officer Dirk A. Braen–Production Assistant Joshua R. Braen–Assistant Manager
That’s for sure. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m looking for. Janet: It can get complicated, and that’s why we offer our customers a lot of help. We train our employees to be patient. Our motto is ‘building relationships, always exceeding needs.’ It’s what our family business is all about, and it’s what sets us apart from huge multinational companies. Scott: You have to respect and value the customer. It’s simple: no customer, no paycheck. The people who look to you for help are the same people who are putting food on your table. When the economy tightens up, it’s especially important. How do you account for the company’s success in good times and bad? It’s been more than a century! Scott: We don’t get hung up on what we’ve done in the past. If a business or market didn’t work out, we didn’t stay in it. We’re a relatively small ship, so we can turn around pretty quickly. We can react. We started in the quarry business and then we expanded into the supply business, and now we’re in the retail business, offering customers everything from retraining walls and pavers to True Value hardware.
Braen Stone Industries, Inc. Masonry, Landscape and Hardware Building Supplies www.braensupply.com
What did Samuel Jr. teach you about the business? Scott: The main thing is hard work.
1434 Ringwood Avenue Haskell, NJ 07420 973-835-1419
Scott: He also taught us that you don’t start at the top. You work your way up. I started out sweeping the floors. (chuckles) I wasn’t so happy about that 30 years ago, but it paid off.
Offering a wide variety of pavers, bluestone, fieldstone, limestone, Kearney stone, sandstone, Quartzite, flagstone, stone veneer, thin stone veneer, brick, Travertine, tumbled marble, retaining walls, decorative stone, custom stone fabrication, Weber and Lynx grills, and complete True Value Hardware department.
How has the Braen family managed to get along for so long? Janet: They were weaned on the business. The Braen men—they just have the love of the quarry in their blood. I really believe that. Scott’s brother Samuel Braen III is our production supervisor. Samantha Braen is our Human Resources director. Dirk Braen is the production foreman, and Joshua Braen is assistant manager of the new showroom.
Janet: That’s it. Hard work.
That’s a lot of Braens! Janet: What I would really love to see is the 6th and 7th generation of Braens in the business. And beyond? Janet: Oh, yes, absolutely!
HQ 101 Washington Street Paterson, NJ
973-279-3000 | 1105 Mt. Kemble Ave. Rt. 202 Morristown, NJ greenbauminteriors.com
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