HOME A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE RECORD-REVIEW • APRIL 15, 2016
Color your way to stunning interiors...12A
INSIDE: SUNROOMS: Where indoors meets outdoors...2A
GREEN ACRES: Time, patience, effort are keys to perfect lawn...3A
PRIVACY WITH PANACHE: Creating a serene outdoor space...4A
BACKYARD: An outdoor oasis in your own backyard...6A
KITCHEN MISSION: Ever-changing room works for hiding, showing off..10A
TREND TALK: What's hot in wall colors for 2016...15A
COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN INTERIORS
POWER of PAINT
PAGE 2A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
A SPECIAL SECTION OF
The Record-Review P.O. Box 455, Bedford Hills, NY 10507 914-244-0533 www.record-review.com PUBLISHER Deborah G. White SECTION EDITOR Todd Sliss ART DIRECTOR Ann Marie Rezen ADVERTISING DESIGN Katherine Potter AD SALES Francesca Lynch Thomas O’Halloran, Barbara Yeaker and Marilyn Petrosa ©2016 THE RECORD, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IS FORBIDDEN WITHOUT PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN PERMISSION.
APRIL 15, 2016
Sunrooms: where indoors meets outdoors
BY TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG
cross between a living room and a porch, a beautifully designed sunroom can become the most pleasant space in your house — especially when executed with thought, care and style. Architect Niall Cain, of NcC Studio Architecture, in Dobbs Ferry, provided some important background: “Many colonial and Dutch colonial houses in Westchester were built with sunrooms. The trend was very popular in the early part of the 20th century when the suburbs around New York City were growing rapidly. Originally these rooms were unheated and used as living or dining rooms as warmer weather permitted. In some cases, sunrooms were utilized as conservatories for plants. These rooms signified luxury and reflected back to the very wealthy, grand homes that typically had conservatoires with exotic non-native plants… Today, most of sunrooms have become winterized with the addition of insulated glass windows.” The popularity of traditional sunrooms waned around the 1950s. “This coincided with the onset of homeowners’ desires for family rooms, large televisions and entertainment spaces,” Cain said. “These needs were not well suited to sunrooms and required more uninterrupted wall space.” To increase the functionality of sunrooms, contemporary sunrooms function as hybrids. They reflect the architecture of traditional sunrooms with formally
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arranged windows on all exterior walls; however, they also have additional wall space to permit more flexibility of use. “Even today, however, there are certainly cases where a true, traditional sunroom is desired, in keeping with the architectural vernacular of the house,” Cain said. Because sunrooms are transitional spaces, they create some challenges. “Lack of sun control and principally too many roof windows are common mistakes that homeowners make when designing sunrooms,” Cain said. “It is preferable to keep the windows on the exterior walls and provide overhangs or eaves above the windows. Soft translucent drapery or
shades work well to allow diffused natural light to enter the room.” Another related challenge is created by the use of greenhouse spaces as sunrooms. Cain commented: “Everyone has likely seen homes with pre-manufactured greenhouses tacked onto the side of the house. In the vast majority of these cases, the greenhouse sunrooms are hardly ever used due to difficulties in controlling sun and heat. In the winter, these rooms are impractical to heat. In the summer, they are often too hot, and most people would rather be sitting outside.”
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 3A
Time, patience, effort are keys to perfect lawn
BY MAJA TARATETA
he grass was definitely greener on the other side of the road. The yard had plenty of issues. The first problem: weeds. Patches of dandelions and crabgrass blotched the landscape. And then there were the spots that were completely bare, where grass and even hearty weeds refused to grow, and dirt reigned supreme. And even beyond that, there were the yellow spots and the uneven spots. The homeowner had “tried everything,” but every summer, while friends and neighbors enjoyed lush, green grass, this yard was, frustratingly, lacking. Enter the lawn professional. “Working with a lawn professional who understands soil science is extremely important,” said Michael Bellantoni of Bellantoni Landscape in White Plains. “It is a lot more complicated than putting down seed and fertilizer and a little water and walk away.” Bellantoni knows. His company has spent more than 50 years in grounds maintenance, which means going beyond just mowing homeowners’ grass and throwing down fertilizer to protecting yards with a team that
includes trained horticulturalists. Indeed, keeping a lawn looking good is not as easy as it looks. “Plants are like people — they need to eat properly, get rest and stay active,” he said. “Turf needs to be fed, watered, needs to grow.” According to Matthew Linder, director of lawn care at SavaLawn in Bedford Hills, “Growing healthy grass is a science.” “Professionals are required to be certified and licensed by New York to apply technical materials,” he said, adding, “The regulations required by a professional are much harder than just going to your local garden center and buying fertilizer to apply to your lawn... The glug-glug method of measuring — if a little works, a lot will work better — is not allowed.” When lawn-services professionals visit a home for the first time, they ask themselves questions to help address customer concerns. At SavaLawn, these questions include: Is the right grass growing in the right area? What is the soil like? How much sun does the grass get each day? Are trimming of trees required to give more air movement and sunlight? What type of watering does the property receive? What are the client’s Continued on page 16A
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On a new or thin lawn, slice seeding will introduce new seed into the lawn and help thicken it up. This method solves lawn problems efficiently, and improves your lawn’s density. These before and after pictures were taken on the lawn of an actual SavaLawn customer to demonstrate the effectiveness of slice seeding.
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PAGE 4A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
APRIL 15, 2016
Privacy with panache Creating a serene outdoor space BY MAJA TARATETA
s the saying goes, “Fences make good neighbors.” But some simple privacy plantings — perhaps combined with fencing and walls — can do more than screen yards from the next-door nosies. Well-planned, creative landscaping can bring the beauty of nature to the objective of concealment, effectively creating a “form follows function-al” retreat. Putting up a rigid, hard wall at a property line can sound like an easy privacy creator, but those who enjoy the vistas from their windows often seek a more natural solution. For a recent privacy job that Mark Miller of Miller’s Landscaping in Pound Ridge worked on, the site was bordered with eastern white pine, but coverage was lacking due to the lower branches having died. “Our solution was to install a 6-foot decorative privacy fence and soften the appearance of the fencing with a dark stain, and planting shade-loving Maxi Rhododen-
COURTESY OF KING GARDEN DESIGNS
Privacy the natural way.
dron,” Miller said. “The final product was beautiful and greatly appreciated by the customer.” Some privacy needs are more pressing than others. One recent client of Jay Archer, president of Green Jay Landscaping in Rye, lived next door to a busy schoolyard. “In this case, we needed a densely planted berm about 3-feet high,” he said. “This gave us the added height for the trees, which were a combination of evergreens and deciduous trees of varying heights and shape, which create a much more natural effect.” In fact, the days of planting rows of evergreens as the tried-and-true answer to
privacy and property lines are over, say experts in backyard concealment creation. As Miller put it, “Too many companies get stuck in the old pattern of placing evergreens in boring soldier courses, which offer limited interest and a rigid appearance.” Instead, landscapers recommend thinking “outside the box”-wood, so to speak. “We have been trending toward privacy borders utilizing several plant combinations in our designs,” said Miller, offering seasonal color and texture instead of yearround green. This was exactly the track Archer took with his schoolyard client. “This makes the
screening much more attractive and less obvious than a uniform row of arborvitae, which, by the way, has very little ecological value,” he said. It is, however, a popular choice in the area for creating privacy — and for obvious reasons. “It’s simple, it’s easy to take care of and it does the job,” said Tom Forte of Forte Landscaping. “A lot of people want something that will give them a little privacy but that they don’t have to water, something with no extra maintenance. And they do well in this area.” Continued on the next page
PLANTINGS FOR PRIVACY: A Q&A WITH THE ‘KING’
harles King Sadler, ASLA, of King Garden Designs in Irvington brings over 17 years of experience to his projects. Sadler enjoys creating and enhancing the beauty of mature gardens through thoughtful design, planting and ongoing care. His unique hands-on approach and attention to detail create incredible results for your estate or property. Since 2012, Sadler has operated his own garden design practice in Irvington, where he resides and continues to be active in the community. Sadler studies in for his masters in landscape architecture on Syracuse University’s Campus at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Prior to founding King Garden Designs, Sadler practiced landscape design with top firms in the Greater
New York Metropolitan Area, focusing on residential and estate commissions the tri-state area. Sadler enjoys collaborating with today’s top architects, interior designers and contractors. Sadler belongs to the American Boxwood Society, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and ISA Certified Arborist®. 1) What are your top 3 tips for how homeowners can create privacy in their yards? • Hire a landscape design professional to assess screening needs which can generally be solved with COURTESY OF KING GARDEN DESIGNS
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due to poor advice and even working with less experienced contractors. “True professionals offer guidance and solutions that will greatly reduce the cost with sound recommendations and plant selections,” he said. “Sometimes a simple ‘It may not work’ is the answer,” rather than installing whatever customers ask for. He added, “The top reasons for failure are poor planting selections and bad advice.” The experts suggest clients consider some specific questions for contractors before beginning a privacy project. Said Archer, “Identify the purpose for the screening and when it needs to be screened. For instance, if it is something you would only see from the backyard deck when you are entertaining in the summer you may not require evergreen trees. What is the height or distance of the objects in view?... Should the screening also help reduce any sound, as from a busy road or active playground? In that case, an earthen berm with a solid fence and dense planting may be needed.” Other tips for creating privacy include adding focal elements such as sculpture, which will re-direct and refocus vision to the foreground, thereby reducing the need for screening of a distant part of the property. Also, cantilevered umbrellas and outdoor shading systems can decrease sun exposure while mitigating what Archer called “unsightly vistas.” “Good screening,” he said, “should create a soothing sense of intimacy within your landscape... Landscape design should be like music. It should make your property sing. Don’t just identify problems, but take a good look at what would make you feel better. Create something you won’t get tired of looking at. Do it naturally. Make it beautiful.”
THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 5A
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Said Miller, “They are deer-resistant and offer solid coverage and also tolerate high shade.” Arborvitae may be the easy choice, but the local experts say the trend in privacy plantings is heading toward variety in terms of shape, size, color and seasonal bloom. “Many plant combinations can be used to create a nice symposium to add varying color in texture and landscape,” said Miller, who lately favors Norway spruce and Canadian hemlock for evergreens, and privet, viburnum, forsythia and bridal wreath spirea in the deciduous arena. “Avoid obvious linear, repetitious plant themes if possible,” Archer strongly advises his clients. “Be creative. Archer once creatively screened a water treatment plant along the Hudson River by colorfully painting a white vinyl fence with murals of birds and vines, and planting tall ornamental grasses and strategically placed trees in front. But sometimes, a more natural look is the way to go. When Archer worked for the client whose neighbor was a school, the berm and planting he created featured an unpainted solid wooden fence as a backdrop. “This was more natural in appearance,” he said, adding that PVC fencing could also be considered for reduced maintenance, but additional cost. With all of the options, decisions about what to plant or build to create privacy in your yard can require some careful planning and professional consideration. Working with a professional “helps the clients see the big picture,” said Archer. In fact, many of Miller’s customers reach out to him after previous failed attempts
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PAGE 6A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
APRIL 15, 2016
An outdoor oasis in your own backyard BY MAJA TARATETA
property walk. A quiet corner. A secret garden. A stonehenge. A waterfall. A fountain. A fire pit. These are just some of the ideas that local experts in outdoor architecture and landscape design recommend for creating areas on your property that inspire calmness and encourage entertaining. The trend in creating these spaces is growing. Houzz, the design and home improvement website, conducts an annual landscaping study that surveys homeowners who have recently completed, are currently working on or who are planning an outdoor project. According to the 2015 results, 65 percent of respondents reported that they use their outdoor space primarily for relaxing. More than half of the respondents reported spending six or more hours per week enjoying the outdoor areas of their homes. Indeed, as warmer weather approaches, the desire to open doors and escape to the great outdoors — whether relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends in your yard or on your deck — sounds like paradise. But creating that outdoor oasis can be challenging. Most people call in experts in landscape design and outdoor construction because they are confused, uninspired or overwhelmed by the problems they see in their
COURTESY OF CAL PETRESCU
A reflecting pond is just one part of this picturesque scene.
COURTESY OF HOME GREEN ADVANTAGE
Putting, chipping and driving from the comfort of your own backyard.
yards. “They don’t know where to start or what to do, or what to budget, and a professional can help ease all those unknowns,” said Thomas Dieck of TRD Designs in Katonah reassuringly. Dieck well knows the laments of those desperate to enjoy their yards and reclaim outdoor spaces they own and look at every day but have never used. He receives these phone calls all the time. But while a homeowner may see sections of their yard space and feel unsure about how to improve them, when Dieck walks onto a property, “I can see
it finished,” he said. “Sometimes, homeowners just don’t know what to do. Professionals have vision.” Dieck’s vision spans three decades. For more than 30 years he has designed outdoor retreats that focus on relaxing environments. He calls them “vacation creations.” “I like to think of it as more than just something they will use in the summer,” he said of the areas he creates outdoors for his clients. “I like to give people reasons not to go away.” So, too, does Cal Petrescu, whose eponymous architectural firm based in Scarsdale has created high-end designs for homeowners, including their yard areas, for nearly 20 years. He sees smarts in families investing in pool areas and outdoor spaces to enjoy with their children all season long. “A lot of kids don’t go to summer camp,”
he said. “Even if they go to local camps, when they come home they still have four or five hours to play in the back yard. Friends who have built pools have seen the benefits.” But, he cautions, building a pool requires planning. For starters, the time to begin thinking about, designing and permitting for construction of a pool or even a deck is the fall, when many people are closing up their outdoor areas in anticipation of the coming cold. It takes time to get everything in order and get ready to build when the weather is more favorable, but still allowing for plenty of time for summer enjoyment. Time should also be allowed for proper planning that takes into account not just design, but finding the correct location for outdoor entertaining areas like pools. Continued on the next page
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 7A
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“People should not fall into the trap of having a pool too far from the house,” Petrescu said. “The barbecue, pool, hot tub should all be together. That’s where the life is — it becomes an extension of the family room and the kitchen.” With this in mind, Dieck likes to create “outdoor rooms with purpose,” including places for dining, places for lounging, fire pits and water areas. Many outdoor kitchen areas, he said, are starting to include not only built-in barbecues, but outdoor pizza ovens as well. Similar to the idea of outdoor rooms, Petrescu has created property walks involving several acres of yard that included unique stopping areas with quiet corners, flower corners and secret corners, including sculptures and gardens, all of which highlight the idea of relaxing outdoors. But it is water, whether in a pool or not, that is most often involved when Dieck creates an outdoor relaxation space. Water “almost always comes into building outdoor retreats where people can enjoy the outdoors and relax,” he said. “It’s not like in the old days, when having a water feature was troublesome. We believe that to create a sense of relaxation requires a water feature.” Not only does water help create outdoor serenity, but it can affect the indoor spaces as well. “Even from inside, you can hear the gurgling water,” Dieck said. “People often say it helps them sleep better.” Water features can include such possibilities as fountains and waterfalls. For some, a pool, a barbecue or a fire pit, or even a waterfall, might seem too mainstream. Homeowners looking for something different in their yards need look no fur-
A slate patio with the perfect amount of plant life, plus a water feature for good measure.
ther than Michael Lehrer and his company, Home Green Advantage, based in Armonk. Home Green Advantage has built nearly 700 golf greens of all sizes in people’s yards, helping to bring relaxation, entertainment and ease of lawn maintenance to many. “It’s just another accoutrement to the home, like a pool or a tennis court,” Lehrer said. “If you’re a golfer, it is a way to chip, putt and practice your short game... You can be outside, hit shots, have a barbecue, people over. It unifies you with your kids. And you can use it year-round, day or night. They are aesthetically beautiful and play well.” Lehrer also fields many calls from pet owners seeking synthetic turf as a way to keep lawn areas that dogs have destroyed looking green and healthy. “They want an area that stays clean and the dog can do what they do,” he said. “This is one of the best solutions to a tricky problem.” Turf is also good for areas that don’t get
COURTESY OF TRD DESIGNS
enough sun, he added. Outdoor entertaining and relaxation can also be closer to home than the yard. Many homeowners are opting to create entertainment areas on decks, which can be more than just rectangular wooden attachments to the home. Petrescu likes layered decks that create intimate areas for entertaining and dining, and smooth transitions from the house to the property. Screening in deck dining areas can additionally serve as a natural insect repellent. Other trends in outdoor entertaining and living include stand-alone hot tubs and pavilions. While they may bring to mind visions of the 1980s, hot tubs are coming back and are better than ever. Not just the spa attached to a pool, a stand-alone hot tub can become a place for families to relax together outdoors, and are even more popular in cooler weather for nearly four-season enjoyment. Contemporary designs using a variety of materials
(for example, stone) can integrate design and functionality into outdoor living. Pavilions are also gaining in popularity. A pavilion is a freestanding structure sited a short distance from the main home that offers total overhead coverage with enough space for entertaining, cooking and eating, This means that the outdoors can even be enjoyed during a summer rain shower. Pavilions can be open to the air or enclosed on the sides. Pergolas and gazebos also fall into this category. But perhaps the biggest trend on the horizon for outdoor living doesn’t involve a building material or design element. Many local experts say that the trend gaining traction in the outdoor living industry is, in fact, conservation. According to Dieck, the next big thing is sustainability. “We find that rainwater harvesting is a big item,” he said. The captured rainwater, he said, can be used in the water features he favors, like fountain-scapes, ponds and waterfalls. It can even be used to wash cars or water lawns and garden areas. Municipalities are even getting in on the conservation act and encouraging sustainability efforts in their communities. The Town of Bedford recently offered its residents the ability to purchase rain barrels and compost bins at wholesale prices through an effort with the Greenburgh Nature Center and Sustainable Westchester. The barrels come with spigots to attach hoses, which can then be used to water lawns or fill fountains. While the sky may seem to be the limit when it comes to creating an outdoor oasis in your yard, the fact is, Petrescu said, “The more you do, the more you will use it.”
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APRIL 15, 2016
Selecting the best garage door design for your home
oday’s garage doors come in so many different and attractive designs that the biggest challenge for homeowners is to find the right door that looks best with their house’s unique features. While it’s great to have options, sometimes too many options can be overwhelming. And a garage door purchase is an important one. In fact, an upscale garage door replacement ranked first out of 11 popular upscale projects in delivering the best value for the buck, according to the new 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. One reason for a garage door’s top value is its curb appeal. Since most garage doors face the front of the home, they have enormous impact on the exterior appeal and its perceived value. This greatly increases the importance of choosing the right garage door design for your house. Here are a few tips from Kelly Roberson, a writer and project manager who has written about home design for a variety of publications including “Better Homes and Gardens,” “Before & After,” “Kitchen Makeovers” and many more. “The key to finding the right door design is found on the facade of your home,” Roberson said. “Pick up on your home’s design elements and use them in your garage doors to create a really impactful sense of design cohesiveness.” Color matching
Roberson recommends paying attention to two key design elements in your house’s exterior: colors and shapes. Start
These garage doors successfully integrate colors and shapes that complement the house’s unique design features.
with the colors of your house. Since garage doors are now available in hundreds of colors, you are likely to find a great door color that matches your home. “Color can feel overwhelming, particularly when you think about making a good curb appeal impression,” Roberson said. “An easy trick is to turn to the accent colors already on your home’s facade. Pick one and use it in your garage doors for overall balance and beauty.” Your home’s accent colors are often found on your shutters, your front door or the trim on your home or window. If your home includes a multi-colored brick, look for a dominant or attractive color inside the brick.
The color of the roof can also be a strong design element for the front view of the home. It’s often a neutral color that presents a good choice for classic garage door colors. Note that you might be searching for two colors, not just one. Many new carriage house garage doors come in two tones that provide additional colormatching opportunities. “Most homes use three colors — a dominant color and two sub-colors that are used to a lesser degree,” Roberson said. “For your garage doors, try flopping that color scheme so that one of the sub-colors becomes the door’s dominant hue.”
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After considering the right color, look at the shapes on your house, particularly those of your windows and the smaller window panes inside the windows. Garage doors typically contain two dominant shapes: one on the panels themselves and one in the windows. The challenge is to match the shapes on the house with the shapes on the door. “In the same way that accent colors provide color guidance, accent shapes — small windows, peaks on roofs — can give you inspiration for shapes to repeat in your garage door,” Roberson said. Consider any arch shapes on your house, such as arched windows or arched entryways. Several garage door window designs include arched options that can closely match the arch shapes on your home. Some home exteriors contain dominant angles such as 45-degree angles from dormers or rakes. Since many garage door designs now include crossbucks, you might find success with a garage door that features crossbucks at the same angle. When browsing for door designs, try www. garagewownow.com. It’s a non-commercial site that contains photos of dozens of garage door designs from many manufacturers. “The key to choosing beautiful garage doors is to let your home be your guide,” Roberson said. “Build on the features you love the best, and choose a new garage door that integrates seamlessly. When you find the right match, you’ll smile with satisfaction every time you come home.” — BPT
APRIL 15, 2016
THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 9A
Patty’s Portico is back and ready for spring Patty DeFelice was a mainstay of Greenwich, Conn., business and a female trend-setter in the testosteronecharged automobile world since stepping in to help her father’s business after he suffered a heart attack in 1976. Dad founded an auto body repair shop in the midst of Greenwich’s car dealers in 1932 on West Putnam Avenue. After earning her master’s degree in teaching from Manhattanville College, DeFelice offered to answer the phone until her father recovered. Well, a short-term crisis became a 33-year commitment, continuing her dad’s legacy and learning all about auto painting and collision repair. One of her favorite customers, physician Dr. Tom Rodda, asked her to refinish his wrought iron furniture with car paint. She couldn’t say no to him, tried it out and it became a mainstay in the body shop until she ran out of space. She then leased property in her current location at 140 Highland St. in Port Chester. After operating Patti’s Portico, a successful outdoor furniture restoration company for 10 years, DeFelice decided to sell in 2009. In 2015, the business became available again and she jumped into getting back to business once again. Too young to retire and still needing the income, DeFelice was delighted to set up shop once again. Her previous employ-
ees came back and the business began pumping blood into rejuvenation. Her previous clientele was delighted to have her back and DeFelice is happy to continue building relationships and providing quality workmanship once again. The metal restoration process is now done with a state-of-the-art powder coated finish. It is the most durable finish on the market today and is available in hundreds of colors, patinas, textures, olde worlde finishes, bronze, brass and anthracites. Each piece is stripped, then powder coated and baked in the oven at about 375 degrees. Name brand furniture repair and vintage sales include Brown Jordan, Woodard, Tropitone, Salterini and more. Patty’s Portico also re-straps chairs and lounges and replaces the slings. They perform welding repairs and mend broken chair and table legs, just like back in the day for Dr. Rodda. Patty has now expanded the business to restoring cast iron radiators, railings, iron gates, art sculptures and motorcycle parts. Aluminum pieces can now be restored as well. Patty’s Portico Outdoor Furniture Restorations, LLC is ready for spring pickup and delivery. Hours are weekdays 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit PattysPortico. com or call 935-8839.
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PAGE 10A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
APRIL 15, 2016
ON A MISSION IN THE KITCHEN
Ever-changing room works for hiding, showing off
BY TODD SLISS
he kitchen is just another room in your house that is evolving, though for many the kitchen is anything but “just another room.” Kitchens are where we make lunch for the kids in the morning, find things to eat and drink on weekends, prepare family meals and use as the staging area for parties, which often end up in the kitchen, especially if there’s a great island to gather around. But when you walk into a kitchen and don’t see a microwave or major appliances like the refrigerator, freezer or dishwasher, it’s not as strange as it might seem at first. Fred Albano of Albano Appliance in Pound Ridge doesn’t have a microwave in his kitchen anymore. That’s been replaced with a steam oven, which has been used commercially for a long time and Albano Appliance has carried for over a decade. “A steam oven will reheat and defrost, maybe not as quick as a microwave, but the quality of the food is 100 percent better,” Albano said. If you don’t have space to install a steam oven, Thermador also offers a 48-inch pro range with a large oven cell and a steam oven. Other top brands are Miele, Wolf and Bosch, according to Albano. “They were very limited with who manufactured them and what they could do in past years,” Albano said. “Now the oven
cells have gotten bigger and they do steam and convection, so doing things like defrosting, poaching, roasting, baking with steam has been an advancement in cooking techniques.” You might not see the refrigerator and/or freezer for different reasons — they might either be separate or hidden by even more natural-looking cabinetry and covering. “The neat thing is now modular refrigeration,” Albano said. The trend of the bigger refrigerator going from 30 inches up to 48 is now about preserving space by going skinnier. “Now the refrigerators, instead of being one big box, it’s a series of boxes,” Albano said. “I have just the refrigerator, only 24 inches wide, and I have the freezer all the way across the kitchen. The rationale is that my kitchen is smaller and I wanted more counter space in the work area. “You don’t go into your freezer nearly as often as you go into the fridge when preparing a meal, so why take up all this vertical space in the busy work area with a freezer you maybe go in a couple of times? The idea of breaking the fridge up is huge.” The advances in hinge design can help your refrigerator, now matter the dimensions, disappear. “From the aesthetic you don’t have this big, lumbering box,” Albano said. “We’ve been able to put wood panels on refrigerators for 40 years now, but Functional and stylish is the key to a great kitchen…
COURTESY OF BILOTTA KITCHENS OF MOUNT KISCO
Continued on the next page
APRIL 15, 2016
COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN INTERIORS
..and an island is a perfect centerpiece.
Continued from the previous page
you always know it’s a refrigerator. Now when you put a panel on a refrigerator it completely vanished into the cabinet. You wouldn’t be able to tell it from another cabinet.” Not seeing the “big box,” according to Albano, “is a nice visual, or I should say lack of visual.” While stainless is still strong for kitchen appliances, Albano said, “We’re definitely seeing a renaissance of the integrated kitchen. As much as possible the dishwasher is completely hidden, the refrigerator, the freezer, the warming drawer. They haven’t figured out how to hide an oven yet.” That’s OK, because you still need a focal point for your kitchen, so the oven/stove remains “the star,” and like other rooms the color can really come alive. Patriotic blue and red are making cooking fun, and white is making a comeback, too, according to Albano.
“We’ve done things in canary yellow, orange, copper, grays like graphite colors,” Albano said. “I’m pretty excited because we’ve been doing stainless kitchens for like the last 20 years, so it’s fun to have some splash of color in there.” Even the hoods have more character as metal is back in with copper finishes and blackened steel among the popular choices. While granite is the still the countertop of choice and concrete has been slowing down, other alternatives are making waves. “I think we’re seeing a lot of the synthetic things, quartz composites gain a lot of traction,” Albano said. “I’m seeing new glass counters where they have these glass composites where it’s recycled material. There are really neat designs.” Another big trend is the waterfall counter. “If you have the end run of a countertop or island, it’s not only on the horizontal, Continued on page 14A
Marina Colella, CID, owner/interior decorator and Sandi Perry, ASID
Decorating Den Interiors comes to you. Award-winning decorator Marina Colella and her team provide a complete in-home or in-office interior design service, bringing a master plan with samples of drapery fabrics, furniture, carpet and area rugs, wall coverings, and accessories directly to their clients. They design the room in the client’s own lighting including existing furnishings the client may want to keep. “Working this way is very comfortable for the client, as they can really see what works in the room, plus it’s a time-saving convenience,” Marina says. Marina and her team pride themselves on their ability to work within a client’s budget, custom designing rooms for function, beauty and comfort. “My clients are working directly with a knowledgeable decorator who is a smallbusiness owner with the power of a large, established company behind her. Unlike a store, we have no inventory or loyalty to a particular manufacturer. We listen to our clients and put their needs first as we make our choices from hundreds of vendors.” We are ready to help our clients with everything from dressing one window to a full-home makeover. Call for a complimentary 90-minute consultation. Decorating Den is expanding in Westchester. If you are interested in getting into the design business, please call us for career opportunities.
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 11A
PAGE 12A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
APRIL 15, 2016
THE POWER OF PAINT COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN INTERIORS
Color your way to stunning interiors With Linda Blair, Marina Colella, and Bill Bradsell
BY TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG
olor. You love it. You fear it. You’re like most homeowners. You know there is transformative power in a prosaic can of paint — and magic in all those hundreds of postagestamp-sized chips of possibility. Sometimes, it’s really hard to envision how they will look on a wall. Then, with so much choice, it’s even harder to make a decision. To unravel the mysteries of paint, we surveyed design industry professionals to unlock the secrets of a divinely colored house. Linda Blair is an interior designer with Blair Interiors Group in Scarsdale, a professor of interior design and the author of “Design Sense.” She has over 40 years experience. Marina Colella is an interior designer, decorator and the owner of Decorating Den Interiors in White Plains. She has 27 years experience. Bill Bradsell is the proprietor of Bradsell Painting & Carpentry, in Bedford. His company does professional color consulting, and he has 30 years of experience. They agree that color plays a major role in establishing mood and ambience. It unifies space, delineates architectural molding and trim, shows off proportions and highlights planes and surfaces. Color is key to any successful interior. How do you best approach the process of choosing colors?
Linda Blair (LB): First and foremost, establish form and function, and then consider the impact of color on the walls, in the furnishings and in color’s relationship to patterns as well. You also have to consider
daylight and evening conditions, artificial lighting, elements of the space, room height, furnishings and anything else that is there. There is an amazing proliferation of colors, types of paints, textiles, floor finishes and furniture. Depending on design goals and uses of space, mixtures and variety can be easily achieved. Marina Colella (MC): I ask clients how they want to feel when they enter the room. What type of atmosphere do they want to create — light and airy, warm and cozy or bright and cheerful? I ask about favorite and disliked colors. If clients don’t know what they want, they should tear out pages of appealing rooms from decorating magazines. Often, they will pick similar colors over and over again. Bill Bradsell (BB): Some people understand color and know how to work with it. Others do not, so it’s best to hire a professional. Our experience and knowledge saves time and money in the long run. We work with a color consultant who is very knowledgeable with color trends and design.
COURTESY OF MARGARET WILSON & COMPANY
This Audrey Sterk mural was the perfect way to bring this entrance foyer together.
How does one approach color for an entire house? How does one approach color for a room?
LB: I recommend seeking relationships in a space and then selecting where color should go, if professional advice is not in play for the desired goals. Clients often let designers lead them through happy experiences in making good choices. I’d like to see everyone smile when they enter a room — and color is certainly a big factor here! For a builder’s home, mass approval and general appeal is accomplished by using the Continued on the next page
Paint can become an accent for built-ins and window frames.
COURTESY OF BRADSELL PAINT
APRIL 15, 2016
THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 13A
Continued from the previous page
same palette throughout. This establishes patterns and relationships between rooms and trim. A painter’s cost is significantly less if colors remain consistent. I think a balance should be worked out between the whole house being the same and adding jolts of color and drama in specific spaces. Every room deserves its own integrity, but room relationships and furnishing relationships are also important. One needs to decide the purpose of each space. MC: It depends on the project. If it is a whole house project, then color can absolutely be coordinated within the entire house. But, if only an upstairs bedroom is being painted and the bedroom has a door, the color inside the bedroom can coordinate with the hallway, but it doesn’t have to. Some things to consider are: Are the rooms separate, or can you visually see one room from another room? When in the room, can you see the hallway color? Usually on the main level, the color should be coordinated for color flow. This is the preferred approach. BB: It is best to choose color according to your furnishings. In our experience, this means color selection happens on a roomto-room basis. However, when doing a whole house, there needs to be a flow throughout. This can be accomplished by carrying a ceiling or trim color throughout each room. Selecting a family of colors or muted wall colors helps with this flow. Are certain colors better for certain rooms?
LB: There are no specific colors for specific rooms, but anything “too strong” might be deemed garish, un-relaxing or, sometimes, in bad taste. Dining rooms can handle bright active colors that promote conviviality, like red, but rooms in which we spend a long time are not suitable for such tones. Natural color rhythms reminiscent of the earth create familiar, comfortable surroundings. Following nature’s lead, choose darker hues for flooring (the earth), medium colors in the middle (trees and flowers) and pale tones at the top (sky) to be really safe. Add a gentle touch of blue to a living room ceiling for surefire success. MC: Choose color based on the effect you want in the room. For example: In a southfacing, sunny family room, yellow paint, which is a warm color, will make the room look even w armer. Painting the room blue, a cooler color, will cool off the sunny room. Likewise, if the family room is north facing with very little sun, painting the room yellow will brighten the space. Painting it the blue may darken the space. BB: Certain colors do work better in certain places. A lot depends on the customer’s personality and what she likes. Colors create moods, and certain rooms need distinct personalities. In my own home, I have used many different colors to achieve different moods and define different parts of the house. If you are having difficulty figuring out what the room should feel like, consider hiring a professional color consultant.
COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN INTERIORS
Lighting plays a role in the look of different paints.
COURTESY OF MARGARET WILSON & COMPANY
Decorators are often mixing and matching paint brands and colors. This dining room features Farrow & Ball and Benjamin Moore (ceiling and trim) paints
Which colors always work? Do you have any favorites?
LB: Designers love the opportunity to create new relationships among color, textiles and furnishings; so I have no particular favorites. I try to relate rooms to interior pieces and with each other. My goal is to achieve rooms with a “wow” factor, which feels so
From floor to ceiling, everything makes a subtle statement in this living room.
COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN INTERIORS
comfortable and beautiful that everyone wants to occupy them, and everyone feels good in them. Color plays a most significant role here, but it’s a hard secret to explain. White is also a very big story. It was popular years ago, and its current resurgence is strong. Not every white is right for every situation, but here are some safe and effective shades of white: Benjamin Moore Super White comes across strong and clean without any tinge of blue whatsoever. Benjamin Moore is one of the very expensive, but truly effective paint companies preferred by many designers. Behr Silky White is inexpensive and goes with grays and beiges. Farrow & Ball White Tie is a subtle and creamy white that covers beautifully and is worth the extra price. Valspar Swiss Coffee can create a vintage sensibility on the walls of a kitchen. Sherman Williams Big Chill complements greys. The color reads as “almost white” with white cabinets, and it provides a soft effect. MC: If you are painting and not ready to decorate, pick a neutral to give you flexibility with fabrics and area rug colors. Soft beiges or grays allow you to select any color for fabrics and rugs, so you can then choose blues, purples, reds, greens or any other color. Also, don’t discount historical colors. They have stood the test of time. BB: Color is such a personal thing, but we always find muted wall colors are a great place to start. Our experience has been that once we nail down a color family, we are only a couple of steps away from the homeowner’s choice. Our most popular color for ceilings and trim is a soft white. It’s subtle and warm with just the right amount of contrast. I have worked with just about every color. The most dramatic was probably a dark blue high gloss on the walls of a family room. It was absolutely stunning. I would love to try one of the primary colors with a high gloss finish on a ceiling. Continued on page 20A
PAGE 14A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
Kitchen Continued from page 11A
but it cascades over like a leg or side panel of the island,” Albano said. “Basically you have two sides and a top and the cabinets are underneath it.” Style matters
From a designer’s perspective, “Functionality is still very important,” said Danielle Florie of Bilotta Kitchens of Mount Kisco. “The need for plenty of storage, pantry space, etc., is driving the design more than ever. And with technology being what it is today, ‘commend centers’ are integral to the design. We still do desks in kitchens, but they aren’t really for sitting, rather to use as a central location to house charging stations and keep everything organized and accessible to all.” Once function has been achieved, it’s time to get down to the fun part — colors and styles. “What I am seeing is that simple, classic white kitchens are still holding strong,” Florie said. “Different colors come and go, but white always stands the test of time. After all, Simply White is Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year for 2016. “As far as style goes, transitional is by far the most popular, not always in white, but clean neutral colors. There are not too many requests lately for overly traditional with ornate detailing or anything too contemporary.” What Florie likes about the metals being put in kitchens over stoves, as hardware, for appliances and cabinet and backsplash accents are the burnished bronzes, brass and polished nickel is that they are “more up-to-date than you would’ve seen in the ’80s — not your mom’s antique brass.”
APRIL 15, 2016 When it comes to appliances, stainless steel is making way for wood panels. “In some cases this is for aesthetic reasons, an interest in that fully-integrated, furniture like feel, but in other instances, especially for families with young children, it’s because they don’t want to have to keep up with the finger prints and marks on the stainless,” Florie said. And speaking of kids and cleanliness, “People are also moving away from wood flooring to large format tiles,” Florie noted. “Easier for upkeep.” Getting organized
Jocelyn Kenner of See Your Way Clear in Scarsdale, which offers “organizing solutions for easier living,” knows how much a disorganized space can negatively impact a person’s life. The first step is getting to know the client and the space by finding out what works, what doesn’t and how the space is used. Assessing the client’s vision as far as the “look and function” of the space helps the process get started and lead to that all-important finished product. Like any room, a kitchen can become cluttered — just look at all that counter space and the things you can put on it, or all the things you can pack into those cabinets. “Kitchens are notorious for a lot of unnecessary duplication,” Kenner said. “This applies to everything from gadgets and utensils to food. Start with one category and pull out everything of that type. When you have all these ‘like’ items together side by side, you will be able to not only assess your inventory quickly, but it enables you to compare and choose the items you like, need and use.” Starting with those counters, where does Continued on page 21A
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APRIL 15, 2016
THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 15A
Trend talk: What’s hot for wall colors in 2016
ee Schlotter knows her paint. She is a senior color marketing manager of PPG, an architectural coatings business headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. She has been with PPG for 25 years and manages the development of color platforms, systems and tools for brands such as PPG PAINTS™, OLYMPIC® paints and GLIDDEN® paints. “I’m not always a fan of light colors in small spaces; big color adds to the space and gives it interest,” she said. “When using more dramatic colors, make sure you have a lot of real or artificial sources of light, so bold color doesn’t deaden in the space. The best places to try bold colors include powder rooms, laundry rooms and walk-in closets. Adding color to these spaces gives them personality and appeal. Sharp, clean colors are better for small spaces versus muddy, heavily nuanced neutrals.” Bellflower by PPG Paints is one of Schlotter’s favorite paints. Paired with clean white, like Delicate White, it creates an open and airy space. She also recommends Acapulco Cliffs by PPG Paints. “It’s an amazing teal color that works great in small spaces,” she said. Paradise Found, PPG Paints brand 2016 “Color of the Year,” is another fa-
vorite. “It is a substantial, serious aloe green that offers a soothing, safe feeling,” Schlotter said. “The organic green also represents the ease and rejuvenation one feels in nature. With a hint of blue undertones, it pairs beautifully with whites or blacks. As consumers embrace future-forward lifestyles and designs, we anticipate Paradise Found will play a prominent role in home décor trends and styles. It will give homeowners a silent guard and be a sturdy, reassuring color for those wary of growing threats to global, national and cyber security.” Paradise Found is one of the featured colors presented in “Odyssey,” a collection of four palettes showcasing current color trends from the PPG “The Voice of Color” program. The 2016 Odyssey color palettes include: I’m Perfect
The conundrum of pronouncing this theme as “Imperfect” or “I’m Perfect” reflects consumers’ willingness to celebrate uniqueness and beauty found within so-called imperfections. This theme draws on references revamped from the 1970s in a contemporary sense of décor. Like the name suggests, the hues in this palette are perfectly imperfect blends of colors rather than pure colors — such as Confidence, Apple-A-Day and Purple Basil
— or they are heavily shaded hues like Carob Chip. These colors were carefully selected to convey a palette that is nature-inspired and slightly bohemian, yet still offers both ease and elegance in contemporary interiors. Hyper HD
Celebrating a glamorous lifestyle that is social, stylish, eclectic and sophisticated, Hyper HD borrows design sensibility from the late 1970s. It adds a disco-era dazzle to the decade’s bohemian style. The disco-era dazzle is evident in the color palette punctuated by saturated rainbow brights, such as Acorn Squash and Rainbow Bright, exotic darks such as Egyptian Violet and Black Walnut, as well as the mixed yellow Gone Giddy. A handful of tinted whites including Bamboo and Delicate White add lightness to the palette. Lucid Dreams
Born from a rising consumer interest in finding sanctuary and privacy away from an increasingly digitally connected world, this palette soothes and offers a spirit of ease. It conveys a sense of quiet, calm and peacefulness. Washed-out pastels in tender tones of pink, purple, blue and green make up this palette, including colors such as Blushing Bride, Wild Lilac, Colonial Aqua and Geyser. Muted darks such as
Choo Choo and Volcanic Ash and clean neutrals like Seriously Sand work to balance the palette and keep it from appearing too ethereal and dreamy. Knight’s Watch
This palette represents a new direction. Its design sensibility is edgy, structural, masculine, dark and sturdy. Drawn from consumers’ desire for safety and security, the elements of this theme include dark, neutral colors that convey strength and protection. The Color of the Year, Paradise Found, sits in this theme with its rich, camouflage-inspired hue. Ample grays, such as Shining Armor and Swirling Smoke, and browns, like Sautéed Mushroom, Olive Wood and Antiquity, are equally serious and safe. Deep reds including Burgundy Wine and Ruby Lips, blues such as Annapolis Blue and Hacienda Talavera and greens like Night Watch and Paradise Found provide energy while maintaining a mature aesthetic. The 2016 Odyssey trends color collection, along with 2,000 other colors in PPG “The Voice of Color” program, are available at PPG Paints stores and independent dealer locations across the U.S. PPG Paints products can be purchased at Scarsdale Hardware. — With reporting by Traci Dutton Ludwig
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Perfect lawn Continued from page 3A
expectations? And can these expectations be met? There are many variables that can lead to less-than perfect lawns, including lawn fungus, insects and disease. But many of the reasons lawns are lacking are much simpler. Some of the top destroyers? Lists Bellantoni: “Overwatering. Poor mowing practices and compaction. The inability for the turf plant to use the nutrients in the soil because symbiotic balance of the soil is off.” Linder agrees: “The top three items are proper mowing, proper watering and proper nutrient input.” Too much water
Water, water, everywhere. Overwatering is a top pet peeve of natural gardening enthusiast and owner of Scarsdale’s Sprainbrook Nursery Al Krautter, author of “12 Steps to Natural Gardening.” On his website, naturalgardennews.com, he encourages people to follow an organic approach to their whole yard, not just to the top-of-mind areas like vegetable beds or flowers. In keeping with this approach, he is also a big proponent of not overwatering yards. This means resetting those automatic sprinklers so they don’t run every day. “Many homeowners engage in daily watering of their lawns, which develop superficial instead of deep roots,” Krautter writes on his blog. “The weakened plants become prone to insect and fungus problems. Lawn weeds become more prevalent, and homeowners become more upset.” Watering, instead, should occur less frequently, but for longer periods. “Lawns require one inch of water a week to grow,”
APRIL 15, 2016 Linder said. “By watering each day, the roots actually shrink because they know they are going to get that water each day. By watering infrequently and deep, the roots go down into the soil in search of water, and your lawn won’t go under stress as easily in the heat of summer.” Another watering tip that is contrary to a commonly held belief: water early. “The best time to water is in the early morning, from 4 to 7 a.m.,” said Linder. “And never during the day or at night. Watering at this time of day allows the plant to better use the water applied, knocks the dew off the plant and actually reduces diseases that start on dewsoaked leaves.” “Most people tend to overwater,” bemoaned Bellantoni. “But with the proper maintenance program, you should be able to reduce water usage.” Proper mowing
Many homeowners hire a landscape contractor, get on a set mowing schedule for their yard, and call it a summer. This is probably not the best way to achieve the perfect lawn, say the experts, who advise, as Linder put it, “mowing when needed,” and as Bellantoni put it, “managing the mowing height.” “Proper mowing is defined as mow when the grass needs it, and don’t collect the clippings,” Linder said. “The rule of thumb is not to mow more than one-third of the leaf off at any one time. If you maintain your lawn at three inches, you mow when the lawn gets to four-and-a-half inches. This may be more than once a week.” Feed the soil
The third most important thing homeowners can do to ensure a good-looking lawn Continued on the next page
APRIL 15, 2016 Continued from the previous page
is feed the soil. “Managing the nutrients, PH and organic matter in the soil is very important but different needs for every lawn,” said Bellantoni. “To truly understand what kind of maintenance is required, you should test your soils periodically.” At SavaLawn, they start a lawn nutrient program with just such a soil test to determine exactly what the particular lawn needs to grow. “Like a human blood test, the soil test tells us if some nutrient is lacking, over abundant, or just right,” said Linder. “From that test, the nutrient inputs can be adjusted to provide exactly what your lawn needs.” Sowing the seeds
Homeowners may not realize it, but perfect lawns are made — they don’t just happen. And one of the key ways to ensure fresh, new, green grass is to lay down seed. “Grass does not live forever,” Linder said. “As a living plant, even with the best maintenance practices, it needs to be replaced every so often. This can be done with core aeration and over seeding... seed slicing... or even total renovation by killing the existing grass and reseeding or resodding.” Any seeding practices, he advises, should ideally be done in the fall, from mid-August to the first part of September for this area. “The days are long enough, nights are cooler, there generally are nice rains, and the soil temperatures are ideal for grass seeds to germinate and grow.” Seeding in the spring, when people wake up to their splotchy, dormant brown yards and start dreaming of green, is not the way to go. “Seeding in the spring rarely works because of cold soil and temperature and the fact that weed seeds actually germinate at lower soil temperatures — 55 degrees —
than grass seed — 65-plus degrees — and the weeds will be growing before the grass seed and outcompete the new grass.” What’s on the horizon in lawn services? When it comes to caring for their yards, many homeowners are starting to look for organic, chemical-free approaches to their lawn care, an alternative that companies like SavaLawn and Bellantoni Landscape provide. It’s an effort that Krautter of Sprainbrook Nursery spends his time advocating on his website. “The organic approach on lawns requires patience, understanding and a clear plan worked out by both the homeowner and the homeowner’s gardener,” writes Krautter. He hopes homeowners will take the care they apply to their vegetable beds and apply it to their lawns. But he cautions homeowners who broach the conversation with their landscapers to follow through and make sure that the organic approach is being done to their specifications. “It is an educational issue,” he said. However homeowners achieve it, for many, a perfect lawn, professionally nurtured, can bring countless days of summer enjoyment. “A perfect lawn is very personal and different for each individual and homeowner,” said Bellantoni. It can also be environmentally sound. “A healthy turf has a tremendous amount of benefits to the environment from water filtration, soil erosion control, cooling of the property, cleaning of the air, and a safe, nontoxic playing surface for families, children and pets,” Bellantoni said. “To me, the perfect lawn provides all of the above benefits while reducing watering needs and maintenance practices.” A lawn services professional, Linder said, “is a steward of the environment.”
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APRIL 15, 2016
ersby. Hearing one’s neighbors is generally not the main issue — visual privacy is the main request of clients. Homeowners enjoy relaxing in their yard or garden, playing sports with their children, entertaining friends and family and enjoying meals. Privacy is desired for all of these activities.
Continued from page 4A
planting a hedge, trees, a fence or a combination. • View desired privacy screening area from various vantage points, at different times of day and at different times of year if possible. • Find good examples of privacy screening that works you can emulate. 2) Can you give an example of a client who had a privacy issue and the specific ways you addressed them in your garden design? A client in Scarsdale contacted me about a year ago, they had overgrown unruly shrubs lining their backyard, which failed to provide privacy and where it was difficult to maintain. I created a beautiful design solution which included removing all of overgrown shrubs, installing a beautiful cedar fence —solid to 5 feet with lattice top — stained to match home color and trees were then planted along the fence. The fence provided screening up to height of 6 feet, the trees provided instant screening from about 6 to 18 feet. Thus an unruly backyard was quickly turned into a beautiful garden sanctuary. 3) What are the top complaints customers have about their yard privacy when they call you for the first time? The most common comment is the “fish bowl” effect which is the uncomfortable feeling of sitting on your patio, deck, porch or lawn and feeling watched or on display for your neighbors or pass-
4) How can working with a professional help home owners achieve yard privacy? Hiring a landscape design professional could be one of the smartest investment decisions a homeowner will ever make. First gather ideas on what you’re looking for. Study and take photos of privacy screening you like in your neighborhood and community. Check out magazines, catalogs, design websites, including Houzz and Veranda, or anything else that features items or ideas for privacy screening. Many town and villages require permits for fencing and there may also be setback requirements for planting screening near property line to insure safety and clear site lines for drivers and pedestrians at corners and intersections. A professional can research these issues for you. Also consider how much time and expense you wish to devote to maintenance. Privacy hedges, trees and fences all require some care. 5) What kind of timeframe should you allow? How long do you plan to be in your home? Can you wait three to five years Continued on the next page
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APRIL 15, 2016
6) What are the top mistakes you see homeowners make when they try to create privacy in their yards? Homeowners may lack the training, expertise and experience to select the best solution for privacy screening. A poor choice for privacy screening may lower the value of your home instead of increasing value as a professional can offer. Selecting the wrong plant for the job means it may thin in the shade, lose its foliage or be browsed (eaten) by deer. The wrong plant choice may also never fill in as you wish or quickly become too large or too difficult and costly to maintain.
ing estates in the Hamptons. Privet grows quickly, is rather inexpensive, responds well to pruning and it is not evergreen. Privet leaves are larger than Boxwood, but not as refined or dense. • Skip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’) has long broad leaves to about 6 inches, dark evergreen, rather dense, grows moderate to fast up to about 12 feet tall or so. Its broad leaves can become desiccated or wind burned in winter, thus best in a protected area. Skip Laurel may be eaten by hungry deer in winter, but it can be sprayed with anti-desiccant (holds moisture) and deer repellant for winter protection. It is not 100 percent in our climate, so care ought to be taken when planting. This is about the best value for evergreen hedging if wind and deer are not an issue and there is room for a large hedge, over 6 feet tall and at least 5 feet wide.
7) Now to the fun stuff — what are your favorite privacy-creating materials? • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a favorite of mine and my clients. It provides year-round privacy, it can grow in full sun and some shade, it is drought resistant once established it is deer tolerant. Boxwood is costly and grows rather slow. Boxwood have small leaves, about the size of a finger nail. This fine texture is visually refined and dense. Boxwood respond well to pruning. • Privet(Ligustrum ovalifolium and Ligustrum amurense) is a perennial favorite seen at modest homes, old and new, grand estates and college campus here and abroad. It is the primary hedging plant on Long Island’s East End, screen-
8) Any trends in privacy creation we should know about? Espaliered fruit trees, which is any type of fruit tree trained to grow flat against a wall, can also create a living fence. Pollarded trees are another type of living fence. European gardens utilize espaliered and pollarded plants for privacy. This trend is slowly catching on in the United States. New York’s Highline Park utilizes metal trellises which support flower vines such a Honeysuckle. Such a trellis has minimal space requirement and is generally not as expensive as a fence. The vines animate this living fence and could provide food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. — Maja Tarateta & Todd Sliss
Continued from the previous page
for a hedge to grow in? Is a fence a better solution? Are you limited by municipality zoning of where a fence can be installed and its maximum height?
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 19A
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Power of paint Continued from page 13A
What are some common mistakes people make with color?
LB: As a rule, colors close in hue work better together. For example, let gray bridge the gap between black and white, or use an ivory-beige-taupe combination, which is easier on the eye than brown and white. Avoid overly matched schemes. Neutral shades can work in several rooms, but limit more colorful groupings to a single room. Let adjacent rooms be harmonious in color. You can also use color to unify space. Using the same color carpeting in a center hall and living and dining room can tie the rooms together. This is especially grand if the rooms are visible from one another. MC: The biggest mistake is not paying the small fee for a color consultation. People often go back and forth with small swatches and paint samples — and often they are still not happy with the results. Call a professional. It will save so much time, frustration and expense. Color consultation is when a professional comes to the house with bags of larger paint swatches to discuss color in the space being painted. A professional can see the light in the room, determine the desired feeling of the room and coordinate color with furnishings. By the end of a color consultation, the client has the paint colors they need. Larger swatches can also be ordered, so the client can live with a paint sample and see the color in daylight and at night. BB: The most common mistake is that clients don’t understand what primary colors are. They may end up choosing yellows that
Color meets color for a little flair.
are too yellow and reds that are too red. They are not familiar with what makes up color or what gets added to a primary color. Therefore, the color may end up being too strong. Also, when dealing with deep colors, multiple coats are needed. Don’t be afraid of color. Hire a professional to ensure your color expectations will be met. What is a surprising secret about color?
LB: I often say the difference between a client and me is that I can take a 2 by 2 inch sample and tell — in advance — how the entire space will look, and most clients cannot. Clients know, for sure, after the paint is on the wall, but in advance, many cannot see it. I guess it’s just many years of experience and a bit of talent through the genes as a thirdgeneration interior designer MC: All colors on the color wheel can be amazingly beautiful when coordinated and used properly. BB: Don’t be afraid of color! Sometimes it’s fun making a statement about yourself through color. One of my favorite combina-
COURTESY OF BRADSELL PAINT
tions is taupe and blue, — very elegant, yet subtle. What role does paint finish play?
LB: Paint finishes vary, and you should note that painters often switch to less expensive versions of paints within the same brands. The type of paint and use of the rooms determines type of finish. There are myriad choices. We do elaborate paint schedules and light studies for our clients and painters, and we find that attention to the choices really pays off in subtle, but important effects. MC: Finish is important based on rooms. A kitchen or bath, which are high grease and humidity areas, may call for an eggshell finish. The eggshell finish always allows you to use soap and water to clean up kitchen grease in a kitchen or bathroom mildew. Matte finish is fine in most rooms. Semigloss and high-gloss finishes are usually used for woodwork like baseboards, crown moldings and doors. BB: Finishes affect durability and protection. They play a small role in design, such
APRIL 15, 2016 as the statement-making quality of walking into a room with high-gloss walls or the pop of woodwork with sheen. We find that typical conversations about finishes pertain to kids, pets and mildew. Typically the higher the sheen, the more durable the finish and the easier it is to clean. Very often, we put sheens in high traffic areas. The other purpose of sheen is protection. Moisture is the greatest threat to both interior and exterior surfaces. Paint with higher sheens do a better job of resisting mildew and dirt, so they are appropriate for kitchens, bathrooms and exteriors. What are your recommendations for standout rooms and |standout houses?
LB: A standout room or standout house can be accomplished by anyone with talent, experience and vision. Using a professionally trained interior designer also helps. For me, I just like making homes and offices that work, function and make people feel good! Surely color is one very important factor. MC: If someone wants to make a standout room, I recommend wallpaper! Regarding a standout house, most clients want their space to have that finished look. You need to know what you want, plan it, budget it and then implement it. Focus on the end result. Most people approach a room or a home with bits and pieces of spontaneous purchases and wonder why it doesn’t look like the finished room they desire. A professional designer can help you achieve the look you want. BB: If you would like to have a standout room, color is one way to go. You may also want to texture the walls or ceiling, which is very effective in a whole house as well. Have fun coloring your world!
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 21A
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Kitchen Continued from page 14A
one begin? “I teach my clients about using ‘prime real estate’ wisely,” Kenner said. “Countertops should be reserved for food preparation and a few select items that you use on a regular basis. If you make coffee every morning, then your coffee maker deserves a space on your counter. But, if your large mixer lives on your countertop and you only use it to make cookies during the holidays, then it does not deserve to be taking up the prime real estate on your counter.” Though Kenner does not design or install storage space, she works with designers, offers suggestions and helps organize existing spaces. In kitchens where space is more limited, Kenner urges clients to “utilize vertical space.” “Using stacking shelves inside your cabi-
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APRIL 15, 2016
Nursery design you’ll love now — and later
ment instead of just a place where baby sleeps. From minimalist cribs with slender railings that evoke a graceful, modern air to acrylic cribs that afford parents a completely unobstructed view of their little ones, parents are branching out from traditional wood frame cribs. You can also find oval and round cribs, like the convertible Stokke Sleepi Crib/Bed, compact and portable bassinets that can go from baby’s room to fitting neatly next to adult beds, and cribs that convert into toddler beds when your baby becomes a child.
hen you’re decorating a nursery, it makes sense to design a room that pleases you as much as it will thrill your little one. After all, you’ll be spending as much time in the room as your baby, if not more! You crave a room that you can love for its beauty and functionality, but you also want it to be trendy and fun. Here are four nursery design trends that can help you create a room that fits your design tastes and will thrill your little one: Whimsical woodlands
An earthy trend is bringing the great outdoors into nursery design. A woodland theme in a nursery is the perfect stepping stone to get imaginations spinning and curiosity for nature growing. There is a warmth and coziness that comes from nature-inspired decor. Think fuzzy animal mobiles, natural wooden accents, and a whimsical birch tree wall mural from Murals Your Way to create a space where you’re little one will feel calm and peaceful. Birch not your thing? Murals Your Way has thousands of nursery friendly options to choose from, or upload your own image to create a one-of-a-kind space for your one-of-a-kind bundle. Pastels are back
Soft colors and baby’s nursery go together like peas and carrots, so it’s no surprise that pastels are back and bet-
ter than ever. On the heels of Pantone’s announcement of not one, but two pastels, Rose Quartz and Serenity as colors of the year, this trend is legit. These shades add a slight twist on the traditional pink and blue: Rose Quartz is a softer pink with a hint of peach, and Serenity is a periwinkle blue with shades of lavender pushing through. Other popular pastels are lilac, lemon drop and pale green as seen on Babyletto’s
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Traditional nursery furniture has long included a crib, changing table and a rocking chair where parents can sit for those late-night feedings. Today, parents are thinking outside the crib when choosing furnishings for their baby’s room. Cribs can be a design state-
He or she, what will it be? If you’re planning to be surprised by your baby’s gender, design a gender neutral nursery that works for either a boy or a girl. Moving away from the standard yellow or green for surprises, start with a color palette using subtle tones, like heather gray, beige and rich charcoal. To avoid boring, layer in lots of texture and organic materials like natural wood furniture, linen curtains, fluffy pillows and soft rugs like the RH Baby & Child chunky braided wool rug in cream. A plus with this trend is that you can pair this gender-neutral palette with accessories of any color, should you want to add in a pale pink or navy blue blanket after the baby’s arrival. — BPT
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THE RECORD-REVIEW | PAGE 23A
Sunrooms Continued from page 2A
Good light control is essential in any case. Therefore, Cain typically advises homeowners to refrain from using roof windows or to use them only minimally. “Traditional sunrooms, of course, did not include any roof windows,” Cain said. “Instead, these sunrooms were constructed with decks above them that could be accessed from the second floor.” Since a sunroom is intended to be a light-sensitive space, it is best to approach the project with a consideration of light orientation and views. While this was a greater consideration in past construction, contemporary new construction, especially in housing developments, is usually not concerned with refinements of site placement. “You will find the identical house plan used for any orientation, relative to sun exposure and views,” Cain said. “While sun exposure and views should always be important when designing a home, these factors are critical when designing a sunroom. The assumption may be that that since it is a sunroom, you must have maximum sun exposure. However, this will most likely result in too much light and heat — and an expensive investment that will end up being a disappointment and hardly ever used.” According to Cain, the best designs replicate quintessential features of conventional, early 20th-century sunrooms. He explained: “The traditional sunrooms of colonial homes had it right — no roof windows were used. All the perimeter
windows were typically operable French casement windows that allowed crossventilation, and overhangs were provided at all windows. These important, functional elements can be translated into contemporary architectural language as well. A well-designed sunroom should be functional all year long, providing optimum solar heat gain in the winter and sufficient shade in the summer.” Scott Hirshson, principal of Hirshson Architecture and Design in Armonk, agrees that sunrooms can be particularly special spaces. He cautions against concealing the access to the sunroom, because a concealed access point can make the room feel too separated from the liv-
ing space. Instead, a successful sunroom invites in the life of the household. “Families are seeking flexible spaces beyond a screened porch,” Hirshson said. Sunrooms may function as overflow for the kitchen or family room. Storage options always prove useful in an open space, and bookcases flanking large windows can add character and functionality to a sunroom. Adding a small desk and a concealed printer may allow a sunroom to double as a home office.” Hirshson believes desired functionality should be considered when designing sunrooms. “Before air conditioning, screens allowed people to sleep in open spaces,” he said. “Later, homes frequently
utilized screens or removable panels to allow for use of the room during three seasons, excluding winter. Currently, we assess the use of the home, as either a primary or secondary home, to determine how and when an owner would best utilize the space. “A summer home, for example, may include a screened porch for outdoor dining and seating protected from weather and insects. A primary home may do the same, however, it is more likely to include a sunroom that can be used year-round. Advances in window technology now enable operable, fixed-glass panels for indoor/ outdoor spaces that function throughout the entire year.” According to Hirshson, “The greatest challenge is providing sufficient heating and cooling. Therefore, we prefer to provide a dedicated HVAC thermostat in a sunroom. If paving the floor in stone, radiant heat is also a preferred option.” With its identity between a porch and an interior room, a sunroom can be modified, to some degree, to meet the specific needs of a client. However, unlike other traditional spaces in a house, a sunroom is not adaptable to all functions. “No sunroom will be suitable as a traditional family room capable of accommodating a large-screen TV,” Cain said. Instead, a sunroom can be even better. “It’s the grown-up room in the house!” Cain said. “Get your cup of coffee or a mint julep, grab the paper version of The New York Times, and enjoy a beautiful breeze through the open French casement windows. Look at the views and breathe in the scents of spring!”
ANY STYLE ANY SEASON TIMELESS
CAL PETRESCU ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN cell (914) 523 4030 off (914) 723 6884 thewestchesterarchitect.com
Cal, a Scarsdale resident, develops exciting concepts for high-end residences, distinctive condominiums, restaurants and shops across Westchester. Just walk through your neighborhood or visit the website to appreciate his creativity and attention to detail.
PAGE 24A | THE RECORD-REVIEW
APRIL 15, 2016
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