Volume LXVIII, Number 15
75Â˘ at newsstands
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Spring Home 2014
TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 • 22
Spring Home Area Experts Can Provide a New Outdoor Living Space
ow that “the winter of our discontent” seems finally to have faded into memory, area residents look forward to getting outside. Spring cleaning, gardening, and landscaping are all on the agenda, and in addition, this is often the time to target the patio, terrace, or deck. Outdoor living space is the focus of many homeowners, as they look ahead to spring, summer, and fall outside activities. Bringing the inside out is popular with many people today — they are opting for outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and a variety of entertainment features on their patios. “Overhead structures have become ex-
tremely popular with our clients,” says Steven J. Doerler, owner and president of Doerler Landscapes Inc. in Yardville. “Our clients are looking to extend the time period that they utilize their outdoor rooms so overhead structures, including roofs and pergolas. are very popular. Overhead structures provide a sense of enclosure and act like a ‘ceiling’ for an outdoor room. The structure then lends itself to the addition of ceiling fans, lights, and infra-red radiant heat. Kitchen stations, fire elements, water features, and seating walls are also popular features. Of course, with our digital society, many of our clients incorporate flat
screen T Vs, music, and mood lighting that can all be remote-controlled.” Potential Patio Greg Powers, owner of Re New Masonr y Repair and Renovation in South Brunswick, also points out the popularity of outdoor living reflecting the home’s interior. “Patio designs have changed over the years. I see patios as an extension of the inside of the house. The layout is designed much like an area in the home. You can have a sitting area, similar to a living room, a designated kitchen area, a bar — anything you can imagine. “Sometimes, a client has a hard time envisioning the Continued on Next Page
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Continued from Preceding Page
size and space of a potential patio. I tell them to go inside the house and look at their living room or kitchen. Measure it, look at what’s inside, how many sofas, tables, chairs, etc.? This can be helpful when designing the patio to determine the size that would best suit the client’s needs.” Mr. Powers adds that patio sitting walls are favorites with many people today. “They can turn a flat ordinary patio into a comfortable courtyard. Pillars with lights on them are are very popular as well as built-in barbecues.” The addition of plants and flowers to the patio goes a long way in enhancing its appeal. Many options are available today, as Ronni Hock, owner of Ronni Hock Garden and Landscape in Lawrenceville, points out: “Patio containers are a wonderful idea to add that special touch and color to the patio. I always suggest using plants that grow well in tight spaces. Not all annuals perform well in containers over a longer period of time. Be sure to ask the experts at your garden center if they will last through the summer into the fall. “Also, use plants that attract hummingbirds or butterflies, such as Salvias, Nicotiana, Lantana, Phygelius, and Verbena, to mention a few. I recommend starting with a large container (18 inches or larger) to be sure the root system of the plants has plenty of space to mature over the summer. “Using small f lowering
trees is another favorite of mine. Hydrangeas work well, and smaller Crape Myrtles, evergreens, or a tropical plant called Brugmansia, which will grow into an eight-foot tree in one season, are all good.” Good Soaking In addition, continues Ms. Hock, “Use a good mix of potting soil and fertilizers to be sure the plants have all the nutrients they need. Larger containers need less watering. Just give them a really good soaking once or twice a week — especially when the extreme heat kicks in.” Ms. Hock designs patios of all shapes and sizes, often using natural stone or pavers. As she notes, “Many of my clients in the Greater Princeton area prefer bluestone or a Pennsylvania fieldstone to achieve the historic ‘look and feel’ indigenous to our region. Some people want extensive landscaping or gardens surrounding these outdoor living spaces, which I am delighted to create. Others want a more simple, elegant approach to decorating their patio.” Steven Doerler repor ts that many excellent materials are available for patios and terraces today. “The materials that we recommend are often related to the architecture and time period in which a house was built. For older or more traditional homes, we try to incorporate brick, bluestone, or other natural stone products. Newer homes lend themselves to traditional products as well as some of the newer paver products. As a design-focused firm, we concentrate on the utiliza-
tion and form of the terrace or outdoor room, which will help determine the size and shape of the space.” Greg Powers notes that the most popular materials with his customers are concrete pavers, clay pavers, and natural stone. “Concrete pavers come in all shapes and sizes, and many colors. They also require more maintenance than clay pavers or natural
stone. Clay pavers look like the classic brick that are on many homes. Often they are orange/reddish in color with different variations. They will last decades. “Natural stone is the most durable of all material and comes in a variety of colors and textures,” he continues. “The one thing that can preserve all of these materials is waterproofing.
The freeze/thaw cycle is the culprit in many renovations I do, whether it be steps, retaining walls, or patios and walkways. Not allowing your brick or stone to absorb water will greatly increase its longevity and beauty.” Both Mr. Doerler and Mr. Powers incor porate 3 - D imaging to help customers visualize the finished patio. “Our firm encourages a col-
laboration approach with our clients, and one of the tools that we utilize to communicate our ideas is 3-D imaging,” points out Mr. Doerler. “On the Spot” “It allows us to work with our clients on a myriad of conceptual ideas, which helps us to refine the project Continued on Next Page
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23• TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014
Outdoor Living Space
TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 • 24
Outdoor Living Space Continued from Preceding Page
Much welcomed warmer weather is a reminder that we are onto Spring and happy to leave this past brutal winter in the rear view mirror! From a real estate standpoint it’s also amazing that we are onto the 2nd quarter and can start to analyze what’s been going on so far this year. In Princeton the number of new listings was down 7% from last year so what you’ve been hearing about lessening inventory is accurate here too. The contracts are down by 21% so far, but much of this can be attributed to weather in January and February as March was only down two units from the same month last year. Not surprisingly, pricing is continuing it’s rebound with the average sale price for Q1 being 5% higher that Q1 of last year (and 5% higher than last year overall). As always, please let me know how I can help whether buying, selling or just curious! (Source: Trend MLS, Sold, Pending, and Active w/ Contract) https://twitter.com/#!/christinphillip http://www.facebook.com/ChristinaPhillipsRealtor Office: 609-921-1050 • Cell: 917-208-5724 firstname.lastname@example.org http://homesweetprinceton.com
scope and budget. With 3-D imaging, we can make revisions ‘on the spot’ relative to materials, so that our clients can fully envision what the finished project will look like.” “It takes a lot of the guess work out, and customers can get a better feel of what to expect when their patio is complete,” adds Mr. Powers. “I provide a complimentary 3-D design for all customers who are interested in building a patio. Most of the time, it is hard to envision the finished patio from a sketch or from ideas in a book or catalog. “However, I always maintain a lot of flexibility during the building process because as the patio starts to take shape and all the colors, textures, and dimensions come together, this is when the customers can realistically get a clear picture of their patio. A collaboration is the most gratifying approach to designing and building a
patio for the customer and for me. I love feedback. Two creative minds are better than one!” All sizes and shapes of patios are part of the professional services of Mr. Powers and Mr. Doerler. As the latter notes, “We custom design outdoor space of all shapes and sizes. Recent projects have included remov ing an old deck and replacing it with a raised terrace. In our case, we are a design/ build landscape architectural firm. In our 51st year, we feel that by building the projects we design, we have a great deal of experience with a full range of surface products, their costs and limitations. Being involved in the project from the beginning to the end is very fulfilling when we see the finished project and watch the plan come to life.” Dream Spaces “I design everything that I build,” adds Mr. Powers. “It’s a wonderful form of expression. I like to think of myself as an artist first, w it h good masonr y and construction skills to make what I design and build last. I offer a lifetime warranty on all my masonry. I am that confident that if you do it right the first time, there is no reason that the patio can’t look just as beautiful decades from now.” Costs vary considerably depending on the size and
scope of the job and the materials chosen. “Project budgets can range from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars,” points out Mr. Doerler. “One thing that is important to note is that many outdoor spaces can be constructed in phases so we encourage clients to communicate their dream spaces to us and then allow our firm to help guide them to design and implement their dream, whether it is all at once or over time. The more important component is to have a plan. There is the old adage: failing to plan is planning to fail.” Mr. Powers agrees. “I have done small, intimate sitting patios to large, several thousand square foot brick paver driveways and multi-level patios. Cost is dictated by patio size, elevation, type of materials used and what types of features the client wants, such as outdoor kitchen, walls, pillars, sitting walls, etc.” Whether it’s a small fix-up or a total redesign and anything in between, with the help of these professionals, you will be able to enjoy your patio for many seasons to come. Your outdoor living space can be transformed into a visual pleasure, integrating the natural beauty of the surroundings. It will be the “go-to” place for you, your family, and friends. —Jean Stratton
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Variety of Composting Options Now Available for Homeowners
ecycling and repurposing have become the watch words for many in our community today. These environmentallyfriendly practices have been adopted by increasing numbers of people who are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint, lessen the impact on over-burdened landfills, and tend their gardens without chemicals and pesticides. One of the most important and popular repurposing projects today is composting. Whether one chooses to create an individual compost project in the back yard or to participate in the Princeton Curbside Organic Program, the opportunities for composting are on the rise. Started in the Princeton Township Public Works Department ( PWD ) in June 2011 as a 3-month pilot program for curbside organic waste collection, the Princeton Curbside Organic Program is here to stay. 900 households have already joined in, and the numbers rise daily, notes Janet Pellichero, CPR, recycling coordinator, Department of Public Works, who oversees the program. In 2013, participants kept nearly 325 tons of organic waste from reaching the Pennsylvania landfill used by Princeton. In addition, the program has won an award for innovation from Sustainable Jersey. “There are many benefits to composting,” notes Ms. Pellichero. “Composting diverts materials away from landfills, which are an expensive and unsustainable method for our waste disposal. Buried waste in a landfill creates methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas
that is a major contributor to global warming. Waste in a landfill can sit there creating the gas for hundreds of years. Nutrient-Rich “Huge amounts of organic waste and a special GoreTex cover are incorporated so the compost piles get very hot,” continues Ms. Pellichero. “This means that compost can be made using items that can’t be easily composted in a back yard, such as meat and bones, fish skins, pizza boxes, waxed paper, pits, and yard waste, including sticks and branches. Organics become compost in just 80 days after you put them out for weekly collection. The organic waste is turned into a nutrient-rich and beneficial soil amendment. Our compost is a beautiful material, fine, dark, and full of wonderful nutrients.” Paticipants in the pro gram receive a 32-gallon wheeled cart with attached lid, a kitchen container, and free compost every spring. The collection fee is $65 per year, and residents can join anytime throughout the year. This program is separate from the Mercer County recycling program for glass, paper, cardboard, and aluminum, adds Ms. Pellichero, and people would continue to take part in that program. “Our organic program is a wonderful complement to the County program,” says Ms. Pellichero. “Organic material makes up approximately 20 percent of our solid waste. Removing it from the solid waste and turning it into compost helps increase recycling rates here
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in Princeton and in Mercer County. Eye-Opening “Our program is very eyeopening,” she adds. “I have spoken to many individuals, organizations, commercial institutions, and municipalities in New Jersey and surrounding states. Even the EPA has contacted us about our program. All are interested in doing similar programs, and realize this truly is the ‘low hanging fruit’ that can easily be captured and diverted from landfills. Over time, municipal solid waste disposal costs will decrease, recyling rates could Continued on Page 29.
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Composting Options Continued from Page 27.
increase, and valuable landfill space will be created. It really is a win-win program! It benefits our soil and air, our own back yards, and the environment as a whole.” In addition, Ms. Pellichero encourages residents to continue their own back yard compost projects as well. “Composting is a natural process that turns organic material into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Gardens with healthy levels of compost need less water and fertilizer to give just as much growth as a garden without compost. Our Public Works Department has distributed Earth Machines to our residents over the years. We encourage any method our residents utilize to compost.” Many homeowners enjoy composting in their back yard. L e ave s, f r u it a nd vegetable cuttings, coffee grounds, and tea bags can all be used to create back yard compost. If leaves are used, it is best to shred them, since they break down more easily t han whole leaves. Also, mix them with manure (four parts leaves to one part manure). Manure contains nitrogen, which helps the compost to break up and decompose. Sustainable Princeton is a big supporter of composting, both individually and of the Princeton Curbside Organic Program. “In 2012, Sustainable Princeton applied for and was awarded a $20,000 grant from Sustainable New Jersey to suppor t Janet Pellichero and the PWD in increasing the number of sign-ups for the Curbside Organics Program,” notes Diane Landis, Sustainable Princeton Executive Director. “Build a Bin” “Sustainable Princeton also has a back yard compost program called ‘Build a Bin’. There is a design for a back yard compost bin on our website that can be made out of palettes for very little money. One of our board members is a LEED Accredited Architect, and she created the design which has been used to build bins all over town. First by Sustainable Princeton volunteers and staff, and then by Anthony Teng, a high school senior who built bins at the public schools, Princeton University, and homes for his Eagle Scout project. He was awarded his Eagle Scout
badge last fall, and received the Sustainable Princeton Leadership Award this February.” An enthusiastic advocate of composting herself, Ms. Landis has her own back yard composting project. “I would not used cooked foods or meats in a back yard compost bin for fear of rodents. So, if you keep it to veggie and fruit cuttings, coffee grounds, tea bags, and mix it with leaves, the pile will heat right up and turn into black gold! You do want a mixture of brown (carbon-rich) and green (nitrogen-rich). The list of what to put in can be found on our ‘Build a Bin’ website. “Also,” continues Ms. Landis, “you want to turn the pile of materials two to three times in the spring and fall. Keep it moist but not wet, or it will get slimy. In my case, I have a rolling compost bin. It looks like a side-ways barrel with an opening that locks shut for food scraps, and has aerated openings to help the food compost. I can easily spin it, and it creates lovely compost, but it’s not enough for my whole garden, which is why I love the curbside organic compost we get by being in the program. I love the dark rich soil that comes from the program, and I grow my kale, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, and peas and flowers in it.” She echoes Ms. Pellichero’s point that the landfills will soon reach the cut-off point, adding, “Our ground water also gets contaminated, and why not create something usable from what we consider waste? As former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, ‘Organic waste composting is the final frontier of recycling.’” For further information on Princeton’s Curbside Organic Program, call (609) 688-2566 or consult the website: www.princetonnj. gov/organic/CurbsideOrganics. html. Information regarding Sustainable Princeton’s “Build a Bin” program is available at www.sustainableprinceton.org. In addition, Smith’s Ace Hardware in the Princeton Shopping Center offers a variety of composting devices and containers in assorted sizes for do-it-yourselfers. The store also sells bags for the Princeton Curbside Organic Program and compost from that program. —Jean Stratton
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31 • TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014
TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 • 32
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NJAR Circle of Excellence
Specializing in the Princeton Area! E L E G A N T | S U S T A I N A B L E JEFFERSON KITCHEN & BATH
A Division of N.C. Jefferson Plumbing, Heating & A/C 5 Crescent Avenue, Bldg. E, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 609.924.3624 | www.ncjefferson.com NJSL# 7084 | HICL# 13VH03224100 ORRY FREE CONTRACTING | FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION
343 Nassau St Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 921-9202
Nassau St 343 343 Nassau St Princeton, NJ 08540 Princeton, NJ 08540 Cell: (609) 504-8478 (609) 921-9202 CB NJ Princeton Town Topics-Shred 4.9.14_Layout 1 4/8/14 4:21 PM (609) 921-9202
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Your Local Coldwell Banker Sales Associates are proud to participate in
NJARDays CircleSt of Excellence April 24-26th 343 CARES Nassau Princeton, NJ 08540 Coldwell Banker of Princeton JEFFERSON KITCHEN & BATH (609) 921-9202 Sponsors Community Wide 1st Annual
RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE CARES FOUNDATION
Making a Difference in Our Communities! Contact your local office for more information
A Division of N.C. Jefferson Plumbing, Heating & A/C 5 Crescent Avenue, Bldg. E, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553 609.924.3624 | www.ncjefferson.com A Division of NJSL# 7084 | HICL#&13VH03224100 Jefferson Plumbing, Heating A/C FULL SERVICE WORRY FREE CONTRACTING | FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION
JEFFERSON BATH & KITCHEN 343 Nassau St N.C.
43 Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 609.924.3624
Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 921-9202
www.ncjefferson.com FULL SERVICE WORRY FREE CONTRACTING FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION
Date: Friday, April 25, 2014 Time: 10:30AM to 1:30PM Location: See our ad in next week’s Town Topics!
What to Bring
Important Paper Documents • Manila Folders • Hanging Folders (Neutral Colors) Old Check Books • Old Credit Cards • Notebooks • Binders • Cellphones • Eyeglasses
What Not to Bring Newspapers • Magazines • Plastic • Cardboard
In lieu of payment please bring a donation for Womanspace NJSL # 7084 | HIICL#13VH03224100
10 Nassau Street • Princeton • 609-921-1411 • www.cbmoves.com/Princeton
©2014 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.
Don’t miss your chance to experience the Tapestry lifestyle!
Dinner and a show in Princeton, just minutes from home. Every day brings new opportunities for relaxed, easy living at Tapestry at Montgomery, central New Jersey’s most distinguished 55+ neighborhood. Tapestry offers the perfect blend of sophistication, convenience and leisurely living including: • Variety of unique, spacious floorplans up to 3,300 sq. ft. • Quiet location, only 2 miles from the heart of Princeton • Private clubhouse with sports lounge, fitness center, outdoor pool and more
Early Delivery Homes Available! Priced from $510,000 – $599,000
609.688.6833 • sharbell.com Sales Center open Fri. –Mon., 11 – 5
Prices and availability subject to change without notice.
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Closed Tues. – Thurs.
Directions from Princeton area: Take Rte. 206 North and make a left onto Rte. 518. Make a right onto Vreeland Drive and then a left onto Acadia Lane. Follow signs to sales center and model park. 3/11/14 3:07 PM
33 â€˘ TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, APRIl 9, 2014
Georges Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte Oil on canvas, 1884â€“1886 Art Institute of Chicago
Two Peaceful Acres in the Pretty Brook Area Spanning two peaceful acres in the Pretty Brook section of Princeton, this picture perfect home boasts spacious rooms and endless amenities. Recently updated and expanded, the generous floor plan alternates between comfortable living spaces and grand entertaining areas. An elegant living room, refined by a fireplace, and formal dining room flank the foyer. In the adjacent study, a picture window overlooks the landscaped yard. The renovated eat-in-kitchen presents a granite center island and sunlit breakfast room. Hardwood floors and a fireplace warm the adjoining family room featuring glass doors onto a bluestone terrace. A cathedral great room with a custom fireplace surround is certain to please guests. Upstairs, two ensuite bedrooms, including the master, supplement two other bedrooms and a hallway bathroom. Recreation needs are met through the vaulted bonus room and finished basement.
Marketed by Judith Stier $1,750,000
glorianilson.com Hopewell Crossing 609-737-9100
Monroe Township 609-395-6600
Princeton Junction 609-452-2188
South Brunswick 732-398-2600