In November, the Long Island Builders Institute held its LIBI Awards ceremony. The event recognizes the outstanding excellence displayed by the winners for awards that were given for distinctive achievements in the design, engineering and development of residential and mixed use housing in the metropolitan area.
This beautiful Gambrel-style home in Southampton village boasts more than good looks and outstanding design – it’s also highly energy efficient. Known on the East End for superior quality and craftsmanship, BENCO Construction combined time-tested building methods and innovative new techniques to create this stunning two-acre estate.
“The homeowners had previously rented one of our spec homes and gave us a call when they were ready to build and design a home of their own,” said Pat Bentivegna of BENCO. “There was an existing structure on the property which we tore down to accommodate the new home,” he added.
While they were looking for a traditional shingle style home, it was also important to the homeowners that the space be highly energy efficient. “We selected all wood Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Windows because of their beauty and performance,” Bentivegna said. ‘The windows were made to our design specs and offer long-term energy cost savings,” he added. Other energy efficient upgrades include spray foam insulation and geothermal heat and air conditioning.
Pat Bentivegna worked with the homeowners to select all of the products and finishes in the home. “We look to partner with companies like Dash Windows of L.I. who offer high quality products along with great service,” he said. BENCO also crafted the home’s custom cabinetry, millwork and other architectural accents. The home features six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, a dining room, living room, den, gym, TV room and home office and is located five minutes from the beach.
The Worrell Group creates an elegant estate on the Gold Coast
The village of Laurel Hollow offers a peaceful and lush setting for its residents nestled in the northeastern corner of Nassau County bordered by the Long Island Sound. With a blend of cosmopolitan style and small-town hospitality, it also offers this newly constructed manor home built by The Worrell Group.
“When we purchased this beautiful piece of property tucked away on a private street we knew we had to build something special; something just as beautiful as the house’s setting,” remarks Peter Worrell, principal of The Worrell Group. “We worked closely with our architects, designers and skilled tradesman to complete this masterpiece.”
Hidden among towering trees off a private cul de sac, guests enter a courtyard with a view of a majestic stone and shingle home set on 2 ½ pristine flat acres. From your first view of the house the stone and paneled tower with sweeping wood shingle roof lines highlights this custom crafted home.
The 8500 square foot home offers six bedrooms, six and a half designer baths with exquisite architectural details throughout.
Entering through the massive mahogany and glass front door, the expansive foyer features two story paneling with custom marble floors laid in a herringbone pattern. Open to the foyer is the impressive stair tower with a large staircase featuring a high gloss black railing which along with the white marble floors accents the homes transitional flair.
A set of French doors leads to the library with a wood herringbone floor and 24 inch height paneling. The coffered ceiling is designed with a trimmed octagon center providing an updated look for a traditional-style coffered ceiling. Exterior French doors and windows throughout the room allow you to overlook three sides of the picturesque property.
Off the foyer through a large paneled entry way, the living room has French doors on the rear wall allowing beautiful views of the rear yard. A fireplace with a custom stone mantle centers the space while a custom trimmed stepped ceiling with Roman ends emphasizes the details shown throughout the house.
This impressive kitchen features custom-crafted floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with top of the line professional appliances. A large trimmed panel over the island was designed to match the details on the kitchen hood. The expansive island is the focal point of the space; it is over 10 feet in length with a 2 ½ inch thick honed statuary marble counter top.
The butler’s pantry is a real hidden surprise right off the kitchen and dining room. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with glass accents and a hammered metal bar sink and an under counter wine cooler make entertaining a breeze. The glass mosaic tile wrapping around the arched window is the same found in the kitchen, unifying the spaces while bringing in a bit of shimmer.
The family room is an extension of the kitchen as many families are looking for in today’s homes. Walking through the paneled archway, the fireplace mantle aligns with the large coffered ceiling beams. The fireplace wall was designed to be all trim work with built-ins on both sides. French doors and full height glass panels allow plenty of sun.
Coming off the main staircase, the upper foyer landing is open with an impressive stair rail on two sides. The walls are paneled floor to ceiling over the staircase and the main foyer with raised ceilings detailed with molding buildups and transitional chandeliers.
The master suite is a sanctuary featuring a large master bedroom with a 15 foot paneled tray ceiling and a private sitting room with a fireplace and exterior balcony overlooking the rear yard. The master bath has a detailed mosaic floor with custom cabinetry and moldings encasing a mirrored vanity wall with sconces. The bath offers an air tub and a large shower with rain head, body sprays and a steam shower.
The tile detail throughout this home is extensive and exquisite. The Worrell Group and its designers, once again, collaborated with Portico Tile to provide the style elements achieved through custom tile work.
Crafted with pride and passion, The Worrell Group’s custom homes have been enhancing the Gold Coast of Long Island with breathtaking luxury, rich in Old World architecture and tradition designed to meet today’s modern taste and lifestyles.
A building only 16 feet wide?
That was one the most obvious challenges facing William Suk of Suk Design Group and owner/designer Bryan Eure, as they embarked on the restoration of a 135-year-old townhouse in Manhattan's vibrant West Chelsea neighborhood.
The kitchen here was a winner of the “Kitchen Design Contest,” sponsored by Sub-Zero and Wolf, winning a 2013-2014 regional award and 1st place Traditional award.
"It was in horrible shape," recalls Bryan. "It had been a low-rent apartment building, and had even had squatters living in it at one time. The previous owner was living in London, and had always intended to restore the building, but never got around to it."
"It had no real kitchen – what there was, mostly just a fireplace, was down in the basement, where the kitchens often were in townhouses of the 1880s, maintained by the staff."
Bill recalled, "When I first saw the house, I was mostly concerned about the width. To put this in context, the entire house is the width of two sheets of 4'x8' plywood. Knowing the design goals of Bryan and his partner Bill, we knew the layout of the house would be a big challenge."
The structure was failing, and the infrastructure – plumbing, heating, electricity, lack of insulation – was not to code and badly in need of updating. The mortar between the bricks could be scraped out with your fingers. While there were some remnants of ornate interior detailing from a bygone era, most of it was chopped up and damaged when the house was used for multiple families. It would have to be a complete gut job. And since it was in the West Chelsea Historic District, right next to a park, getting the necessary approvals from the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission would not be easy.
In the end, it took almost two years to complete the restoration. "We have done larger projects in the past," says Bill, "but this was our most challenging project to date because of how much program we were able to cram into such a small volume."
One of the first (and easiest) decisions was to move the kitchen from the basement to the main floor. "The homeowners are avid entertainers," says Bill, "and the primary design goal for the kitchen was to support that function. The layout had to be open, with a large amount of prep space as well as storage for a large collection of china, glassware and serving platters. The kitchen had to be modern in function, yet give a nod to the home's historic past."
The only way to deal with the narrow 16-foot width of the house was to create a galley-style layout that allowed free circulation through the kitchen, direct access to the rear garden, and still allowed for prep space and placement of the right Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. To keep the kitchen as classic as possible, they used white paneled, hand painted cabinetry (custom built by Fanuka Construction, who was also the contractor for the entire home) and a warm gray island that complemented the honed Calcutta marble counters and pewter limestone floors. "With direct access to the garden outside, we planted herbs and boxwoods that might almost make you feel as if you're in Notting Hill," says Bryan.
Aladdin Remodelers takes cabinetry out of the kitchen
Michael Graziano, CKD, CBD, owner of Aladdin Remodelers in Massapequa Park, designed a wall unit and bar for this home to match the essence of the kitchen remodeled at the same time and unify the spaces. The wall unit has a built-in fireplace that Michael designed in coordination with The Fireplace Store in Seaford. The integration of the cabinetry and the fire box is quite evident.
The placement of the television as well as the design of the open and closed storage was determined by the needs of the client. Furniture placement and the arrangement of the wall unit allows for the enjoyment of the TV and the fireplace at the same time.
The bar unit sits unobtrusively yet accessible in the corner of the room. Light streams through the incorporated existing window brightening the space. An under counter refrigerator is concealed with cabinetry and a sink provides for quick clean up. A glass rack, closed cabinets and open shelving provides sufficient storage.
Stylish cabinetry isn’t just for the kitchen and bath. Aladdin has been providing custom cabinetry for other rooms of the house for many years. Furniture-quality cabinets can be used to carry a beautiful look throughout a home while upgrading under-used rooms into highly-functional spaces.
Good things in small packages from Telemark and Bates Masi Architects
Over 40 years ago, a couple purchased a quarter acre of land located 500 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. The state, county and town codes evolved and what was purchased as a buildable lot had to undergo extensive negotiations to permit even the smallest house allowed. With a footprint of 15’ x 20’ and a height of two stories, 600 square feet was the largest house that could be built. The governing agencies determined the footprint, but there were conflicting regulations restricting the height. FEMA required the first floor to be elevated 6’ above natural grade, while the town restricted the height of the building to be 25’ above natural grade. With these limited parameters, the strategy was to explore the geometry of the building in section and how it can expand perception of space.
Subtle shifts in the geometry of the building section maximize natural light and views to the sky, expanding the perception of space and openness while maintaining the 15’ x 20’ footprint.
As the walls splay out from the base of the building toward the roof, the resultant void is a central light well.
The bedroom and study are separated by clear glass walls on either side of the light well, but appear to be one large space. The acoustically divided rooms can be made more private by lowering the privacy shades.
To address the restricted height requirements, the floor and roof plates are engineered to be as thin as possible. Traditional ductwork is eliminated from the floors and roof and each space employs a separate, individually controlled, mechanical unit yielding higher energy efficiency. This unique way of addressing each space is a study in sustainability relating to building smaller and living with less.
Part of the approval process included a required raised portion of the site dedicated to storm water control and sanitary system. This portion of the engineering requirement was utilized by treating the raised area as the foreground to the architecture. The plinth is landscaped with a native grass that captures the patterns of the wind and references the nearby ocean waves. At the end of the path through the grass, the house is an object in the landscape perched on the edge of the plinth.
This 600 square foot house explores a geometric solution to create luxury with a minimum footprint. The experience and function of this small house is similar to the much larger neighboring homes, despite it’s limited size.
Easygoing Elegance by D’Alessio Inspired Architectural Designs
By Charlé-John Cafiero
Photography by Randle Bye
French inspired, romantic, graceful style with classical and harmonious proportions, Côte d’Azur is a sophisticated home for modern living. D’Alessio Inspired Architectural Designs’ founder Andrea D’Alessio, an internationally acclaimed home designer and building expert of legacy homes, has received many accolades for his French inspired Côte d’Azur residence, including the highly commended award for outstanding “Architecture Single Residence” from the UK’s prestigious International Property Awards.
The homeowners wanted a European styled, comfortable yet elegant and sophisticated home for their growing family. Sustainable materials were a must and stone was preferable for its environmental benefits. Style and comfort were essential factors in the design as the homeowners are designers with creative young children.
The design goal for the Côte d’Azur was to create a timeless, sustainable European-inspired estate with intimate, comfortable public rooms for family and friends. A sweeping, inviting, 110-foot gated circle driveway approach creates a warm welcome to the all stone home. The hand-chiseled fieldstone facade, custom cast limestone door and window surrounds and all natural-building materials are reminiscent of 19th century European châteaux. The European styled chimneys, including a circular brick and bluestone stack chimney, emphasize the roofline from miles away.
The home impresses as soon as you enter through stunning, hand-forged wrought-iron gates to the bluestone stairs that welcome you with double hung, hand-hewn “Alder” wood doors. The warm and intimate formal entry with gold leaf tray ceiling detail features a 24-inch wide crown with layers of traditional and dentil mouldings. The ceiling medallion adds an elegant finishing touch for the gold trimmed glass light fixture. Twelve-inch base mouldings are used throughout the home with a running leaf and bead hardwood cap that accentuates the hard wood floors.
“The secret of elegant style is exquisite period details in exacting proportion throughout that maintains the integrity of the whole, yet keeps the construction from being merely a massive structure,” states D’Alessio.
The rift-and-quartersawn wide plank, white-oak floor creates a clean, open feel as you are seamlessly transitioned from the foyer into the open floor plan’s spectacular great-room with coffered ceiling. From the foyer you are met with an idyllic countryside view through the two-and-half-story great-room floor to ceiling windows and French doors that open onto a 40-foot outside terrace. A handcrafted Austrian crystal chandelier suspended from the coffered ceiling enhances this luxurious great room with custom built-in cabinets on each side of a dramatic two-story fireplace. A sweeping staircase leads to the upstairs ensuite children’s bedrooms and “Juliet” balcony that hover over the grandeur of this room.
Knowing the homeowners’ love for cooking, a warm and inviting chef’s kitchen was designed for family and friends to “hang-out” while entertaining or just to do homework. High-end finishes were used with elegant hardwood custom cabinets that cleverly conceal modern conveniences. A luxurious imported French pillowed-edge Beaumaniere Classic limestone floor creates separation from the kitchen/breakfast nook and great room. A modern day version of a fireplace-hearth is created with the marble and cream-colored Travertine, oversized limestone range-hood and ‘red-knob’ professional stove. The room’s focal point is an elegant hand-carved cherry wood center-island with a three-inch black, Spanish honed-granite counter and inset beverage sink. The armoire-styled refrigerator and center island act more like furniture, reflecting the French inspiration of the home.
Off of the foyer, glass paneled doors allow you a glimpse into an exquisite all hand-hewn cherry wood, custom paneled home-office. A beautiful cherry wood handcarved mantle surrounds the office fireplace, one of the home’s three classic Rumford fireplaces with herringbone design firebox.
The residence also features a French-blue home theater with Corinthian capital columns and state-of-the-art surround sound. You can bask in the daylight sun or read a good book on a rainy day inside the enclosed glass and wrought iron solarium with a silver leaf ceiling and circular red and white brick pavers that opens to an outdoor patio.
Sustainability and energy conservation are part of the overall home’s design, in-floor heating and high-grade insulation throughout keep heating costs down during the winter, while the use of stone construction also keeps the home cool in the summer.
“Natural stone is as green as an authentic building material can get, absorbs and releases heat slowly, performs consistently through wide temperature changes,” explains D’Alessio.
Computerized security and fire prevention systems are electronically controlled including the hi-tech security cameras that are flush mounted – cut into the stonework – hidden from view at all corners of the home. The homeowners were thrilled with the easygoing elegance that allows their energetic young family the ability to enjoy the romantic, French graceful style and classical architectural elements that inspire the home’s design.