Gold Coast Revival to Remember

Center Island Contracting renews and restores this Sands Point colonial

Since Captain John Sands arrival in 1691 to Cow Neck Peninsula, where the Sands family built their home on 500 acres, Sands Point was and still is a Gold Coast community hosting some of the most beautiful homes on Long Island. This colonial was no different; the potential was there, it just needed “everything” to revive it. Center Island Contracting Inc., was entrusted to renovate the existing 6000 square foot home, design/build a new four car garage with living space above and complete a full hardscape of the exterior with boulder walls, patios, driveway and plantings. The balance of these three phases of work was a tireless effort by Caleb Haniquet, owner of Center Island, and the clients.

From the minute you turn into the winding driveway, a sense of historical serenity surrounds you. A traditional and grand exterior facade with era-appropriate finishes, a carriage-style four car garage and a large courtyard with grand columns welcomes you. Walking into the home, you are greeted with Old World craftsmanship including a coffered ceiling, barrel vaulted ceiling and recessed panels. A simply stunning flared staircase is the result of working with Mike Souto, owner of Deer Park Stairs.  

“Not all stairs are created equal,” says Caleb, “and remodeling projects take more skill – especially when it comes to fitting in new staircases seamlessly with the old.” Through the years of designing, renovating, building new and improving homes, Caleb believes relationships are the most important thing we have. Partnering with Deer Park Stairs and Mike Souto on projects is a 15-year relationship that consistently produces great finished products for his clients.

Taking on an older home and remolding it to fit with today’s flow and client’s wants is a challenge. “Add some recessed floor systems, some wall jogs and some funky workmanship that was done before you arrived, and now you have a real challenge,” remarks Caleb. Reconstructing the flow of the home was accomplished by extending the front foyer to open up the space allowing for a grand staircase with two coat closets and a formal half bathroom. On opposite sides of the foyer, trimmed arches lead to either the dining room or the oversized family room with gas fireplace, which had been the old garage. Through the foyer, guests enter the kitchen’s eat-in area which is flooded with natural light from large floor to ceiling windows. Step down to the sunken chef’s kitchen with wood burning fireplace and an amazing view of the tiered rear yard with lavish landscape.

The first floor continues with a butler’s pantry between the kitchen and dining room. An oversized mud-room off the kitchen has a dog shower, washer dryer and plenty of storage for their growing family. Additionally the rear office and kid’s den off kitchen overlooks the entire rear yard and tennis court.

The second floor of this home doesn’t disappoint with amazing views of a tiered back yard, a 300 square foot walk-out deck off the master bedroom which is connected to a oversized nursery/bedroom. Eight additional bedrooms, a wash room, six bathrooms and sitting area with access from either the front entry staircase or mud-room staircase completes the upper floor.

Defining spaces, balancing form/function and working with existing conditions to create a flow throughout the first floor was the largest challenge of this project. Caleb relied solely on the relationship he built with this client to ensure their needs, wants, functionality and overall expectations for the home were balanced during this design/build process.

When it comes to exterior hardscapes, grade elevations with severe drop offs, set backs and an existing tennis court 100 feet below grade of the home were just some circumstances that needed a solution. Using boulder walls to create multiple tiers throughout the rear and sides of property converted unusable land into prime real estate with designated uses. Hillside plantings where selected based on hardiness, stabilization of soil and soil conditions typical for the North Shore of Long Island. Multiple patio areas were created; one to overlook the tennis/sports courts, a larger patio to service the lower basement walk-out tier of property and a side patio services the first floor of home right outside kitchen. Oversized blue stone steps were embedded into the hillsides and between tiers to create winding pathways to the various tiers in rear yard. This property not only has character that you don't find in new construction lots, it now has form and function and multiple levels to enjoy. As a bonus, Center Island even created a hillside for sleigh riding in the winter.

From inception to completion Caleb says, “We focus on building relationships; whether it’s with our clients or vendors such as Deer Park Stairs, our relationships are what create successful projects.” Even though this project had extreme challenges during every phase, years of experience and the relationships Center Island has made and maintains are the key factor to their continued success. This is a Gold Coast revival to remember. 

George W. Combs, Inc. Annual CotY Awards

LOCAL AND REGIONAL COTY AWARD WINNER
Historical Renovation/Restoration - Platinum Award

BEFORE

AFTER

The original intent for this shingle style 1906 farmhouse was to remodel the first floor of the home to improve the layout of the kitchen. As both the homeowner and the contractor, George Combs of George W. Combs, Inc. quickly decided that a full gut renovation was required to improve overall form, functionality and energy efficiency for the family.  

Energy efficiency was dramatically improved by upgrading electric and plumbing systems, bio spray foam insulation, LED lighting and hydronic heating with a condensing boiler that provides hot water on demand. Windows by Integrity from Marvin, including a Marvin french door, proved to be the perfect choice balancing form, function and natural light throughout the home.  

Traffic flow and functionality were optimized by opening up the bathroom, galley kitchen and eat-in area into a new kitchen and powder room. The black cleft-faced slate tile flooring provides continuity from the entry hall throughout the spacious kitchen. The bright room features an oversized island, 2-inch thick Super White granite countertops, a subtle marble subway tile backsplash and modern conveniences such as a wine refrigerator and
under-counter microwave.

Significant to the turn-of-the-century era, the four original second floor bedrooms were small with limited closet space. Two of the bedrooms were converted to create a fully-functional master suite with custom cabinetry in the vestibule and master bedroom.

The custom cabinetry and millwork throughout the home was crafted to create full overlay doors with pilasters which provides an updated yet traditional design. The base, crown and trim moulding all have the same beaded accent which creates a rhythm throughout the home.

In the end, George Combs seamlessly delivered the architect’s design while maintaining the home’s architectural integrity and historic design elements.

 

Decked Out

HGTV star Anthony Carrino's outdoor oasis

For many urban dwellers, a private outdoor oasis to host friends for barbecues and get-togethers is nothing short of a luxury. When HGTV star Anthony Carrino came upon a brick building built in Jersey City in 1892, he immediately fell in love not only with the bones of the interior, but its rooftop, which boasted stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. While it required a great deal of work, Carrino knew he could transform it into the home he envisioned.

A consummate entertainer, Carrino knew the building’s rooftop space would provide the extra square footage needed for large get-togethers and barbecues. To maximize use of the roof deck throughout the year and to give guests a shady spot to enjoy,

Carrino repurposed a shipping container to serve as his rooftop cabana, complete with a Cassina sofa and sliding glass doors for unobstructed views. When he’s home between trips for HGTV, the cabana is Carrino’s favorite place to relax and recharge.

A top priority for Carrino was to select materials created to beautifully endure the extremes of New Jersey’s bitter winters and blazing summers. Dekton, an ultra-compact surface material with a high resistance to UV, ice and thawing, was a must. “I used Dekton for both the flooring of my roof deck and my outdoor kitchen countertops. It gave me the sleek and contemporary aesthetic that I wanted and I knew it’d hold up to the elements. I don’t think anything but Dekton would survive on my roof deck!” Carrino also appreciates the material’s stain
resistance, making stubborn stains from coffee, wine and rust easy to clean up.

“I loved designing this space because it allowed me to explore a design aesthetic that’s different from what I created for my loft’s interior,” Carrino says. “It’s a lot easier to take chances outdoors because it’s a space inherently used for entertaining and isn’t something that’s always in use.”

 

LIVING IN HARMONY

AN EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY - ROSLYN LANDING

Roslyn Landing is an unprecedented condominium development offering every amenity of metropolitan living and the sought-after luxuries of Long Island's storied Gold Coast. Developed by North Shore home builder The Ranches, in partnership with private equity firm G4 Capital Partners, the limited collection of residences includes 78 two- and three-story townhomes, flat-over-flat condominiums and single family homes designed in a classic architectural style to seamlessly complement the village’s historic ambiance.The classic exterior architectural style with brick masonry complements the beautifully-crafted interiors, which feature 10’+ ceiling heights, with double height ceilings in select residences, solid white oak hardwood flooring, custom architectural millwork, solid core interior doors and Pella Architect Series windows and patio doors. Each residence also includes high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, vented GE washers and dryers, an attached two-car garage and a private
elevator.

Professionally-equipped kitchens are offered in three distinct styles with a plethora of elegant finish packages including rich marble or Caesarstone countertops and white traditional, wood shaker-style or espresso flat-front custom cabinetry with soft close doors and drawers. A full suite of stainless steel appliances by Wolf, Sub-Zero and Bosch are included in every home. Luxurious marble-clad master baths have glass-enclosed showers and custom white millwork vanities with under mounted sinks and Kohler fittings.

Situated on 12 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Roslyn Landing’s outdoor amenities include a waterfront promenade and kayak launch, village green space, BBQ grills, children’s playground, two ponds and access to the village dog run. Kayaks, paddle boards and bicycles will also be available to residents for use.

Along with the community’s generous outdoor spaces, Roslyn Landing provides residents with a full suite of features, including a beautifully designed clubhouse with billiards table, bar, catering kitchen, dining area and space for lounging. Conveniences also include a fully-equipped fitness center, children’s playroom and golf simulator. Outdoor landscaping, snow and refuse removal as well as mobile onsite security are provided throughout the community.

Additionally, Roslyn Landing just announced a never-before-seen lifestyle package exclusively for its homeowners, one that will deliver all the benefits of owning a suburban home, but with all of the luxury conveniences of city living.

One of the cornerstones of the lifestyle package involves a first-of-its-kind partnership with The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden, the global leader in the luxury day spa industry, which grants residents the unique opportunity to book spa services in the comfort of their own homes and enjoy speedy-chic manicures, pedicures and massages at the ring of a doorbell.

The perks of living at Roslyn Landing do not end there. Core Fitness Studios will be on call to residents for all fitness, wellness and nutritional needs, whether it’s in their homes or the onsite facility, which is fully-equipped with the latest fitness equipment and Peleton® bikes. In addition to personal training, the certified trainers specialize in a wide variety of programs, including corrective exercise, strength and conditioning, athletic training, weight loss, nutrition support and meal planning.

Roslyn Landing is just steps away from the historic village’s many charming shops, celebrated restaurants, parks and entertainment. Manhattan is close and easy to reach destination with nearby access to the LIE and LIRR via the Roslyn and Manhasset stations. Douglas Elliman Development Marketing is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the
property.

Spacious three and four bedroom condominium residences are priced from $1.4M. For more information, please visit roslynlanding.com.

 

The Perfect Balance of Sophistication, Comfort & Convenience

The Vineyards at Blue Point

By Scott D'Aloise
Photography by Chuck Danas Photography
Model Interior Design by Helen Piteo Interiors

Corsica Model Loft

Corsica Model Living Area

One of Long Island’s premier residential development companies has introduced an unparalleled resort-style living community to the region: The Vineyards at Blue Point. Designed by the development firm Ornstein Leyton Company (OLC), the Vineyards offers active adults the perfect balance of sophistication, comfort and convenience for the ever increasing 55-and-over population on Long Island.

Ideally situated along the South Shore and surrounded by 28 acres of protected natural buffers, the community offers the peacefulness of a private, gated setting, combined with the convenience of easy access to Sunrise Highway right outside the front gate. The Vineyards at Blue Point is close to all that residents need and love about Long Island living.

Napa Model Living Area

Napa Model Master Suite

The community offers 280 custom designed homes each with 2 bedrooms, 2 to 2 ½ baths, with luxurious finishes and fixtures. “The homes we have designed at this spectacular community are second to none. We have six models to choose from, including ground floor flats with optional finished basements, second floor flats with storage basements and optional elevators as well as spacious multi-level townhomes boasting over 3,000 square feet with optional finished basements and loft spaces, and all with a one car garage. We have a home for every lifestyle, and with the success we’ve had so far, it’s obvious our future homeowners agree,” remarks Alec Ornstein, a partner in the development firm.

Sonoma Model Living Area

The spacious 7,500+ square-foot “Vineyards Club” overlooking spectacular fountained ponds, recently opened for the enjoyment of residents. The magnificent clubhouse includes a concierge, an outdoor heated salt-water pool, fire pit, barbecue area, bocce courts, tot lot for grandchildren, state-of-the-art fitness center, plus a yoga and aerobics studio, great room, billiards and card rooms and a bar lounge. The Vineyards Club will also have exclusive on-site physical therapy and is large enough for community events or a comfortable spot for the big game, yet also offers the opportunity for quiet card games or just enjoying a late afternoon cocktail with friends and neighbors.

Provence Model Optional Finished Basement

Early on, OLC visualized the potential this unique property could offer. Formerly used as an entertainment venue as a drive-in, then a multiplex movie theatre, the property has been repurposed for this spectacular residential community. Surrounded by 28 acres of preserved land, it offers a serene, bucolic setting. Two ponds further add to the beauty of the Vineyards and provide a quiet respite area along with a nature trail that surrounds the entire community.

The developers envisioned a community that would provide high-end amenities and a vibrant social life as well as a convenient location to shopping and dining. “We know that the active adult population wants a fun, maintenance-free, lifestyle community – one that would provide them with the opportunity to stay near their children and grandchildren, their friends, their doctors, their spiritual home and more,” said Mr. Ornstein. “At the same time, we know they want to live where they don’t have to get in their cars every time they want to visit their friends, take a swim or go for a walk. We designed The Vineyards at Blue Point with our own friends and family in mind.”

OLC takes great pride in the communities they develop and the homes they build for their residents and The Vineyards at Blue Point continues this tradition of excellence.

 

Old World Craftsmanship - Energy Efficient Innovation

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 living room features an expertly crafted coffered ceiling, custom built-ins and an 8-foot Marvin Inswing Patio Door with Transoms.

The living room features an expertly crafted coffered ceiling, custom built-ins and an 8-foot Marvin Inswing Patio Door with Transoms.

“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.

The living room features an expertly crafted coffered ceiling, custom built-ins and an 8-foot Marvin Inswing Patio Door with Transoms.

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.

The master bedroom features a Marvin Picture Window flanked by two Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Windows maximizing the view. Glass tile accents the fireplace.

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 sitting room in the master suite features an 8-foot Marvin Inswing Patio Door leading to a second story deck, built-in cabinetry and soothing grass cloth on the walls.

A large soaking tub is the focal point of this luxurious master bath. A marble floor, glass tile shower and custom vanities add to the relaxing retreat.

Your Life, Your Room. Your LifeRoom

You and your family are enjoying a relaxing day in the backyard, and then it happens.

The bugs start to swarm or the weather has taken a turn for the worse or the harsh sun has you squinting and sweating. What started as an enjoyable day outside has you wanting to run back inside. But then - at the push of a button - your backyard is yours again.

Introducing LifeRoom, from the home experts at Four Seasons. It’s the first home innovation that seamlessly brings together the best of indoor and outdoor living to let you enjoy whatever activity you choose, in whatever environment you choose. From exercising, dining and entertaining, to relaxing alone or with family and friends, LifeRoom transforms your backyard into a customized space that’s truly your own.

The unique Smooth Glide motorized screens of a LifeRoom can be individually raised and lowered to create your ideal environment – from a wide-open sanctuary to complete privacy – while offering protection from unwanted pests, weather conditions and UV rays. Those same screens are also designed to serve as an ideal surface for home theater projection, with the option to select screens designed to filter out pollen, dust and other airborne allergens. 

The LifeRoom LED lighting system lets you set the right mood for your activities, while the Cool Mist, radiant heat and Soft Breeze technologies give you year-round climate control.

Even more than an innovative way to extend your living space and increase the value of your home, the LifeRoom literally extends the quality and quantity of time you and your family can enjoy together.  

Pride & Passion

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.

 

Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchen Design Contest - Chelsea Townhouse

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.

Functional, unified space

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.

Photography by Steve Geraci/ReflexPhoto.com

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. 

Beach Hampton

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. 

French Inspired Côte d’Azur

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.

Apartment Therapy

Landmark Contracting's smart space execution
Photography by Atsushi Tomioka

           Moving from a large home to a NYC apartment has its challenges, but this empty nester was prepared to make the move. He was looking for a comfortable, yet stylish, contemporary space that included an office area and a place for guests to stay over. Moving back to NYC after raising his family in Arizona, he wanted the space to reflect a true NYC aesthetic. Landmark Contracting Corp. masterfully executed the collaborative design of John Buscarello, Inc. and Dennis Miller Associates, who were given a free hand to transform the space.

High on the priority list was to eliminate the builder grade doors, disjointed millwork, mismatched flooring and conceal the ugly PTAC units so common in many city apartments. Remodeling in NYC has its obstacles, often concrete column and slabs above and below limit your options for lighting and moving plumbing or walls.

 To achieve the look the client wanted without really changing the apartment’s footprint, Landmark built and installed all new custom cabinetry throughout. New thick solid core doors were installed with upgraded hardware. The chic cohesive look was accomplished by using an interesting mix of materials. The original fussy crown molding was eliminated, while the designers created a simple custom profile for door casings and baseboards which were easily fabricated in Landmark’s custom woodworking shop. A tub was eliminated in one bathroom in favor of a larger walk in shower. To delineate the dining area from the living room, a curved dropped ceiling was specified, thereby creating a dramatic, yet subtle separation while keeping the space and view open.

Custom radiator covers, with lots of storage, in ribbon sapele wood and stone tops not only help to clean up the apartment, but actually have the effect of enlarging the space. Efficient use of every inch of available space was imperative. There is a small pantry hidden behind the refrigerator unit and closets throughout were outfitted with new organizational systems. 

With the project complete, the client can now focus on relaxing and entertaining in his new home while taking in the views and all the city has to offer.