Project Spotlight: Elm Road Project – Planning

We are kicking off this year’s project spotlight with one that was over a year in the making, finally debuted in the fall of 2020. Our Elm Road Project was a new construction home with the initial intention to be featured as a Designer Showhouse through Aspire Magazine. Then the house would become the new home of the young family having it built.

In this spotlight, we are focusing on some of the behind the scenes planning parts of the project that took place well before it was furnished and open the the public.

The furnishing and Showhouse is a part of the story that will come later.

A Different Approach

This project was unique in many ways, mostly because it wasn’t just a Showhouse and it wasn’t just a new construction home for a client. Typically, the approach to these two types of projects is very different.

When working with a client, designing their home, we are working directly with the end user of the project. Therefore, we focus on making decisions that will serve their needs and ideal lifestyle specifically.

Alternatively, when we participate in a Showhouse project, there are typically many different designers involved in a single homem each completing an individual space. The focus for each space is to provide inspiration and highlight their work in a unique way to be enjoyed by many people. This usually results in a wide variety of styles throughout.

We were brought into the project very early, hired by the clients to make the hard surface design and decisions for the entire home. Since the homeowners would eventually be calling this their home, it was important that the permanent materials and building elements would create a cohesive flow for the home beyond the Designer’s Showhouse debut.

The client wanted a fusion of California modern with Asian influences for their home. Our goal was to incorporate these desired styles of the client with fresh perspectives to help set the the tone for a truly special showhouse.

Starting from Scratch

With new construction projects specifically, it is our job to bring life to the flat nature of architectural plans. We add dimension to these drawings by planning the spaces as they will be used and feel when you are in them.

it all starts with a plan

Set the mood

We use mood boards when designing spaces and homes to help set the overall focus for the house. This is a snapshot of one of the mood boards for this project.

Modern made to be More

Special detailing can often be lost with the abundance of clean lines and simplicity that is generally associated with modern design. We don’t think that has to the be case, we believe that modern design can be an perfect base for highlighting exceptional details. Each space we touched, including the kitchen, butler’s pantry, laundry room, walk-in pantry, 8 bathrooms, mudroom, and wet bar all have some element of uniqueness.

Thinking inside the box

A very big part of what we are known for is our cabinetry. We strive to create more functional and interesting spaces. We achieve this by pushing the limits of basic cabinet design in every project we do.

All of the cabinetry throughout the home is our custom Town & Country Bespoke Cabinetry. We took special care to be sure that every room was a modern reflection of the possibilities that can be achieved when working with quality craftsmanship and products.

sketches of some of the custom door detailing for the project

Many of the cabinet door styles started as rough sketches like this from the design studio. These sketches became reality through the fine work of our cabinet makers as seen below.

child’s bathroom with custom floating vanity and tile with hexagon detail

Beyond the Box

In addition to the cabinetry, we were in charge of selecting and designing all of the hard surfaces for the project. This included the tile, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and bathroom accessories for this home.

Product Sponsors for the Showhouse part of the project meant that we had manufacturer restraints on the selections. Working with limited brands we were able to explore the versatility throughout the home that can be achieved when playing with finish and styles.

We wanted the individual rooms in the house to be unique, yet flow from one to the next. Our approach was to stick with a neutral color palette for all selections to create the desired continuity. Clean lines for all styling selections kept things sleek. While sourcing layers of natural and organic feeling materials offers a earthy feel throughout.

collection of finish samples for the project in the planning process

Highlights on products and fixtures will come at a later time.

When a Plan Comes Together

Although it takes time to plan and execute a project like this, it is always rewarding to look back at the process a project and how it all comes together.

We selected a few of our favorite completed spaces in the house. Below are the planning sketches and images of the final room.

master bathroom design sketch
completed master bathroom
butler’s pantry cabinetry sketch
completed butler’s pantry and dining room beyond
kitchen and breakfast nook sketch
completed kitchen and breakfast nook

We are excited to share more of the details and finished images of the house once the Aspire Showhouse Issue coming soon.

Mike Van Tassel was the photographer who took the professional images of the finishes spaces of the Showhouse.

Project Spotlight – Crescent Parkway Project

Our Crescent Parkway Project was a complete kitchen renovation; including everything from the floors to the lighting in the ceiling. Town & Country was hired to design a custom kitchen and manage all aspects of the project. We brought in Eric Seebald, of Seebald Construction, to execute the project with us.

This month we thought it would be fun to not only share the finished product, but show you where we began as well. We are going to share some before and after shots and details behind this fully custom kitchen design project.

Design Considerations

Let’s start with before…

Kitchen Before

The size and overall layout of the kitchen were good but the client’s preference for more modern styling, didn’t like the dark stained – traditional styling of the kitchen.

The Crescent Parkway house is considered to be Shingle Style Architecture, a style aptly named for it’s iconic shake siding and irregular rooflines, among other features. The beauty of this architectural style is that it naturally exudes a more relaxed, informal lifestyle. The original kitchen design did not reflect the effortless luxury that the house deserved and the client’s desired.

Our goal was clear…We had to give the space new life with elevated details.

Early in the design process the client’s gravitated toward a door style, Exeter from Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry, shown on one of the Showroom displays. The Exeter door is pretty special. It is simple at first glance but extremely unique upon closer examination. There is a real architectural element to the door and details in the collection. It’s no wonder the client, an engineer by trade, would be so taken with it.

Kitchen After

The cabinetry set the tone for the space. We selected a pale grey paint for the cabinetry surround and natural walnut for the center island.

We replaced the original rustic travertine pattern floor with a heated floor system then topped with a large format porcelain tile. The new floor, with subtle etched design and texture, offers a clean pallet for the base of the room.

Blending traditional and modern is a delicate dance in a space. To do this we used brushed stainless finishes for the hardware, plumbing, and lighting fixtures offering a utilitarian touch throughout the room. Then we incorporated more traditional elements like Calcutta marble countertops and marble tile with a decorative screen printed design backsplash.

All in the details

Let’s Talk Custom Storage

The joy of working with custom cabinetry means that the design options in a kitchen are nearly limitless, therefore optimizing every inch of storage in the room.

The Pantry Storage wasn’t ideal for the client’s needs. Working with a set amount of space meant we couldn’t necessarily increase the storage square footage. Reworking the space would mean it could be better utilized making it much more functional. By shifting the refrigerator to the center, and flanking it with narrow pantry units created a nice balance on the wall. Fully adjustable, they not only pull out but twist open, these narrow pantry units are a significantly more useful solution.

The existing corridor between the kitchen and formal dining room held a built in desk. The clients found they didn’t use it as intended and ended up always being a messy catch-all. This space with the perfect opportunity to gain substantial storage for overflow pantry items and serving pieces. Being a main pass-through in the space, we wanted it to feel special. We used a deep signature Town & Country paint color for drama. A built-in library light and a touch of the same natural walnut used in the kitchen island offer purposeful accents to the piece.

Other storage features in the room include a lift up mixer unit for easier use and hidden storage in the island with touch latch entry. The majority of the base storage feature walnut drawers boxes, many with organization inserts making sure everything has a place.

Light it up

We took careful consideration with lighting for the Crescent Parkway Project. For this kitchen, we wanted lighting to play a less glamorous, but still very important, role. We designed the lighting to highlight and accentuate all of the other elements in the room.

We removed the hanging chandelier over the island and reworked the recessed ceiling lights. All interior and under cabinets lighting was pre-specified and integrated in the cabinetry. This was an extra step in the engineering process that was well worth the effort, resulting in a beautifully seamless applications once installed.

The few decorative fixtures we chose were deliberate. Accent sconces next to the window and the aforementioned library light in the pantry/storage hutch offer light sources that showcase the details on cabinetry they adorn.

As with all of our work, we strive to create beautiful spaces that are highly functional, elegant and luxurious, yet unassuming. We believe this kitchen has all of those elements and we loved creating this space for our clients.

Want more….

Monmouth Health and Life is chose this project for the cover feature in their Oct./Nov. 2020 issue.

Project Spotlight – First Avenue Project

Our First Avenue Project Spotlight is a design collaborative we completed with local interior design firm Salt Design Co. and we just love the way it turned out.

Salt brought us in to design the kitchen layout and provide the custom cabinetry for the open concept space. It was important that the finishes and design were highly functional yet beautifully subtle to balance the planned furnishings and overall house design vision. We worked closely with the clients and Salt to ensure that their vision for a relaxed, yet chic space would flow perfectly with the custom designed cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms.

The Kitchen…

We used Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry in the kitchen. The selection of a simple, yet architecturally interesting, door style was the natural choice for this open living and entertaining space on the main floor of the home. The surrounding wall cabinetry provides a clean white backdrop in the room. Finished in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, the color is a continuation from the walls throughout the home. The island and accent floating shelves are a custom stained walnut wood. This finish is the perfect tone of warm driftwood and pairs beautifully with the wood flooring throughout the house.

Tucked in an alcove of the kitchen is an ultra functional pantry space, featuring the microwave drawer, two appliance garages, and ample storage. Everything in this nook is tucked behind closed doors to keep it tidy looking at all times, but also making sure everything is close at hand when needed.

Floating Shelving with integrated lighting flank the vertical ship lap range hood and black framed windows. Unlacquered Brass hardware in a sleek yet substantial style pull was selected for the kitchen.

The Galley Workstation is one of our favorite products to incorporate in our kitchen projects. These sinks are multi-functional, made for everything from prep to entertaining through cleanup. We used the 4′ size with coordinating Tap collection in the center island facing the main living space. Also, not a bad view of the ocean outside!

The Bathrooms…

Each bathroom vanity is a custom design, created specifically for this project. These one of a kind pieces boast special features including custom finishes, doors, and construction elements.

The 3rd floor master suite has ocean views. The master bathroom is ultra luxurious featuring a soaking tub, roomy shower, and his and hers dark painted cabinetry which frame the door to the sun deck.

This project is featured in the Oct./Nov. 2020 issue of Design NJ.

Click the cover image to read more about the full project.

Images for this project by Raquel Lang Worthy

Town & Country Kitchen and Bath designed and/or supplied all products specified in this article. Salt Design Co sourced/coordinated all design elements for this project that were not specified.

The Debut

We were thrilled when Open House Magazine offered to help us spread the word to the Long Beach Island area about the re-introduction of retail offering in our showroom. In the interview feature, Ginny, explains our vision to be a local source for unique items that are as useful as they are beautiful.

Over the past several months we have launched T&C Mercantile, the retail extension of our design brand. This natural addition allows our design clients the opportunity to complete their project vision in one place and invite customers to source products that reflect our signature style.

Read the full article here to learn more about what is stocking our shelves and what to expect when visiting us!

River Rhapsody

Click the image to see the magazine

Thank you Monmouth Heath & Life for featuring our #conoverlaneproject on your April/May 2020 Cover. Check out pages 32-37 to see more and learn about this fun design collaborate with local interior designer, Joan Norkus.

You can find more images of this project in our Gallery