March 2014

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March 2014 The Magazine of Maplewood and South Orange since 1990


South orange

54 glenview road


eric Schwartz 201-953-9994 (cell)

South orange

152 proSpect Street


22 tillou road w.

26 ohio Street


275 wyoMing avenue

South orange

122 proSpect place

South orange


508 acadeMy Street

naiMie Marie lundi 201-362-7168 (cell)

South orange

Serving Maplewood, South Orange and the Surrounding Area.

973-762-3300 • 697 Valley St Located at historic Pierson’s Mill

345 tichenor avenue

cynthia grieger 973-868-0018 (cell)

Ken KraSner 201-600-8141 (cell)

Maplewood office

29 S. valley road

natalie farrell 917-514-7541 (cell)

natalie farrell 917-514-7541 (cell)

84 ridgewood avenue

terry orr 201-709-5975 (cell)

weSt orange

naiMie Marie lundi 201-362-7168 (cell)

eric Schwartz 201-953-9994 (cell)

glen ridge


rena Spangler 973-876-7913 (cell)

eric Schwartz 201-953-9994 (cell)

South orange

33 north terrace

Real Estate Mortgages Closing Services Insurance

76 whiteoaK drive

Bernadette Sperduto 201-264-8475 (cell)

The Window of Opportunity is NOW! High Demand + Low Inventory + Low Interest Rates = High Affordability

“We are in the hottest market we have seen in many years. Now is the time to list your house. Now is the time to buy. Don’t delay and call me today. You won’t be disappointed.”

Debbie Rybka-Howard Sales Associate

The best testament to a realtor’s success is the repeat business she garners through referrals from satisfied clients. This loyal support is what continually puts Debbie in the top 1% of all realtors in NJ. Since 1982 Debbie Rybka-Howard’s business has been built on trust, knowledge, the ability to get the job done and making her clients the number one priority.


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& A






contents Vol. 24 Issue 2

Heart of the Matters Lincoln’s rocker

Molly Matters Garden dreams


March 2014



The Story of Your House 7 Researching primer

A house with a past gets a future

Changing the face of design Inspiring style

A new frontier

Washington Slept Here


Musical Makeover

Room for Wine 10


Small House Great Style


A turn-of-the-century gem finds a new life



Food sustainability

Garden State


Digging for some local inspiration Local sources

Final Matters

At the garden gate 24


Gourmet Campus Gardens

Resource Guide 36

The stunning dining room of South Orange resident Patrica Bell, an avid art collector. Bell’s glorious Montrose home contains brilliant and important art as well as a very impressive collection of wine. Photo by Joy Yagid; story begins on page 10.



Pretty and practical shopping ideas such as this gorgeous arrangment from, Jerry Rose Floral + Event Design, 176 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood, 973-7621085, PAGE 39

Featuring Local People, Places and Things that Matter to Maplewood and South Orange Since 1990


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March into a wonderful market at

111 Seton Place, South Orange

Cathy Knapp Sales Associate 201-259-7102 24 Tillou Road West, South Orange

12 Belgrade Terrace, West Orange

Fran Kurtis Sales Associate 201-704-3434 456-458 Elmwood Avenue, Maplewood

202 Lexington Avenue, Maplewood

Christian Quaritius Sales Associate 917-584-4913 136 Mercer Place, South Orange

686 Prospect Street, Maplewood

Jen Lieberman Sales Associate 973-477-2301 16 Luddington Terrace, West Orange


Tina Chen Erway Sales Associate 973-454-2133

Stephanie Mallios Sales Associate 201-404-1972 6 Keats Drive, Short Hills

2 West Lane, Maplewood

Carol Greenberg Sales Associate 973-216-6666 31 Glenside Road, South Orange

338 Wyoming Avenue, Millburn



Sharon Preston Sales Associate 201-618-0853

Elaine Ehrenkranz Sales Associate 973-220-3040

Carolee Jones Broker/Sales Associate 973-202-2368

Cathy Knapp Sales Associate 201-259-7102

Dan Cannizzo Sales Associate 973-865-4144

511 Millburn Ave. g Short Hills, NJ 07078 Independently Owned & Operated, Towne Realty Group, LLC, Licensed Realtor



March Home&Gardens Matters 2014


heart of the matter

Featuring Local People, Places and Things that Matter Since 1990

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karen Duncan MANAGING DIRECTOR Rene Conlon SUPERVISING EDITOR Joanne DiPasquale ADVERTISING SALES Ellen Donker H. Leslie Gilman GRAPHIC ARTISTS Lyman Dally Joy Markel COPY EDITORS Nick Humez Tia Swanson CONTRIBUTORS Adrianna Donat Caitlin Lowe Tia Swanson Marcia Worth Hank Zona

Please address all correspondence to:

Visual Impact Advertising, Inc.© 9 Highland Place Maplewood, NJ 07040

973-763-4900 email: [email protected] Matters Magazine© is owned and published by Visual Impact Advertising, Inc., 9 Highland Place, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Published monthly, Matters Magazine is free, with editions directly mailed 7 times a year to the residents of Maplewood and South Orange and distributed to businesses and surrounding communities totaling 20,000. Subscriptions are available to non-residents for $30 (U.S.) $40 (Foreign) annually. No part of the publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Visual Impact Advertising, Inc. CIRCULATION VERIFIED BY U.S. POSTAL RECEIPTS.


Lincoln’s Rocker


A chair style made famous by a president BY KAREN DUNCAN

When President Abraham Lincoln relaxed in a rocking chair on April 14, 1865, his Washington theater box seemed like a safe and comfortable place. To his right sat his wife, Mary, leaning close and laughing at the actor onstage below. Just beyond her were their guests, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris. Then around 10:30, the pleasant Good Friday evening turned into a nightmare when an assassin crept into the box and shot Lincoln in the head at close range. Even before his death the chair was called the “Lincoln Rocker,” because it was the style the president preferred. The rocker’s importance became obvious immediately after his death. The War Department held it as evidence during the trial of the assassination conspirators and later left it with the Smithsonian Institution. It had begun being mass-produced around the time he entered office and then after his death became more and more popular. It is extremely comfortable. My rocker has been in fewer than a dozen homes in its 120-plus year existence. It first belonged to my great-great-grandmother, presumably because she liked the style and President Lincoln. It then belonged to her daughter, who gave it to her son – my grandfather – who in turn gave it to me in the late 1970s. He’d discovered a childhood photo of me sitting on the lap of our family minister, who enjoyed the rocker during his frequent visits. Generally speaking, Lincoln rockers were made of either walnut or maple, or else a combination of other available hardwoods, usually with traditional hole-to-hole caning both the seat and back (like mine) or else

machine-made cane webbing pressed into a groove around the perimeter of the seat and back. Sometimes they had upholstered cushions fitted on the top and bottom. Today the original historic rocker is at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1999 the museum carefully restored it and installed it in a new environmentally-controlled exhibit case. Originally it was the personal property of Harry Ford, owner of the Ford Theater, and his widow eventually petitioned the government for its return from the Smithsonian. In 1929 she had it auctioned in New York, where the legendary auto magnate and collector Henry Ford purchased it for only $2,400. I’ve had mine recaned (by hand) only once as it was expensive – one dollar a hole, I recall, and that was several decades ago. Today, if I could even find someone to do the work, it would cost much more. So I keep it away from heat and light sources, and oil it annually. It’s held up pretty well. The photo tickles me as I look mildly terrified, clutching a doll. Yet Dr. Arthur Hughes was a patient, kind man as well as a gifted orator. He’d been a chaplain in the First World War. His son, a B-26 pilot, died in 1942 while flying over New South Wales. Dr. Hughes delivered a sermon the first Sunday after the crash that many say was his finest. He officiated at my parents’ wedding and remained a treasured family friend until his death. This chair reminds me of him and of the many members of my family who have rocked or been rocked in it. And it reminds me of my favorite president, Lincoln.



Natalie knows: what Weichert values.

The Story of your House

If your home could talk, what would it tell you? BY ADRIANNA DONAT

If you are like most Maplewood/South Orange residents, you moved into your house because you fell in love with the architectural details that transport you to a different time. Houses here are history you live in. But the particulars of that history may not be self-evident, even as you live surrounded by them every day. If you are wondering how your house may have evolved over the years, and puzzled where to go for answers, there is help: our local Historic Preservation Commission. Both Maplewood’s and South Orange’s HPCs were established by state law in 2001, though South Orange’s only got underway last year. Each has a complement of nine members (some from related professions, some not) who work to preserve the history of each town.

Molly Matters

© Dally/Duncan 2014

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

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According to Susan Newberry, Historic Preservation Commissioner and head of the Durand-Hedden House, which operates the Robert H. Grasmere Local History Center, this map was printed in 1928 before Larisa Holderied’s lot was created. Someone (a realtor, title searcher, title insurance company?) drew in the lots as they were surveyed after 1928. Though it is not definitive, it is evidence Holderied is using to build the history of her house, which she says was likely built in 1929.

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The Holderied home was listed for sale in 1981 for $199,500. The floor plan of the house remains the same.

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Says Bob Barnett, vice chairman of the South Orange HPC, “We have such a rich, architectural history in this town. Lives and businesses have come and gone in these structures, and we should strive to protect their history.” Maplewood’s commission ( has a similar mandate, but as it organized more than a decade ago, it has had time to expand to help people find out more about

their homes, according to Virginia Kurshan, chair of the Maplewood Historic Preservation Commission. Maplewood, like South Orange, is “lucky to have a very professional committee,” says Kurshan. “Although we are all volunteers, more than half hail from related careers. Every Historic Preservation Commission member receives training on the history and development of the town.” The group conducts surveys to find buildings worthy of landmark


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Home owner Jan Kaminsky has found old real estate listings and photos of her house. In 1971 the home was listed for $61,000.

status, compile and organize the information, and give advice on period-appropriate renovations. Eager home historians in Maplewood can find out more about their homes by coming to one of the MHPC’s meetings. Once each month (next dates: March 15th, April 12th, and May 3rd), the group has an open house in the Robert H. Grasmere Local History Center at the Hilton Library, with an archive of Maplewood maps, photos, a postcard collection of street views, a 1911 directory of Maplewood, and a development prospectus from 1890, among other records and memorabilia. And better yet for the novice historian, the open houses are staffed by volunteers from the Durand-Hedden House, who know how to search the mountain of information to find out about your home and neighborhood. Larisa Holderied is a recent transplant to Maplewood from Jersey City. Her family lives in a Tudor-style home in the Upper Wyoming section. She reached out to Susan Newberry, president of both the MHPC and the Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association, to learn about her house. Newberry led her to some old realtor advertisements, where they found the original listing for her house from 1929, when the area was converted from a dairy farm and developed. Holderied

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found that the “Maplewood Room” on her home was in the original design, but intended as a screened-in porch. She was surprised to find the floor plan unchanged. The project sparked her interest in the original designer of the building, and she continues to look for information through the building department. For Maplewood resident Jan Kaminsky, MHPC opened up a new world of information: “They helped us find the historic maps, old real estate listings, photos of the house, and learn more about previous owners.The original owner of the house was F.F. Meyer.” Kaminsky adds that part of the process of discovery included learning about the Ballister family, who “lived in our house from the 1940s-60s and had eight children in the house! I was able to get in contact with one of the daughters who grew up in the house and is now a grandmother herself.” So don’t lose sleep wondering about the placement of the staircase or whether a fireplace might be behind your living room wall. Come join local historians and you’re guaranteed to have something fun to talk about at the next neighborhood block party. Adrianna Donat is a freelance writer who loses sleep in her own 100-year-old-house in Maplewood.

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014


Room for Wine Home wine space could be your next frontier STORY BY HANK ZONA



You have gone beyond simply drinking wine. You may have taken some classes, attended wine-themed events, visited wine regions regularly. Possibly you read up on the subject. You probably have all the right glassware and wine accoutrements. You cannot comprehend when people utter the phrase “I am out of wine.” What often comes next, or finally, is the creation and reshaping of space in your home to reflect your wine lifestyle. It does not have to be elaborate, but it certainly is a personal reflection. Today, more homes have more space devoted to this, as people incorporate wine more into their social lives. South Orange resident Patricia Bell is well known as a collector and patron of the arts, yet she has an equally deeprooted passion for wine and entertaining. Her home is a very livable art gallery, but wine is well integrated into her living space too. Bell first developed her penchant for entertaining with wine when her father, an importer of French cheeses, would ask her to plan business events for him. That early influence is greatly reflected in her wine tastes but more evidently in the wine room she created when she moved to the community in 1999. She already had a significant number of bottles that she was storing in wine refrigerators, or temperatureand humidity-controlled wine


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units, but wanted something more reminiscent of her time spent in France. Her vision was to design a French country wine room in her garage. And she did. In addition to her storage racks and an exacting temperature control system, Bell also incorporated such flourishes as an imported tile floor, a rustic country table and benches – and an extensive wine book library. And of course, the wine. Just as her art collection pops out immediately to any art appreciator, so does her wine collection to those with a passion for the grape. The visitor’s first impression before entering, though, is of the door, not a garage door but a hand-made wooden entranceway right down to the replica creaking hinges.

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

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Get ready to taste even more of what’s delicious in Maplewood! Maplewood Restaurant Week will benefit local hunger initiatives through Rent Party Pantry, Inc. See our website for details. chamber of commerce

Not all restaurants participate all days; lunch or dinner options vary per participating establishment. Beverages, taxes and gratuities may not be included. Call participating restaurants for reservations, details, and availability. Offers subject to change.

More than 90 percent of wine sold is to be consumed within a year or so, and most of that will see a less-than-24-hour turnaround from time of purchase to consumption. Accessibility is important even to collectors because if you are fortunate to have a separate wine room with proper storage conditions, it is usually not within quick reach of where you are likely to be drinking the wine. Bell does have an impressive wine refrigerator in her kitchen, however, adjacent to her dining room. Such a feature is showing up more and more in both new home design and in kitchen renovations. Like her wine room, Bell’s dining room was designed with wine appreciation in mind. “Wine is about fellowship,” she says. Both spaces are for socializing and sharing with friends and she is as generous with wine as she is with art. She especially loves to set a table with a lot of glasses per person, and specifically chose a table for her dining room that would accommodate such a setting. One is not just surrounded by fabulous art and

wine collections in her home, but by the bonhomie she set out to create, and which comes from her naturally. Not everyone has a developed wine interest or collection before moving into their home, and for many of us, our home space has undergone a metamorphosis over the years as our families change. Blake and Mike Henry are such a couple. They are very social people, always happy and willing to host a gathering, even if it is remarkably impromptu. Their home is very warm and welcoming, matching their manner. They also have two boys, now in high school and middle school, and found that the basement space that stored toys, games and a lot of sports equipment wasn’t as necessary any longer for those needs alone. Some reconfiguration and custom design turned that space into a family room by day but by night a room that has the feel of a city neighborhood wine bar or lounge. The Henrys are not collectors of thousands of wines, but it is fair to say they have more bottles than most. Mike Henry is

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014


Above is just a sampling of Pat Bell’s wine collection. Left are a few of her collectible wine glasses that mingle with her vast art collection. on the mailing list of a number of limitedproduction wineries he really loves, and receives and enjoys his annual allotment from them. He also has a friend, Eric Flanagan, who owns a boutique winery in Sonoma Valley, so Henry has plenty of those wines to share with friends. Just as Bell needed to be creative in finding storage space – in her case, outside her actual house – the Henrys also did something different. What was formerly a room that housed the washer and dryer now has custom wood and metal racks that hold the Henrys’ favorite wines as well as the selection of artisanal tequilas preferred by Blake Henry. Now climate-controlled, the room is closer to the flow of the main room, and the washer and dryer are unobtrusively tucked away elsewhere. Since the reconstruction, the

Henrys have already had ideas for more changes, including lengthening the beautiful custom-made wood bar – and, of course, adding more wine storage. The details of how the space was developed in the Bell and Henry homes are different but there is something in common, beyond some shared favorite wine producers in both their collections: Wine is social, it is connective, it is something they share happily with friends, and it is reflected in their homes and in their personalities. Maplewoodian Hank Zona, the owner and host of “The Grapes Unwrapped” ( wp), dreams of what his perfect wine room would look like.

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

George Washington Slept Here A house with a past gets a future BY TIA SWANSON TOP RIGHT: Erected in 1743 by Timothy and Esther Ball, the homestead that still stands proudly on Ridgewood Road has undergone a massive renovation under the watchful eye of its current owners, Cathy and Christopher Rowe. An original tree known as the Washington Walnut still stands next to the Timothy Ball house, arguably the most important historical home in Maplewood. TOP LEFT: The fireplace as it looked in the 1920s when the house was an inn. There are clay smoking pipes hanging from the cross beams which could be cut and reused by guests. The spinning wheel remains today, as it’s been passed from owner to owner across the centuries. The floor was then just a concrete-like substance. When the Rowes bought the house and began to remove that flooring, says Cathy, “it was one step above dirt.” The Rowes added the wide-planked wooden flooring. ABOVE: The great fireplace is original to the house, in what is now used as the dining room. BOTTOM RIGHT: The home remained in the Ball family for its first 109 years on South Orange land. It then had a series of owners until it was bought and was restored by Washington Park as Maplewood was forming in 1919, initially to serve as a clubhouse for the neighborhood. By the 1930s it functioned as a restaurant and dance hall. The Rowes have done a remarkable job preserving historical finds in the home, restoring its functionality while preserving its past. Today,they give small tours to children studying history.



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For years, Cathy Rowe and her husband, Christopher, have joked that they wound up in Maplewood because they were crazy from lack of sleep, being parents to a newborn who required a monitor and who kept them up with worry most nights. More particularly, they wound up in one of Maplewood’s most famous houses, the Timothy Ball house on Ridgewood Road, where George Washington is said to have slept during the New Jersey campaign of the American war for independence. Like most surviving houses built before the Revolutionary War, this one needed a lot of work. But though the Rowes came to wonder about their decision later, Cathy Rowe says they got the house for the reason people so often behave erratically and illogically: love. “It was basically love at first sight,” says Cathy, who until that moment nine years ago had been a committed New Yorker who had no real intention of leaving the city, despite a recurring dream about a house in the country with a brook and a big yard. The Ball house had both those things. Yet seeing the lot size (between two-thirds and three-quarters of an acre), the relatively low taxes and a price tag about $200,000 less than anything that appeared comparable, the Rowes assumed there was a misprint somewhere in the advertisement. (There wasn’t.)

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

Still, they came out from Manhattan, fell in love with the house, and returned the next day to make an offer and leave a deposit. From there they went straight to the hospital, where their baby spent the better part of a week recovering from illness, during which, husband and wife say, one of them – they no longer remember who – woke up and said, “I think we bought a house.” And the other replied. “Don’t be silly; go back to sleep.” But it was true; and before long the young couple, with their now-recovered and growing baby and their toddler, settled 15 miles out of New York in their 350-year-old new home. Of course, it didn’t take them long to realize that in spite of the bubbling stream, the generous yard, the lofty old trees, and the wondrous wall-length fireplaces, the house was at bottom “unlivable,” as Cathy candidly puts it. Maybe that is why it had had a succession of more or less temporary owners: four in the decade before the Rowes found it. It had been built into its low-slung hill, a sort of ancient split-level: The kitchen was in the basement; the dining room was up a few steps; you went up a few more steps to a couple of bedrooms and a bath above the kitchen and then back and up a couple more to the living room, above the dining room; the room where Washington slept was tucked off the living room and the rest of the bedrooms were up another flight. One big problem was that the kitchen was ancient, and building codes had changed so that basement kitchens were no longer allowed. That meant that if the Rowes were going to stay for any length of time – as previous owners had no doubt realized – the whole kitchen would have to be put somewhere else. So the Rowes embarked on a ninemonth odyssey during which the kitchen got moved directly upstairs into the space then occupied by two bedrooms and a bath. They also enclosed what had been a breezeway to give themselves a mudroom and a replacement half-bath right next to that space. And that was just the beginning. As Cathy Rowe puts it, a house is a living thing; and one that has been around for more than three centuries has gained and lost as time has passed. The Rowes stripped yards of wallpaper and refinished and replaced a crazy quilt of flooring, none of it original. When they took up the old rug in the dining room, they found only cement. A somewhat decrepit garage was presumed to be the old kitchen or storehouse, but some excavation revealed that it had been built

Top clockwise: The bedroom presumed to have been the one where General George Washington slept is now used as the Rowes’ guest room. Today it has an adjoining bath, which George surely did not enjoy. | The door from the dining room is original to the house. | A bread oven in the wood burning fireplace had been a bit of a hiding place for the Rowe boys. Now fully functional, it is back to making delicious homemade bread. | One of only two original windows this one, in what is now the master bedroom, looks to the front yard and the Washington Walnut tree, as old as the house; it is believed that Washington tied his horse to this tree while he visited.


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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

The new kitchen now reflects a nod to the past while functioning for a modern 21st-c in the 20th century, so they had to rebuild that too. They also had to replace ’50s-era replacement windows that collected so much water during rainstorms that the boys hatched an idea to use them as fish tanks. The house’s iconic columns had to be rebuilt because they were rotted out and the portico was sinking; meanwhile a bit of research revealed that they had arrived only in the late 1920s, when a group of developers bought the surrounding open land and planned an upscale suburban enclave, Washington Park. The old house was supposed to serve as the club house, and the developers decided to give it a more polished air by adding the two-story columns, immediately turning it, Rowe says, from a rather typical farmhouse into a displaced plantation. The Depression nixed the clubhouse and the development (and, on a bright note, preserved the wide open yard that was to have been home to two more houses). For 30 years, the house was a restaurant. A family owned the house for 35 years beginning in the 1950s, but in the ’80s the house entered a long period of serial ownership and an uncertain future, awaiting rescue by the sleep-deprived New Yorkers. The Rowe boys are the first children to live in the house since the family from the ’50s. And live in it they do. On a snowy February day, their sleds were scattered across the hill alongside the brook; their Nerf guns were parked in a chair in the dining room. On the same day, Cathy Rowe was giddy because they were at last embarking on a restoration for which they had been saving for years: the rehabilitation of the striking oversized fireplaces, stacked one atop each other in the dining room and the family room just above it. When the project is finished, only Washington’s room and the original upstairs bath will remain untouched, almost all of the rest of the house having been completely redone. And Cathy Rowe, who hasn’t had the dream about the country house since arriving in Maplewood, can rest easy. Tia Swanson has herself behaved erratically and illogically in procuring two beautiful, well-loved houses that have required a ton of work.

The kitchen was moved from the basement up one floor into the space that had been occupied by two bedrooms and a bath.

The Rowes salvaged the door from the back of the house (seen right in 1913) and used it as a door to the back of their garage addition, left.


century family.





March Home&Garden Matters 2014


Small House. Great A turn-of-the-century Maplewood gem finds a new life BY ADRIANNA DONAT

The new entryway is now from a side porch that was the old “Maplewood Room.”

The 1890 carriage house has its original garage, which the Gales have kept as storage, updating the hardware.. The addition in the back blends seamlessly with the new entranc.e. And a new paint scheme showcases the home’s details.

W When you live in a house that was built by and for people who lived 100 years ago, it can seem overwhelming to figure out how to make that house work for your family. Many residents of Maplewood and South Orange live in houses with rooms and fixtures that were created to serve in a different time, before cars and electricity. They love the elegance and grace of centuries-old housing stock. But adapting these homes while keeping the charm can be tricky. Enter Bernadette and Nelson Gales. Longtime residents of both South Orange and Maplewood, they have renovated five houses. When they were first shown a small house from 1890 on Highland Place by realtor Rena Spangler they thought it might be too much of a project. But their kids were grown; they’d sold their home on Maplewood Avenue. So they rolled up their sleeves and jumped in. A year later, the outcome is stunning. “Hire a contractor with experience in old houses,” advises Bernadette. “And make sure you and your contractor have the same eye. Ask about how he would handle the moldings, for example, and if he isn’t interested in matching the new with the old, you may have to look further.” The Gales chose local contractor GMD

The dining room, with a fire

t Style.

eplace at the far end, used to serve as the living room. The staircase wall was opened up.

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

The pretty master bedroom is comfortably sophisticated.

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The main bathroom has retained its original footprint but now is stylish and elegant.

Home Improvement on Burnett Avenue and architect Steve Majewski of South Orange. One of the first things they decided was to make the “Maplewood Room” (the porch-like side room many local houses have) work harder for them. The Gales added a side deck and turned the room into an entryway from their driveway for convenience. There was room to add the double-door coat closet so neglected in older homes. Bernadette traveled to Old Good Things in Scranton to find antique French doors with original brass hardware for the closet. She researched the period and chose appropriate Thibaut wallpaper. “You can find information on Victorian décor in magazines, old books and decorating blogs,” she suggests. The same space also allows for a first floor powder room, decorated with a custom-built, scalloped vanity and beadboard walls that look like they could be an original part of the home. Some original fixtures were brought back to their original luster by Two Guys from Newstead.


Tracy Freeman Broker Sales Associate Cell: (917) 604-5735 Office: (973) 275-3035 145 Maplewood Avenue Maplewood, NJ 07040 [email protected]

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The renovated Maplewood Room opens into a beautiful dining room with a fireplace at the far end. This room was formerly the living room, but the Gales chose to encase the rustic wood beams on the crown-molded ceilings and mantel to create a more elegant look in keeping with a formal dining room. They reglazed the original glass on the windows to maintain the look and feel of the room. The kitchen is completely redesigned to work with a new section of the house. The “Grand New Room” and kitchen now flow together for a more modern and open entertaining space. Here too, the Gales have worked to dovetail the new section and old, with careful consideration to details like custom egg-and-dart moldings that flow from old section to new. “We started the kitchen by punching a window at the side of the stove,” says Bernadette, adding with a laugh that “once it was in, it looked like a face with one ear.” But it was not easy to find a match for the antique, period-specific window they’d installed. Still, after a lot of research, she found a window on eBay close enough that no one would doubt that they had been purchased as a pair. Cleverly decorated in a French country style, the cream cabinets

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

The kitchen is completely redesigned to work with a new section of the house. An unusual faucet and swinging windows over the farmhouse sink allow for watering her herb plants. It converts into an indoor/outdoor bar in the summer. A horse stable door is used for the pantry entrance. A first-floor powder room has a custom-built, scalloped vanity and bead board walls that look as though they could be an original part of the home. of the kitchen manage to look like a convincing hybrid of old and new. The French windows over the farmhouse sink “let me water my herb garden from inside, and when we are entertaining outside, it converts into an indoor/outdoor bar,” Bernadette explains. “It’s the details that make places like this so special,” she adds. But it’s the people who care enough to maintain those details that make our towns extraordinary. Adrianna Donat is a freelance writer with a 100 yearold house and a Ph.D. from This Old House University.

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March Home&Garden Matters 2014


the Face of Design


Innovative headboards allow anyone to change the look of their bedroom on a whim BY CAITLIN LOWE


Astrid Oyo still remembers playing hide-and-seek in the racks of the clothing store her grandfather founded in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Swiss-born entrepreneur says growing up in this business, handling roles from unpacking goods to merchandising to actual selling, sparked her love for tangible products and connecting with customers. Today she has translated this love into her own business, Noyo Home Décor, a custom headboard company headquartered in Maplewood. Oyo’s career started at Boston Consulting Group after she earned her undergraduate degree in business in Switzerland, followed by an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her deep-rooted love for tangible products won out when she accepted a role at the apparel company Esprit, managing operations for Switzerland and Italy. While she relished this work, some internal issues prompted her to leave and to take some time out to do some soul-searching about her next career move. Wanting to stay with fashion or design, Oyo also sought a global company with opportunities to work outside Switzerland, where she was then based. “When I looked at global retailing,” she says, “Ikea came out on top.”




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Taking the bull by the horns, Oyo stopped in at the closest Ikea store to ask for the name of the HR head, and then wrote him a letter expressing her interest. Although some friends were skeptical of this approach, her tenacity paid off. A flight to

Denmark for a two-hour meeting turned into a full day and resulted in a job offer as she was rushing to catch her flight home. For 16 years, Oyo worked for the firm, beginning as a store manager in Switzerland. Up next was helping Ikea expand in the United States. It was this position that moved her,

her husband and two children to Maplewood, where they have lived for the past 12 years. Here she developed Ikea’s business-tobusiness sector. “That experience of building something that didn’t exist before and working so closely with my customers, it kind of gave me the bug, the desire to build something of my own,” she says. The idea for Noyo was born during a conversation with a friend. “I change elements of my home décor, such as pillows and artwork, with the seasons, but I couldn’t find out a way to do that in my bedroom,” she confesses. “The idea of being able to easily swap out headboards came into my head.” After playing around with the concept, running preliminary numbers and looking at the competition, she took the leap and left Ikea. Oyo put all of her energy into getting the product design just right. For example, she slightly reduced the dimensions of the headboard for shipping efficiency, as the original size

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didn’t fit in a standard shipping box. She chose a modular design for the frame, composed of separate left, center and right panels. The panels allow for less inventory and let customers easily adjust the headboard size by adding or removing a panel. “I am always asking myself how I can do things in a smart way to create value for the user and make my logistics easier” Oyo says. “This is very much a part of the Ikea way of thinking: If it doesn’t create value to the customer, then I’m not doing the right thing.” It’s actually a cedar headboard frame, chosen for its beauty and strength. The cover is a polyester fabric that looks similar to linen but is durable and easy to wash. Covers come in a range of designs and can be easily swapped out to change the look and feel of a bedroom. The designs are printed with water-based inks, which are both environmentally friendly and soft to the touch. Noyo is continually introducing new designs. She works with designers and uses her own designs and photography. Customers can even have their own designs

printed on the slipcovers – making the possibilities endless. “I produce everything locally and that’s important to me,” she says. From her New Jersey woodworker to her graphic designer in South Orange, Noyo truly is a local operation. “There is so much talent in Maplewood and South Orange,” she says, “and I met so many people with insight into the process. I feel very fortunate to live in such a creative community.” While Oyo is clearly hitting her stride professionally, she is flourishing and feels her bold career move is a positive one for her family. Not only can she be there for her teenaged children, but she is showing them the importance of pursuing a career you love. “I tell my kids not to stress out and just pursue their passions,” she says. “I feel so fortunate because what I am doing now combines my passion for design, furnishing and textiles with the joy I find in breaking down problems and finding solutions.” Caitlin Lowe is happy to learn about new ways to decorate her home, especially if they are washable.

Astrid Oyo enjoys some time with her daughter, Elina, in her bedroom. Oyo changes out her children’s headboard covers with the seasons and with her children’s interests.


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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

The new window treatments feature intricate Indian embroidery, lending a casual yet sophisticated look.

Enormous picture windows on either side of the room now feature elegant floor-length linen draperies. The fabric adds a touch of lightness and femininity while balancing out the darker hues used in the room

Mid-century Musical Makeover Music, merriment and style inspire a family room renovation

The Chamberlin family always has music playing. So it’s no surprise that music provided the inspiration for their reimagined Maplewood family room. Knowing that their 450-square-foot room had great potential, but not knowing exactly how to pull it all together, the family contacted local interior designer Amy Yin. “Amy quickly got a feel for our style, and helped us fill in the details,” says homeowner Meghan Chamberlin. “The first time I saw the space, I noticed the clients’ intriguing collections that were full of personality, history, and personal meaning. My goal was to use as much of them as I could in the new layout, making them sing in a whole new way,” says Yin. “Our primary objectives were to make sure that the room was the right mix of formal and comfortable. It had to be kid friendly, but not kid-centric,” Chamberlin says, adding that they also required adequate seating for entertaining family and friends. Re-using as much of the Chamberlins’ existing furnishings as possible, including an oversized sofa, Yin composed a plan for furniture arrangement, wallcoverings and window treatments. Yin, who loves to mix budget items in with higher end pieces, also advised on the purchase of new items that would lend a classic mid-century feel but wouldn’t break the bank.

Textured wallpaper was something the Chamberlins said they would never have considered on their own. And when the family found lighting that they liked online, Yin recommended a local craftsman who could dip the hardware to a coordinating finish.


Rather than a space where the family enjoyed time together, it was a room they barely visited. Vast nine-foot ceilings and a general lack of cohesiveness made this Maplewood living room feel empty and incomplete. .

Existing pieces like the Chamberlins’ vintage bar cart and antique piano were the perfect accents for the room’s new “mid-century” style. Yin created a layout that would help these items stand out in the space rather than blend in. The homeowners had several interesting pieces and collections worthy of display, but the space lacked an appropriate background to pull it all together.

The mid-century concept was the perfect setting for pieces such as a vintage bar cart, an antique piano, and a throwback cabinet record player with brass accents, which the family says gets tons of play during parties and fun family nights at home. “We didn’t want these items to blend in, but rather stand out in the space,” Yin says. Instead of paint, Yin chose a sky blue textured silk vinyl wallpaper from Philip Jeffries. The warm wallpaper enhances the mid-century vibe while providing the perfect background for the family’s album collection. Album covers primarily from the 1960s make a stylish wall collage while adding to the artistic flavor of the space. What’s more, the wallpaper offers an easy-to-clean, family friendly surface. Plus, the thick texture helps to mask imperfections in the walls of this grand old home. The Chamberlins found lighting they liked online, but it wasn’t the right finish. Through Amy’s network of design resources, she was able to refer them to a local craftsman who could dip the hardware to a coordinating finish – something Chamberlin says she didn’t even know was a possibility. The furniture configuration is fresh. It not only offers increased comfort and sociability but also opens paths to other rooms, allowing guests to flow from room to room with ease. The ends of the room were fairly empty and disconnected from the main seating group. To fill in the spaces, Yin placed the

homeowners’ existing chairs near the record player so that people can sit and enjoy music or get up and dance in the open space nearby. On the other side of the room, the bar and antique piano flank the window, offering a great spot for entertaining. Yin suggested movable ottomans on wheels for versatility. With trays on top, they make the perfect cocktail table during parties. Today, the family enjoys the space and generally spending time together as a family. “We never could have pulled this room together without Amy’s design direction. Her expertise was invaluable,” says Chamberlin. “She has such a nice way of giving advice and providing options while still allowing you to feel ownership over the direction you’re taking.”



Amy Yin Interiors is an award-winning, woman-owned, residential interior design studio. Believing that the power of good design can enhance lives, bring daily joy, and lift spirits, she donates all profits from the studio to local charities. A two-time winner of the National Interior Design Society’s “Designer of the Year” Award, her studio is the first – and only – New Jersey firm to receive this accolade. Learn more at photos by Joy Yagid


March Home&Garden Matters 2014


Gourmet Campus Gardens Bringing food sustainability to the head of the class. BY KATIE BLISS

In the 25 years since the Slow Food Movement was born as a reaction against the ever-increasing reliance on the global industrialization of food, the fight for sustainability has moved front and center – and nowhere more visibly than in the dining halls of our nation’s colleges and universities. Seton Hall University’s food service company, Gourmet Dining, not only embraces the tenets of food sustainability: It has gone a step further and installed an elaborate terraced vegetable garden outside the university’s dining center. Under the stewardship of Maplewood native Julie Aiello, Gourmet Dining’s Director of Marketing and Sustainability, the garden offers not just fresh herbs and produce for the kitchen but a bucolic multi-purpose retreat for faculty and students. Now 27, Aiello is a graduate of Colorado College, “where the environment and stewardship of the land is part of the culture,” she says. She feels that sustainability in New Jersey is crucial, given the state’s population density: “When you think about it, sourcing locally is so important to all of us. We’re preserving New Jersey farmland; we’re preserving New Jersey jobs, while eating healthfully delicious local foods.” The idea for the gardens – she has installed four at various Gourmet Dining sites, including a rooftop vegetable garden at NJIT in downtown Newark – came to her three years ago as she sat in her office wishing she could be outside. “Then I thought, I bet a lot of college students are sitting in their classroom also wishing they could get outside,” she recalls. “It made me wonder ‘How can I get outside, and how can we engage students to get outside, and how can I connect it to my job?’” And the, she says, the light bulb flashed on: “Vegetable Gardens! It’s a visual representation of what we do, it enhances the campus, and produce can be used by the community and in the kitchens.” Building the garden took careful planning on the part of Gourmet Dining and a leap of faith from Seton Hall. Aiello remembered the brown grassy slope that ran between a residential dorm and the dining commons as “an underutilized space with water runoff, waiting


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to be transformed to a garden, which retains rain and nutrients in the soil. We evaluated the sun exposure, came up with the design of curved terraces, and created the beds. We wanted to work with what was there; we didn’t want to take down any trees.” More than 30 different herbs, fruits and vegetables were grown in the garden this

past year. Work started in early spring with soil enhancements and the subsequent planting of vegetable ‘starts’ and seeds, including cabbage, bok choi, kale, Swiss chard and several varieties of radishes and beets. The summer produced fruits, several varieties of tomatoes, squashes and peppers, eggplant and more. In November, broccoli, cauliflowers, cabbages and

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mixed greens were still being harvested, “I think everyone benefits from seeing variety,” Aiello explains. “It’s one of the things that we don’t see in the grocery store, like a cosmic purple carrot or a black cherry tomato.” The garden seems to have a positive effect on everyone on campus. Tour guides tout the organic garden during orientations; faculty members routinely harvest vegetables; and classes from environmental science to art are often seated at the picnic tables at the top of the garden. And of course, the chefs of Gourmet Dining both benefit from and are inspired by the garden. “We get to come up with some really fun recipes,” says Aiello. “Many are developed based on what’s being harvested in the garden,” as it’s a reflection of what is

available from local farmers. She makes a point of working directly with farmers year-round to ensure that Gourmet Dining use of local sources as often as possible. (At present, about 30 percent of its produce is sourced locally.) “I hope the garden serves as an inspiration for people to want to grow their own food and to know where it is coming from,” Aiello says. “In that way, if everyone gets exposure to gardening, perhaps at some point, when they have the opportunity to have a little land, or even a patio, they will want to grow something.” After all, she adds, “I think there’s a little bit of the farmer inside everybody.” Katie Bliss is the Owner of BlissFull Gardening Services and has been fortunate to have worked in the Seton Hall Vegetable Garden.


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March Home&Garden Matters 2014

HOME& HOME &GARDENfinalMatters

At the Garden Gate BY TIA SWANSON


Laura Verhoff is a landscape architect by training, so it is perhaps no surprise that one of the first things she did when designing the yard of the house she shares with her husband and family on Burnett Street was to purchase a gate to separate it from the driveway and create a garden room. The yard behind the gate is not large, but so well thought out that it feels extravagant. There are three distinct parts: a dining area defined by a bluestone patio, a playset in the corner for the kids and a center lawn big enough for a croquet game. The yard is home to beautiful planting beds that contain knockout roses,spirea, azaleas, catmint, daylilys and numerous varieties of hydrangeas, all plants, Verhoff says, that are easy to maintain. There is also boxwood, and privacy screening provided by lush Leyland cypress. And the yard also includes a bit of whimsy, a former chicken coop turned artist studio that now serves as the quaint garden shed.

KELLER WILLIAMS MID-TOWN DIRECT REALTY WELCOMES THE ROBERT NORTHFIELD TEAM “The world is changing, people want more from their real estate agents. The Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Management team gets it. From the positive attitude and entrepreneurial spirit to the investment in technology, Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty provides the environment and support which allows for a superior home buying & selling experience.” - Robert Northfield “Robert and his team represent the very best in the real estate industry, his results speak for themselves. I am very pleased that he has joined us in our Maplewood, NJ office. This is a wonderful addition for our office and just another way we are insuring that Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty will continue to be the market leader in Essex and Union Counties.” - Reed Kean

Contact Robert Northfield At

[email protected] 973-761-4100

Now is not the time to be sitting on the fence. With inventory at an all-time low, and more buyers than we’ve seen in years, now is the time to choose a professional from the top agency in town.

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