Style Makers

Kitchens, like most things, come in all shapes and sizes. We identified three distinct styles, then scoured the state to find fabulous examples of each. Here, our picks.

Updated Traditional

This newly renovated kitchen is the centerpiece of a turn-of-the-century Spring Lake colonial. “The kitchen was designed to dovetail with the rest of the 115-year-old house,” says designer and homeowner Jacqueline Holt. “Our goal was to make it seamless from room to room.” The kitchen’s open floor plan achieves that, marrying timeless elegance and attention to detail with the rest of the house.

While stylish and upscale—with custom-made maple cabinets, integrated top-of-the-line appliances, marble countertops, and an oversized Brazilian-cherry center island—the kitchen is entirely family-friendly and low-maintenance. “We eat almost all our meals at this counter,” says Holt, “and it still looks new.”

Extensive woodwork—egg and dart molding, layers of trim, sturdy decorative columns, and carved corbels—gives the room its old-world feel. The oven hood was designed to look like a fireplace mantel, says Holt, including its decorative shelf. Additional design features borrow Gothic elements, notably the decorative mullions on the breakfast-room windows and above the sink. That look is also mirrored in the glass-front cabinets.

Interior Designer:
Jacqueline Holt Interiors; 732-233-0805
Paul Daniano; 732-449-5642
General Contractor:
Finn Construction; 732-974-1707
Kitchen Contractor:
New Horizon Construction; 732-938-6930
Brielle Furniture; 732-528-8300
Custom Window Treatments:
Finishing Touches; 732-443-8686
Tile Backsplash:
Monmouth Street Tile; 732-974-0048


ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Window mullions in the breakfast room mimic those of the adjacent glass-front cabinets as well as those surrounding the mantel-style cooktop hood, left.


Nothing says “contemporary” more than this sleek, seriously cleaned-up kitchen. Spare but stunning, it is a study in modern design where trappings of daily living (a toaster, a coffee pot, canisters of sugar and flour) are not to be seen. “There’s a place for everything in this kitchen,” says interior designer Alyssa Belmonte, “so it’s always cleaned up.”

Only recently completed, the kitchen is the centerpiece of this ground-up renovation in a Jersey City row house designed by Hoboken-based architect Peter Johnston, and his associate, Belmonte.

The room has an eclectic mix of materials that add up to a contemporary showcase: custom-made walnut cabinets with an ebony stain; quartz countertops; honed stone flooring; a stainless steel backsplash; and an oversized sink. “The kitchen is like a piece of furniture,” says Belmonte.

The homeowners, an international couple and their two young children, favored a modern aesthetic that would integrate many eco-friendly elements. “The materials in the kitchen are modern” and each contributes to the cohesive look, says Belmonte. The wood floors are sustainable Brazilian hardwoods, the cabinet pulls are recyclable extruded aluminum, and the appliances are energy efficient.

Peter Johnston, AIA, and Alyssa Belmonte, IIDA, Peter Johnston Architects; 201-659-7400
Wood Flooring:
Parquet Flooring Service; 201-420-1577
Forino Kitchen Cabinets; 201-573-0990
Tile Flooring:
Stone Source; 201-549-7400
New York Stone; 201-656-6200
Renovator’s Resource; 888-511-8900

European Traditional

Rather than trade down like so many empty-nesters, Carol Todd traded up, knowing that a large family kitchen—roomy enough to accommodate several cooks at once —would keep her children and grandchildren coming back.

“Cooking is one of my biggest passions,” says Todd. “I wanted to share that with family and friends.” The Todds purchased their home six years ago—a builder house in a new development in Tewksbury—and promptly set out to upgrade what they consider to be the most important room in the house. “We didn’t want it to be cookie-cutter like the rest of the houses in the neighborhood, so we upgraded everything,” says Todd. The result is an old-fashioned yet entirely updated space. With expansive granite countertops (plenty of prep space was essential), a six-burner cooktop, two sinks, and side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, Todd has the ultimate working kitchen.

The kitchen opens into the family room and breakfast room, a seamless example of a style interior designer Andrew Limon calls “country-club smart.” As senior designer with Lloyd’s, a furnishings store in nearby Somerset, Limon pulled together a palette of “russet with a dash of brandy,” he says. “It’s sophisticated, without the frills and fringes.”

Kitchen designer:
Jack Todd, North Country Homes; 518-613-4201
Interior Design:
Andrew Limon, Lloyd’s Furniture; 908-526-4344

FAUX DETAIL: Walls in the breakfast room are painted with a faux brick look. The sunroom beyond is a favorite sitting area:

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