Project Spotlight: Conover Lane Project

This month’s featured project spotlight is our Conover Lane Project. It seemed fitting to shine the spotlight on one of our most romantically styled design projects during the month most associated with love. We think you’ll agree!

Project Overview

Fellow designer, Joan Norkus, of Boxwood LLC Interior Design was hired to bring this full home renovation project to life. Joan brought us into this project to help with the design and execution of the kitchen and sitting room dry bar.

From the first meeting with the client we knew that this space would be special. The client explained that she loved pink, which Joan had planned to incorporate the color throughout the home. “Is it crazy to have pink cabinets?” we remember the client asking. The client’s husband (Valentine of the year) said that he was fine with whatever his wife chose for finishes.

The new layout of the home provided a formal sitting room off the foyer, this room is a perfect welcome for this couple’s family and friends. The rug set the tone for the finishes in this room. We pulled one of the deeper tones from the rug to create the custom Raspberry Pudding dry bar. We love the beautiful balance of bold modern elements and traditional antique pieces that Joan incorporated into this spaces furnishings.

Wide Open Spaces

From the siting room you enter the open concept kitchen, dining, living space with a stunning view of the Navesink River.

Our joint focus was to create some separation of the individual spaces in this open room, yet ensure that everything was cohesive. A structural column in the room created a natural separation allowing the room be the divided into 4 quadrants; kitchen, sitting area, dining, and living room.

A Pink Kitchen

Wanting the kitchen to be a special reflection of the client’s unique style, yet striving for a space that would be timeless, we made the strategic decision that the cabinetry would be a special stain on Quarter Sawn Oak wood. This linear grained wood presented a more classic, even masculine, juxtaposition to the delicately pink toned stain. This combination offers a beautiful balance for the couple.

Special Finishes

The client fell in love with a marble countertop, on display in our showroom, confirming that decision early on. Brass finishes were planned for many of the selections in the home. We wanted to carry that into the kitchen for consistency, but also put it a little spin on it. We chose a brass finish with a rosy-tone for the cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures. Although subtle, this variation creates a nice transition from the pink toned cabinetry to the more gold toned brass finishes of the lighting and other elements in the open concept living space.

The bronze metal custom made range hood features a tapered curve to offset the curved detail of the window on the adjacent wall. The finish also boasting the slighted touch of pink, yet deeper than the lighting, hardware, and plumbing in the room, building on the room’s palette.

*Design Tip:

The days requiring all metals to match perfectly are gone. Although it can create a consistent look, which may be right for a particular design, we love layering elements. Don’t be afraid to play around with this by mixing finishes, metal or otherwise. in a space. When done well, it makes the design in a space much more interesting and personal.

Design Detailing

If you have to do dishes, this wouldn’t be a bad spot to do them. We love how this sink wall turned out. The curved window was something that the client knew she wanted in the kitchen from day 1. We kept the window wall free of upper cabinetry to make it one of the room’s focal points. A combination of printed and Calcutta Marble tile backsplash accent the window, which is finished off with these stunning vintage sconces that the client had purchased years ago in hopes of using them someplace special.

The center island was designed to feel more like built-in furniture than cabinetry. To achieve this, we integrated legs on all four corners and a vertical apron between the legs to give the island a table look.

When possible, we like to conceal functional elements that may not be very esthetically pleasing. Microwaves are often an important element in a kitchen, however these appliances are not always the most attractive. By placing them on the working side of an island, it is in a convenient location for use, but less conspicuous from most vantage points in the room.

It was a joy to be a part of this project and we are thrilled with the final outcome. We hope our clients will enjoy their new home for many years to come!

Conover Lane Project Spotlight Sources

Kitchen and Dry Bar design and cabinetry, hood, and hardware: Town & Country Kitchen and Bath

Interior Design and Furnishing for these spaces: Joan Norkus, Boxwood LLC Interior Design

Backsplash Material sourced through Downtown Tile

Photographs: Patricia Burke Photography

Want More?

Click the image below to read the cover story article featuring this project in Monmouth Health & Life.

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.

Holiday Entertaining – Combining the season’s natural beauty with it’s sense of magic.

There is just something about this time of year! Is it the bite in the air, the glow of the lights, the melody of the songs? We can’t say for sure. What we do know is this time of year seems to have a bit of magic in it! With this magical time of year, we are surrounded by a barren nature outdoors and turn inside for holiday entertaining.

Above all the things that make this season special is the overwhelming sense of togetherness. Regardless of your beliefs, this season has a way of uniting; families, friends, communities, and neighbors. That alone can feel magical.

Often gatherings are a big part of this togetherness. This year, as we thought about holiday entertaining, we have found that we are especially drawn to nature when imagining how to highlight this magical season.

Our holiday table is a celebration of nature and the season’s magic.

Keeping things more natural, we opted out of doing a tablecloth, using the wood table as the base for our table-scape. A crisp white linen topped with a rustic burlap runner offer some subtle structure to the décor. From there things get interesting…

Bring the outdoors in!

We love the idea of abundance when it comes to bringing in the natural elements, so we decided that we would go all out with layering the greens. Rather than using a more traditional pine or holly, we chose some of the seasons less celebrated plants for this table. A variety of dried and faux sprigs of eucalyptus create a plentiful bed all along the table. Rather than florals, we chose a variety of potted rosemary plants.

A small potted creeping rosemary is at home on this earthy table

Tip: Rosemary is commonly used in holiday meals, by having these plants on the table it offers a nice semblance to the food you are enjoying at the table. This doesn’t have to be rosemary. Consider personalizing this philosophy to your meal. If there is a particular herb, fruit, or vegetable used in your menu, consider highlighting it on your table-scape.

Black and Brass Accents offer modern touches to the earthy theme.

We chose sleek matte black dishes and paired them with polished brass flatware for a fun juxtaposition of contemporary glam.

Mixing Elements

The Holiday Tables is set.

Rust and Mercury are both elements of nature. Although we wont go too far into the periodic table, the idea of adding items that are reminiscent of nature’s elements has validity when creating an earthy theme. Giant rustic bells and oversized mercury ornaments are perfect accents to adorn the greens. Wooden Block placeholders display personalized cards for guest’s seating locations.

Set the mood

Aged Brass frames around antique glass hurricanes offer a perfect candle glow.

We all know that lighting is so important when creating a mood. Candlelight is among the most romantic and cozy forms of lighting you can use in a space. We chose to place pillar candles in several glass hurricanes along the table to give a soft warm glow.

No matter if your holiday gathering is large or small, we hope you have a wonderfully magical holiday season this year!

Shop the look

Everything you see on our holiday table is available in our T&C Mercantile Shop. We are open daily for shopping and we are happy to offer virtual shopping for those who cannot visit us in person. Visit our shop page for hours.

Follow us on our social media accounts for updates on what is in stock, new arrivals, and shop events. You can shop products through either of our media accounts, just drop us a line or call.

Project Spotlight – Bingham Avenue Project Holiday Edition

This year’s Bingham Avenue Project, holiday edition project spotlight, is one that is near and dear to our hearts. This new construction project was the home of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath owner, Ginny Padula. Ginny and her husband Lou, owner of Padula Builders, designed and built this home with a heavy emphasis on family in mind.

There is no better time than the holidays to celebrate family and enjoy the comforts of home. This may be one of the reasons that Ginny pulls out all the stops when decorating her home for the season. We had the pleasure of capturing the house during one of the ‘most wonderful times of the year’ and chatting with Ginny about her holiday traditions and decorating inspiration.

We will spotlight details on this full home design project at another time. For this edition, we are going to focus on spreading the holiday cheer.

Style Profile

A welcome holiday entrance with boxwood greens and wintery décor

We started out by asking Ginny the obvious question, what is it about Christmas that makes her give full measure to decorating her home? “I have always loved holiday decorations and everything that goes with this time of year, like getting to spend extra time with my family.”

Ginny describes her holiday decorating style as being similar to her personal design style; classic and natural with hints of rustic elements. Evident in these images, the home features deep wood tones paired with warm neutrals. The traditional styling makes it feel tailored yet welcoming. When adding holiday décor she enhances these elements by layering lots of natural greens, which pair so naturally with the wood throughout the home.

Holiday Traditions

The heart of the Padula Home

Ginny is an excellent cook, this time of year the kitchen is especially busy with baking and extra people filling the home for meals. The décor is kept simple in this space to allow for ease of use during meal prep and baking. A small tree or two, some boxwood wreaths over the windows, strategic greens, and of course the highly aromatic and useful rosemary plant. She confides that her favorite holiday tradition is, being in the kitchen, baking cookies with her two sons.

Dining Room is set and ready for holiday guests .

Once the meal is made, it’s time to gather and enjoy! The Padula’s host a family dinner each year on Christmas Eve with the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes theme. “We both grew up celebrating this way. When we got married we took over hosting to continue the custom for our family and friends and pass onto the next generation.” Ginny explains when asked how long they have have hosted these feasts.

This is a meal that requires that the entire family pitch in and takes days to prepare. Lou is the ring leader and head chef of this meal though and he starts planning for the feast weeks in advance. Everything from the homemade manicotti shells that are prepared the Sunday prior until the last salad hits the table is steeped in family tradition.

When asked if the menu varies each year, “Oh no,” Ginny explains, “everything is prepared using Lou’s grandmothers recipes and the menu is just the way she always did it.”

House of Trees

The family room is so cozy with one of the decorated Christmas trees and fireplace.

The most prominent decorative element that Ginny incorporates are trees. Large and small, real and artificial, there is a tree in each room of the home. Each tree is decorated with it’s own thoughtfully unique theme. “Last year there were 11, this year we are adding 5 or 6 more” admits Padula.

“They are all my favorite,” Ginny laughs when asked to pick, “but the family tree is probably my favorite” she decides, of the tree that the whole family decorates together. They fill the tree with ornaments either made by or collected by the group.

Even Bentley, the family’s Brittney Spaniel gets a specially decorated tree.

As in all design, an important element is to be true to your taste and comfort. When decorating for the holidays make it feel personal and purposeful. Small accents in well placed locations can make a big impact. We hope you have enjoyed this special holiday edition project spotlight and have gathered some inspiration for your own home this season.

Happy Holidays from the TCKB Design Team!

Shop The Project Spotlight Look

We rounded up a few items from the shop to help you create your own winter wonderland at home. Our shop is open in Red Bank daily, visit our Shop page for store hours. Please visit us to shop in person, email us: [email protected] , or call: 732-345-1441, we offer curbside pickup, local drop offs, and shipping.

Faux Seedling trees, various sizes and styles available, starting at $40.
Red Stripes Kitchen Linen Dish Cloths $11 and Giant Tin Snowflake Ornaments $12
Preserved Boxwood Wreaths with white ribbon $18

Holiday Entertaining – We are looking to dining outdoors this season

This year, it seems, we are all craving some form of normalcy in an anything but normal time. While holiday entertaining may look different than we would like, there are still ways to make the holiday season special and inviting. We love the idea of hosting an el fresco dinner. The weather may be crisp but this only adds to the enjoyment of the season.

Location is everything

Find a cozy or pretty location like a patio, under a large tree, or in a garden space to set the scene. Consider bringing your dining table and chairs outdoors, the use of furniture that is traditionally used inside the home creates a slightly formal feel in a more casual setting.

Don’t be too concerned with pristine landscape, take advantage of the natural ‘décor’ around you. What could be more fitting than enjoying a meal among the fallen leaves that make the season so beautiful.

Décor for entertaining outdoors

The beauty of this concept is that most of the décor is taken care of by mother nature. For the tabletop, fresh flowers are a must…consider selecting something unexpected. Blooms that offer a contrast against the natural landscape create a focal accent. Here we used various sizes of the same glass vessels for assorted heights while keeping a consistent look. We chose pops of purple wildflower-like flowers. Instead of mixing the flowers in all of the vases, we grouped each flower type in it’s own basin for a more graphic touch.

Mixing Materials

In our design work, we love how mixed materials create interest to a space, this philosophy is true for tablescapes as well. Here we show brass, silver, and mercury metal tones mixed with organic elements like French linens, handmade pottery, and recycled glassware creating a causal yet polished composition.

A collection of vintage brass candlesticks adds a classic elegance and of course the source on an important ambience element. No matter the time of day that your holiday entertaining will take place, a candle glow is a welcome addition to the experience of dining outdoors.

Keep things simple

Stick with a minimal color pallet and use multiples of the same pieces to keep things simple yet interesting. Layer extra dishes to add subtle dimension and substance to each place setting. Forgo any excess of linens, instead stick with simple cloth napkins as the primary textile on the table. An added bonus, less fabric allows for more worry free dining experience. No need to worry about a spill and the makes meal cleanup a breeze.

Toasty Additions

A key to holiday entertaining is making everyone feel at home, this can be achieved even when dining outdoors. Have blankets available for guests to drape over themselves while dining. Light a fire nearby in a fire pit or chimenea to offer elements that have a cozy feel.


Shop the Look

Everything you see in these images is available in the T&C Mercantile shop. We are still working on our online shopping site. In the meantime, our retail shop is open daily through the holiday season for in person and virtual shopping experiences. View Shop Hours

Please follow us on our social media accounts to keep up to date with new products and to purchase remotely.

T&C Mercantile – Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Not sure what to get mom this year? We have you covered with gifts ranging in price points, locally made and pre-designed gift sets. We put together some of our favorite items in the shop that we think any mom would be lucky to receive this Mother’s Day.

Gifts for $25 or less:

Gifts for $50

*Linen tea towel color options below

Sets ready to gift

Chef Mom Gift Set – $75

Chef Mom Set Includes •Linen Dish Towel – Color Choice shown below • Long Beach Island’s Cookbook – Feed Your Mind • Natural Acacia cutting board Burlap fold-able bucket-tote

Gardener Mom Set – $75

Gardener Mom Set Includes •Stainless Steel and Ash Wood Garden Snips •Set of 4 Slate Tags with Chalk to mark your plants •Organic Herb Packet with Biodegradable pot

*Herb choices include: Dark Green Italian Parsley, English Lavender, Chives, Sweet Basil, Arugula, White Scallion, and Thyme

Pamper Mom Set – $100

Oak Moss and Coconut fragrance enamors the senses, with rich notes of Coconut, the earthy essence of Oak Moss and the warm sweetness of ripe Mulberry.

Set Includes Jaboneria Marianella luxurious Candle and Body Cream set in small natural Dough Bowl

Linen Towel Color Options:

A. White with grey multi-size stripes

B. Kahki with black window grid

C. Natural with Black thin stripes

D. White with Black thin stripes

Call the showroom 732-345-1441 or email us at [email protected] to purchase.

We are offering curbside pick up, local doorstep drop offs, and shipping on all purchases. Purchase by Monday, May 4 for shipping orders to be sure it makes it there by Mother’s Day.

Welcome

Welcome to our blog. With the launch of our new website we wanted to start fresh with the blog and give you a little insight into what you can expect to see when you visit this page.

Our blog will serve as a journal of sorts, where you will learn more about who we are and what we are up to.

Some of what you will find here:

  • Behind the scenes information on design projects so you can get a glimpse into how we work.
  • Project spotlights where we will share more in depth details of the process.
  • News and Events – this is where you can find details on events we host in the showroom and attend in the community.
  • Product features – we will keep you up to date when we receive new design products and home accessories
  • Inspiration – as designers we thrive on inspiration and believe that by sharing it, it encourages more creativity. So we will be letting you in on what is keeping us creative.

We hope you will find your way back often to catch up with us and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we have new posts!