From the February/March 2011 Issue:

Recipe for Success

    Writer: Meg Fox | Photographer: Peter Rymwid | Designers: Peter Salerno Inc. and Diane Durocher Interiors Inc. |

A masterful mix of materials captures the essence of this award-winning kitchen

Article Photo
enlarge | The range’s focal-point status is achieved with an architecturally impressive hearth, eye-catching mantel and elegant detailing. Double-crossed mullion doors on both sides elevate the point of interest along with functional pot drawers and spice rack pullouts.
Taking a large, open space and making it feel comfortable, warm and welcoming was the challenge behind this Far Hills kitchen, which earned first place in the large kitchen category of the 2010 National Kitchen and Bath Association’s design competition.

“The use of two cabinet materials was an important part of adding warmth,” says Peter Salerno, a certified master kitchen and bath designer who co-designed the project with Diane Durocher, a certified interior designer and professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Surrounding the perimeter of the room with linen white cabinets in a chocolate glaze also assured a bright cheerful space. The two cherry islands—stained light mahogany with a walnut glaze—were designed to be freestanding furniture pieces.

Homeowners Chris and Tim Sompolski use them as buffet stations, a breakfast/lunch bar and for meal preparation. The islands also provide “a lot of room to bake during the holidays and tons of storage,” Chris Sompolski adds. One island houses a wine cooler, bookshelves for her extensive cookbook collection and a pullout microwave drawer. The other contains a large prep sink and a second dishwasher. “Having my Wolf range at one end of the islands and my main large farm sink at the other end completes the total meal prep center,” she says.

Article Photo
enlarge | The soffit/canopy above the islands echoes their shape and illuminates the prep zone with dimmer-controlled task and ambient lighting. “Swivel counter stools are ample in size and upholstered in a fabric that is durable and elegant,” designer Diane Durocher says. A Sub-Zero refrigerator is located on one side of the doorway, while a companion Sub-Zero freezer is located on the other.
Pulling it Together
A soffit/canopy echoes the shape of the islands below it and features halogen lights set on dimmers for additional task and ambient lighting. The canopy molding, painted and glazed to match the creamy cabinetry, pulls the work zone together while framing a custom chandelier. Countertops were selected to complement both cabinet materials: Jerusalem Sand CaesarStone along the perimeter and Rio Gold granite on the double islands.

“The glazed porcelain tile backsplash detail above the cooktop unites the stunning mantel hood, creating a beautiful focal point,” Durocher says. The mantel may well be one of Chris Sompolski’s favorite features of the kitchen. “I love to decorate it during the holidays,” she says. “It makes the room feel comfortable, warm and cozy.” Extending the hearth to the ceiling and using double crossed mullion doors on both sides elevates the point of interest.

Article Photo
enlarge | A built-in television to the left of a desk (not shown) faces the work zone. “As a Food Network junkie, I’m able to cook along with Giada De Laurentiis and The Barefoot Contessa to my heart’s content,” homeowner Chris Sompolski says.
Cozy Quarters
Limestone floors laid in a random pattern suit the expansive space. “We have radiant heat under the stone floor, which is heavenly,” Chris Sompolski says. “My dog, Bijoux, sprawls out and watches me prepare meals, all the while soaking up the warmth of the floors.”

Next to the wife’s “command central” desk is a built-in television that conveniently faces the kitchen’s work zone. “As a Food Network junkie, I’m able to cook along with Giada De Laurentiis and The Barefoot Contessa to my heart’s content,” she says.

A winner by NKBA standards, this kitchen also scored big in the eyes of the homeowners. “My kitchen is meant to be lived in and enjoyed, and that’s exactly what I do,” Sompolski says.


Design of layout, cabinetry, lighting and soffit, Peter Salerno Inc. in Wyckoff; selection of flooring, backsplash, countertops, window treatments, lighting and other accessories, Diane Durocher Interiors Inc. in Ramsey; maple cabinetry, Craft-Maid through Peter Salerno Inc.; architectural millwork including soffit/canopy, Jack Wright of John Wright Designs LLC in Flemington; Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, Wolf oven, cooktop and warming drawers, Best hood, Miele dishwasher and coffeemaker, Dacor microwave oven), Oberg & Lindquist in Westwood; Rio Gold granite island countertops, Arena Stone in Carlstadt; Jerusalem Sand CaesarStone along perimeter, Stone Surfaces Inc. in East Rutherford; Ramon Gold limestone floor and Encore glazed porcelain tile backsplash; Mediterranean Tile & Marble in Bernardsville; cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures, Hardware Designs Inc. in Fairfield; window treatments, made with Kravet fabric by Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe in Haskell; clock and assorted accessories, The New Jersey Decorating Exchange in River Edge; counter stools, Century Furniture in Hickory, North Carolina; chandeliers and sconces, Arte de Mexico in Burbank, California; paint (Benjamin Moore Chestertown Buff, HC-9) and glaze wall treatment, PainTek Quality Painting Inc. in Dunellen.

Download the complete resource guide with contact information (pdf)