The woods were lovely, dark and deep, but she had promises to keep.
Text by Marisa Sandora
Design by Julia Kleyman
Photography by Dove + Co. Studio
Laurie Gates and her husband had always enjoyed boating, so when a lot with an old house went up for sale at a good price on Green Pond in Rockaway Township, they jumped at the chance to try lake living. “We used to live in the woods, and it was beautiful, but there wasn’t a lot to do,” says Gates. “My husband thought that this house would be more fun to come home to after work.”
The Gateses soon embarked on building a new fourbedroom, Craftsman-style home on the property and hired Julia Kleyman of Ulrich Inc. in Ridgewood to design the open kitchen, dining area and living room. “The focal point is the lake, and we didn’t want to distract from the gorgeous view,” says Kleyman, “so we chose neutral colors for the Quartzite countertops and a transitional door style with clean lines for the Wood- Mode cabinets.” One of the homeowner’s priorities was concealing all of the appliances that usually sit on the countertop, so she requested appliance garages with retractable doors to hide the microwave, toaster, coffee maker and other gadgets. Now they are tucked away out of sight on either side of the cooktop. Kleyman suggested the custom-hammered copper hood to give “both a touch of modern shine and warm rusticity to the space,” she says. “We also used oil-rubbed bronze hardware and custom metal brackets in a matching finish on the island to tie it all together.”
Bi-fold glass doors blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Gates had seen them in a magazine years ago and saved the picture, and now had the perfect project in which to use them. When the doors are open, a remote-controlled screen can be lowered, essentially turning the whole house into a screened-in porch. “It gives us 12 feet of nice breeze,” she says. “We love it.”
The project took about two-and-a-half years to complete, but it was worth the wait, says Gates. Now her husband is having the fun he was looking forward to. “He water-skis at, like, 6 a.m.,” she says, laughing. “He is definitely making the most of the lake.”