During the remodeling of the Brick House Restaurant in Wyckoff, NJ, which has been around for more than 100 years, it was important to select a material that would give the facility an upgrade, while still maintaining its original feel, according to Antonella Romano - an interior designer and President of Stone & Tile Emporium in Wyckoff, NJ - which designed and supplied the stone for this renovation project. “We needed to bring something in that would give the place a facelift without being too modern,” she said. “We used all natural stone, but we kept it sophisticated.”
Romano, who has over 25 years of experience in the stone industry, explained that the owners of the restaurant had trust in her and her design team - including Assistant Designer Renee Bauer and Drafter Mary Lou Mangam. “Our ideas were presented with a story board presentation, which is very common in hospitality design,” she said. “This gave them the ‘wow’ factor they needed to visualize the spaces as we had.”
Beginning in the upstairs ladies’ room, Romano opted for 12- x 12-inch Silver Cloud marble tiles that were employed for the bottom 4 feet of the walls. Additionally, she utilized a pencil border and chair rail with a basketweave pattern in between the chair rail. “The 12- x 12-inch tiles created a timeless and sophisticated look, but still gave the room a modern feel,” she said. “It was also cost effective to use the basketweave instead of buying a border.”
The Black Absolute material was further utilized for the vanities of this bathroom, and they feature a 4-inch skirt, braced in steel with a ½-inch bullnose for the countertops as well as a ½-inch bullnose inside the sinks.
On the main floor of the Brick House, there are two additional lavatories for the ladies and men. Romano has found that the ladies’ room on this floor happens to be a favorite of the clients and their guests. “The reason for this is because it’s done in an Ivory Premium Turkish limestone,” she said. “It’s next to the bridal suite, so I wanted it to be special.”
In addition to being favorable, the designer also explained it posed the most difficulties. “The biggest challenge was with this bathroom because there is a curved wall where the vanity is,” she said. “We had to create a pattern that would work with the curve.
The floor of this bathroom consists of a 6- x 12-inch mosaic border of the three different colored stones. “There’s a [stone] carpet in the middle and a vestibule, like in every bathroom,” said Romano, adding that this particular stone carpet is approximately 6 x 10 feet long.
Moreover, this room has a “Milano” wall border made from limestone mosaics, and the Imperial Cream limestone continues to the vanity area with a 2 ½- x 12-inch cornice on top.
In the men’s room on the main floor, Romano selected 12- x 12-inch Pistachio limestone tiles and once more went up the walls 4 feet with this material. She began with the Pistachio pencil border and then continued with several rows of a 1- x 1-inch multi-shade chiarro blend that contains different shades of green. “We used this because it’s very handsome and masculine,” said the designer. “We were also going for a safari scene in here.”
Another highlight of this bathroom is the 1 ¼-inch jade green countertop with a ½-inch bullnose on the edges and in the sinks. “We chose that color because it brings out the darkest green,” said Romano.
A grand finish
From a design perspective, Romano and her team worked on the Brick House Restaurant for 10 months - with the project being completed in February 2008. Romano explained that even prior to being hired for the job, her and her team had to deliver a presentation to the owners with CAD drawings and presentations to solidify the job.
“What we do here is different than most stone and tile suppliers,” she said. “We had a CAD drawing done to show the client what the bathroom would look like in advance.”
Romano then supervised the entire installation and delivery of the materials. “I handpicked everything and made sure it was up to par,” she said. “We also had to make sure the installers were following our drawings.”
From start to finish, the final results evidently paid off. “Several local magazines have already done articles featuring us,” said Romano. “Many customers that go there ask who did the stonework, and we’ve received many referrals. The partners that own the facility are just ecstatic.”
The Brick House Restaurant
Designer/Stone Supplier: Stone & Tile Emporium, Wyckoff, NJ