Hoboken is one of the most thriving cities in New Jersey — as well as taking claim as the birth place of legendary singer and Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra. Located on the Hudson Waterfront, with trendy restaurants on every corner and nightlife comparable to that of its New York City counterpart, the developing city has a lot to offer its residents.

Many apartment complexes now populate city blocks for young commuters, but there is still a contingent of century-old brownstones occupied by longtime residents, which are scattered around the area. For one couple from North Carolina that was looking to relocate back to Hoboken, they enlisted the assistance of a local interior designer to modernize the kitchen of a 125-year-old brownstone, while maintaining the home’s historic touches.

“The home had great bones,” said Michele Alfano, principal of Michele Alfano Design in Montebello, NY, who collaborated with the owners while they were still in North Carolina to complete the project in time for their arrival. “I lovingly introduced tin metal which brought a sophisticated and historic detailing to the kitchen. It not only honored the personality of Victorian homes in the late 1800s, but also created an architectural focal point in this kitchen space.”

The tin was recessed into the sheetrock ceiling directly over the island and in line with the pantry. “Recessed ceiling lighting, under-cabinet lighting and modern pendants drop from the geometric tin ceiling over the island,” the designer explained. “Opening up the back wall with a large span of windows was a key to the design. Views of their garden with tons of natural light pour into their space, making it feel larger.”

Alfano paired the darker patterned material on the ceiling with other neutral-toned materials for the kitchen design. Approximately 50 square feet of Neolith Estatuario was utilized to craft a lengthy island countertop, with a 2-inch waterfall edge that lends durable appeal, and another 30 square feet was used for the backsplash.

Complementing the ceiling and island, Alfano chose Caesarstone in the color “Concrete” for the perimeter countertop. The piece was fabricated from roughly 35 square feet. “The honed gray perimeter counter, in combination with the polished Neolith, makes a statement,” said Alfano. “The crisp lines of the island’s waterfall stone edge swirl with attention.”

The project only took four months to complete, and the couple is beyond excited with their new space. “Family and friends are blown away,” said Alfano. “They notice the mix of modern with classic touches. It is the jewel box of the house.”

Private residence

Hoboken, NJ

Designer: Michele Alfano Design of Montebello, NY
Stone Fabricator/Installer: Faithful Countertops of Paterson, NJ
Material Suppliers: Caeserstone of Perth Amboy, NJ (quartz surfacing in “Concrete” for perimeter countertop); TheSize of Castellon, Spain (Neolith in Estatuario for island countertop)
Additional Suppliers: Blanco of Lumberton, NJ (Silgranit sink); Grohe of Hemer, Germany (faucet); Five Star Millwork of Pearl River, NY (cabinetry); Top Knobs and Pulls of Baltimore, MD (Somerset collection); Visual Comfort of Houston, TX (E.F. Chapman Easterly collection)