One thing I love about this area is the history, charm, and craftsmanship of our houses. The mix of old and new is a constant theme among our town and our homes. While we find ways to make traditional homes with formal dining rooms more open and modern, more and more homeowners are integrating original features of their homes with modern design. Adriana Smyth of Adriana Smyth Interiors put it perfectly when she told me, she appreciates this mix of old and new because ” it makes a house feel more like a home and less like a showroom.”
I personally love that these appliances are still in working order and I wonder if our modern day refrigerators will last half as long. And while something built in 1950 may not be as energy efficient, the construction of these solid items holds up enough to give them another life. Adriana pointed out that “there’s been a huge trend in using reclaimed materials to built anything from kitchen cabinets, to dining room tables, to light fixtures. ” So now I’m kind of obsessed with this idea and even found a pinterest board of ideas, because I too own vintage appliances.
My first home in Bloomfield came with this 1940s GE refrigerator that I fell instantly in love with.
I have no idea how it ended up in the basement of my home and I am actually quite convinced our basement was built around this monster of a fridge, but it is still in working condition and makes me long for the days when products were built to last .
My latest listing, a side hall colonial in the City of Clifton (a city which borders Upper Montclair) boasts this stunning vintage range, also in working order.
I never thought I would call a home from the late 1940s “newer,” but around here they are, and many of them are full of hidden gems such as this.
We’d love to see photos of the treasures in your homes. Feel free to post them in the comments.
Getting to know the side streets and neighborhoods of Montclair is one of my favorite things about working in real estate. But my love for Stanford Place began even before my clients purchased a home there. It began years ago when my wife and I were driving home from dinner and I decided to make a right turn off Grove. We ended up back tracking when we saw a pair of large red lips hanging from the exterior of a home. We laughed and thought it was cool. We snapped photos on our phones and drove away. But it was definitely intriguing. I wondered who lived in the home and where the lips came from. So, for the Montclairians that have always wondered, I finally got some answers from one of the lovely homeowners of “the lips house.”
The owners purchased the home in 2008. The homeowner told me he enjoys life in Montclair, “especially because it’s a community that embraces diversity and celebrates creativity.” When I asked him where they got the lips, he told me, “we got the lips on a whim while browsing a store that specializes in fiberglass sculptures…. They were a lot more affordable than the life-size giraffe that first caught our eye as we were driving by.” “We like quirky accessories because they’re fun. The lips gave our home a face, transforming the 2nd floor windows into eyes. It’s like our house is watching benevolently over the street. One added bonus is that the lips make a lot of people smile. ” This is so true, I know I smile every time I drive by the home. I’ve always been an art lover and I’ve always loved the touches of art and inspiration in this town. Among the well manicured lawns and pristine homes, there are flags and scarecrows and sculptures. For every 5 homes that blend into the background, there is a home painted purple or turquoise. This is a town with personality and heart. Our town is a reflection of our community and what a beautiful place it is. I am truly grateful for “the lips” and I sincerely thank the homeowners who were creative enough to give their house a face.
In case you haven’t had the privilege of seeing them in person, here are some photographs.
One thing we all love about Montclair is it’s close proximity and easy commute to New York City, so it’s no wonder that many of it’s residents are transplants from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. And many of these transplants choose to rent homes and try out the area before they commit to the suburbs. I get a lot of questions from clients about the rental market here in town and one thing pretty much remains consistent; there usually aren’t very many rentals on the market and even fewer single family rentals. Every once in a while there are furnished and short term rentals (usually 3-6 months), like this fully furnished single family home on Grove Street that is available until the end of August.
As I’ve gotten to know and love this community I believe this may be a trend that stays consistent for years to come. First off, many of Montclair’s residents work in Manhattan for bi-coastal companies. This creates the opportunity to work and travel for long periods of time. Many residents are also in Entertainment and Journalism, which give way to a more adventurous way of living and opportunity for travel. And in order to keep their mortgage paid and their homes warm, residents are renting out their houses for the short term. Tamima Friedman, a colleague of mine at Keller Williams NJ Metro Group recently helped a client rent her condo in the Siena that is fully furnished, for over list price. Tamima said, the landlord (owner of the condo) was taking a few months to test out another city and be foot loose and fancy free. The cost of doing that and maintaining her condo was high, so she decided to see if she could rent it out for a few months and cover her costs. The family that rented it were being relocated to another city and needed a short term furnished situation while they shipped their belongings south. I also had a client last year that rented her home to a woman who needed to stay local while doing renovations to her own home.
Whether it’s a decision to stay local during a renovation or a chance to get a taste of life in Montclair, short term rentals can be a great opportunity for both landlord and tenant. It’s a wonderful way for residents who want to spread their wings to come back to this town and community they love and call home.