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February 2, 2015

Stone Showcase: Elm Avenue Hershey

39 Elm St

Elm Avenue in Hershey has homes that date back to the early 1900′s, making this avenue a more historic part of the town. Each home has its own unique characteristics and architecture of years gone by. No two are really alike as you will find in today’s neighborhoods. One particular home was bought with a clear intention of doing a complete interior remodel to reflect a more contemporary and functional style. Unexpectedly, the remodel was not possible and to move forward they needed to do a demolition of this historic home. While some who grew up in Hershey may have been saddened by the demolition at first glance, the exterior of the new home was designed with the nostalgia and charm of the old home in mind. The interior was designed with a more contemporary and functional style. An enlightening sign stood outside of the fenced in property, informing the community of the intentions of the builder and new home owners.

Lanie and Joe Bellissimo are settled in and loving their new home on Elm Avenue. Recently I stopped by to photograph our part in the project, which were the kitchen and bathroom countertops. I interviewed Lanie Bellisimo and here is what she had to say:

How did you come to rely on Titan Builders, who is known for their commercial design build, to spearhead this major residential undertaking?

Titan Construction had completed many remodeling projects for us at our previous residence of almost 30 years, which was a late 1800′s farmhouse. Since we had always been very happy with their work, we decided to have them take on our project when they added a residential division to their business, called Titan Builders. Titan Builders is headed by a premiere home builder, Matt Flickinger,  with a history of quality high end homes that we had seen.

Who designed the kitchen layout and what were the functions that you requested be included in that new design?

The entire home project was designed by our son, Bryan Bellissimo (Encore Architects, Seattle), with help from Syracuse classmate, David Franknecht. Bryan was responsible for the kitchen design with my specific requests in mind, and needless to say, he knows our family well! I wanted a kitchen that was the center of life in the home, with a large gas range, a prep sink, interesting light features, several eating areas and lots of granite. The unique design gave us a kitchen that was literally IN the center of the home and has quickly become the family’s favorite spot for spending time. We enjoy two beautiful granite eating counters, one counter height and one bar height, as well as a dining area for a large rectangular table. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and the kitchen design allows me to socialize and talk with folks while preparing food, which is exactly my best-loved aspect of this dream kitchen!

Were you pleased with the countertops in your kitchen?

Yes. The people from Lesher’s were knowledgeable, polite, and prompt in helping us choose and then install our wonderful countertops.

What is your favorite feature in the kitchen?

Probably my favorite specific feature is the cabinet that is called a “swing up”. It houses a big Kitchen Aid mixer on a shelf with a mechanical arm that allows me to easily pull it up to counter height for use.

What might you have done differently, if anything?

There is really nothing I would change about my kitchen; it is everything I dreamed it would be!

The granite that Lanie and Joe chose is called Delicatus White.  It is on trend, being not only a granite but a light predominately white color stone.  The surface is polished and the edge profile is an eased edge profile which lends itself nicely for a more contemporary look.  Now let’s see more of the kitchen:

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Did your bathroom design change from the old home?

We did borrow some design features from our previous master bathroom, namely the large double vanity and a spacious glass walk-in shower. The new vanity was updated with white semi vessel sinks and lovely contrasting dark granite countertops. I love the little starburst pendant lights above the vanity and the open shelves for the real contemporary feel.

Would you have done anything differently in the bathroom?

Perhaps the one thing I would change about the master bathroom is the very light tile and very light grout. Although I love the look, it presents somewhat of a maintenance issue in a shower situation.

The bathroom stone is a polished granite called Cafe Brown with an eased edge profile:

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What are some of your favorite features of your new home?

My favorite feature in our new home is our architect’s use of space and light. The large casement windows give the feeling of being outside, and the natural light they provide is amazing and uplifting! The impressive vaulted ceilings in the kitchen and foyer areas are perfectly combined with a lower tray ceiling in the living area for a cozy feel. In summary, the contrast of old and new, the sense of space and light, and the use of natural elements like wood, steel and granite give our home a “wow” factor that we will enjoy for many years to come.

Titan Builders is well accredited and known for their Commercial Construction and now is aggressively pursuing the same reputation in Residential Construction. The Bellisimo home was their first residential home that was designed from the ground up. And guess what? They won one of the most prestigious awards from the Harrisburg Home Builders Association!

Best Custom Home of the Year – $500,000 to $1 Million

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Special thanks to Lanie and Joe Bellissimo for the interview. We are so happy that you are enjoying your new home. If you are interested in any of the countertops displayed or would like to receive more information on how Lesher can help you create the kitchen or bathroom you’ve always wanted, please call us at 717-944-4431 or contact us online today!

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