It’s always fascinating how social changes can affect the way we want to live and use the space in our homes. One of the most noticeable changes in recent decades has been the shift from separate kitchens to a preference for open-plan layouts. While cooking used to be confined to a space that was isolated from social activities, time in the kitchen is now seen as one of the social highlights of home life. With new preferences that blur the line between cooking and living spaces, the kitchen island has developed into a much desired and loved part of every spacious or open-plan kitchen.
“We like to mix modern pieces with the beautiful old things we’ve inherited from our French family,” explain Cristina Sciarra and Paul Pinier of their joint decorating style. After meeting in Madrid eight years ago, the couple have lived together in Paris and Brooklyn before purchasing this Jersey City, NJ townhouse apartment. While Cristina works in real estate development, authors the food blog The Roaming Kitchen, and moonlights as a recipe developer and food photographer, Paul works for a French software company with headquarters in Manhattan. They both love to travel, and displaying memories from their worldly adventures takes precedence in the first home they own together
Settled in for about a year, they originally didn’t love the bathrooms, but decided against renovating them. They’re perfectly functional, and they wanted to put their renovation money toward something they’d enjoy more, like brightening the walls and kitchen countertops. Warm modern forms and neutral tones shape the central aesthetic, interspersed with generous pops of color, playful patterns, and expertly-arranged decorative groupings. Despite her decorating prowess, Cristina is firmly function-oriented — unless a piece has a story behind it, it should be useful. She’s not interested in ornaments that don’t serve a purpose, even if that’s just to remind herself and Paul of the journey they took toward finding this home. “After so much searching, we found a place that is ours, to decorate as we please.”