Itâ€™s one of those exquisite opportunities when snooping is accepted, even encouraged. Just donâ€™t try and go past the velvet ropes. When â€œA Taste of Glen Ridge: A Gourmet Kitchen Tourâ€ gets underway this Thursday at 10 a.m., owners of eleven homes (six located on â€“ surprise! â€“ Ridgewood Avenue) will graciously allow strangers to peek inside cabinets, open utensil drawers and check the fine vintages inside wine refrigerators. You almost expect to hear the rallying cry â€“ Ladies, start your Vikings â€“ since so many of the kitchens feature professional-quality cooktops and ranges.
Although the tour focuses on kitchens, the rooms along the way have to look as good as the main course. Thatâ€™s why Diane Stathis, of D. Redding Design in Essex Fells, was on hand to assist Maureen Hausmann in â€œstagingâ€ her living and dining rooms. With new rugs still in plastic and window treatments waiting to be hung, the last-minute primping hysteria was worthy of an episode of â€œTrading Spaces.â€
The true stars of the tour are the homes. Leeâ€™s is an architectural tribute to the Arts-and-Crafts movement with woodwork galore and exposed beams. The kitchen (above) with its Mission-style cabinetry, leaded glass accents and honed granite counters, makes a seamless transition from old to new. To feast your eyes and meet the designers/contractors responsible for these high-end kitchens, stop at the hospitality center at the Glen Ridge train station on Ridgewood Ave. Tickets are $45; 100% of the proceeds will be used to benefit the Glen Ridge Public Schools. As Martha would say, “it’s a good thing.”