Bar Stools | Kitchen Pendant

While some changes were for practicality or aesthetics, others were purely for necessity. With new building codes and precedents set after Sandy, the team took multiple measures to ensure the home would be protected in the event of another storm.

“The ground level spaces in the new home are enclosed with wood-framed and shingle-finished walls that could break away with minimal damage to the construction above if the ocean decides to connect with the Bay again,” Lynch says. “Hurricane-rated windows and doors were also included in the design. Should a major storm similar to Sandy cut through Mantoloking in the future, I think this home would perform very well.”

Photo: Christin Harder

We totally agree.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Grungy sponges. Dirty refrigerator handles. Crumbs by the toaster. Oh, let us count the ways the kitchen can make us feel a little crazy.

Above all the grime, the chores, and even the outdated appliances, though, there is one kitchen challenge that tops them all: Cluttered countertops. According to a new kitchen trends survey from Houzz, the popular home remodeling site, messy work surfaces lead the pack in the "kitchen obsessions" category among the 1,700 Americans polled.

WATCH: 7 Kitchen Trends that Can Raise the Value of Your Home:

The results found that 75% of homeowners—all of whom are either planning a kitchen project, recently finished one, or are in the middle of renovations—are "obsessed with decluttering their counters."

Other high-scoring kitchen obsessions? A close cousin to decluttering, "putting things away" was cited by 66% of people as a matter of utmost importance. And third in line among survey takers is a passion for recycling—music to our ears. 

As more people look to simplify everything from their closets and desks to their morning routines, it's not surprising that the organization bug is extending into the kitchen, too.

In that vein, Houzz's survey also revealed that some of the most popular kitchen upgrades include ways to conquer crowded countertops (and cabinets and floors). Among the top items on the respondents' kitchen renovation wish lists were pull-out waste or recycling baskets (67%), cookie sheet/tray organizers (58%), revolving corner trays (44%), deep drawer organizers (42%), and pull- or swing-out trays and shelves (42%). 

While all these smart kitchen additions can hide clutter from your countertops, remember they're worthless without, you know, cleaning, too. Sigh.