An Asbury Park Victorian Gets a ‘Really Fun’ Face-Lift

In 2007, after most of the work was completed, they welcomed the arrival of their son, Owen, now 14. A few years later, they added a Victorian bulldog, Watson, to the mix. And as they started to entertain more, the 1,800-square-foot home they had lovingly renovated started to feel a little small.

So when they saw an offer in 2016 for a 4,000-square-foot, three-story, 1891 clapboard house with a 1,200-square-foot detached guest house in the back, they decided to buy it and eventually sell their first home. The price of the new house, after a bidding war, was $600,000.

Their new old home had been restored by the previous owners and much of the original woodwork was intact. The couple loved the period details, but the interior was a Victorian time capsule—with a floor plan punctuated by small, dark rooms—and didn’t feel right for their family. That was doubly true for Mr. Berman, whose company is known for designing sleek modernist spaces.

To renovate it, they planned to keep as many original details as possible, while opening up the house to create a relaxed, cozy atmosphere full of playful, unexpected finishes. “For us, it was an opportunity to celebrate many of the classic details, but give them a facelift,” said Mr Berman. “We wanted this house to be really nice.”

In the front part of the house, they left most of the architecture intact, but changed their personality with new finishes, fixtures and colors. A ribbon of yellow paint now leads up the front stairs, rises past the front door and wraps back across the porch ceiling. In a game room right off the foyer, they bleached and papered the wood floors to resemble wood paneling and a woven bamboo pendant light over a walnut ping-pong table with a leather net.


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