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Colonial Comfy Cozy
04/26/2010 - By Michael Berman

Colonial Comfy Cozy

Photography by: AK Photo / Al Kruper

Childhood friends create a “yummy” whole house renovation in Marlboro

Stacy Berns knows how to relate to people. She started her own public relations company with offices on Madison Avenue in New York City in 2002, specializing in representing high level executives in the fashion industry. She then moved back to Marlboro, her hometown, and purchased a beautiful corner lot colonial built in 1969 that needed a little curbside appeal, public relations work of its own, by way of a major renovation. The ¾ acre corner lot offered room for her two daughters Carly and Nicole to play and the surprisingly open floor plan of the somewhat dated two story colonial had a lot of potential.

Stacy knew just the person to help her transform the slightly frog-like house into the handsome, sunlit, welcoming prince of a home that she wanted for her children and herself. Stacy had known Dawn Palmieri since they were both five years old. Dawn, owner of Dawn Palmieri Designs of  Marlboro, felt she could help Stacy transform her home into just the kind of getaway that Stacy and her daughters would love to come home to – without any risk to their decades old friendship!

The end result is a soup to nuts renovation that reflects the warm, vivacious, family oriented personality of the home’s owner and the elegant approach to a full house renovation of a talented designer that Stacy continues to call friend.


A view through the looking glass reveals a re-imagined world for the Berns family to enjoy. The mirrored wall is almost all that remains from the original home’s décor. Dawn guided Stacy to choose elegant yet inviting furnishings that reflect the family’s feminine side without being too flowery. Stacy trusted Dawn to channel her own style and taste preferences when making furniture and accessory suggestions and choices. Painted furniture and distressed wood flooring give the design approach a country, cozy, yet chic appeal. The newly installed oak handrail with iron spindles along with the stair runner adds a lot of visual interest.



The powder room downstairs and the kitchen of the Berns home have been dramatically transformed from their original state. Stacy loves to entertain - and her parents still live in Marlboro and her two sisters live in Freehold, both with three children each. Stacy says the cousins are very close and there is always some holiday or sleep over in the works, so the house is always alive with the sounds of family and friends.




The Berns home features many different faux finishing techniques that add color and texture to the entire house. The custom paint was provided by Tammi’s Interiors of Red Bank. The kitchen renovation as well as the entire home renovation was choreographed by contractor Steve Rubin of Marlboro. The kitchen features Wood-Mode cabinetry, porcelain tile floors and a full line of Viking professional appliances. The rounded solid surface counters offer a place to gather and pull up a stool to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or bowl of cereal.

The formal, yet informal living room includes an arch top fireplace, comfy sectional and a mixture of new accent pieces and family antiques creating a most welcoming and livable environment. Stacy enjoys reading and there are a number of corner niches and private places throughout the Berns home to curl up and enjoy the latest best sellers.

The Berns upstairs living area can be described as a haven and private getaway space. The girls’ rooms reflect their own personalities and Stacy’s master suite is just what the doctor ordered as a place to unwind after a hectic Madison Avenue day comes to an end.

Carly’s room reflects a flair for the dramatic with a deep red paint finish and hanging chandelier. She is a com mitted dancer and has framed performance photos decorating her walls. Nicole’s room is pretty in pink with gold accents and wall treatments that are just what the princess ordered.

Stacy’s master bedroom has undergone a transformation of majestic proportions over the four to five year renovation of the family’s home. The enlarged master bath features an oversized walk-in shower and an elegant double sink vanity painted with gold accent. A much needed large walk-in closet was created out of the bedroom space and the plush carved bed, regal paint design and hardwood flooring make this a room well worth coming home to.


Eagle OaksGrand Designs Doors, Inc.

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