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Romancing the Tudor - The Haverlins Brighten Tradition with a Personal Touch
05/02/2008 - By Michael Berman

Romancing the Tudor - The Haverlins Brighten Tradition with a Personal Touch

Classic Tudor details greet all visitors who enter the Haverlin home

Carolyn and Robert Haverlin have created a warm and inviting home for their family and can now sit back and enjoy the many changes they have made to their house over the past 10 years.

     Carolyn and Robert Haverlin have created a warm and inviting home for their family and can now sit back and enjoy the many changes they have made to their house over the past 10 years. The Haverlins first met as children; Carolyn and Robert had lived on the same block in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, and they started dating when Carolyn was 16 years old. They both attended St. John’s University in New York, and were married in 1990.  Carolyn and Robert considered following other family members over the bridge to Staten Island, but instead they chose Holmdel after Robert, a stockbroker, kept hearing from people he worked with how nice Monmouth County was. They responded well to the family-friendly atmosphere here, and the school system has been a great place for their two daughters, Rebecca and Lauren, to grow up in.  The search for their new family home led the Haverlins to a 25-year-old classic Tudor-style house in one of Holmdel’s many family- oriented neighborhoods. Carolyn responded to the “cozy warmth and nice open floor plan,” which were perfect for entertaining family and friends.  They moved into their 3,250-square-foot home in 1997, and have been renovating and decorating ever since.  Carolyn remembers the house being dark inside (which is typical in Tudors) so she approached the brightening-up process with a sense of adventure. Their home now features custom moldings, renovated bathrooms, and warm and inviting colors that please both the eye and the spirit. The Haverlins are an active family who enjoy playing tennis and traveling together. Their recent travels took them to Park City, Utah, on a group skiing trip, but even after busy and joyful family outings they look forward to returning to Holmdel and to their untraditional traditional Tudor.


The Habersham-painted furniture was one of the first design elements that Carolyn used to form her later decisions when it came to color and ornamentation. One of the first major renovation projects was the fireplace mantel and surround. The original was   dark and heavy in tone, with brick and wood trim. The complete transformation has made this space much lighter in both color and character.  The romantic and brightly colored Royo painting above the mantel is another favorite addition and the first in a collection of Royo works that help accent many rooms in the Haverlin home. Carolyn’s fondness for the color blue can be seen in many of the interior spaces; as a painter she hired had commented, she “needed to include a blue in every room.”

Classic Tudor details greet all visitors who enter the Haverlin home. The front entrance includes brick and an arch detail surround for the front door, stucco, and darkly stained trim boards, applied in the classic Tudor pattern and combined to achieve the classic romance of the Tudor style.


 The dining room is a formal space, allowing for large gatherings of friends and family or can serve as the perfect spot for an intimate dinner for two. The room’s details include a banded flame mahogany table with Chippendale-style chairs and an English-style breakfront. The   decorative moldings add dimension to the room, and also serve to frame a variety of art pieces on display. The rich, historic hue that adorns the walls is a beautiful counterpoint to the warm red that radiates from the mahogany furniture.


The office/game room is truly Robert’s getaway. He finds it easy to relax here, surrounded by his sports collectables, including autographed memorabilia from Cal Ripken, one of his all-time favorite players. The English-inspired room features oversized, leather-upholstered furniture, darkly stained raised panel wainscoting, and a humidor filled with cigars. The round table, known as a high-low table, serves a double function – it is capable of being raised for  hosting a card game, or it can remain low to allow for easy access to a glass of wine.

Letting the sunshine in was one of Carolyn’s main goals. The attached sunroom has an ample amount of skylights and walls of windows to accomplish this. Carolyn loves to garden, a gift and interest she inherited from her father, who still helps her cultivate beauty and color from the good earth. The backyard is full of horticultural wonders on the brink of blooming. Keeping the look light and inviting spills over into the private areas of the Haverlin home. The soaking tub in the master bath is bathed in sunlight that streams in from the skylight above.

The wine cellar construction took place about 4 years ago. Robert has long had a passion for the fruit of the vine that he now shares with family and friends in this very unique room.  A special refrigeration system was installed, as well as a mahogany cubicle storage system with a counter available for inspecting or cataloging a bottle or two. Carolyn, a passionate Italian cook, is currently learning about food pairings – the art of knowing what foods go best with what wines. She believes the family that dines together and connects after a busy day is the kind of family that remains close throughout the many journeys life has in store.

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