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Tom and Diane Crowley
05/01/2011 - By Michael Berman
Photography by AK Photo / Al Kruper
A family’s seashore tradition becomes a full time lifestyle
Tom and Diane Crowley of Spring Lake both have a strong connection to the Jersey Shore. Diane’s family owned a house in Sea Girt for many years and Tom’s family purchased a three bedroom Dutch colonial on a double lot in Spring Lake in 1967. Tom and Diane met in 1972 and raised their three children, Brigid, Devin and Meagan, in the historic North Jersey town of Montclair. The circa 1860 Federal they called home for 30 years was a formal affair with vintage style and served the family well as the children and family grew.When the time came to decide whether to sell the Spring Lake property or to expand the 1930s era Dutch Colonial, with so many beautiful memories attached to it, the decision was not that difficult to make. Also, the Crowleys realized that Spring Lake was calling to them as a year round place to call home. The focus of the renovation quickly became a classical approach to a family friendly design. The architecture of Spring Lake is legendary on the Jersey Shore and the Crowley’s home fits right in with the many historic and newly constructed masterpieces of sea shore style colonials.
The Crowley’s vision was realized through the talented help of designer Steve Gassert and architect Mike Monroe as well as George Gonis of Continental Construction. The somewhat humble 1930s Dutch Colonial has been transformed into a 6,000 square foot six bedroom, three story shingle style masterpiece. The resulting home, and garage with one bedroom apartment above, looks as if they have been there since Spring Lake was founded during the “Gilded Age.”
The Crowleys moved down to Spring Lake full time in 2007 and have never looked back. The family continues to grow; their 19 month old granddaughter Elizabeth is enjoying the ocean breezes much as both families have for over 40 years. The Crowleys could not be happier and are proud to call Spring Lake their new, old, full time family home.
The Crowley’s seaside, shingled, Shangrila is a wonderful combination of quality materials and inspired design. The craftsmanship is first rate and the well balanced architecture works beautifully.The wraparound porch with mahogany deck and wide mahogany front door, announce to the world that this is a home to kick back and relax in.The view from the third floor of the Atlantic Ocean is truly magnificent.
Everything about the Crowley’s newly constructed family home is about comfort and family.They truly see their new home as a place to enjoy their memories of the past as well as make new memories, four seasons a year.Their family and friends love to visit, to share the classic charms of Spring Lake and beach living.The furnishings are mostly new, although some family pieces and furnishings from Montclair have come with them.The custom, stained glass sidelight featuring a Claddagh ring design is a nod to both Diane and Tom’s Irish roots.
Color and pattern combine in a cheerful play against light filled living spaces.The dining room and living room both exemplify comfortable living and welcome any beach goer to take a nap near the traditional hearth. Elements of space and proportion remain from the original 1930s house and have seamlessly been integrated into the new construction.The kitchen is a gourmet lovers dream. Granite counters and brushed nickel fixtures, along with a tumbled marble backsplash and custom painted mural on tile behind the commercial stove all give this home a friendly and classic feel. There is plenty of room for wine and beverages to be stored and properly chilled for guests to enjoy whenever the doorbell rings.The warmth and welcoming nature of the Crowley family can be felt everywhere in their new home.
The Crowley’s home has six well-used bedrooms to welcome friends and family for overnight visits. Diane chose furnishings that are soft and colors that are warm and playful. Large windows allow ocean breezes to enter and be enjoyed year round.The adjustable and decorative interior shutters by Plantation Shutters ofMonmouth Beach are the perfect choice for this elegant home. Tom and Diane have a spacious master bedroom to relax in after a busy day at the beachwith family and friends.
The built in shelves and fireplace mantel are just the perfect details to create a cozy atmosphere in this private sanctuary.The master bath features a granite surround sunken tub and plenty of windows to let the natural light bathe this intimate space.
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