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Traditions - Monteforte
10/31/2010 - By Michael Berman
Photography by AK Photo / Al Kruper
A builders own family home stands the test of time with style
Bonnie and Frank Monteforte met while attending Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey) in the late '70s. Frank, a Jersey Boy, was raised in West Long Branch and Bonnie, a North Jersey Girl, grew up in Rockaway. After graduating with a degree in nursing, Bonnie headed to Boston to follow a job opportunity and Frank joined her. But, they both missed the Jersey Shore and returned to the Garden State a short three years later. Frank and Bonnie married in 1981, the same year Frank founded Monteforte Construction Incorporated, a contracting company dedicated to building high quality and well designed homes of distinction.The newlyweds purchased a 200 year old fixer upper on Brighton Avenue in Long Branch as their first family home and started renovating. The process took some time since Frank was building his business and paying clients needed to take precedence over his own home's renovation.Yet, in the end their historic home on Brighton served them well until they began to expand their family to include Frank and Jackie, their two children.
Bonnie and Frank began to look for a place to build a bigger, more family-friendly kind of residence to call home. It wasnt long before their search ended in Little Silver. The town had all the charm and warmth of a Norman Rockwell painting. A fantastic school system certainly helped to seal the deal. They have never regretted their move to Little Silver and are proud to have raised their children in such a wonderful town.
The young family purchased a one acre building lot, part of a small subdivision, on which to build their familys dream home. The size and shape of the lot offered many design possibilities - and Frank knew just who to call to help make his familys vision a reality. Franks brother Jim Monteforte is a licensed architect, now with offices in Ocean Township. Frank challenged his brother to make his vision a reality on paper and he would make that vision a reality in real space. Bonnie and Frank required that their family home be traditional in character, welcoming and have an open floor plan. The 7,000 square foot, five bedroom, six and one half bath traditionally- inspired result has been home to the Monteforte family in Little Silver for nearly 20 very happy years.
Bonnie and Frank enjoyed decorating their new home, but took their time in the process. They both have similar taste and chose furnishings that not only make a strong design statement, but also are comfortable to live with. The Monteforte home reflects the old design adage, form follows function. In this case, the elegantly realized traditional forms reflect quite successfully the familys penchant for comfortable and welcoming function.
The exterior of the Monteforte home combines natural materials, including brick work and stucco, with classic architectural elements such as arches, divided light windows and columns to create a balance of traditional elements in a modern home.
The landscaping, along with some interior details such as newpaint and some detailing, have undergone an upgrade in the last five years, but the overall design and quality construction throughout give this home timeless curb appeal.
The sun room is an all-season fully heated and air conditioned s pace that features terra cotta tile combined with distressed wide oak planks and a center accent tile for visual interest. The ceiling utilizes a classic bead board treatment and the wall of windows truly does bring the outside in.
A sweeping main staircase leads elegantly to the second floor of the Monteforte home. Marble flooring and a warm but neutral color scheme allows the home's architectural design to take center stage. The family great room is a large spacewhich comes in handy during the holidays when friends and family gather for a little cheer by the hearth.The designed-for-comfort furnishings' neutral colors play nicely off the deep blue of the plush, wall to wall carpeting found on the floor in the great room.
The family room and kitchen area of the Monteforte home are truly the center of this family focused residence. The cherry, built-in wall unit and glazed cabinetry were all part of the recent update of the interior space.The large, granite countertops and center island offer the perfect s pot to gather in the morning for a pot of hot coffee and the morning paper. The iron decorative wall hanging is an example of the type of unique architectural design pieces that can be found at Architectural Accents in Long Branch, a showroom and design center Frank opened to feature design concepts and services to his clients.
Frank and Bonnies daughter Jackie enjoys the softness found in her rooms furnishings and color scheme.The corner, built-in cabinet was designed and built by Frank when he was in college and fits into this room's overall design beautifully.
The master bedroom of the Monteforte home is an exquisitely designed space, with room to stretch out and relax after a busy day in the field or at the office.The gas fireplace adds just the right focal point and the seating area is surrounded by windows that let natural light flood this elegant, private sanctuary.
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