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N.J. home makeover: $60K to modernize the master suite

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N.J. home makeover: Linwood master bedroom
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N.J. home makeover is a regular feature on NJ.com. To submit your renovation for consideration, email home@starledger.com with your full name, email address, phone number and town/city. Attach "before" and "after" photos of what you renovated.


The master suite of a Linwood home was painted a soft yellow with crisp, but imposing white crown molding, a four-post bed and other period furnishings.

Mark Lippman, the owner, decided it was time to refresh his six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom home of 15 years, and he wanted to make his bedroom more comfortable and more contemporary.

"I was tired of living in the 18th century," he said with a laugh. "In a lot of the rooms, I am transitioning to something that's a little more my taste."

He describes his 1975 home as "a large, rambling quasi-Cape Cod" with characteristic early American architecture. The bedroom and other areas had originally been outfitted to complement it.

Lippman, who works in the finance industy, travels between offices in New Jersey and Manhattan. He needed assistance and guidance to update his bedroom as he envisioned. So he hired Atlantic County interior designer Jennifer Busler.

"I pretty much laid out what I wanted, and she would bring choices," Lippman said.

With Busler's help, the $60,000 bedroom makeover would result in a space that is more relaxing, more convenient and more up to date.

The first change was the room's color. Yellow is almost always bright and mentally stimulating. So, as a backdrop for the new design, the bedroom was painted in Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl.

"I lightened it by 50 percent, so it's just a little softer," Busler said.

Next the furniture.

"He wanted to incorporate an emerald green to make it little more relaxing," she said.

He also wanted a bed with an upholstered headboard. They chose velvet fabric from Schumacher to cover the custom headboard and the base of the new platform bed.

"We found the green he liked for the bed and made the selections for the rest of the room off that," Busler said.

To complement the green, a palate of mostly grays was selected. The pattern of a hand-knotted wool rug from Loloi pulls together all the room's color with green, gray, blues and browns. A sleek gray chaise replaced a chair and ottoman that had helped create a reading nook.

"There were three dressers before," Busler said. "We streamlined and made it one larger dresser." The long chest of drawers has crossed metal bands anchoring its six legs for a more contemporary take.

Part of the challenge for Busler was marrying the more contemporary look Lippman wanted with his 3,500-square-foot home's style and numerous antiques. She managed the challenge by opting for quiet changes that helped blend the two.

In a spacious 350-square-foot bedroom with a gas fireplace, Lippman kept the original oak floors that had been protected by a large rug. The mantel around the fireplace, with its dentil molding also would remain.

"Dentil molding is very traditional," she said. For a transitional effect, they refreshed the mantel with a a creamy white and updated the fireplace surround. The tile around the fireplace was replaced by a more contemporary stone veneer. Honed marble was used for the new hearth.

A candelabra-style chandelier at the room's center and recessed ceiling lights that had been installed only around the perimeter were replaced by more evenly distributed LED fixtures. The room also was rewired for remote control.

"We ended up doing Hunter Douglas Alustra motorized woven shades on all the windows," Busler said. Both the shades and the room's lights are now operated by keypads.

"If I'm in bed, I'm not even reaching to turn off the lamp," Lippman says. "It's the epitome of lazy."

Joking aside, the room now gives him convenieces such as pull-out trays from his bedside nightstands to hold reading material or his iPad.

The room still has the same 36-inch, flat-screen television. It's the only thing Lippman would change.

"I never watch TV in my bedroom," he said. "I might have gotten rid of the TV or put a bigger one in just for scale."

One of the things he likes most about his updated master suite is how Busler handled his artwork. He owns several 19th century watercolors by Atlantic City painter George Emerik Essig that depict New Jersey seascapes and meadow scenes.

"She did a great job with chosing the matting and the framing, leaving the character but giving them a little more contemporary look to complement the room, Lippman said.

Busler said her approach was to pull colors from the art, but subtle ones. "I tried to get more of the light blues, light greens and light grays to bring out those colors in the artwork," she said. "Then I tried to keep it pretty clean with the selections for the frames so they were not too ornate. We just brought the art up to date to be able to fit it into a room for today."

What he renovated

The master suite of a 1975 Cape Cod-style home

Who did the work

Jennifer Busler Interiors of Ventnor, Atlantic County and hired contractors

How long it took

From Oct. 1, 2017 to Jan. 20, 2018

How much it cost

$60,000

Where he spluged

New LED recessed lighting and furniture

How he saved

He kept the room's original flooring, the original fireplace mantle and the original television

What he likes most

"It's bright, it's comfortable and it feels like home," Lippman said.

What he'd have done differently

Nothing. "I'm pleased with the end result," he said.

Source : http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/04/nj_home_makeover_linwood_master_suite.html

N.J. home makeover: $60K to modernize the master suite
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