An Asbury Park Victorian Gets a ‘Really Fun’ Face-Lift

The playful renovation kept many of the original details intact, but emphasised carefree weekend living. “It was very rundown, and you really had the to see through all of the grit,” stated Mr. Mumma (56), a high school teacher. There was no restaurant on the boardwalk. Everything was boarded up.”ImageMatt Berman, left, and Jim Mumma bought and renovated an 1891 house in Asbury Park, N.J., accessorizing it with unexpected details like the yellow stripe that wraps around the entrance.Credit…Read McKendreeBut they saw the silver linings. They found the silver linings. They purchased a dilapidated house with holes in the floor that was then reconstructed into three apartments for $250,000. They went to Home Depot 17 times per day. There were also periods when there was no working plumbing so they would go to Costco to use the bathrooms. “But it was a community, so we’d see all our friends at Home Depot. Everyone was doing the same thing.” ImageAll of it was done by Walter Myers. They added Watson, a Victorian bulldog to their mix a few years later. They began entertaining more and the 1,800-square foot house they had lovingly renovated became a little cramped. So in 2016, they saw a listing for an 1891-built, three-story, shingled house with a detached 1,200-square foot guesthouse. After a bidding war, they decided to purchase it. After a bidding war, the new house was sold for $600,000. The previous owners had restored the house and most of the original woodwork was still intact. Although the couple loved the historical details, the interior was a Victorian time capsule with a broken-up floor plan and small, dark rooms that didn’t feel right for them. This was doubly true for Mr. Berman whose firm is known to design modernist spaces with clean lines. They wanted to keep as many of the original details intact while opening up the house to create an open, friendly atmosphere filled with unexpected finishes and playful touches. Mr. Berman stated that the renovation was a chance to preserve many of the traditional details and give them a facelift. “We wanted this house be fun.” The front of the house was left unchanged by the original architecture, but the interior was updated with new fixtures, colors, and finishes. A yellow ribbon of paint runs up the front steps and continues to the porch ceiling. The foyer has a games room that was bleached and covered with yellow paint. A woven-bamboo suspension light and a walnut Ping-Pong table are arranged above the front door. This table is custom-made by Cleveland Art. The seating is a mix of Wishbone chairs by Hans J. Wegner (from $620 each) and custom benches.Credit…Read McKendreeTo brighten the stairwell leading to the second floor, they hired Walter Myers, a local painter, to cover the walls in a geometric mural with angular swaths of dark teal, mustard yellow and aqua blue.In the back of the house, which was a later addition, they made bigger architectural changes, demolishing most of the interior walls and blowing out the rear wall to create an airy kitchen and living room terminating in a wall of glass sliders that look out to a new pool and patio.On the second floor, they combined two bedrooms to make a large primary suite with a bathroom that has a glass-box shower at the center and a black-and-white floral mural painted by Mr. Myers wrapping the walls. They converted another bedroom from the primary suite to a home office, which reduced the total number of bedrooms to six, while still having plenty of space for guests (even though they rent out the detached guesthouse). “Then, we moved in, as most people do, but were still living in finishing up construction towards the end,” Mr. Berman stated. The project was completed in early 2018. The pool and landscaping were added in the summer and fall. The transformation cost approximately $800,000.Image The backyard now has a new terraced garden and pool. The Lollygagger Adirondack-style Loll chairs cost $548 each. The pieces include a 12-person dining room table with a steel top, two wooden benches for the table, and concrete desk with metal side tables. “So everything was done in a bulletproof manner, especially on the ground level.” Mr. Berman said. “That’s the reality of having art in your hallway.” Subscribe here to receive weekly email updates about residential real estate news. Follow us on Twitter at @nytrealestate