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Create more space and style

Contemporary apartment home makeover

Created date

September 25th, 2012

No strangers to moving, Bill and Arlene Fritz know how to turn a house into a home. Originally from New Jersey, the couple relocated frequently for Bill s job. They learned exactly what to look for and how to transform any space into their ideal home. This past March, they put an end to relocating and moved to Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., where they plan to stay. Before moving in, they worked with an interior decorator to bring all the elements they love to their new apartment home.

Practice makes perfect

Bill and Arlene chose a two-bedroom, two-bath Lancaster-style apartment home, which also features a sunroom. They worked with interior designer Cheryl Fiolek and project manager Karla Dierdach to customize their new home. We had done a lot of the same things in our other homes, Arlene says. Dierdach visited their condo in Long Branch before they began planning, which took nearly two months. She noted details such as custom closets, pocket doors, and mirrored doors touches that create more space. We [replicated] everything after our condo in Long Branch, Arlene says.

Custom touches

The Fritzes customized nearly every room in their new home. First, they removed a wall between the kitchen and sunroom to create a more open flow. Then, they had another counter and cabinet installed and changed all countertops to granite a mix of gray, black, and blue. Seabrook had previously installed new white cabinets, so Arlene and Bill upgraded their appliances and chose all black to contrast against the white cabinets and white tile floor. There s nothing I don t like, Arlene says. In their master bedroom, they installed pocket doors and custom closets. In their second bedroom, which doubles as a den and guest room, they installed built-in bookcases and a workspace countertop. Their guest bathroom also got a makeover. We pulled out the bathtub and installed a modern stand-up shower, Arlene says. We also installed a linen closet with the extra space we gained by removing the tub. Other details include upgraded ceiling lights, larger washer and drier, and mirrored doors. And their piece de resistance: a surround sound system which allows these two music lovers to listen to show tunes and instrumental music no matter what room they re in. We love all the upgrades, Bill says, especially the sound system.

Excellent assistance

Bill and Arlene praise Dierdach and Fiolek for their expertise and assistance. We picked out things, and [Dierdach] followed through. She managed the whole project, Arlene says. Seabrook works with Dierdach and Fiolek whenever new community members want to make changes to their apartment home, including appliance upgrades, flooring, drapes and blinds, or even structural changes like in the Fritzes home. Cheryl Fiolek, the interior designer who did their apartment, has been working with many of our residents for over 14 years, says Sales Associate Angela Garofolo. Their Lancaster upgrades are nice very contemporary. Aside from decorating, the Fritzes also worked with Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson to determine what furniture would fit in their new home. We brought almost all our furniture from our old condo, Arlene says. We bought a buffet cabinet and two curio cabinets and new furniture for the guest room and sunroom. As part of Erickson Realty and Moving Services, Williamson s services are complimentary for people moving to Seabrook. She also can recommend trusted professionals such as real estate agents, moving companies, stagers, and other moving resources. Laurie coordinated our move. We knew what we had to get rid of and what we had to buy so everything would fit, Bill says.

Outside their home

With all their renovations completed before they moved in, Bill and Arlene jumped into life at Seabrook. We chose Seabrook for its campus style, and it has so many activities. You have a choice to participate or not, Bill says. As someone who has always been active in his community, wherever that has been, Bill plans to get involved with the resident advisory council. Bill and Arlene have started ballroom dancing and enjoy spending time with their three children and seven grandchildren, who live scattered across the country. Best of all, Bill says, We didn t have to give up anything.