Deb Stern’s Kitchen Design for Dream House 2014

Lake County YMCA Dream House plans ramp up

By Jean Bonchak, The News-Herald


Deb Stern deisgn and color consultant presents her design ideas for the kitchen in the 2014 Lake County YMCA Dream House on April 7. Photo by: Duncan Scott/

Deb Stern, interior design and color consultant, presents her design ideas for the kitchen in the 2014 Lake County YMCA Dream House on April 7. Photo by: Duncan Scott/

The 2014 Lake County YMCA Dream House is making its way toward becoming one plum project.

Not only is the brownstone structure in downtown Willoughby receiving special attention for being the first of its kind in 20 years of Dream House history, designers have chosen to incorporate a variety of plum shades in their decorating schemes.

On April 7 Dream House staffers met at the YMCA in Painesville for more planning for the annual fundraiser as well as to view designers’ board presentations which displayed materials, furniture, artwork and more to be used in the 2,400-square-foot home.

PHOTOS of room designs

Project Chairman Bob Hoffman said deciding on the site in The Residences of Willoughby Pointe on the corner of Euclid and Sharpe avenues was a fortunate move because the winter’s inclement weather would have rendered construction of a more traditional home in time to meet project deadlines nearly impossible.

Buzz around the brownstone is growing.
City administrators are working closely with the Dream House team, giving it “carte blanche” to help with the project’s success, Hoffman said.

He added that Willoughby workers are painting a pedestrian crosswalk to ensure safe crossing across Euclid Avenue. And with a total of more than 300 spaces available at Willoughby-Eastlake Technical Center across the street as well as nearby lots, visitor parking shouldn’t be a problem.

Plans also are in the works for downtown eateries to provide special offers, encouraging people to stop by for lunch or dinner before or after Dream House tours.

“We’re thinking of this not just as a destination,” Hoffman said. “We’re looking at is as an event for a family or group.”
At the meeting designers were upbeat as they showed how chosen elements will mesh with and complement the overall sleek, urban design scheme.

Karen Krauss, who’s serving as co-design leader along with Kate Weaver, revealed a contemporary fabric that will be used to upholster chairs for the dining room. Designer Deb Stern will transition the fabric into her appointed space, the kitchen, by using it for draperies.

Weaver, who has lent her creativity to the project by donating several handmade pieces to past Dream Houses, said she’s excited about a series of canvas paintings as well as a mosaic and glass-framed round mirror she’s working on.
Also adding to the modern look will be a violet damask wallpaper set to be showcased in a bedroom designed by Betty Klammer.

Using ideas and some items brought back from a recent trip to California for the master bedroom and bath are Tracy Maglionico and Barbara Tortora of Sassy and Classy Designs in Concord Township.

Real Stone, a specialty indoor/outdoor product, will be used for the state-of-the-art shower. The pair also brought back lamps Tortora said they knew would fit perfectly in their room concept.
Sarah Simpson, a first-time Dream House designer, wowed her peers with the edgy look she’ll be applying to one of three bedrooms.

Simpson noted that a metal structure is being welded for a custom bed frame and artwork using vintage hubcaps will be featured. Serving as a window treatment will be a unique piece constructed with woven faux leather and a series of chains.
“It’s a brownstone and I wanted to keep with the industrial edge,” Simpson said.

After the presentation Krauss said Simpson’s room “is a style we’ve never had before. It’s perfect.”

Along with the home base price of $329,975 before the furnishings, a car donated by Chevrolet Network/Classic Chevrolet Mentor will be an additional prize for the fundraiser.
The Dream House will be open for tours beginning June 21. Ticket information will be available soon.

For details on the YMCA, visit