A place where style, camaraderie, and magic exist

Linda Leuzzi
Posted 6/6/24

Colorful, arresting collections peek out from walls, nooks and crannies at Pamela Lerner Home & Design.

They yell, “Yoo! Hoo! Come closer!”

During a recent visit, the …

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A place where style, camaraderie, and magic exist


Colorful, arresting collections peek out from walls, nooks and crannies at Pamela Lerner Home & Design.

They yell, “Yoo! Hoo! Come closer!”

During a recent visit, the stunning artisan-crafted table, with its top revealing a mythical jungle cat prowling past palm fronds, called for a double take.

Is it a tiger or a leopard? Who knows?

It’s nestled near a beautiful, huge wood turtle capturing its ancient DNA, sculpted by John DiNaro.

Beloved Ken Budny’s large-scale bird carvings are in the next room, as are Isabella Rossellini’s expressive chickens, photographed by Patrice Casanova. Photographer Marc Baptiste’s overhead shots of the breach also made their home here.

Look! There’s a David Ebner chair, a Pinajian painting, one by Valta Us,  Susan Toplitz, and an organic piece by Jay Sylvester.

She’s featured Malcolm Morley.

Lerner is celebrating 20 years in Bellport Village. She started with Kate Carmel when they met at a Javits Convention Center design show. A kindred spirit thought bubble connected them to each other.

“Kate was dean of Parsons School of Design, an appraiser and a good one. She had a Brookhaven sign and I had a Brookhaven sign. We talked,” Lerner recalled.  “I saw the ‘For Rent’ notice on Main Street and we decided to go into business together. It was Pamela Lerner & Kate Carmel Antiques.”

The focus has since changed. Six years ago, Lerner added Mark Ellis, who designs gorgeous homes in the Hamptons, New York, and now, Palm Beach, to her team. (Check out some of his work in the window.)

Modestly priced candles, soaps, and creams on shelves, jewelry in vintage cases, colorful glasses on tables, even matches with Audrey Hepburn’s face or Coco Chanel’s sayings on their classy boxes, are arranged near gossamer scarves. 

Probably the lure, besides the beautiful merchandise, is the empathetic aura here. Amidst the items is a customer and friend, perched on a sittee or chair conversing with Lerner. Exasperating husbands or partners are discussed in whispered asides. Sometimes conversations involve a tragic, or sad, or troubling situation.

Or, there’s a happy situation.

Lerner lends a kind ear to help get that person through it. Or to laugh about it. Or to celebrate.

Bobby Sterling stops in. Mary Butler comes in to browse. Julia Binnington is a regular. And the welcome bantering begins. But Lerner also welcomes kids.

The affection is mutual; little ones hand over drawings. Homemade cookies, pies and desserts, especially from Robert and Steve and Erna, are brought in as a thank you. Other thank you’s come in.

Bellport’s Michael Cohen, a Long Island Advance Inspiration Award winner, approached Lerner outside during an interview.

“The neighborhood loves her,” he said. “What she brings to the village is absolute joy.”

“It feels like family to me,” admitted Lerner, who grew up in Carlisle, England, 10 miles from the Scottish border in an area where mansions, ancient structures, and old tended churches exist. “I have none here.”

She helps plan galas for not-for-profits like the South Country Education Foundation or the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area (she was recently honored by them). Lerner is a chamber member and a host board member of the Bellport Village Program Fund.

And wow! She sure knows how to throw a good soiree!

New exhibits of an artist’s work that she carried, like photographer Bob Kolbrunner, called for an “opening,” with champagne and hors d’oeuvres as people swirled in from the street. Sometimes, there was even a dinner outside in the courtyard or at The Bellport, a fascinating way to rub elbows with the artists and their admirers.

With the backdrop of Parisian Cecile Defforey’s paintings, gorgeous mystical images tinged with a dusting of gold that included a blonde-haired woman wearing a transparent green cape standing by a large butterfly as a barely perceptible eye peeked out, her jewelry attracted a swarm of women in the store. Some were already wearing Defforey’s pieces, crafted with brilliantly colored stones, semi-precious pearls, gold details, a lion wearing a crown.

Oh my!

It wasn’t a Manhattan event, but it was certainly local glam.

Lerner expressed her gratefulness to the community and summed up her experiences.

“I first said to my husband Tom, ‘Let’s do five years here in Bellport.’ And here we are 20 years later.” 


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