LINWOOD — Besides making people look good with his haircuts, Michael Costello, owner of Gas Up Barbershop & Shave Co. in Somers Point, finds joy in life based around his children and food.

Costello’s “Happy Places” in his 1,100-square-foot, ranch-style, single-famiy home are his children’s playroom and his dining room.

“The kids’ playroom is also our Florida room. It is a room surrounded by natural light during the day with nine large casement windows that let in the best bay breeze during the spring and summer,” said Costello, 43. “With built-in couches that also act as storage for all the toys and games, this room screams imagination on a daily basis.”

Costello and his wife, Jaime, love to listen to their children as they play, whether it be with each other or by themselves.

“We like to nap in here, watch cartoons in here, and in the summertime the girls really enjoy naming all the hummingbirds that come back each year to feed on the nectar right outside the windows,” said Costello, who has owned the barbershop for the past year.

The Costellos have lived there for 10 years. Another reason the playroom is special to them is that oldest daughter Charley was born there nine years ago in a birthing tub.

“Our second daughter (Meadow) was all set up to be born in the same way in the same room, but she was born in the bedroom instead,” Costello said.

Costello’s other “Happy Place” in his home is the dining area.

“Not only is it a place to sit down and have meals together, but also a place where the kids do their homework and ask us questions about the math that we can’t answer,” Costello said. “We have been known to complete a puzzle or two on this table as well.”

The dining room table was not purchased in a store. Costello built it as a Christmas gift for his wife two years ago at his friend’s place in Collingswood, Camden County, called The Factory.

“It’s made from a very large silver maple tree that we think is approximately 150 years old. It is a cookie cut from the tree trunk that is about 5 feet in diameter. I get a lot of pleasure in building things myself from resources that are close to home,” Costello said.

Just like the dining room table, Costello designed and built the entire Gas Up Barbershop from floor to ceiling. His vision came to life with a white rock maple reception desk, six black walnut barber stations, a barn door and six mirrors made of reclaimed barn wood from Wisconsin.

“I’ve been cutting hair for about six years now, and it’s safe to say that if I’m not at home in my ‘Happy Places’ with my family, then, I’m in my other ‘Happy Place’ at Gas Up Barbershop & Shave Co. with my work family,” Costello said.

PHOTOS of barbershop owner Michael Costello in his Linwood home

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