A clas­sic mod­ern beach house blos­soms into the per­fect space for a young fam­ily


When de­struc­tive Hur­ri­cane Sandy came bar­relling up the eastern U.S. seaboard in 2012, a young fam­ily’s Bay Head, New Jer­sey, beach house suf­fered crit­i­cal dam­age. The New York-based fam­ily had owned the dwelling for only one month – and had spent only two week­ends there. They were dev­as­tated, but de­ter­mined to re­turn it to its for­mer glory so they could start build­ing new sunkissed me­mories. En­ter a trusted re­source with whom the fam­ily was al­ready fa­mil­iar: in­te­rior de­signer Su­sana Si­mon­pietri of Chango & Co. She teamed up with con­trac­tors to re­con­struct the beach house on a larger scale and trans­form it into a five-bed­room 2,118-square-foot raised bun­ga­low-style re­treat. “I’d worked with the fam­ily on their pri­mary res­i­dence,” says Su­sana, “so I eas­ily un­der­stood

their man­date: They sought a com­fort­able get­away that felt re­lax­ing yet fun.”

It took one and a half years of hard work, wrestling with mould that had set in and deal­ing with in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. But now, the quaint cot­tagein­spired ar­chi­tec­ture en­com­passes sloped ceil­ings, cozy bed­rooms and an open-con­cept main liv­ing area that sets the scene for this ca­sual coastal space that’s just a block away from the At­lantic Ocean.

To honour the sea­side lo­cale, a white-painted shiplap en­ve­lope was en­livened by punchy nau­ti­cal pat­terns and fresh bold hues – ev­i­denced by the bright red lob­ster-pat­terned wall­pa­per in one of the bath­rooms, the blue-painted front door and the vivid toss cush­ions in the guest rooms. “Through­out the house, we main­tained a con­tem­po­rary nau­ti­cal look that fo­cusses on a pri­mary pal­ette against a crisp white back­ground, set off with shiny pol­ished nickel fix­tures and rope ac­cents,” says Su­sana.

Nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, from the bleached-wood floors to the jute rugs to the wo­ven bas­kets, tem­per the bolder el­e­ments, warm up the space and make it feel like a place you can com­fort­ably en­ter af­ter a day at the beach. No rooms are off-lim­its – which is per­fect for this fam­ily with

two young daugh­ters. “Jute and hard­wood can with­stand wear and tear (they look great as they weather), while shiplap is easy to wipe clean,” says Su­sana. “Sandy wet tow­els and sticky sun­screened fin­gers aren’t a prob­lem.” Mean­while, the fur­ni­ture through­out is min­i­mal and com­fort­able, with hard-wear­ing Sun­brella fab­rics and wash­able slip­cov­ers.

De­ter­mined to de­sign a place that max­i­mized ev­ery square inch and was easy to keep ship­shape, Su­sana in­cor­po­rated lots of prac­ti­cal built-ins. These in­clude an L-shaped ban­quette with stor­age space in the seat in the break­fast nook and a kitchen is­land with cup­boards. And most func­tional of all is the mud room that runs the length of the en­try­way hall. It boasts hooks and cub­bies for stor­ing the fam­ily’s beach ac­ces­sories, as well as benches with cush­ions in a durable ma­te­rial.

“Bare­foot and care­free sum­mer liv­ing is what we had in mind,” says Su­sana. And, in the decor, at least, the home’s hur­ri­cane-struck his­tory is long for­got­ten and the path is open for new me­mories to be made.

OP­PO­SITE & BOT­TOM In the break­fast nook of this sea­side va­ca­tion home, light blue Tolix chairs boast contrasting dark blue seat cush­ions for a mod­ern look. The comfy ban­quette wraps around a lac­quered table and pro­vides stor­age in the seat, while an ad­ja­cent built-in serves as a side­board with even more space to stash stuff. Glass bub­ble chan­de­liers, mean­while, de­liver an el­e­ment of the un­ex­pected. DE­SIGN, Chango & Co.,; Dec­o­ra­tor’s White CC-20 WALL PAINT (through­out), Ben­jamin Moore; DIN­ING TABLE, Way­; cus­tom DIN­ING CHAIRS, RO­MAN SHADES & BENCH CUSH­ION, TOSS CUSH­IONS, Chango & Co.; CHAN­DE­LIERS, Pelle; SCONCE, Circa Light­ing.

LEFT The mud room is the per­fect re­cep­tion area for those com­ing in from the beach. Durable jute rugs cover the floors and catch sand; builtin benches have nooks be­neath for stash­ing flip-flops and es­padrilles; hooks are per­fect for hang­ing wet tow­els while above, wo­ven bas­kets hold fresh ones. Blue Heron CC-840 DOOR PAINT, Ben­jamin Moore; cus­tom BENCH CUSH­ION, Chango & Co.; HOOKS, RH.

Black soap­stone coun­ter­tops, stain­less steel ap­pli­ances and dark blue Tolix stools break up the all-white kitchen, while the globe pen­dant lights, striped run­ners and shiplap wall treat­ment feel both cot­tagey and coastal. AP­PLI­ANCES, Mono­gram; SINK, Rohl;

LEFT Along­side rope-framed mir­rors, vi­brant red lob­ster-pat­terned wall­pa­per feels fun, young and un­ex­pected yet in line with this home’s mod­ern nau­ti­cal theme. Since this guest bath­room is also used by the kids, dou­ble sinks mean that they can brush their teeth be­fore bed with­out com­pet­ing for space. WALL­PA­PER, Ab­nor­mals Anony­mous.

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