New Jersey Beach House

Built in 1884, this historic seaside retreat was in a state of great disrepair. Only a few precious remnants of the home’s former glory remained, including an original set of stained glass windows featuring a life-size woodland fairy whose face is rendered in exquisite detail. Also surviving over 125 years of renovations were an original hand-carved fireplace mantle and open staircase, each gracing the front parlor.

A set of historic hand-colored postcards uncovered by the client helped illuminate some of the home’s many exterior iterations over time. One postcard, the oldest one found, showed the home with a bright red roof and sunny yellow exterior. The client hired us to undertake a total restoration of the home, with an eye toward both sustainability and the goal of recreating the postcard-like feel of the home’s turn-of-the-century appearance.

Among many other components of the renovation, all the exterior porches, suffering both from deterioration and from a myriad of mismatched column and railing designs, were rebuilt in an architectural style suiting the house. A conical roof was added over the seaside-facing second floor porch to create a playful dialog with the many turrets, towers and cupolas of the neighboring historic homes.

location: Ocean Grove, NJ

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