A Manhattan couple was looking for a beach house with a New York City vibe. Not an easy task on the Jersey Shore, where traditional homes and beach bungalows reign. When they couldn’t find one, they hired Summit-based Simonian Rosenbaum Architects to make their dream a reality. “They wanted a loft type of beach house, which didn’t exist,” says architect Matthew Rosenbaum. “We made it happen.”
The couple purchased a dated 1980s house in Monmouth Beach, which was essentially deconstructed. “We really started from scratch,” Rosenbaum says. “It is a huge leap from what it started at.” To ensure that the project had a cohesive feel, Simonian Rosenbaum managed all the construction and handled every aspect of the design of the exterior and interior.
To begin, the exterior siding, which was originally a dated reddish-brown, was replaced with a modern, gray, vertically hung version. In the backyard, the home was transformed to take advantage of the large outdoor space. Highlights included creating a rooftop deck, adding a tranquil pool space and streamlining the entertaining areas. Throughout the property, the landscaping was elevated to fit the new look.
The home’s interior was revamped by opening up small, dark rooms to create a large space with a loft-like feel. “We removed all the interior walls and installed structural wood columns wrapped in steel channels to provide an open floor plan and allow the space to flow among all the rooms,” explains Rosenbaum. The columns are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, giving definition to each zone within the space while still allowing for an airy feel. A wall of windows was added to let in natural light and provide views of the backyard.
One of the most stunning components of the space is the metal and timber staircase. A vital element in the design, it provides an architectural centerpiece. “Floating wood treads and open risers make it appear that the staircase floats within the loft-style space,” says Rosenbaum. “The cable railing is used to enhance the transparency of the staircase while allowing it to meet all necessary safety codes.” Enhancing it even further is the wood on the wall behind it, which matches the exterior siding to ensure cohesiveness between the inside and the outside.
Upstairs, the master bedroom— with its soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows—is highlighted with contemporary lighting details and a monochromatic palette. A private sitting room is a quiet space to watch television and read. The master bath is connected to a dressing room with built-in concealed closets to retain a clean, modern feel.
By taking a house in a great location and choosing the right team to guide the process, these homeowners made their beach dream home a reality. “It is the perfect retreat from their busy lives,” says Rosenbaum. And really, isn’t that what life on the Jersey Shore is all about?