After receiving the keys to their new beach house, a pair of homeowners enjoyed the sun and surf for just a few weekends before Hurricane Sandy hit. The couple watched as high winds pounded the New Jersey coast and demolished the home of their dreams.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of four and their French bulldog
Location: New Jersey
Designer: Chango & Co.
The sun always emerges after a storm. In this case, so did plans for a new home. After Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc, these homeowners hired Brooklyn architecture and design firm Chango & Co. to rebuild their condemned house from the ground up.
Starting from scratch allowed the couple — who have since expanded their family to include two children and a dog — to meld their favorite elements of a traditional nautical home with the lightness and simplicity of a beach bungalow, as evident in the new kitchen.
“Our goal with the kitchen was to provide a worry-free zone that was open to the rest of the home,” says Susana Simonpietri, creative director at Chango. Black soapstone countertops provide contrast and easy-to-clean work surfaces. “Soapstone is just about the easiest material to maintain,” Simonpietri says.
The designers left the wide-plank white oak floor in its natural color and finished it with three coats of polyurethane in a satin finish. The same flooring runs throughout the home, including in the bathrooms. Simple seagrass runners add symmetry in the kitchen and coordinate with the rugs used in front of the bedrooms and entryway.
A generously sized island provides ample eating and prep space, as well as storage that includes a microwave garage.
The walls and cabinets are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. Dabs of primary blue in the rugs, stools and dishes further push the coastal theme, as do the pendant lights and custom rope and metal towel holder.
What better spot for enjoying family meals than this light, bright, beachy dining room? The chairs echo the style of the counter stools but in a lighter shade of blue. A tufted window cushion provides roomy seating.
Two chandeliers crafted of glass globe clusters bring to mind frothy ocean bubbles. In addition to the fun factor, the fixtures allowed the designers to incorporate even more blue — in the form of the leather cord — in the room.
The sconces, nautical in inspiration, illuminate the cozy space as if one were dining aboard a ship.
The L-shaped window cushion meets a storage cabinet, which links the dining room to the living room and houses TV equipment.
Photos by Jacob Snavely