Text by Ann Zimmerman | Photography by Scot Zimmerman
When your waterfront cottage has the dock literally in your own backyard, there is really no excuse for staying inside.
The outdoor living area for this cheery green clapboard home stretches from the sliding doors to the edge of the dock, and there is far more living space outside than in for this New Jersey beach cottage at the edge of the Atlantic. Both covered and uncovered, the many choices for dining and seating provide friendly hospitality to family members and guests from the first pot of morning coffee until the stars come out at night.
One of the keys to outdoor living is creating “rooms,” much like one does in an open floor plan. Here, there is distinctiveness to the wicker seating, with its bright aqua cushions and colorful potted plants defining the perimeter. Beyond, a table and chairs are made from teak for a different feel with a dark navy fabric back and seat. The table and more traditional straight-backed dining chairs set yet another tone as the home’s major dining space.
Inside, the entire lower level is open to maximize flexibility for hosting different size groups. The same approach is used here with the furnishings to claim areas for living functions. The living room furniture is set on an area rug and clustered around the fireplace and television, located within the cabinet above the fireplace. The informal corner table and Windsor chairs easily become part of the living room’s interactions if used for assembling puzzles or playing cards, or because of its proximity to the kitchen, it can be yet another space for dining. The bright aqua stools at the kitchen bar serve as an additional informal dining area or just a place to sit and visit with the chefs in the streamlined, bright-white kitchen.
The bedrooms are upstairs, tucked away from the socializing on the patio deck, but a balcony is a splendid perch for watching the boats move through the piers and the activity below.
Part of the fun of staying in a vacation beach community is becoming part of it. This family likes to explore the local sights by boat, bicycle, and scooter. On the streets, surfers balance their boards on their scooters, and families’ pedal through the town eating ice cream from the boardwalk vendors.
It’s a home designed for interaction, relaxation, socializing, and enjoyment in the true tradition of a vacation at the Jersey Shore.