Text by Ann Zimmerman
Summer colors of the seashore fill this cottage at the New Jersey shore: navy blue, the same pink as the inside of shells, sandy neutrals, and the bright white of summer clouds. Built for more than just a vacation retreat, this home is planned for the busy lives of the vibrant young family who lives here full time.
From the street, a picket fence encircles the gray clapboard home with broad stairs reaching up to the spacious front porch. The cottage has two stories, with the open living area on the ground floor and bedrooms above. The third floor has a single room reminiscent of a crow’s nest that looks out to the sea and the moored boats at the dock.
Open floor plans are a popular choice for cottages because they keep people
connected, but there is an art to making these plans work. This cozy home unites the space with common flooring, wall color, drapery fabric, and white woodwork. At the same time, it differentiates and defines the separate functional areas. For example, the living room furniture clusters around an area rug in front of the fireplace, an oversize crystal chandelier hangs over the dining table, and an island with schoolhouse pendant lights overhead delineates the kitchen.
The cabinets flanking the fireplace are dedicated to the children’s toys and storybooks. Inside the cabinet, each child has pullout bins for favorite playthings. The homeowners can quickly clear away the toys to return the home to being clutter-free.
The starfish prints, in addition to the color scheme, are reminders that the home is by the water and beach fun is not far away. The picket fence surrounding the yard is cheerful but also very functional because of the closeness of the water. It keeps children inside, and the porch provides a place to sit and keep a watchful eye so that beach time stays safe. Spacious and airy with loads of storage, this home at the water’s edge captures the best of a beach cottage and a functional family home.