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Sand+Sea – House & Design Mag

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A design team masterminds an elegant Jersey Shore getaway with panoramic ocean views

When it came to building a summer getaway in Longport, New Jersey, Bethesda residents Marla and Barry Beck had a vision. The power couple, who co-founded the luxury beauty retailer Bluemercury, wanted an heirloom-quality abode where they could gather with their three grown children, family and friends. They began by acquiring a prime oceanfront lot, then hiring the right team.

“I was brought on board by the Becks. We’re friends and they were familiar with my work,” explains interior designer Sandra Meyer of Ella Scott Design. From its 2019 inception to its completion in 2021, she collaborated on the project with Mark Kaufman of GTM Architects and Jim Leeds of Leeds Builders.

“Our clients wanted a traditional-looking beach house from the street side, with a contemporary rear maximizing the use of glass and taking advantage of its striking views,” says Kaufman of what would be a seven-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot home spanning three floors, with indoor/outdoor living spaces on each level.

From the street, the dwelling reads like a Dutch Colonial, with cedar shakes and a gambrel roof atop a stone-veneer foundation (FEMA requires a two-foot-above-base flood elevation). But the rear elevation is another story, seamlessly marrying those traditional features with expansive, hurricane-rated glass windows and sliders that spill out to ipe decks rimmed with marine-grade, stainless-steel railings. “All exterior materials are designed to withstand the salt air and hurricane environment,” Kaufman notes. For instance, “retractable Kevlar storm screens roll down in front of the sliding-glass doors and windows to protect them off-season or during a storm.”

In addition to waterfront balconies—one off the top-floor primary suite and the other extending the width of the second level—a covered terrace, deck and patio beckon beside a swimming pool and spa. “The patio is comprised of a floating paver system that sits atop pedestals over the sloped substrate,” explains Kaufman. “This system maximizes the height of the patio, which in turn maximizes the view over the dunes to the ocean.”

Visitors enter through a ground-floor foyer that leads past the staircase to a spacious rec room equipped with a fireplace flanked by built-in banquettes, a sectional and an eight-foot-long wet bar with a beverage fridge. A covered terrace and pool are accessed through glass doors.

The second story houses a great room that spans the back of the house and encompasses the custom kitchen and chic living and dining areas. A wall of sliding glass doors opens to a covered deck furnished for optimal entertaining.

Three bedrooms and a sitting room also occupy the second level; a third story houses three more bedrooms and the primary suite, which opens to a private roof deck. Each level has its own stone-clad fireplace to ensure the home lives cozily and comfortably in every season; an elevator connects all three floors.

Like the architecture, the interiors focus on indoor-outdoor connectivity, with understated furnishings that emphasize the views. “It’s not stereotypical in a beach-house way,” says Meyer of her design approach. “We used restraint. Our clients wanted a well-crafted and distinctive home with a clean, chic and timeless feel.”

Rooms suited for large-scale entertaining spill out to comfortable outdoor living spaces. Furniture profiles are low and unobtrusive—minimalist and unfussy with pre-treated upholstery to withstand coastal living. “We definitely didn’t want that typical overstuffed or slipcovered beach look,” Meyer notes.

She and her clients nodded subtly to the nautical setting with wide-plank white oak floors and white-painted, nickel-gap-paneled walls throughout that serve to unify the interiors. “I used neutrals that mimic the sand in different lights, and blues that play off the sky and the sea; the colors are so perfect for the setting,” Meyer enthuses. “I love that the indoor design elements don’t detract from the view but complement it.”

In the sleek kitchen, the designer clad the base of the island and the hood in nickel-gap panels painted an inky-blue shade that contrasts with white cabinetry and marble countertops and backsplash. Another moody blue makes a statement in the third-floor office, where the hue envelops built-in cabinetry, walls and ceiling. Meyer added a textured Romo wallpaper to the desk wall for interest.

Having office options in their home was important to the couple, who sold Bluemercury in 2015. Barry is the founder and CEO of Evenly Technologies, a tech and telemedicine company, and Marla invests, advises and sits on the boards of several public companies. So the design team added offices on the second level and on the third floor off the primary suite.

The Becks’ bedroom is notable for its ocean-facing picture window that follows the lines of the gambrel roof; a linear corner fireplace and private balcony complete the haven.

The finished project is all the owners wanted—and the process of getting there was seamless. “Everything ran like a dream,” Meyer recalls. “Having the right team and amazing clients made all the difference.”

Architecture: Mark Kaufman, AIA, LEED AP, GTM Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. Interior & Kitchen Design: Sandra Meyer, Ella Scott Design, Bethesda, Maryland. Builder: Jim Leeds, Leeds Builders Inc., Margate City, New Jersey.


RESOURCES

THROUGHOUT
Windows: marvin.com. Sliding Doors: westernwindowsystems.com.

DECK
Lounge Seating & Fabric, Dining Table, Wooden Table & Dining Chairs: shopharbour.com. White Pedestal Tables: rh.com. Pillow Fabrics: ryanstudio.com.

FOYER
Chandelier: urbanelectric.com. Table: thebrightgroup.com.

LIVING AREA
White Sofas & Side Chairs: artisticframe.com. Sofa & Pillow Fabric: romo.com. Coffee Table: brickerandbeam.com. Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Side Chair Fabric: markalexander.com. Large Window Shade: lutron.com. Small Window Shade: conradshades.com. Art: bradleyduncan.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

KITCHEN
Cabinetry: cabico.com through colmarkitchenstudio.com. Large Pendants: urbanelectric.com. Dining Fixture: rollandhill.com. Dining Table: brickerandbeam.com. Dining Chairs: bassamfellows.com. Bar Stools: rh.com. Countertops & Backsplash: marblesystems.com. Cooktop: subzero-wolf.com through handlersappliance.com.

POOLSIDE
Umbrella & Outdoor Seating: gloster.com.

CABANA
Sectional: verellen.biz. Sectional Fabric: romo.com. Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Sofa Table & Cocktail Table: brickerandbeam.com. Stools: crumpandkwash.com. Floor Lamps: arteriorshome.com. Countertop: marblesystems.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

NOOK
Pillow & Cushion Fabric: romo.com. Light: alliedmaker.com. Table: Custom through brickerandbeam.com. Chairs: janusetcie.com. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

STUDY
Cabinetry Design: colmarkitchenstudio.com. Cabinetry Fabrication: cabico.com. Cabinetry Paint: Kensington Blue by benjaminmoore.com. Backsplash Wallpaper: romo.com. Chair: thebrightgroup.com. Lamp: visualcomfort.com. Sofa: kravet.com. Sofa Fabric: romo.com. Window Shade: conradshades.com.

BEDROOM
Bed: dmitriyco.com. Rug: stantoncarpet.com. Chair & Ottoman: hollyhunt.com. Chair & Ottoman Fabric: cowtan.com. Floor Lamp: visualcomfort.com. Pillow Fabric: romo.com. Throw on Bed: matouk.com. Pedestal: palecek.com. Chandelier: gabriel-scott.com.

PRIMARY BATH
Countertop: innovativecuttingconcepts.com. Cabinetry: taylormadecabinets.com. Hardware: emtek.com. Faucets: kallista.com through artistichardware.net. Paint: Simply White by benjaminmoore.com.

LOCKER ROOM
Cabinetry Design: colmarkitchenstudio.com. Cabinetry Fabrication: cabico.com. Cabinetry Paint: Denim Wash by benjaminmoore.com. Flooring: cottodeste.us.

PRIMARY CLOSET
Closet Design & Fabrication: colmarkitchenstudio.com. Window Shade: conradshades.com.



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