From the August/September 2011 Issue:

Bayside Bounty

    Writer: Meg Fox | Photographer: John Martinelli | Interior Designer: Jody Zawacki | Architect: Studio Tagland Designs | Builder: Thomas J. Keller Building Contractor LLC | Landscape Designer: Reynolds Landscaping and Garden Shop |

A vacation home in Long Beach Island celebrates family and fun on the waterfront

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enlarge | With the bay as the backdrop, spaces flow uninterrupted in the open living areas. “The 21-foot-high ceiling in the living and dining area is flooded with light during the day so you feel as if you are outside,” interior designer Jody Zawacki says. At night the space is enhanced with general and fiber-optic lighting—balanced at different elevations—to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
Interior designer Jody Zawacki recalls the exterior design inspiration for her clients’ bayfront home. The owners commissioned architectural firm Studio Tagland Designs to create a contemporary home with characteristics similar to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Sidney Opera House in Australia. At an initial design meeting, architect Bill Tagland “drew some circles with projections on trace paper and, voila, the beginnings of a journey,” says Zawacki, principal of Design Continuum in Mountain Lakes. “I was fortunate to work closely” with the architect and the builder (Thomas J. Keller Building Contractor LLC in Surf City) during the two years it took to build and furnish the home, she says.

When the house was sold in 2007, the new owners reunited the same companies, with Rich Tagland of Studio Tagland Designs succeeding his brother, Bill. The open kitchen and living area made it easy to fall in love with the house, the owners say, coupled with the home’s signature circular staircase and spectacular waterfront vista. Still, they wanted to make the house their own by personalizing the interior design scheme and reconfiguring various spaces to better suit their family. For instance, one room was converted into a playroom for their son. They also added about 800 square feet to allow room for such features as a home gym and laundry room on the second floor.

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enlarge | Curved walls and a striking circular staircase distinguish the entryway. Open maple treads appear to float along with tubular stainless steel railings and continuous glass panels. The etched glass design is part of the elevator shaft.
Ebb & Flow
Upon entering the home, “everyone is always in awe of the beautiful, airy staircase that rises three floors,” Zawacki says. The railings are made of tubular stainless steel with continuous glass in lieu of regular balusters. Open maple treads follow the curve. It was a challenge, Zawacki explains, because the glass had to have a helix curve to accommodate a turn as well as the rise. “It took us a year to find someone willing and capable of building it,” she says. Steel templates were precision built for the laminated glass panels. When you stand under the open staircase and look up, “the impression is a slice of a nautilus shell,” Zawacki says.

Sunlight and endless waterfront views animate the interior and accentuate its openness courtesy of a 21-foot-high circular glass wall. All main living areas—kitchen, family room and casual dining area—share a visual connection. “My husband loves to cook,” so the spacious kitchen and open layout make it easy for him to be part of the action when preparing meals, the wife says. To accommodate the need for a larger dual-fuel stainless steel range and hood, a few maple cabinets required modification. And to impart their own sense of style, the new homeowners replaced countertops with Mesa Gold marble in rich gold, green and copper tones. New decorative copper inlay tiles—on the backsplash and along the upper perimeter—tie in with the marble, Zawacki says.

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enlarge | A few modifications to the maple cabinetry accommodate a larger stainless steel dual-fuel range for the husband, an avid cook. New Mesa Gold marble countertops reflect the homeowners’ sense of style, while new copper inlay tiles provide a finishing touch. Kitchen stools were reupholstered in a fun floral print.
Casual Vibe
In their relaxed and carefree lifestyle at the beach, the owners take their meals at the kitchen island or in the casual seating area, where a reclaimed oak table pairs with worry-free Sunbrella fabric cushions in a tropical motif.

They retained the previous owners’ curl-up-and-cozy sofas in the living area and added new rugs and accents to express their love of orange. The lively hue makes a splash on the reupholstered kitchen stools, in throw pillows and on the wife’s favorite wicker chair, where she likes to read, drink coffee or enjoy a glass of wine. “It’s funny because if someone is sitting in the chair and I come into the room, they get up. Everyone knows that’s my chair,” she says lightheartedly. Bright accents and photos of friends and family are found throughout. “I like color and I want our house to make people feel they are walking into part of us,” she says.

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enlarge | Reminiscent of a ship’s bow, a second-floor landing provides a visual break from the lofty living area. The design calls to mind the iconic movie scene from “Titanic” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. “The thrill of floating on the water is the same as when you look out over the bay,” Zawacki enthuses.
Sand, Sea & Sky
The exterior and interior public spaces are painted soft beige shades reminiscent of sand on the beach. Most ceilings are painted pale blue, “softer than the standard ceiling white” at the beach, Zawacki says. All bathrooms have water or sea-life themes. Like the bedrooms, they are painted in stronger, more personal colors.

Because the first floor has radiant heat, the designer selected herringbone parquet flooring that tends to avert gaps caused by expansion and contraction of the wood, Zawacki says. She chose white maple flooring for two reasons. “It’s a beautiful light sand color that’s not as yellow as regular maple,” she says. The pale shade is also close in value to the Osso travertine floor in the foyer. The change of texture delineates the living area.

By design, “you can see water from anywhere in the house,” even from the glass-enclosed elevator shaft, Zawacki says. Three panels of glass were used in its construction. The first is a quarter-inch pane etched with the shape of a mermaid. The second panel is a mirror on one side, a see-through pane on the other. This accomplishes two purposes. “The mirror side reflects the water view back into the house and also provides a background for the mermaid image,” the designer says. The third panel is a 1-inch safety glass required by code.

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enlarge | “The husband’s love of cooking and the joy of entertaining inspired the 20-foot-long granite-topped cooking area with a 60-inch round table for friends to visit while he cooks,” Zawacki says.
Indoor/Outdoor Connection
To maximize their enjoyment of the waterfront and to extend the living area outdoors, the owners contracted with Mark Reynolds and his team from Reynolds Landscaping and Garden Shop, which is based in Manahawkin and also has a studio showroom inside Oskar Huber Furniture & Design in Ship Bottom, to design and build such features as an expanded ipe deck for lounging and entertaining.

The space also includes a well-equipped barbecue station, fire pit, upgraded swimming pool and water features. Rows of chaise lounges and umbrellas sport the homeowner’s favorite shade of orange, so there’s an instant connection between indoors and out. “We entertain every weekend in the summer,” and the backyard meets all our needs, the homeowner says. “The outdoor kitchen is great … and we sit around the fire pit all the time.” With good friends and lots of water sports to occupy their time, “we don’t have to leave,” she says.


SOURCES Overall: interior design, Jody Zawacki of Design Continuum in Mountain Lakes; architect, Studio Tagland Designs in Beach Haven Terrace; builder, Thomas J. Keller Build­ing Contractor LLC in Surf City; landscaping, barbecue station, fire pit, ipe decking, gate and other outdoor features, Reynolds Land­scaping and Garden Shop in Manahawkin and the firm’s studio showroom inside Oskar Huber Furniture & Design in Ship Bottom, in collaboration with Thomas J. Keller Building Contractor LLC; exterior lighting and control system, Tanek Hood of Reynolds Landscaping and Garden Shop. Living Area: wicker chair and ottoman, Ethan Allen; upholstered sofas near fireplace, Kreiss Corp. in San Diego; assorted pillows and accessories, Between the Sheets LLC in Ship Bottom; motorized Somfy solar shades, designed by Design Continuum and fabricated by Walter Kunzel of Custom Decorators Service in Denville; plants and floral arrangements, Reynolds Landscaping and Garden Shop. Kitchen: flooring, herringbone wood parquet from Hoboken Hardwood Floors in Hoboken; cabinetry, original cabinets built by Min Craft in Rockaway, modified cabinets by Hand­made Furniture Co. in West Creek; general and fiber-optic lighting, designed by Design Continuum and installed by Phil Hart Electrical Contractor Inc. in Manahawkin. Breakfast Room: reclaimed oak table, The Cottage Antiques & The 20th Cen­tury in Surf City; wicker seating, Oskar Huber Furniture & Design. Front Exterior: stainless steel lanterns, The American Glass Light Co. in Newburgh, New York. Foyer: staircase, design­ed by Studio Tagland Designs and Design Con­tinuum; curved glass and stainless steel railing, New Star Brass & Bronze Works Inc. in Brooklyn; white maple staircase treads, Iacovelli Stairs Inc. in Forked River; flooring, Osso travertine; etched glasswork here and throughout, Supplies at Stained Glass in Lodi. Powder Room: faucet, THG natural brass wall-mounted dolphin, The Imaginative Design Center in Bedminster; glass vessel sink, Alchemy Glass. Widow’s Watch: custom teak seating, designed by Design Continuum and fabricated by Min Craft. Master Bedroom: bedside tables, Hekman; fabric on cornices, Ralph Lauren; cotton sheers, Robert Allen/ Beacon Hill; bedding, Between the Sheets; wool area rug, J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown. Master Bath­room: oil-rubbed fixtures, THG from The Imaginative Design Cen­ter; crema marfil marble on floor, tub deck and countertops, fabricated by Take It 4 Granite in Flanders; glass and mirrors, installed by G. Lee Sales in Tuxedo Park, New York; swag valance, Sonia’s Place Inc. (T) in New York City. Laundry Room: cabinetry, Handmade Furniture Co. Outdoor Room: furniture, Cast Classics and Frontgate; umbrellas, Restor­ation Hardware; pool, Mitch­ell Cham­bers, owner of Jersey Coast Pools in Belleplain and Harvey Cedars. Tropical Guest Room: window treatment fabric by Alan Camp­­bell, fabricated by Custom Decorators Service in Denville; bedding, Pine Cone Hill through Between the Sheets. Nautical Guest Room: wall paint, Rhine­stone by Sherwin Williams; bedding, Pine Cone Hill through Between The Sheets; white furniture, Crate & Barrel. T = To The Trade.

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