This Seaside Home Offers Comfort and Views for Today’s Modern Family

This Seaside Home Offers Comfort and Views for Today’s Modern Family

By Kathryn M.
A top-to-bottom renovation prioritizes large expanses of glass to frame picture-perfect views of the property’s charming New England location.

Homeowners Alex and Nicole Bender longed to live near the sea. When they moved to the New England town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, seven years ago, the quaint, coastal setting felt like a perfect place for their dream home. Yet, scoring a waterfront property along the small peninsula can be challenging. After years of searching, the couple stumbled across a 1970s midcentury-modern-style home—a diamond in the rough from which they created a modern and airy dwelling for their family of five.

After purchasing the property, the couple embarked on an extensive renovation that included gutting the entire interior. They envisioned a contemporary space with a calming and inspiring ambiance created by a stronger connection with their lush natural surroundings. The resulting home easily flows from indoor to outdoor spaces, with an airy overall atmosphere for entertaining and enjoying New England’s vivid seasons.

The home’s rear facade features large windows and doors overlooking the sloping, waterfront lot. A multi-leveled deck provides several areas for entertaining guests and enjoying views.

"My favorite room is the kitchen," says Nicole. "We wanted it to be the center of the home. When people come over, everyone goes there." The room’s contemporary design features a 10-foot marble island and large windows to frame picturesque views of the waterfront landscape. "We love that we can see the sunset when we are preparing food or talking to friends—the sun shines through and it’s just fantastic," adds Alex. 

The family’s kitchen features a large island to ground the space. Adding to the bright and airy feeling are two large picture windows, which the couple selected instead of upper cabinetry. 

"When we began the remodel, we honed in on the materials that were going to make the biggest impact," notes Nicole. For her and Alex, the flooring, along with the doors and windows, were those things. "We ended up choosing beautiful European white oak, wide-plank flooring. Yet, when it came to the windows and doors, it was a little bit harder." Seeking a sleek, modern look and maximum thermal protection for the harsh Northeast winters, it was suggested to consider the VistaLuxe® Collection by Kolbe Windows & Doors

Just off the kitchen is a bright family room offering unobstructed water views through a large sliding door and casement windows. Clerestory windows illuminate the beamed ceiling.

Shop the Look
Fernweh Woodworking White Ash & Leather Sling Chair
This award winning design is the inaugural chair design by Fernweh Woodworking. The frame is hand-shaped from high quality White Ash, providing minimalist tones with sleek joinery inspired by Danish and Scandinavian design.
Safavieh Azusa Outdoor Lounge
The Azusa Outdoor Lounge is made with a subtle color palette featuring a cream colored upholstery with an ash grey wood frame.
Buffy Cloud Comforter
Whole body comfort. Extra-fluffy. Filled with layers of cloud-like fiber to give you that satisfying, snuggled up feeling. Super-soft. Covered in eucalyptus fabric that's naturally softer and more earth-friendly than cotton. Cruelty-free.

From the main entry courtyard, floor-to-ceiling windows create sightlines through to the water and surrounding greenery. Large expanses of glass also wrap around the rear of the home, providing glimpses of wildlife living among the treetops. Even during the long winters, the views of nature inspire the family to get outside. "In the Northeast, each season is so beautiful," comments Nicole. "Having so many windows makes it a magical place to live."

The front driveway leads down to a courtyard and the home's main entrance. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors allow for views directly through the home.

During the warmer months, a large deck off the dining room offers the family more space to relax and entertain. "When we are having a dinner party and we open the folding doors, our guests are blown away," says Alex. "We had always envisioned bringing the outdoors in," adds Nicole. "We were so excited to find out Kolbe offered a 10-foot folding door. It’s just so fun." 

Folding doors open the home’s dining room up to a large deck. Developed collaboratively with architects, Kolbe’s VistaLuxe Collection includes a wide selection of windows and doors, with low-maintenance extruded aluminum exteriors and warm wood interiors.

The home’s connection with nature extends to the bedrooms as well. A large picture window and door connects the master suite to a private corner of the deck, compete with a live plant wall, stainless-steel hot tub, and water views. Of all the home’s features, it’s the connection with land and sea that the Bender family loves most. "The views are why we bought this home and to be able to capture that is pretty magical," concludes Nicole.

The master bedroom offers direct access to a private corner of the deck, complete with a live plant wall and hot tub. An oversize picture window and several smaller awnings above the bed allow natural light to warm the space. 

The master bathroom offers a similar aesthetic, with warm oak flooring and a cool, crisp color palette. Windows surrounding the tub and the shower allow the sun's rays to fill all corners of the space.

For more details about the VistaLuxe Collection, please visit the Kolbe website.

Get the Dwell Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.

See a sample