The house, built in the 1950s, occupies a narrow steep lot facing the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the dramatic site, the house seemed only minimally connected to its surroundings. The house had also been modified over time with an addition, which further disconnected its inside from outside.

Our renovation was to adapt the house to the needs of a family of five. This meant changing the interior to create more rooms and to add several bathrooms. It also meant completely re-imagining the building envelope to connect the house to its surroundings. The reconfigured house has cozy rooms sized efficiently -- in the spirit of a beach cottage rather than a typical Hamptons house. Each room is turned towards views and light. The 2,300 sf house feels spacious and offers a corner to everyone.

We changed almost all exterior openings -- enlarging some and closing others -- in order to screen out neighbors and to connect the rooms to the exterior. On the lower level, we introduced a breezeway to create a new circulation spine between the two side courtyards. The breezeway was inspired by vernacular constructions of the area which often incorporated covered exterior passages.

Our material palette includes reclaimed heart pine floors, terrazzo, corian, and glazed ceramic tile.

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Modern home with Exterior, Gable RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Beach House Building Type, and Shingles Roof Material. View of the house from the dunes along the beach. Photo 2 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

View of the house from the dunes along the beach.

Modern home with Exterior, Beach House Building Type, and House Building Type. View from upper terrace. We used reclaimed pine for both the deck and the living room flooring, to allow for a seamless transition between inside and outside. We modified the front facade to enlarge the openings and installed a 16 ft slider that maximizes the views to the ocean. Photo 3 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

View from upper terrace. We used reclaimed pine for both the deck and the living room flooring, to allow for a seamless transition between inside and outside. We modified the front facade to enlarge the openings and installed a 16 ft slider that maximizes the views to the ocean.

Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, Sofa, Coffee Tables, and Medium Hardwood Floor. View from Living Room, looking towards the water. The kitchen, with plywood cabinets and terrazzo counter, is visible to the right. Photo 4 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

View from Living Room, looking towards the water. The kitchen, with plywood cabinets and terrazzo counter, is visible to the right.

Modern home with Kitchen, Subway Tile Backsplashe, Open Cabinet, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Wood Cabinet. Detail of kitchen. Photo 5 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

Detail of kitchen.

Modern home with Staircase and Wood Tread. This view would not have been possible before the renovation, as there was no clear path between inside and outside without going through a bedroom. We created a breezeway that links the side courtyards. We also replaced the stair with an open-riser stair, and added skylight to bring more light from above.  Photo 6 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

This view would not have been possible before the renovation, as there was no clear path between inside and outside without going through a bedroom. We created a breezeway that links the side courtyards. We also replaced the stair with an open-riser stair, and added skylight to bring more light from above.

Modern home with Bedroom, Chair, Bed, and Medium Hardwood Floor. View of new bunk bed room. This room used to be a corner of the old Master Bedroom. We We reconfigured the space into a small and cozy corner bedroom,  shaped by a new corner window. Photo 7 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

View of new bunk bed room. This room used to be a corner of the old Master Bedroom. We We reconfigured the space into a small and cozy corner bedroom, shaped by a new corner window.

Modern home with Exterior, Beach House Building Type, and House Building Type. View of lower deck, looking east. We used solid wood rails on the sides and glass on the front, in order to direct the views towards the water. Photo 8 of Waterfront HouseView Photos

View of lower deck, looking east. We used solid wood rails on the sides and glass on the front, in order to direct the views towards the water.

Photographer
  • Barkow Photo

Overview

Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern