Text by: Katherine Pritchett
The owner of this spectacular beach house wanted a space that would be a retreat for her family as well as a resource for her real estate clients. “As a top real estate broker in the area, it was important for her that this home have all the features that her clients are looking for when they want to purchase a beach home,” says designer Jennifer Gilmer. Since the home is located on the Atlantic coast, the main feature to emphasize was the beautiful view. The challenge was to create open spaces that took in the view, yet still felt warm and cozy. The owner also wanted cabinets that were different from the predictable Shaker-style cherry cabinets she saw in so many homes. She visited Gilmer’s showroom and found a unique cabinet design with a sculpted Asian flair. She also fell in love with a warm walnut wood for the cabinets and a 2” thick “Valley Gold” marble for the countertops. Gilmer suggested incorporating frosted glass in the design to bring the soft blue/green color of the ocean into the home. Once the materials palette was in place they moved on to designing the kitchen. “The kitchen was open to the family room and did not have enough space for a freestanding table, yet we wanted a table that could seat at least six people in the room,” says Gilmer. Other challenges included a dining room without a view, limited wall space for a pantry and masking appliances since the kitchen would be open to the family room. Gilmer decided to have a large 72” round butcher-block table made to match the walnut used for the cabinets. Designed so that most of the time it can be “attached” to the island, it is outfitted with casters so it can be moved out for use when company comes. Under the table and attached to the island is a built-in booth so that the table doesn’t have to be pulled out too far when in use. The beautiful table, rather than the island, became the central feature in the room. “Its asymmetry really compliments the subtle Asian style of the kitchen,” says Gilmer. To solve the problem of the closed off dining room, Gilmer recommended removing the walls on either side of the range and installed “floating” shelves suspended by cables that can be accessed from both the kitchen and the dining room. Since just the owner and her husband primarily use the home, Gilmer freed up space with a smaller 27” built-in Sub Zero all refrigerator on the side closest to the sink and placed Sub Zero under counter freezer drawers next to refrigerator. A tall cabinet that houses the oven and microwave on the other side of the sink balances the refrigerator while keeping the space open and airy. Gilmer resolved the pantry problem by designing the pantry around a wall with a window then covering it with large slider doors made of frosted glass. “The pantry positively glows during the day,” says Gilmer. The soft/blue green color of the backsplash tile works with the frosted glass of the doors to echo the ocean view inside.