Apparently,” says Dr. Beth Deutch, with a laugh, “we’re not happy unless we’re tearing something down.” Deutch and her husband, Larry Rubin, have spent the last ten years putting their personal stamp on their Monmouth County home. The residence, designed by Jay Measley, an architect in Rumson, sits gracefully on the long, narrow property, overlooking the marshy inlet where the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers merge.
“We love the design of the house,” says Deutch. “It’s a modern interpretation of a classic Shore home. But we wanted to make it our own.” (Deutch and Rubin are the home’s second owners.)
There are two structures: The main house and a sort of carriage house that includes the garage, pool house, and cabana. The two structures are separated by the pool and patio. The main house was designed to allow maximum light while affording sweeping views of the marshland and the two rivers from every room. “It blurs the lines between indoors and out,” Measley says.
“It’s a long, skinny lot,” he says. “So we made a long, skinny structure, which gave us the chance to have glass along those two long sides.” The layout “let us have every room saturated with light,” he adds.
A visually oriented person, Deutch is founder and owner of HerSpace Breast Imaging Associates in West Long Branch. A radiologist by profession, she is passionate about the calming and healing power of being surrounded by beautiful things, and has filled HerSpace with “serious art.”
“I’m a big believer in the power of a physical space and how it affects your mood,” she says. “It should inspire and validate. When you surround yourself with beauty, it lifts you.”
While that’s been the case in her medical office—something her patients seem to appreciate—it’s been slower to manifest itself in her home. “I’ve always loved art, and our office is filled with it,” Deutch says. “So when we finally had a home that was a reasonable backdrop to show art, it became our project.”
The first room the couple tackled was the kitchen. They knew they wanted an elegant, modern, and light-filled space. More importantly, Deutch says, “with three kids, it must function.”
The couple happened upon Poggenpohl, a high-end kitchen brand, and began to work with Angela Shannon, a kitchen designer with a Poggenpohl storefront in Asbury Park.
“We hit it off right away,” Shannon says. “Beth had this elegant vision, and we worked together to make it happen.”
Another priority was finding ample storage. “My one wish was to have everything put away,” Deutch says. “Angela was a master at finding space for everything.”
“Beth didn’t want to come home to a kitchen that had a lot of clutter,” says Shannon. “She wanted it all hidden.”
Shannon designed custom features, including a “mom central” corkboard closet that hides school papers, calendars, and other unsightly but necessary stuff behind a cabinet door, and “gadget central,” a cabinet concealing several electrical outlets where all the technology—cell phones, Blackberries, pagers, iPods—are stored while charging. While those items are hidden, a family collection of nineteenth-century Lusterware is attractively displayed—yet “put away,” says Shannon—in a glass-front cabinet.
There are other functional features, including two dishwashers, two sinks, and a large center island that easily accommodates multiple cooks at once.
Other rooms came together easily. The smallish, squared-off breakfast room was transformed into a light-filled round room with a hand-stenciled border by artist Jill Ricci. The family room is a crisp, white space with an expansive window wall looking out over the pool area. Both rooms are neutral to showcase art and antiques.
Artful surroundings continue outside, where magnificent stained-glass “umbrellas” create dappled shade for sunny days around the pool.
There’s plenty yet to be completed, both inside and out, but Deutch and her family are taking it one step at a time. “We love art and love being surrounded by beauty,” she says. “It’s a work in progress and it takes a long time.”
Angela Shannon, Atelier East Design Studio, 732-988-8301, ateliereastdesign.com.
Artists: Anthony Castronovo, metal and glass sculptor (pool umbrellas), acastronovo.com; Jill Ricci, decorative finishes and custom art, Parlor Gallery, 908-489-4957, parlor-gallery.com.
Architect: Jay Measley, Rumson, 732-859-8481.
Architect of the Home’s Addition: David Jablonka, South Orange, 973-313-0088.