Bay Head Retreat Is Family’s Long-Awaited Dream Home

Come summer, this seaside colonial welcomes out-of-towners every weekend.

Neutral-colored foyer and living area of a Bay Head home
The foyer welcomes with reclaimed wood beams and a high-impact beaded chandelier. Photo: Linda Pordon

Anyone who’s raised teens knows it can be challenging to schedule summer family time when kids also want to enjoy weekends with friends. For this Bergen County family, the solution was to build their long-awaited dream home down the Shore, with abundant living space for overnight gatherings throughout the season.

“The homeowners wanted the ability to entertain numerous friends and family members, so we opted to make all 6,200 square feet multipurpose to accommodate lots of visitors coming in and out during summer months,” says interior designer Sarah Brady, founder and creative director of Salt Design Company in Red Bank. “With three growing boys, our clients emphasized the need for livability without compromising style.”

The neutral-colored living area of a Bay Head home

A custom coffee table, comfy seating with durable fabrics, and a surfboard wall sculpture adorn the light and bright living area in this Bay Head home. Photo: Linda Pordon

The project began in 2021 with the help of lead designer Kiera Gannon and cabinetry designer Karen Vazquez and was completed in 2022. “Our design approach gave way to coastal touches while keeping the overall feel grounded and organic,” Brady says.

The sprawling home’s three finished levels were designed by Jeff Schneider Architect in Bay Head and constructed by Jonathan Cantor of Signature Home Builders in Englewood Cliffs. Throughout the residence, built-in cabinetry was constructed by Dave Larstana of MDM Woodworking in Hawthorne.

Neutral-colored mudroom of a Bay Head retreat

The mudroom gets a lot of action when three teens and friends grab beach towels and gear. Photo: Linda Pordon

The first-floor living area boasts reclaimed wood beams, V-groove paneling, beaded chandeliers, and cozy, very forgiving seating in durable performance fabrics. Even the mudroom is designed for throngs of guests, with a stacked washer/dryer (a backup to the main laundry room) and lots of cubbies to corral pool towels and beach gear.

Neutral-colored kitchen in Bay Head

Organic elements and a clean, fresh backdrop combine for a show-stopping, spacious kitchen. English white-oak floors withstand foot traffic as well as a bit of sand and surf. Photo: Linda Pordon

The adjacent kitchen is organically calm in multiple quiet tones. Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak paint pairs well with white-oak cabinetry and floors. Large parties are a snap, thanks to maintenance-free quartz counters, a six-burner Wolf range, two 30-inch Sub-Zero column refrigerators, and two hardworking dishwashers. The dining area, which looks out to the front porch facing the ocean, welcomes crowds with a generously proportioned table and comfy custom chairs with rope bases and cleanable faux leather.

Beds built into walls in a Bay Head home

Built-in queen and king beds abound in the three kids’ rooms, with scads of trundle and cabinet storage. Photo: Linda Pordon

With a whopping seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half baths, there’s plenty of room for parents, kids, the family dog and visitors to party. In fact, during summer months, the seashore colonial-style home welcomes out-of-towners every weekend.

Sleepovers are easy with kid-friendly bunk rooms, each sporting queen and king beds for a total of 10 teen beds. “Unique to any of our previous projects, we created three distinct bunk rooms, each intentionally designed for one of the sons, but meant to transition as they age,” says Brady. Another three en-suite guest rooms and the master bedroom are outfitted for grown-ups. Additional living area on the second floor offers a quiet space to watch the surf, enjoy a drink from the built-in bar, or work from home.

A bed tucked into a dormer/window-seat area in a Bay Head home

Beds are cleverly tucked into dormers and window-seat areas. Photo: Linda Pordon

“Who wouldn’t want to weekend here?” asks Brady. “With this perfectly appointed custom home located in the heart of Bay Head, guests can ride bikes, surf or take a short walk to town for oysters, cocktails or ice cream. It’s summertime at the Jersey Shore at its very best.”

[RELATED: Reimagining a Three-Generation Retreat in Stone Harbor]

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