A '70s Era Pool House Gets a Beachy Modern Makeover

Designer Ashley Garelick channels a fresh aesthetic to give this waterfront home a much-needed update.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


Interior designer Ashley Garelick  and her husband, Bruce, were drawn to this home for its majestic location overlooking Little Harbor—a calm inlet that segues with the waters of the Atlantic. Built in the 1970s, as a pool house on a large estate in Cohasset, a coastal suburb South of Boston, this home was converted into a residence when the property was subdivided in the 1990s.“The house is sort of built into the hillside and there’s a great back lawn. Steps lead down to a dock. We paddle board, swim, and waterski,” says Garelick. “It’s just an amazing spot.”

The Garelicks bought the property in 2015 with the intent of tearing the house down and starting anew: they thought they needed a bigger home and a modern feel and flow was essential. “The house wasn’t in very good shape,” recalls Garelick. Not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but structurally as well. After a while though, the couple realized they really loved how the home sat in the landscape and to tear it down seemed unnecessary. Instead, they decided to work with the existing structure, staying within the original footprint.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


However, transforming the home into a more modern haven was no small task. Architect Kelly Monnahan came on board to address the structural aspects of the renovation. “Kelly was able to help us squeeze every square inch out of the 2,600 square foot layout,” says Garelick.

Walls of glass were created in the great room, all the windows in the house were replaced, and new ones were added to capitalize on the views of the stunning landscape. A shed dormer with a clerestory window was installed so that the coastal view is visible from the front approach to the house. “As you pull in the driveway you can look through the shed dormer and see the ocean,” says Garelick.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


During the renovation, the kitchen, originally a closed-off stand alone room, was connected to the television room and reoriented in order to open up the front entry way. “My aesthetic is very beachy modern,” says Garelick. “We used a lot of shiplap in the house, a lot of white and soft greys and blues that feel very earthy.” 

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


The lower kitchen cabinets are painted Fine Paints of Europe Grey Mist in high gloss while the upper cabinet doors are made of a milk glass that has a soft white, almost translucent appeal. Counters are Calacatta marble. Floors throughout out the house are engineered fumed oak, which “feel very soft on your feet,” says Garelick. “They are also good for sand since they look worn already you don’t noticed if they get a little sandy.”

The television room is where the Garelicks and their two children spend most of their time. The marble topped Saarinen table is where the family often eats and where the kids spread out during homework time. An ample Room & Board sofa ensures that there’s always a comfortable spot to lounge.

The ample great room is divided into two areas with a half-wall that has a fireplace on one side. While the fireplace is original to the house—the striking wood ceiling beams that were refinished and stained—the surround was replaced with striking black onyx. Strung from the ceiling an oversize Moooi pendant fashioned out of fiberglass soaked in resin makes for an eye-catching focal point.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


In the seating area on the other side of the fireplace, a wall of windows and doors to the new deck blur the boundaries of indoors and out. A pair of Noir chairs and a Flexform  sofa situated around a fun CB2 round coffee table create a casual spot to appreciate the view.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


It was important that each of the children in the household have their own personal space, so Garelick took great care designing their rooms. In her daughter’s room, a sliding barn door encases the built in dresser and closet; a capiz Worlds Away light fixture feels feminine and subtly nods to the beach setting. 

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


While Garelick’s son’s room is on the smaller side, it has everything he needs. The Restoration Hardware bed is equipped with attached nightstands; and to avoid cluttering surface area on the nightstand, an Artemide sconce is affixed to the wall above the bed.

 

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


Two new cabinets on either side of the fireplace offer handy storage solutions and there are other carefully concealed closets, compartments, and benches throughout the house that provide storage. Not only do the home’s bathrooms now exude a fresh modern vibe, they each include plenty of built in storage.

photography by SARAH WINCHESTER


“The house is so efficient now. It’s hugely different from what it was before,” says Garelick. “While it isn’t any bigger than it was originally, it feels so much more spacious because we have all these new windows and the airy aesthetic. There is this constant feeling of light—it’s wonderful.”

Published on September 25, 2017 - 5:15pm EDT

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