coast to coast
Michele Promaulayko and Jay Maxwell create a weekend getaway on the Jersey Shore with the vibe of Venice Beach.
photographs by Brittany Ambridge
text by brittany s. chevalier
interior design by hilary hayes
and Michele Promaulayko
FRESH STARTLike so many urbanites, Michele Promaulayko, the editor in chief of Yahoo Health, found herself craving a weekend getaway. So, in 2002, she purchased a bungalow in Holgate, New Jersey, just a couple of hours outside New York City. The lot upon which the house sat boasted spectacular views, and from the start, Promaulayko and her boyfriend, Jay Maxwell, cherished plans of demolishing the existing structure and building anew. So the couple spent the next nine years stashing away cash to build their dream house. Finally, in 2011, they were ready to take the plunge and began construction on a three-level home, complete with a pool on the roof. “I am the prototypical Type A East Coaster,” says Promaulayko, “but I was also attracted to the easygoing, West Coast vibe of Venice Beach.”
PERSONAL ATTACHMENTAt the start of the building process, Promaulayko enlisted Hilary Hayes to assist with structural and interior design. “We really spoke in depth about how the couple intended to use the house,” says Hayes. “And those conversations helped to determine the use of materials, the flow of the home’s three stories, and the layout of the pool roof.” While Maxwell, a builder by trade, managed the construction of the home, Promaulayko and Hayes combed flea markets in Los Angeles and New York City, as well as Massachusetts’s Brimfield Antique Show, landing finds such as the living room’s bamboo chairs. “I learned that there’s an emotional currency to furniture and decor,” Promaulayko says. “It’s important that it looks good, but it also needs to have meaning and feel personal.”