Down The Block
Modern Meets Comfort in a Young Family's New Home
Everything about the house at 202 Alden St. extends a casual, welcoming feel. And yet from the very first glance, it is clear something unexpected awaits visitors to this charming Dutch-style colonial.
Maybe it’s the wide steps, bordered by wooden railings accented with marine cable rails, or the nautical lanterns posted to the left and right as you step onto the expansive front deck. Looking around, you can almost feel what it would be like to start your day here, sitting beneath the ceiling fans with a cool drink or a warm coffee depending on the season.
Just inside, the walls in the front hallway boast lateral boards, resembling the exterior of a beach house. Soaring above is a three story space open to a cupola. Combined with the artistry of the home is the charm its owners brought with them; this is definitely no stuffy showpiece.
“I like a cozy, comfy and rustic feel,” says Laura Cook, whose family moved in this summer. “Coming to a more modern house I was wondering how it would work. But we ended up blending modern with rustic and keeping our beachy feel.”
To the right of the entryway is a casual dining room. To the left, a good sized home office painted a deep nautical blue with white trim. Both boast large windows facing the front of the house, offering an added benefit.“When we open the windows in the front and in the kitchen, we get an awesome cross breeze,” says Andy. “We barely ever use the air conditioning.”
Open floor plans and easy access to the outside are hallmarks of the home’s designers, Oscar and Danielle Leal of Beachwalk Homes, who built the house from the ground up after they bought and demolished the home which stood on the property in 2012. It went on the market this summer with Bette Gigliotti of the Gigliotti Group. “Beachwalk Homes were the first builders that introduced the transitional style to the area and they really have set the standard for future homes there,” says Gigliotti. “The design of these houses allows for modern or more traditional furnishings, or even a blend of both.” Gigliotti was contacted by the Cooks—the Leals’ friends who lived just five houses down the street.“We never even thought about leaving our other house,” Laura says. “But when we saw the For Sale sign, we thought we should consider it since we loved it and had seen every part of it.”
Having a long standing friendship with the Leals proved to be a plus in the transaction.“We had spent a lot of time here,” Laura says. “We went through the whole process of them building it, so we could see how they did everything.”
The kitchen is the center focal point of the first floor, accented by gorgeous glass subway tiles, white granite countertops, generous globe pendant lights and an oversized center island. Opening into a family room area with gas fireplace, it creates the perfect gathering spot.
Off the family room, a set of oversized gliding doors allow for a five-foot wide opening to the dual level deck and outdoor shower, while at the other end of the kitchen one finds their way to a cubby-lined mud room and laundry area, perfect for a family with a small child and two dogs.
The master bedroom is a peaceful oasis, with the home’s continuous white trim matched against gunmetal gray walls. Three small, high windows perfectly frame the couple’s bed and allow for relaxing ocean breezes. The adjoining bathroom has a free standing tub and a step-in rain shower used by both humans and canines thanks to its easy access.
Heading up one more set of stairs, it is a marvel how all of this space fits into the structure. The third floor holds an ample playroom and a separate, fully equipped gym. Surrounding the rooms are half walls topped with clear glass, offering abundant light, a view all the way down to the front hallway, and a close up of a fabulous nautically themed, spherical rope chandelier. Its position hanging above three levels of space poses only one problem. “When the time comes, we’re not quite sure how we’ll change the bulbs,” Laura chuckles.
For a family who only recently moved into their new home, the Cooks seem to have found the ideal fit. Beachy casual has blended seamlessly with coastal modern in a neighborhood they already loved, which means one thing to Laura, “it’s the perfect family home.”