Drawn by the expansive grassy lawn overlooking the ocean, our client purchased a house in a private, unparalleled location in a charming coastal neighborhood. The hitch? It was a spec house, already under construction and destined for builder-grade finishes and a floorplan that needed tweaking. Recognizing the home’s potential—and desiring personalization—our client asked Knickerbocker Group to quickly help course correct and customize.
The homeowner, a woman with two grown children, sought a design that was feminine, casually glamorous, and inspired by the stunning ocean views. Knickerbocker Group stepped in to oversee interior architecture, finishes, fixtures, and decor, incorporating pretty patterns, curvilinear detailing, one-of-a-kind details, and subtle shimmer and shine—all swiftly executed despite a midstream start.
One of the first spaces the team began working on—and one of the first spaces guests see—is the showstopping kitchen, located immediately off the entry. The sprayed enamel range hood with stainless-steel strapping—inspired by a photo the client brought to an early meeting—is a focal point. It’s framed by iridescent backsplash tile that changes color with the sun, much like the sparkling sea just out the windows. White, simple Shaker-style cabinets, already on order, received a glamour moment from the addition of custom upper units inlaid with antiqued mirror and decorative woodwork. Even the soft blue walk-in pantry with ample storage is practical and pretty, thanks to geometric floor tiles, beveled glass backsplash tiles, and sliding doors—inset with salvaged stained-glass windows—that tuck the space neatly out of view.
The spec house plans lacked built-ins and millwork, so Knickerbocker Group added architectural detailing throughout. As designed, the kitchen / dining / living area was open and airy but in need of definition between spaces. Now, a coffered ceiling in the dining area brings a sense of cozy intimacy. Custom shelving and a walnut ledge mantel surround the living area fireplace, with the client’s stereo equipment cleverly concealed behind soft, pleated linen panels. The team also added extensive storage in the mudroom, created a built-in desk in the office, and hid unsightly exposed heating vents with a batten wall treatment in the sitting area, turning it into what is now one of the client’s favorite features in the home.
Floorplan changes included the layout of the primary bathroom in order to accommodate a dual-shower head marble shower and a curved freestanding soaking tub. At the client’s request, the design team converted a small entry closet into a powder room, as originally, the only other first-floor bath was connected to a guest room. A floating vanity helps maximize the tiny footprint while shimmery wallpaper lends a jewel-box feel.
Romantic as well as reflective elements run throughout the home: in the living area alone, there are matching silver side tables with curvy legs, metallic linen pillows, an opalescent table lamp, and a large rose gold coffee table that anchors it all. Elsewhere, swiss dot curtains swish in the sea breeze and graceful slipper chairs swivel toward the view. At either end of the locally made oak extension dining table, wingback chairs have dressmaker-like buttons that run down the back in a neat row. Even the laundry room is lovely, bursting with largescale floral wallpaper and pale chartreuse cabinetry.
For the oceanside lawn, Knickerbocker Group collaborated on landscape architecture to create an overall plan that includes an infinity pool and a sleek modern firepit. The outdoor stone patio was extended to fit a large dining table. Low-slung, modern furniture is accessorized with pops of orange—the client’s favorite color—which adds contrast against the bright blue ocean.
Today, the home boasts unfussy elegance and enduring allure, a place worthy of its prime oceanfront spot. For our client, it’s a private, seaside sanctuary: a place that feels distinctly feminine and distinctly her.