Within the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working on two beach house projects. Both homes are on the bay and take advantage of the views with strategically placed windows. However, I had to have the same conversation with both clients. When you have a home with views of the beach, mountains, lake or the city you sacrifice one thing.
The sacrifice is well worth the views, but you’ve got to plan ahead or you’ll be pretty disappointed when you realize you won’t have enough empty wall space for major pieces of furniture, storage or artwork.
Challenges in Kitchens
The Tuckerton Beach House has three large windows to take in views of the bay. You know what that means? Less space for upper cabinets and open shelving. Fortunately, as with all our kitchen projects, we digitally draft every cabinet and appliance so we know what space we’re working with and we know exactly what is going where—down to the spice rack.
Since the client contacted us very early in the process, we were able to get our hands on the architectural floor plans and make some layout refinements to the kitchen way before construction started. We have upper cabinets on the windowless parts of the walls and also added shallow depth lower cabinets on the South wall with open shelving and pot and pan hanging above. The wall directly above the range not only has a pot filler, but also a niche that acts as additional shelving for frequently used items like oil, salt and pepper.
In kitchens you either need to get creative with storage or only keep the things you absolutely need.
Challenges in Dining Rooms
For my clients that recently moved to their home in Little Egg Harbor—they had the biggest challenges in their dining area since this is the section of the house with the most windows facing the bay. At the beginning of the project, I surveyed their old home and also took measurements of all the furniture they planned on taking with them. Next, I surveyed the beach house they recently purchased and did some furniture planning.
Furniture planning is a great service that saves you headaches in the long run, especially for families that are downsizing or moving to a home with a completely different floor plan. Further, why pay to move furniture that won’t fit in your new home?
When furniture planning for the Little Egg Harbor project, I quickly realized that all of their existing furniture would not fit—especially two large china cabinets. There just wasn’t a wide enough span of windowless wall to accommodate these pieces. This is one of the reasons floor plans and furniture plans are so important. If you are moving and aren’t sure which furniture to keep or donate, a furniture plan will make a lot of these decisions a lot easier.
Challenges in Living Rooms
Homes with amazing views often have large windows in the space you would entertain in most—the living room. A lot of people like to put sofas against the wall. In this case, you may need to pull sofas off the walls towards the center of the room, while still having enough space to walk around furniture.
If you have a TV in your living room think about glare—place your TV thoughtfully. If any angle seems like it may create a glare on the screen, consider a glare-free screen or installing window treatments.