CHANGING CAREERS TO FOCUS ON HER LOVE OF DESIGN, A SPRING LAKE WOMAN HAS CREATED THE IDEAL SEASIDE FAMILY HOME
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI • PHOTOS BY PATTY PIXEL
Situated on a rare double beach block lot with a private yard and glorious unobstructed ocean views, 15 Madison Avenue is a standout property in one of New Jersey’s most coveted shore towns. Both placid and palatial, Spring Lake is renowned for its sense of community and multigenerational residents. A postcard of gracious, storybook homes feature large porches and lush gardens. The downtown area is home to charming shops, galleries, and eateries, and the well-maintained noncommercial two-mile boardwalk provides vast vistas of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. To appreciate the quintessential Spring Lake dream home, look no further than 15 Madison Avenue, a rare gem amongst a town full of jewels.
The beach is steps away from the 200 x 150 lot, set back from Ocean Avenue and convenient to the downtown action, park, and lake. The impressive home was drawn by architect Chris Rice and built by Rick Barry, two of the area’s finest. The owner, lifelong resident and design enthusiast Marie Reed, knows what makes a classic yet contemporary Spring Lake estate. Designing the home herself, her vision was to create a luxurious yet comfortable home, which has been featured in several magazines and on area home tours.
“I always admired 15 Madison Avenue,” said Reed. “The front porch is magnificent and there are many balconies overlooking the ocean, along with a carport, large screened-in back porch, and sunroom. I knew the bones of the house were wonderful, and it was so well built that most of what I had to do was decorative. No expense was spared to create a masterpiece, which would cost much more to reproduce today.”
A real estate investor for some 25 years, Reed has owned and/or invested in single-family homes in New York, New Jersey, California, and Florida. She has redesigned and renovated two homes in the Sunshine State, one in New York, three in Spring Lake, and one in Sea Girt. All are luxury coastal homes suited for the area, which she designed with local architects.
Reed’s successes are a logical outgrowth of her previous career on Wall Street, which she recently left to pursue her “passion for real estate,” joining the Gallery Residential Brokerage as a realtor-associate in their Spring Lake office. There, she can utilize her Wall Street skills to negotiate on behalf of clients, offer them her expertise in design, renovation, and custom home building, and assist them in acquiring their perfect seaside retreat.
Reed’s renovation of this Madison Avenue gem began in December 2019. The family added a pool area, which was completed in May 2020. The top to bottom reno transformed the living spaces into a welcoming, comfortable, and decidedly beachy residence ideal for entertaining and meeting the needs of a busy family.
“The first thing I did was remove the drapes and awnings on the front porch which made the front of the house too dark,” explained Reed. “The inside was not my style. It was beautifully designed but dated. I prefer an open, airy, seaside look and lots of natural light.” Next came the kitchen, mudroom, and much of the eight bathrooms. Worn marble tile floors in the entryway and kitchen were replaced with a light woodlook tile.
“I had to reconfigure the kitchen as I love a big kitchen with an oversized island, lots of windows, a large range, extra dishwashers, and a lot of refrigeration,” she said. The space, which overlooks the pool area, now boasts a Wolf stove with a pot filler faucet, a farm sink, shiplap ceiling, marble countertops, glass-front cabinet doors, and ample lighting, something Reed paid special attention to throughout the home. A custom range hood that matches the stainless steel appliances completes the picture. Adjacent is a butler’s pantry.
Shiplap was also installed in the dining room, which became less formal and ornate, and more family-friendly under Reed’s guidance. A build-in inspired by a Nantucket hotel showcases treasured items. Decorative archways and trim were removed to expose the home’s high ceilings, and the entire house was repainted inside and out, with natural grass wallpaper gracing select interior spaces. The original mahogany wood floors were refinished.
“The screened-in porch on the back of the house is probably my favorite room,” said Reed. “It has a fireplace with a beautiful mantle made by a friend’s husband, a slate floor, and beadboard ceiling. This room only had screens so I had storm windows made, and now it can be used almost year-round.”
The large, stately office, which can accommodate two people, has a sitting area, and features a large mahogany and marble gas fireplace, also refreshened. The mahogany wood trim was retained while the wall panels were lightened with grass wallpaper
On the second floor, Reed endeavored to preserve high-end features in the bedrooms and bathrooms like original marble and tile accents. She replaced all the fixtures with new versions from Waterworks. The master bedroom has a serene sitting room overlooking the ocean. There, she installed a white marble floor and “amazing” grass wallpaper, added a bar area and freestanding tub, and created an extra office and a spot for enjoying morning coffee or an evening glass of wine while watching the sunset. The master’s bar area and master bathroom now have countertops made of leathered Carrara marble.
On the third floor, shiplap walls continue the coastal feel. There is a large sitting room with a bar area opening to a balcony, offering fantastic ocean views. In the loft space, Taylor Custom Woodworks made built-in beds with mahogany accents. The lighting is from Urban Archeology. The home’s lower level, where Reed’s three children spend much of their time, features a movie theater, gym, game room, playroom, and den with an extra bathroom, also graced with Carrara marble.
The outside is a vacation and entertaining paradise. The oversized heated gunite pool with an interior spa and spitters is surrounded by marble coping. There was plenty of room to add a large bar, an outdoor kitchen, and a separate seating area with a gas fire pit, all topped with marble.
Reed, who purchased her first Spring Lake home in 2003, enjoys sharing her experiences growing up in the seaside community with friends, clients, and visitors. “People come to Spring Lake for vacation and often return year after year, frequently purchasing a home of their own here,” she said. “My own memories include biking around town with my friends, going to the beach, watching sunrises, walking the boardwalk, running the Spring Lake Five, or simply hanging with my friends and family on our front porch.” Reed’s grandfather, Clarence Reed, ran the first Spring Lake Five-Mile Run in 1977. Her family has been running in it ever since, creating treasured memories in the process.
Nationally recognized, the event has grown into one of New Jersey’s largest road races.
“Families here have so many traditions,” said Reed. “I can’t think of a better way to live.”
Marie Reed Homes
The Gallery Residential Brokerage / 309 Morris Avenue / Spring Lake
Office: 732.449.4646 Ext. 790 / Cell: 415.310.2330 / Mariereedhomes.com