The Most Summery Summer House

Beachy colors and white paint turned this New Jersey home into a getaway worthy of its water view. HGTV Magazine takes you inside.

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

The House

Some things run in the family. For Kelly and Vince Tague, it’s summers spent at the shore in the quaint oceanside town of Avalon, NJ. That’s where they each vacationed with their families when they were growing up; it’s where the two met, shortly after college; and it’s where the pair bought a 1900s cottage a few blocks away from the beach for their own brood. They had fun times there, but they couldn’t resist upgrading to a 2,856-square-foot house right on the bay when it came on the market in 2014.

“Vince first took me to see it right at sunset,” says Kelly. “You can’t watch the sun going down over the water and not fall in love with this house.” Still, the home had an unlovable side: It was outdated, with dark wood paneling and old furniture. The couple called on designer Stephanie Kraus, local to their Wayne, PA, home base, to freshen up the interior without a reno. They painted all the paneling white (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) and replaced the shag carpeting with wide-plank bleached-cypress floors. For furnishings, Stephanie bought new pieces, mixed in ones from the couple’s former beach cottage, and revamped a bunch that came with the place. “We kept it pretty simple, like you want shore living to be,” says Kelly. “Besides, nothing can compete with that view!”

The Family

Vince and Kelly with Katherine, 20 (left), Mary Jane, 17, and pups Murphy and Zoe.

Dining Room

Waterside dining — every meal! The table is custom-made, the chairs are from West Elm, and the light fixture is from Anthropologie.


This foyer, just past the glass front door, doesn’t get much light because the area sits beneath the deck. Once Kelly and Vince painted it white, it immediately looked bigger and brighter. The geometric iron railing is original to the house: “It has such a Brady Bunch retro feel to it,” Kelly says. When her gang heads to the beach, the cushioned metal bench from West Elm is where they wait for stragglers. The beach print is from

Living Room

When you have a beach house, everyone’s up for a visit. Kelly and Vince maxed out the seating (and coastal vibe) with an 84"-wide cottagey sofa from Crate & Barrel, sky-blue-and-white swivel chairs from Lee Industries and sunny yellow floor cushions from CB2. The polypropylene rug, from Annie Selke’s Dash & Albert, has the look of knotted nautical rope. The art is a custom creation by Baltimore artist Janine McGuire; Kelly wanted something as happy-making as the space itself — a piece that would, as she says, “hold its own between the window views.”

Family Room

The downstairs area is usually where the girls and their friends hang out, so designer Stephanie let loose with nautical-cool pattern plays. She painted the base of the bamboo sectional navy and had the cushions reupholstered in fabric that resembles pools of water (it’s by Trina Turk for Schumacher). Then she paired it with a blue-and-white-striped rug from Annie Selke’s Dash & Albert and ocean prints from the Etsy shop Driftwood Interiors. The wicker coffee table is from Boston Interiors.


It used to be dark and dingy — the opposite of summery. To save money, the Tagues focused on refreshers: They replaced the vinyl flooring with light wood, painted the chestnut-toned cabinets gray (Cape May Cobblestone by Benjamin Moore) and put in granite countertops and a cotton Roman shade from Villa Nova. Still there: the 1980s-era range. “Since we’re usually just grilling or throwing together salads, we skipped new appliances,” says Kelly.

Master Bedroom

Kelly and Vince had three musts for their room: peaceful, unfussy and with one really cozy place to sit. “The master bedroom is on the side of the house, but you can see the water from the chair,” says Kelly. “It’s my favorite spot, especially with a cup of coffee.” Both the chair and the ottoman are from Lee Industries. They got the four-poster bed and nightstands from Crate & Barrel, and the two-tone teal rug is from Parisa Rugs & Décor.

Guest Bedroom

To avoid going nautical-overboard, Stephanie mixed it up with a tropical palette of leafy greens and sunny yellows in the guest room. She kept the respectable 1970s rattan dresser in place and splurged on a showstopper headboard, upholstered with palm-leaf-print fabric by Bassett McNab Company. Add in the crisp white cotton bedding from Pottery Barn and a bright mirror and rug from IKEA, and, says Kelly, “it’s like a Caribbean escape in here!”

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