A 1962 Fire Island beach house has been gently transported into the 21st century with a thorough renovation and addition. Architect Don Page's lithe, one-storey design was saddled with a lower-level apartment addition in the 1980's. Rawlins Design reconfigured the ground floor and stained the exterior black, allowing the original building to once again hover over the landscape. A covered entry porch was glassed in, connecting the two levels of the home and opening up the formerly blank facade to the public boardwalk, in a nod to Fire Island's voyeuristic brand of modernism. The expanded Foyer improves upon the cramped dimensions of the original.

The upper floor plan was preserved, while problems with its original details were addressed. A cumbersome brick hearth and wood stove are replaced by a floating, energy-efficient ethanol fireplace. New furniture, flooring, artwork, and integrated up-lighting liberate the formerly dark and cramped spaces. Porcelain walls, integrated appliances, and stone slabs elevate a simple galley into a chef's kitchen. A similar streamlining carries through to the bathrooms.

A completely reconfigured lower floor joins two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchenette to the original dwelling. The stair that joins them attends to its sculptural potential within the parameters of a modest budget.

In the back yard, the vintage cascading steps inspired new tiered walls that provide gradations of privacy across the site. Steps lead down to a shower enclosure with a frosted glass corner.

This project was featured in Interior Design's special "Homes" Issue.

Project: BEACH HILL WALK HOUSE

Photos: TOM SIBLEY

Location: FIRE ISLAND

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KITCHEN BEFORE

BATHROOM BEFORE

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