From the August/September 2019 Issue  

Run-Down Building Turned Family-Friendly Pool House

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Morris Gindi  |  Designer Joyce Silverman  |  Location Allenhurst, NJ

The pool house features comfy seating and a bar. Upstairs, there’s a spa, a steam room, a massage room and a yoga space.

And all for fun at a pool house that caters to kids and adults alike

The 150-year-old structure that was to become the pool house at Joyce Silverman’s Allenhurst, New Jersey home was not in great shape when she purchased the property. Recognizing that the run-down building, complete with antique washbasin, was not going to cut it, Silverman, owner of Joyce Silverman Interiors in Allenhurst, NJ, decided a complete renovation was in order.

Zoning regulations decreed that the building’s footprint remain unchanged. “It’s a good thing they’re so strict because they maintain the integrity of the town,” Silverman says. In order to meet that requirement, “we were very particular” in redesigning the space.

Maximizing space usage was a necessity, and not just because of the square footage restrictions. “My family is large,” Silverman explains. “We always need hidden storage. We can’t afford to lose any space anywhere. Every nook and cranny has to be useful.” Silverman found practical ways to hide pool toys and other gear, including a drawer built into a seat under the stairs.

That seat—along with two walls and the ceiling of the sitting area—are wrapped in acacia wood, a variety much favored by Silverman’s husband, who first saw it years ago in a temple in Jerusalem. “He loved that acacia was available,” the designer says. The wood creates a strikingly rustic effect; so do the pendant lights hanging in a cluster above the bar. The colorful, handwoven lampshades are designed to resemble baskets but are actually made from recycled plastic, so they’re both beautiful and eco-friendly.

The kids can play in the tree house while the adults relax poolside.

The soft rustic pieces are balanced by the infusion of sleek modern elements. The stair rail, made of glass and white oak, has a distinct presence without overwhelming the space. The bar is swathed in terrazzo stone in subtle gray tones. The understated countertop frames multicolored tiles on the front of the bar and acts as a foundation to those same lively tiles on the back wall.

That liveliness reflects the people who spend time here. “We entertain here a lot,” Silverman says. Throughout summer days and evenings you’ll find kids in the tree house outside or on the zip line from the tree house to the front porch while their parents enjoy the pool or a refreshing drink. “There’s something for everybody,” Silverman adds. “We have a great time. We really enjoy the space.”