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Sink & Swim

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Halkin|Mason Photography  |  Designer Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design  |  Architect MaMo Architects  |  Landscape Architect Hess Landscape Architects  |  Lighting Design Sean O’Connor Lighting

Jersey Shore homeowners take the plunge with state-of-the-art pool technology and outdoor living areas that cater to entertaining and everyday living

Left: One minute you are looking at a Sinai Pearl Limestone patio that opens up options for entertaining when the pool is not in use. Right: Next, thanks to retractable floor technology, the patio sinks to the ground and a swimming pool emerges.


In the 10-plus years her clients occupied their beachfront property, designer Meg Rodgers of Philadelphia-based Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design made several updates as the family grew and their needs changed. With help from Hess Landscape Architects, MaMo Architects and Sean O’Connor Lighting, Rodgers and team turned the backyard into a full-scale retreat with such amenities as a pool house with a mini kitchen, multiple areas for dining and lounging, and a loggia that provides a seamless indoor-to-outdoor connection.

One of the most striking features is the pool — built with a hydraulic floor, the first of its kind in the Northeast — that lifts up to be flush with the surrounding deck. It’s a space-saving feature in which the pool disappears at the touch of a button and a stone patio emerges where the kids can play or the family can entertain. “Our client is fascinated by and appreciates emerging technology,” Rodgers says. If it’s a viable option, “he is willing to incorporate it.” Nothing is a frivolous choice, she adds. “He uses everything,” including a separate hot and cold plunge pool, as a fitness enthusiast.

A cabana-style double daybed offers the perfect spot to grab a nap or quick read away from the crowd.


The same stone in varied sizes and patterns — along with ipe decking and grass — establish separate but connected areas for sun, shade and a range of activities. “It was important to create different experiences,” Rodgers says. “It’s more than a summer retreat,” she adds of her clients’ second home. “They enjoy it year-round.”

This third-floor deck — an extension of the kitchen and main living area — wraps around the house and includes a barbecue station. Color accents flow seamlessly between indoors and out and furnishings — in a variety of textures — accommodate eight in both the dining and lounge areas. Rodgers says the glass railing “gives a sense of more space because you don’t perceive an end” to the expansive views of the ocean and dunes.


The loggia is like a natural extension of the house and is visible from the foyer via sliding glass doors (located behind the sofa). Folding NanaWalls convert it to an all-season room with a seamless indoor/outdoor transition. New furnishings combine with vintage finds such as Hans Wegner folding chairs, a 19th century table made from French Oyster Sticks and Nakashima sitting chairs for an eclectic feel. The mahogany walls and ceiling were stained to match the ipe flooring, Rodgers notes.


Left: The backyard boasts a separate hot and cold plunge pool. A well-manicured lawn provides an area for the kids to play and softens the otherwise hard surface areas. Right: Slats in the pergola open and close to protect from the elements and incorporate strategically placed lighting. Appropriately  scaled furniture also creates a sense of place.


The pool house, surrounded by lush landscaping and dramatic lighting effects, features a mini kitchen and bar zone. The sculpture (at far right in photo) is placed in the center of a newly installed stairwell visible from a wall of windows at the back of the house. “When uplit, it’s magical at night,” Rodgers says.