When Andy Perry asked his wife, Lenni Sue, if she’d like to buy a beach house in Margate, she said yes, but only one house would do: a 1920 Dutch colonial nestled in a beautiful beach garden .

The charming home had rich stained mahogany garage doors and several outdoor spaces, perfect for entertaining.

“We drove down this street and the owners, whom we had known from childhood, came out,” recalls Andy, who runs a wealth management firm in New York. “Lenni told them how much she loved their house, and they said they were putting it on the market.”

With that, in 2008, Lenni Sue got her dream home, a 4,500 square foot, three-story home with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a separate one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house. bathroom which she uses as an art studio. and office.

Over the next 14 years, with the help of her cousin, interior designer Rhonda Sacks, Lenni Sue remodeled room by room.

“We took a 100+ year old house and modernized every part of the interior,” Andy said. “We kept the exterior intact because we loved this special and unique old world Margate home.”

The first priority was to brighten up the house by painting all the walls white and using white porch paint – designed for walking surfaces – for the floors and steps.

An avid cook, Lenni Sue tackled the kitchen, removing a column to open up the space. His must-haves included a butcher block chopping station, two side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators with four freezer drawers, and a stainless steel hood.

The piece features a large black and white drawing of a young girl that they purchased at Art Basel, Florida’s annual art fair.

“The most important thing was that every piece of fabric was washable,” Lenni Sue said of her white kitchen, living room and patio furniture. “I also wanted it to be like a bed and breakfast for my guests where things like the coffee station were easily accessible.”

To create a flow between inside and outside, they installed pocket doors which they usually keep open for a smooth transition. Outside, you can lounge in the hot tub, sit around the fire pit, or sip cocktails at the adjacent bar, while Andy barbecues in the outdoor kitchen.

“Our outdoor table seats 30 people,” said Lenni Sue, who often entertains large groups of friends and family. “Our outdoor space is really where we live.”

The wraparound second-floor terrace offers ocean views, perfect for morning coffee.

When the family first bought the house, their three children were tweens who lived on the third floor. The two boys, Matthew, now 26, and Brandon, 23, shared a room; Alexis, 28, had the second bedroom, and they shared a bathroom. But as the children grew, they outgrew the space.

“My kids are super tall, and as they grew up, they weren’t suitable for the third floor,” recalls Lenni Sue. “So I added skylights to create more space for separate bedrooms for boys and girls, each with their own bathroom.”

The first floor open plan features 10 foot ceilings and seven foot door jambs. The home’s neutral decor with gray and black accents creates a “soothing zen vibe,” Lenni Sue said. Recently, the couple replaced the original floors with mushroom-colored oak in five-inch planks.

One of the couple’s favorite indoor spaces is the elongated living room where family members and pets Willow Mae, a 2-year-old American Stafford Terrier/Bassett Hound mix, and Ivy, a 4-month-old American Stafford Terrier, can snuggle up on two sofas to watch TV.

Great puzzler and canasta player, Lenni Sue has converted the veranda into a game/puzzle/exercise room where the sun pours in through the east and south facing windows.

Last year the family sold their home in Short Hills, where they had lived for 25 years, and will now spend more time in Margate.

“When we bought this house 14 years ago, it quickly became our place of happiness,” Andy said. “Everyone is the happiest here.”

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