Typically, the “heart of the home” is on its first floor. For this oceanside New York property, however, architecture and design firm Ike Kligerman Barkley knew that in order to capitalize on the views — they had to go up a level or two. “The home is located on an side street and it sits across from a private walled beach club, which restricts the view to the ocean from the first floor,” John Ike told us in a recent interview. “In response to this, we lifted the main living space and owner’s bedroom to the second floor for the best views of the ocean.”

The client, a professional single woman, wanted to create a primary residence that would be a unique personal statement and also comfortable and elegant. “As is typical of our firm, when looking for inspiration for this house, we look to the past for appropriate precedents,” Ike shared. “I’ve long admired a building designed by French architect Henry Jacques Le Même, on the banks of the Seine close to the Quai d’Orsay, for the Water and Forestry Board to demonstrate the virtues of timber by science and industry in 1937. This Palais du Bois boldly raises the main exhibition hall on sturdy wood piers while the entire wooden skin of the building is a ‘sampler’ of various decorative patterns achieved through utilizing wood in varying techniques.”

The forms of the property are more rectilinear and the composition more urban to maximize the ex-urban lot, with the wings of the building creating an interior courtyard occupied by a sparkling pool.  The two-story entry and stair hall is set between the two wings of the house — the principal wing extends the length of the property and faces the ocean, while the secondary wing houses two stacked bedroom suites. Informal family living spaces are set beneath the main elevated living space, and a detached garage sits adjacent to the bedroom wing. 

For the interior design, the firm collaborated with the homeowner to create a juxtaposition between the unique oceanfront architecture and bright and modern furnishings. It showcases a mix of high-end finishes, clean lines, and neutral tones — with a few pops of color and unexpected details. As for the architect’s favorite room? “The elevated double height living room. It’s sheer drama!”

Take a tour in the slideshow below.