Home Tour: A Laid-Back Beach Home on the Jersey Shore

By Kathleen Nicholson Webber

Originally posted in the Philadelphia Style Magazine on May 18, 2014.

A suburban couple’s beachside home reflects their new, laid-back lifestyle at the Jersey Shore.

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The living room at Karen and Hubert Jasinski’s Bella Condos penthouse showcases their style.

It is rare someone winds up thankful that a deal for a potential dream home falls through. But for Karen Jasinski and her husband, Hubert, being narrowly outbid for a Millionaires’ Row home on the Inlet in Atlantic City turned out to be an unexpected boon. With their disappointment still fresh, a call from Karen’s business partner led to the purchase of a unit at Bella Condos in Atlantic City. She was always against living in an “elevator building” as she was accustomed to the wide-open spaces of her five-acre Montgomery County farm, where she drives to her mailbox daily. But with a little coaxing, Karen was convinced to give high-rise living a trial run.

She soon found that she really loved the many conveniences of a staffed 24-hour concierge building and became a quick convert to this more pampered lifestyle. Before long, a penthouse became available, and she and Hubert—owners of a medical manufacturing lab in Lansdale—traded their unit for the two-floor, three-bedroom standout, commissioning the condo’s main designer, Janet Espenshade of Espenshade Interiors in Bryn Mawr, to have the place move-in ready in 30 days. Espenshade’s contemporary “upscale seashore style” interiors had already earned rave reviews from many of the building’s other residents, and she was up for the challenge.

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The kitchen features stainless steel countertops.

Espenshade, who also crafted the interiors for 1706 Rittenhouse, used glistening travertine floors throughout the Jasinskis’ home. The contemporary kitchen now boasts Italian cabinetry, glass hood and tile, and a built-in cappuccino machine. A stainless steel counter peninsula overlooks a dining area with rich wood and upholstered dining chairs.

Espenshade kept all the windows uncovered so the focal point of the home would be the view. “I was able to make it so much more than what you see at the Shore,” she says, admitting that while the home is not your typical Shore house interior, its modern elegance sets it apart: “I think it is the most glamorous building in Atlantic City.”

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The designer, Janet Espenshade, decorated the house with a contemporary “upscale seashore style”.

In the penthouse’s living room she constructed a custom glass and marble fireplace, and in the master bedroom, Espenshade used a creamy yellow for the sumptuous linens. The guest bedroom is done in shades of slate gray and pink. Off the master bedroom there is a curved balcony with impressive views of the city. “I think most people who have second homes want cleaner and lighter,” says the designer. “They may have the big, traditional home in the suburbs and now they want something that is easier to care for but has plenty of room.” The Jasinskis’ country home is just that—an Italian-style design with generous rooms that flow into one another and that are filled with art and collections. But for Karen, the Shore condo is her modern version of a European-style pied-à-terre, complete with a collection of vintage pin-up art curated by her husband.

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The guest bedroom in creamy yellow.

Now Jasinski and her husband hop in the car and enjoy the dining, gaming, and entertainment that have become part of their weekend routine. “During the day, we take our bikes and go to Gardner’s Basin near Borgata in the afternoon. It is like a mini Key West with its bars and restaurants.”

But the couple treasures quieter time in their beachside home when they need to press pause on their busy lives. “The unit is an oasis—an elegant functional home away from home,” says Karen. For Hubert, the vibrancy and accessibility of the city is the most exciting aspect of their luxe retreat. “When I go to turn in at night and look at the city lights, I often wonder how I can sleep when the city is so alive.” Bella Condos, 526 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-344-6200

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