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Transforming The May House Estate | A Custom Luxury Bayfront Remodel

Custom Luxury Bayfront Cedar Shake Home
Photo | Eric Weeks

Unparalleled Attention To Detail

Originally built by a local shipbuilder, the May House was a favorite among many local residents. The charm of the bayfront cedar home reminded many of years gone by. When the property was purchased in 2018, we were entrusted by the new homeowner to remodel the historic home.

The shared goal of our client and our team was to preserve the history of the home while elevating all of the amenities and finishings to the highest quality available. To do that, we began the project by creating a numbered catalog of each board and trim piece, then carefully removing all pieces and storing them, by room, in an off-site facility until it was time to reassemble each space.

After the house was raised, we utilized old world techniques to maintain the historical accuracy of the original build. This included using tongue and groove yellow pine roofers to diagonally sheath the exterior walls of the old sunroom and new garage addition.

World-Class Finishings

Combining historic accuracy and world-class modern amenities can be a challenge. Our team paid close attention to each detail, meticulously reinstalling each piece of wood from the original home and creating historically accurate millwork to match in the new additions. We hand crafted period specific railings, balusters, and newel posts both on the inside stairways and exterior of the home. The homeowner understood the need for enhanced features, making this project a craftsman's dream. The exterior of the home features brass gas lanterns and salvaged brick and cobblestone from the streets of Philadelphia, leaning in to the historic nature of the property. Inside we incorporated Forbes & Lomax switches and receptacles in various finishes. The Creston home automation system brings the home into this century while remaining seamlessly hidden in the architectural details of the home.

The ground floor features an expansive home gym with heated floors and glass garage doors overlooking the bay. A large screened in porch with mahogany ceilings and brick detail provides shade without sacrificing the views. Just off the screened in porch we built a cedar lined shower to allow rinsing off after a boat ride or to cool down after a dip in the bayfront copper spa. Our master craftsman utilized hand hewn beams to create a one-of-a-kind riddling rack for the homeowners impressive wine collection.

The eat-in gourmet kitchen features hand-crafted cabinetry with uniquely paneled Sub-Zero and Perlick appliances meant to look like antiques. The 48 AGA Elise dual fuel range is a accented by a hand-made tile backsplash featuring one-of-a-kind hand-carved accent tiles. A double-sided fireplace leads into the living room, where you can take in sweeping views of the bay or relax and enjoy a tv hidden within the wood flooring. If the mood for BBQ strikes you can take advantage of the Kalamazoo outdoor kitchen while looking out over the bay.

On the second floor the master suite takes center stage with it's vaulted mahogany ceiling, bayfront deck, hidden closet, and luxurious bathroom featuring large shower, soaking tub, radiant floor heating, custom made tile, large vanity and bidet. Completing the second floor are two ensuite bedrooms, each with custom made tile bathrooms and handcrafted built in cabinetry.

Take a trip up the wood ladder to experience the unique lines of the attic ceiling. We added cedar lap to the ceiling and hand hewn storage boxes to showcase the incredible lines of the space.

We never pick favorites, but this project will always have a special place in our hearts. The homeowner understood the need for exquisite quality features, making this project a craftsman's dream and enabling us to showcase the attention to detail and craftsmanship that we've honed over the last nine decades in operation.

Now Available

Come home to 85 feet of Ipe-trimmed waterfront access and endless amenities at this custom luxury bayfront remodel. Currently available for sale, the May House Estate is a truly one-of-a-kind home at the shore.

For questions about the building process and press inquiries, contact Oliver Construction.


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