Taking a tour of the four-story home (actually, a home and a half) now being offered for sale at 20 South Nashville Ave. in Ventnor’s trendy North Beach section is a bit like entering a time machine and traveling back to 1925, the year it was originally built —at least in terms of the “newness” of its vintage look. But that’s because current owners Paul and Michelle Cappelluti went to considerable effort—and spared no expense—in restoring it to its original glory, both inside and out, after purchasing it in 2017.
“My husband found this house, and immediately realized what it had to offer if it were just given a little TLC,” says Michelle. “We ended up renovating it down to the bare studs, but did all we could to retain its original charm, given how I totally loved its homey kind of feel.” One example of that attention to authenticity was the staircase, which, when determined to be in need of replacing, was painstakingly reproduced down to the last detail by a specialist in custom stair carpentry.
The result is a genuinely old-fashioned beach residence with all the comforts of an earlier era in Absecon Island history, such as what Michelle refers to as a “porch paradise” with an ocean view—one that’s equipped with overhead fans and lighting and is wide enough to comfortably accommodate a variety of outdoor furniture and a sizeable get together with family and friends. But that’s not the only outdoor sitting space this retro residence has to offer— there’s also a pavered backyard terrace that comes with its own walled-in flower garden, fire pit and shed, as well as a third-floor balcony off the master bedroom (a great place to enjoy morning coffee, she says) and a second balcony off the first floor that’s accessible from the rear terrace via an outdoor stairway.
Another key feature dating back to that more hospitable time is a separate ground-floor garden apartment adjacent to the built-in garage, complete with two bedrooms, a family room, patio room, kitchen, and a full bath, which can be either rented out in the summertime (or even year-round) as a source of extra income or used to accommodate family members or guests.
But along with the home’s carefully reconstructed traditional aura are numerous contemporary conveniences and, as Michelle puts it, “none of the problems associated with an old house.” These include recently installed electrical and plumbing systems, ceiling fans, gas heat and central air conditioning, and what can be truly called a “chef’s kitchen” (Paul Cappelluti being a former chef), featuring a full complement of stainless steel Viking appliances, including a 36-inch professional range with six burners and a unique “pot filler,” and an island with a sink, wine fridge and a stone countertop that can double as a bar or, alternately, as a “kitchen table” at which to eat or work.
Adding to what she describes as this home’s traditional “glamor beach appeal” are no fewer than four electric fireplaces that are both decorative and serve as zero-emission heat sources—one in the second-floor family room, another in the master bedroom, a third in an adjacent sitting room, and a fourth in that garden-level apartment; customized crown molding with which every interior window and doorway has been trimmed, the bay windows that grace both the living area and two of the bedrooms (including the spacious master suite), a bedroom converted into a huge walk-in closet, and the one feature that isn’t new—a vintage, ornate front door with an embossed, stained-glass panel and equally exquisite side panels that helps contribute to the “Tiffany kind of look” that the couple endeavored to recreate.
Then there are the furnishings, most of which the Cappellutis, both of whom “love to do interior design” as a hobby, purchased to fit in with the ambience of the house, and which Michelle emphasizes are negotiable, should a buyer want to retain them and thus keep the house in its present turnkey, move-in condition. “I would love for a family to come in and enjoy everything we have right here,” she says, “because it’s beautiful the way it is right now.”
The location, of course, is a huge asset in itself, a little more than a block from the beach and boardwalk and in the middle of what is considered one of the most desirable parts of the island, with many eateries and shops within walking distance, as well as being a few minutes’ drive from the attractions of both Atlantic City and Margate. “We have come to love the North Beach area and all of our neighbors on Nashville Avenue,” adds Michelle, who says they hope to find a smaller place to live nearby now that their daughters have married and moved away because “this house is really a bit big for us.”
But if its size and description is something that sound like its suited to your family’s needs, and the price sounds right, you shouldn’t hesitate to call listing agent, Mary Lou Ferry of Farley and Ferry Realtors at (609) 822-1836 or her cell number, (609) 289-1131 or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.