Set among the wooded expanse of the Abbey Springs community in Fontana, lies an unassuming A-frame home with a cottage-like feel. For the Beuke family, the home represents a sanctuary by the water, a place to relax and escape to, and one that is filled with four decades of family memories.
The property was first purchased by Rick Beuke’s parents, Chuck and Elaine, who enjoyed vacationing in Abbey Springs and decided to purchase a home there in 1978. Rick and his wife Annamarie, who live in Hinsdale, Illinois, have enjoyed the vacation home throughout the years, and have fond memories dating back to their early married life when they would travel there with their three sons, who were always excited to make the trip.
In 2016, Rick and Annamarie realized that Rick’s parents, who were now in their 90s, were not able to visit the vacation home as frequently as they had in the past. As a result, Rick and Annamarie offered to fix up the property, as they knew how much the home meant to their family and had witnessed the blessings and lifelong memories that had been created there.
The Beukes began renovations on the home intending to create a modern space with a central theme revolving around keeping the family together. They achieved this by keeping the open concept layout, allowing for the home to continue feeling like one large space. During the process, the entire structure was reworked. Thus, the Beukes transformed the three bedroom, 1 ½ bath home into four bedrooms with three full baths. “With the added space, everyone can have a place to stay when we are up here together,” Annamarie explains.
The Beukes now have three adult children. Their oldest son PJ and his wife Katie have a two-year-old daughter, Lilly. Matty is the Beuke’s middle son and their youngest son, Ricky, recently graduated from college. During the renovation process, the Beuke’s middle son, Matty, was diagnosed with ALS.
“Suddenly, our plan changed a bit,” Beuke explains. “We still envisioned the space to be our vacation home, but we wanted it to also represent a place where we could forget about the stress that comes with ALS.”
Rick and Annamarie worked with their architect who quickly adjusted the plans to ensure the home would be ADA compliant. With no stairs, the 2,200 square-foot home has doorways that are now wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, one bathroom that includes a walk-in shower, and a large open kitchen that offers plenty of space to maneuver.
After the structural remodeling was complete, the design details were fine-tuned by Annamarie’s friend, Debbie Bossy, an interior designer with Park Avenue Designs. Bossy created a light and airy feel throughout the interior, and thoughtfully placed nautical accent pieces within the home, encouraging visitors to enjoy a respite from the frantic pace of life.
“A white kitchen and a lot of shiplap make up the interior,” Beuke explains. “It is clean and uncluttered – so we can just focus on spending time with one another.”
The Beuke family anxiously anticipates their time spent at their vacation home, where they’re able to forget about life’s worries for a while and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that is cultivated in the Abbey Springs community.
“It is such a beautiful place,” Annamarie says. “The community is full of wonderful people. We have such kind and caring neighbors, our granddaughter plays with the kids next door, we eat meals together and have bonfires with our neighbors. It is a community where people visit easily and often.”
For the Beukes, time spent at their Abbey Springs home is synonymous with serenity. The property holds cherished memories for Rick and Annamarie, their sons, and Rick’s parents, who still come up to enjoy the home. The home also allows for easier mobility for Matty as he navigates life with ALS and gives the family ample space to enjoy long weekends together. Annamarie tells us, “We look forward to being together as a family while creating new traditions and new memories in this home, with a new generation.”
By: Tricia Carzoli
Photography by: Matt Haas