Beach & Bay Cottage Tour opens local homes to public this week

The Friends of the South Coastal Library’s major annual fundraiser, the Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, directly benefits the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach and is almost here. The tour will take place Wednesday, July 24, and Thursday, July 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 2019 tour offers homes in a variety of styles and personalities. They are located along the shore from Fenwick Island to North Bethany, and inland, including canal and bay views. Tour attendees have the option of visiting all 10 homes in one day or spreading the viewing over the two days of the tour.

Tickets for the tour cost $35, and each tour participant will receive a reusable tote bag with the program booklet, which serves as the ticket, a pair of booties (donated by Beebe Medical Center) to be worn in all the homes, and complimentary copies of Coastal Style and Delaware Beach Life magazines.

Tote sponsors for 2019 are the Anne Powell Group, the Cottage Café/Bethany Boathouse, G&E/Hocker’s, PNC Bank, Sea Colony Recreational Association and the Town of Bethany Beach. Shirley Price LLC is supplying hand fans for the tour, and the Pohanka Automotive Group is furnishing the auto hang tags. Leslie Kopp of the Leslie Kopp Group has agreed to serve as the chief underwriter of the annual cocktail reception honoring the homeowners of this year’s tour homes.

Tickets are now available at the South Coastal Library at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach, and tour-goers will be able to pick up previously reserved tickets, as well as purchase tickets at the library meeting room starting July 18 at 10 a.m. and at varying times throughout the week until July 25, with the schedule posted on the meeting room door at the library.

A limited number of tickets will also be available starting noon on July 16 at Bethany Beach Books in Bethany; at Carolina Street and The Rooster’s Nest in Fenwick Island; at McCabe’s in South Bethany; and at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth.

Babies and children younger than 12 are not permitted in the homes, and no photography is allowed in the homes. Tour homes are private homes and are not handicapped-accessible.

The Cottage Tour also includes a number of raffles. The winners of the Dinner for Two raffle will dine in style at the Good Earth Market, the Hooked Group, Parkway, Sedona or SoDel Concepts. The Art Raffle, featuring local artists, offers framed artwork from Aubré Duncan, Tara Funk Grim, Laura Hickman, Jeanne Mueller, Amanda Sokolski and Cheryl Wisbrock.

Tickets for both raffles cost $1 each or $5 for six, and are available at the library and at selected homes on the days of the tour. The drawings will be held at the library at 5 p.m. on July 25; winners need not be present.

With the Adopt a House program for hostesses, many organizations will be involved in the 2019 tour. Participants this year are Bay Forest Women, the Bishop’s Landing Ladies’ Group, Coastal Gardeners, Fenwick Island Barefoot Gardeners, Friends of Alice Conkey, Friends of Sue DiTommaso, Friends of Eileen Giaquinto, Friends of Kathy Jankowski, Friends of Laura Martin, Friends of Dolores Pack, Friends of Sandy Powell, Gardeners by the Sea, Ladies of Bay Forest, Lake Bethany Babes, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Salt Pond Women’s Club, South Bethany Women’s Club, Tower Road Beach Family, The Village of Bear Trap Dunes, Janice Warns and the Warns Group—Long & Foster, Waters Run Neighbors & Friends, Leslie Weightman of Keller Williams Realty, Windhurst Manor Homeowners, Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach and the Women’s Council of Realtors.

To donate and to get updated information, go to, stop at the library, or leave a message with the Friends at (302) 537-5828.


Home 1 — The Bora Bora House

When a lot on the Assawoman Bay became available, the owners of this home abandoned their previous Fenwick vacation spot to build this five-bedroom home that offered views of the water and sunsets, all within walking distance of area restaurants and shops. Completed just a year ago, the home reflects the owners’ love of Nantucket styling and showcases their knack for decorating with vintage maritime memorabilia and nautical accessories. Custom carpentry and lighting fixtures add interest but never compete with the wraparound water views that bathe the home in light. Stained wood ceiling beams and a recurring crossbucks design lend warmth and rustic character, while wire cable railings add a contemporary flair. At the core of the home is an elevated heated pool accessible from the main living area. A lower-level game room leads to a bayside patio, fire pit and the family boat docked nearby. Although the ocean lies just a few blocks away, there is more than enough to keep this active family happily occupied here on the bay.


Home 2 — The Troiano Home

After vacationing in South Bethany for years, the Troiano family joined other family members with homes on Anchorage Street to build their own beach house in 2018. This five-bedroom, four-bath, three-level home sits directly on the canal, offering opportunities for recreation, entertaining and great views. The updated coastal design combines muted ocean tones, soothing neutrals and organic textures to create a comfortable and casual atmosphere for this active young family. Weathered wood furniture warms the more contemporary pieces of metal and stone, while shiplap accent walls add a fresh coastal tone. Custom features include built-in cabinetry, 8-foot six-panel wood doors and select white oak floors with a unique European finish. An open floor plan in the main living area leads to a four-season sunroom that opens out to a tiered canalfront deck, designed to create an easy flow for casual entertaining.


Home 3 — The Gordon Home

Four years after purchasing a cozy three-bedroom South Bethany bungalow, the Gordon family realized they had outgrown the dated and cramped 1,200-square-foot space. They loved their quiet location in the Cat Hill neighborhood, just a five-minute bike ride from the beach, so they decided to renovate rather than move. The house was completely gutted, down to the studs, and a second floor was added, increasing the total square footage to 2,100. The rest of the home was completely remodeled, adding a new chef’s kitchen and four en suite bedrooms. Tongue-and-groove engineered eucalyptus bamboo floors echo the pine tongue-and-groove cathedral ceiling that was carefully preserved from the original home’s living room. The owners recalled that the distinctive ceiling was a key attraction when they bought the original home in 2014 and, even now, after the renovation, continues to draw people’s attention. To counter these rustic wood elements, sheer white drapes diffuse the light in every room, in an effort to create a soft, soothing atmosphere. The furnishings and décor are transitional eclectic, with many of the choices influenced by the homeowner’s California roots and her artistic touch. The result is designed to be a warm and welcoming space that blends the best of the old home with the updated comforts of the new.


Home 4 — The Boyd Home

Being a military family that moved every three years, the Boyds had no permanent place to call home until they purchased their Bethany West vacation retreat in 1984. They lovingly referred to their one-story modular Nanticoke Home as the “Beach Box,” not really knowing at the time just how much they would fall in love with it or with Bethany Beach. During the 35 years they have owned the home, it has undergone three major exterior and interior renovations, expanding to accommodate family and friends with an indoor hot tub and a dedicated guest wing with its own master suite. The central living area is capped by a private master-suite addition that opens out onto the heated saltwater swimming pool on the rear deck. Craftsman doors and shiplap walls throughout the home bring added character and warmth. The home has also offered them a palette in which to showcase a wide variety of local artists, as well as the homeowner’s prized collection of hand-carved duck decoys and shorebirds of the Eastern Shore. The Boyds have now settled down as full-time residents to enjoy their expanded Beach Box that began simply so many years ago and now has far surpassed its origins to maximize every opportunity for a full retirement and lots of family vacation fun.


Home 5 — The Glueck Home

After enjoying two previous vacation homes in the area while raising their kids, the Gluecks knew they were ready to graduate to an oceanfront property that would give them beautiful waterfront views and easier access to the beach. They found the spot they were looking for in Cotton Patch, just north of the town of Bethany Beach, and built their 4,700-square-foot home there in 2017. Their laid-back style called for a casual beach retreat that would comfortably accommodate multi-generational enjoyment. A spacious kitchen anchored by an 11-foot island is central to the open floor plan that leads to the main dining and living area. From there, an expansive deck beckons, equipped with a full kitchen, fire pit and handcrafted swing. Two guest rooms flank the central core, with three oceanfront bedrooms filling the third floor. The lower level is devoted to relaxed family recreation. A 100-inch projection TV dominates the family room, nestled between a game room and gym on one side and a snack kitchen and laundry on the other. Returning beachgoers enter through that area, thus confining wet, sandy towels and bathing suits to the lower level. The family’s love of shiplap is evident throughout the home, even appearing on some ceilings. Whitewashed oak floors and a neutral palette are designed to provide a soothing backdrop for the ocean views that dominate almost every room in the house.


Home 6 – The Boone Home

After spending almost every weekend in their townhouse in the Salt Pond for a decade, the Boones knew that’s where they’d ultimately build when they transitioned to fulltime Bethany residents a few years ago. Their traditional two-story home is situated directly on the canal, with a view of Lake Bethany just beyond. Surrounded by the peace of the wetlands, they witness a daily display of local waterfowl. Osprey, herons and ducks make regular appearances, easily viewed from the expanse of windows inside or from out on the stone patio. The views stretch across the rear of the home, brightening the rooms with natural light from the southern exposure. White and cream furnishings, with accessories in shades of blue, serve as a soothing backdrop for a lifetime of travel mementos. Almost every room in the home showcases collectible boxes and photographs from all over the world. Sentimental items from family and friends can also be found on display, adding personal meaning to the décor. A first-floor master and guest bedroom flank the open main living area, with three bedrooms upstairs to serve additional houseguests seeking a calm, natural escape from the beach nearby.


Home 7 — The Lennon Home

As they looked toward full-time retirement in Bethany Beach, the Lennons realized they had outgrown their 1998 vacation home in Salt Pond and would have to renovate in order to get the added light, space and storage they needed. The focus of the 2017 update was to completely open up the second floor of their inverted floorplan, with larger windows to maximize natural light and take better advantage of the views of the wetlands and pond at the back of the house. A nine-panel glass curtain on the front of the house adds visual impact both inside and out, spreading light to the stairway, as well as the lower guest level and upper main floor. At the top of the stairs, a centrally located porch with a full-length retractable screen captures the beauty of the natural surroundings and offers a spot for quiet observation of the ever-changing scenery. Large picture windows in both the living room and master bedroom continue the focus on the outdoors. The main living area is now completely open to the view, whether sitting at the kitchen island, dining at the farmhouse table or relaxing in front of the fireplace. Original works by a variety of local artists add color and regional interest to the soft neutral palette of the transitional coastal décor. By fully opening the interior of their home, the Lennons have created a setting for casual living and entertaining, and are now able to savor the serenity of their natural surroundings from every vantage point.


Home 8 — The Haug Home

After owning a vacation home in Ocean View for 12 years, the Haugs were looking for something larger to accommodate the many family and friends they enjoy entertaining. They settled on a spacious five-bedroom home nestled on a pond in Bethany Lakes. Though tastefully furnished by the previous owner, when they moved in four years ago, they felt it definitely was in need of an update. Now it is rich with personal details, filled with whimsical accessories, original artwork and decorative pottery that reflect the couple’s travels throughout the world. Multiple glass-fronted cabinets showcase decorative pottery and glass collections, while shell-encrusted mirrors, blue glass curios and whimsical fish enhance the beach theme. A screened porch on the rear of the home has been converted into an all-weather sunroom that has become a favorite spot in the home. An extra-large picture window there frames the evening sunsets that settle just beyond the bridge over the pond, making it a setting for entertaining or simply relaxing.


Home 9 — The Miranda-Staruch Home

The homeowners acquired this bayfront property in 2000 and moved the original cottage across the street a few years later. Construction on the new home did not begin until 2018. The original plan called for a three-story home with multiple guest rooms. That, however, was scaled back as unnecessary, resulting in a 2,900-square-foot three-bedroom home that still feels open and spacious. The main design goal was to highlight the expansive views of Indian River Bay by maximizing the number of windows and capturing as much natural light as possible. As a result, almost every corner of the house, save the two guest rooms, has a waterfront view. The interior is designed to be simple yet casually elegant, with rustic touches to warm the light-bathed spaces. Variable-width tongue-and-groove floors add character throughout the home. Crafted of 350-year-old red and white oak from reclaimed barn wood, the floors retain nail holes and gouges purposely left as testament to their age. Remnants of that same reclaimed oak appear in the fireplace mantel, powder room vanity and a bathroom mirror frame to create custom focal points. The master suite includes a sitting room and office, and commands wrap-around views of the bay with a balcony for toasting the sunsets. A fire pit and private dock complete the waterfront escape.


Home 10 — The Green Home

This five-bedroom, six-bath New England cedar-shake home, last seen on our 2011 tour, has evolved in the ensuing years, adding upgraded landscaping and interior reconfigurations to further enhance the setting on Beach Cove. A row of white rockers and red geraniums on the front porch set the tone for the classic coastal interior, where sweeping waterfront views dominate nearly every room. Homeowners Kathy and David Green have filled the home with an eclectic mix of family antiques and favorite collectibles, with hints of his Texas roots and recurring shades of her signature red. A focus on fun starts with the welcoming trail of paw prints found in the Saltillo tile, which appear throughout the home. The tiles, which come from Mexico, are put into the sun to bake, and paw prints are sometimes unintentionally created by passing animals. Rather than discarding the imperfect tiles, they were incorporated into multiple rooms, where they became a favorite whimsical feature. A light-filled sun porch offers a spot for relaxed dining and family games while, just steps away from the expansive rear deck, a lower level beckons with bayfront recreational options that include the family boat, kayaks, a fire pit, hammock and picnic table.