Beach & Bay Cottage Tour


Annual tour featuring 10 local homes July 22-23

Participants in the 24th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour to benefit the Friends of the South Coastal Library will have the opportunity to visit 10 unique homes in the Bethany Beach area. The tour will be held Wednesday, July 22, and Thursday, July 23, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tourgoers may visit all 10 homes in one day or spread the viewing over the two days of the tour.

A limited number of tickets, priced at $30, were still available for the 2015 tour as of this week. Ticket holders will receive a reusable grocery tote bag with the program booklet, which serves as the ticket, as well as 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 2015 are Bethany Beach Books, G&E/Hockers, Leslie Kopp, PNC Bank, Sea Colony Recreation Association, the Town of Bethany Beach and Vickie York.

Tickets are now available at the South Coastal Library at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach and will also be available July 16-21 at: Bethany Beach Books, Japanesque and Sea Needles 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.

Ticket buyers will be able to pick up reserved tickets at the library starting July 16 at 10 a.m. Any tickets remaining on the days of the tour will be available only at the library. 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.

As was the case last year, tourgoers may pick up suggested instructions on how they may “Go Green” by biking the tour. The instructions will be available at the library starting July 16 at 10 a.m. They will also be posted on the tour’s website starting on that date.

The Cottage Tour raffles are designed to enhance the fundraising. The winners of the Dinner for Two raffle will dine at Magnolia’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Mancini’s, Matt’s Fish Camp, Off the Hook/Just Hooked, the Parkway restaurant or Sedona. The Art Raffle, featuring some favorite local artists, offers framed artwork from Aubré Duncan, Tara Funk Grim, Laura Hickman, Jeanne Mueller and Cheryl Wisbrock.

Tickets for both raffles, at $1 each or six for $5, 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 23; winners need not be present.

With the Adopt-a-House program for hostesses, many organizations will be involved in the 2015 tour. Participants this year are Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Barefoot Gardeners of Fenwick Island, Bay Forest Homeowners, Bethany Lakes Book Club, Cripple Creek Ladies Club, Gardeners by the Sea, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Salt Pond Women’s Club, Shore Democrats, South Bethany Women’s Club, Villages of Southampton HOA, Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach, Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) and the Women’s Golf Association at Bear Trap Dunes. Members of these groups will welcome tour participants and guide them through each home.

The homes on the 2015 Cottage Tour are as follows:

Cottage No. 1Cottage No. 1Cottage No. 1
Parker home, Bethany Beach

This 3,400-square-foot home was under construction and nearing completion in 2005 when Ceci and David Parker of Silver Spring, Md., discovered it while searching for a beach house to enjoy with their three daughters, a large extended family and friends.

They said they loved the open, airy feel of the five-bedroom, 4.5-bath layout and were particularly impressed with the quality construction and low-maintenance aspects incorporated throughout the home.

The builder had included bonus features such as 10-foot ceilings, solid wood doors, large walk-in closets in every bedroom, silent exhaust systems in the bathrooms, a built-in vacuum system and a built-in sound system throughout the house.

Ceci Parker has decorated the house without professional help, preferring a subtle Asian island feel that is designed to lend a Zen-like serenity to the setting. Utilizing white slipcovers and all-white walls is intended to create the “minimalist” look that the family finds soothing.

The white background serves as a showcase for the water-themed oil paintings found throughout the house, all done by Ceci Parker’s mother, artist Carol Becker. The front of the house is bathed in light captured by arched windows on both levels, while the back of the home is surrounded by the quiet embrace of trees.

Coming from a lifetime in the fast-paced suburbs of D.C., the family said they have particularly enjoyed the opportunity over the past 10 summers to experience small-town living in Bethany Beach from their quiet retreat, just as Ceci Parker had done as a child vacationing at her family’s vacation home on Cedarwood Street.

Cottage No. 2Cottage No. 2Cottage No. 2
Klinedinst home, Bethany Beach

Debbie and Paul Klinedinst have been making plans for their dream beach house ever since they met back in the mid-1970s. Paul Klinedinst had spent every summer weekend since 1963 at his family’s Bethany Beach vacation home, and it wasn’t long before Debbie Klinedinst fell in love with the area, too.

In 2004, they bought a townhouse in Bethany so that their kids could enjoy the same opportunity for summers at the beach that their dad had enjoyed growing up. By 2010, they realized they’d outgrown the townhouse and needed a home that would serve their growing family for years to come.

Finding a lot on Maplewood Street, just a few short blocks from the Klinedinst family home on Parkwood Street, seemed ideal. Debbie Klinedinst worked closely with the builder to incorporate features into the inverted floor plan that would give the appearance of an older home, such as a unique rounded staircase and transoms above the upper-level doorways. Hand-scraped hickory hardwood floors were included to add warmth to the airy upper levels.

Construction of the five-bedroom, 6.5-bath home started in early 2013 and was completed last spring. With 4,800 square feet spread out over three floors, there’s room for family and friends to enjoy the multiple decks and lounges that appear on every level. Now, their young grandson is keeping up the family tradition of summer weekends in Bethany, cementing a pattern that can continue with future generations of Klinedinst beach lovers.

Cottage No. 3Cottage No. 3Cottage No. 3
Oetgen home, Sussex Shores

Pam and Bill Oetgen’s 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home may be a newcomer on the block, but their roots in Sussex Shore run deep. Pam Oetgen’s parents bought a cottage there in 1963, and it’s been the site of countless vacation gatherings ever since.

When the family outgrew the original cottage, it was rebuilt in 1996 and appeared on the Cottage Tour the following year. As the extended family continued to grow, however, the couple realized it was finally time to build a home for their immediate family. Fortunately, they already owned an investment property just a few blocks away, within Sussex Shores.

They said they knew from the start that they would replicate the original family home’s upside-down layout, with guest bedrooms on the lower level and living space up above. They did, however, insist on one upgrade: a bathroom for every bedroom.

Unique touches include tongue-and-groove paneling in the second-floor ceilings and custom cabinetry and built-ins designed to minimize clutter. They’ve worked to create a comfortable home that is simple, functional and low-maintenance.

With two family homes within bird’s eye view of each other there’s now plenty of room for everyone in the extended family to continue gathering in Sussex Shores, as they have for more than 50 years.

Cottage No. 4Cottage No. 4Cottage No. 4
Feulner home, Ocean Breezes

Having been on the Cottage Tour in 2007 with their Ocean Village beach house, Linda and Ed Feulner said they were happy to return with their recently completed new home just steps from the beach in Ocean Breezes.

The 7,000-square-foot house is designed to be bright, open and airy without feeling cavernous. It was designed with a reverse layout that offers space and privacy for the owners, family and guests to enjoy time together or on their own.

The main living area on the top floor boasts high vaulted ceilings and natural light. Views of the ocean across the street can be had from the screened porch and deck, both easily accessible from the living room, kitchen and master suite.

Every one of the seven bedrooms is outfitted with custom built-in closets and dresser drawers, and all but one of the 7.5 bathrooms sport white marble tile and vanity tops. Their take on a traditionally-styled home combines coastal flair with mementos of the couple’s world travels and Ed Feulner’s long career in public policy. The house is equipped with the latest in electronic technology, utilizing their son’s company to create a “smart” home, almost every aspect of which can be controlled remotely.

Cottage No. 5Cottage No. 5Cottage No. 5
Harman home, Ocean Ridge West

On their first visit to Bethany Beach 25 years ago, Stephanie and John Harman fell in love with the area and soon thereafter began to search for just the right property. Ocean Ridge West fit all of their requirements, so they purchased a lot in 1996, seizing the opportunity to build a beach house to share with their family for years to come.

In 2001, just as they’d begun the process of designing their home, their plans were interrupted by 9/11. With the uncertainty of the times, they said, it seemed right to put their building project on hold. In 2008, they resumed their planning and said they quickly realized how fortunate they were to have waited, because the beach house they had envisioned in 2001 was very different from what they ultimately built seven years later.

While initially skeptical about a reverse layout, they ultimately decided that it made sense to reserve the entire lower level for their two college-age sons and frequent family visitors and guests, making sure to provide a separate family room there, equipped with large-screen TV, pool table, built-in beverage cooler and snack area.

The top level includes the master suite and main living areas, capped by a wide screened porch that has become the family’s favorite gathering spot. Stephanie Harman’s goal with decorating was to create a carefree home with comfortable low-maintenance furnishings that put everyone visiting at ease.

The Harmans said they love their location across the street from the tennis courts and pool, close to the inlet for their surf-loving sons and within easy proximity to the amenities of downtown Bethany.

“We just love it here. The more time we spend in this house, the more we enjoy how it works for our immediate and extended family, and we often have a full house.” With six bedrooms, four baths and 4,425 square feet, the house is a favorite with family and friends.

Cottage No. 6Cottage No. 6Cottage No. 6
Stevens home, Salt Pond

After honeymooning in South Bethany in 1986 and owning a vacation home there ever since, Ron and Helen Stevens said they feel life has recently come full circle.

Following their relocation from the D.C. area to Annapolis and subsequent retirement, the time seemed right to relocate their vacation home to the area, as well. Moving from canal to golf course, they chose a five-bedroom, four-bath home overlooking the water hazard on the 12th fairway of the Salt Pond Golf Course. One of the unexpected bonus features of the location, said Ron Stevens, is that “the yard comes with plenty of free golf balls!”

The updated 2003 colonial has been repainted throughout in warm sandy hues and appointed in every room with the professional decorating assistance of family friend Deena Powell, who aimed to help them create a comfortable year-round home that reflects their proximity to the coast without being overtly” beachy.”

The house was originally designed with a screened-in porch at the southeast corner; however, that’s since been enclosed to make a bright and cozy Florida room. Plantation shutters are designed to add a coastal charm, filtering the sunlit water views from the warm southern exposure.

The Stevenses have made the living room fireplace a focal point for the entire home by stacking earthy shades of richly-colored stone from the raised hearth to the soaring cathedral ceiling. The carved wood mantel is flanked with built-ins displaying a collection of travel mementos and longtime favorite pieces in a traditional Country French motif.

The home has become a quiet haven for the Stevenses as they transition from the busy sounds of city life they’ve happily left behind.

Cottage No. 7Cottage No. 7Cottage No. 7
Smith home, Quillen’s Point

While searching for a family getaway years ago, Deborah and Les Smith explored multiple locations along the East Coast, from Cape Cod to the Outer Banks. They ultimately landed in Quillen’s Point near Bethany Beach, finding that they got more relaxation in a weekend there than in two weeks anywhere else.

The house was originally built in 2000 as a work-free escape from their high-stress jobs in Philadelphia, deliberately designed without an office or high-speed Internet to insure that time spent there was focused entirely on relaxing with family and friends.

With more than 1,000 square feet devoted to outdoor living, it was designed to have a resort ambiance and an easy flow between indoor and outdoor space. The open family room/dining room and kitchen form the heart of the home — a communal spot for meals, games and conversation. Throughout the home are spots to gather together in small groups or to sit alone quietly with a book.

From the beginning, the Smiths said, they wanted the home to serve as an open retreat for their large extended family, so a dedicated three-bedroom, two-bath guest area was provided to encourage extended vacations. As a result, it’s been the setting for countless milestone birthdays, bachelor parties, honeymoons, anniversaries and annual family reunions, often hosting up to 22 house guests at a time.

In 2013, the Smiths decided to make Quillen’s Point their fulltime home. They said it quickly became apparent that more space for storage, hobbies and entertaining would be essential. Finished in early 2015, the 1,700-square-foot addition has expanded the home to 4,000 square feet, preserving much that was well-loved in the original house while adding a finished ground floor, expanded master bedroom, home office, elevator and rooftop deck.

Furnishings, artwork, and accessories from their more formal home in Philadelphia have found a place at the beach, giving the home a sense of permanence. Bright colors and natural light, plus features including a home theater and a pool with adjacent sandy beach, are intended to help retain the light-hearted atmosphere that earned the original house a reputation as a “decompression chamber.”

Cottage No. 8Cottage No. 8Cottage No. 8
Richards home, Ocean View

After vacationing in Bethany for more than 40 years, Bonnie and Ward Richards said, they knew that someday they’d settle in the area permanently. It was back in 2008, while out exploring on her bike, that Bonnie Richards discovered a waterfront lot for sale on White’s Creek, not far from their vacation home at nearby Bayside at Bethany Lakes.

Plans to build on the lot were put on hold until 2013, when they retired and moved to the Bethany area fulltime. By then, the Nantucket-style dream home that she had been imagining for years had taken shape.

Above all else, she said, she wanted to maximize windows, decks and porches in order to flood the house with light and take full advantage of the sweeping water views. Wide hallways and doorways and tall coffered ceilings were included to further enhance the open vistas of the 4,500-square-foot, five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home.

Working closely with the builder and design team, they were able to create a layout designed to offer beautiful views and full access to waterfront decks for the first-floor master suite, as well as each of the upstairs guest rooms. Bonnie Richards’ artistry and handiwork can be found throughout the home, in her original stained-glass creations and counted cross-stitch and crewel work.

Topping it all is a bell tower on the upper deck, her favorite spot for enjoying the quiet seclusion and natural beauty of their waterfront retreat that they now lovingly refer to as their “final resting place.”

Cottage No. 9Cottage No. 9Cottage No. 9
Viggiano home, Bishop’s Landing

Although Baby-Boomers Margie and Nicholas Viggiano have vacationed in Cape May, N.J., for the past 12 years they knew that they’d eventually settle in Delaware as retirement drew near, due to the obvious financial advantages. They found Bishops Landing in Millville to be a perfect fit, with proximity to multiple area beaches, yet set in a tranquil rural area similar to the New Jersey farmland where they currently live fulltime.

They said they fell in love with the quality craftsmanship and high-energy efficiency of the Beazer Homes designs in the development and purchased a new 2,400-square-foot, three bedroom, 3.5-bath villa in 2013.

Margie Viggiano has spent almost every weekend since then customizing the interior to reflect her eclectic mix of traditional and retro style. With a degree in fine arts and an interest in decorating influenced by her mother and grandmother, she has developed a passion for home décor that is on display in every room, including in intricately-designed murals and custom woodworking and framing.

Much of the décor pays tribute to the local region, showcasing art and photographs of Bethany Beach and Rehoboth, with a nod to their New Jersey roots. Margie Viggiano’s artistic sense and attention to fine detail can be found in collections of antique clocks, cameras, radios and 1950s-era memorabilia, all of which reflect the couple’s varied interests.

Drawing inspiration from Houzz, as well as Veranda and Traditional Homes magazines, she plans to continue her creative enhancements of their home as they gradually complete their transition to eventual retirement in Delaware.

Cottage No. 10Cottage No. 10Cottage No. 10
Teoli home, Millville by the Sea

After retiring from long careers in the Wilmington area, Judy and Tony Teoli naturally gravitated to the Delaware shore, where they had vacationed in South Bethany with their children and grandchildren for years. They found their new three-bedroom, three-bath home in Millville by the Sea three years ago and promptly began customizing it with upgrades and stylistic touches that reflect their personal talents.

Visitors can look for Judy Teoli’s whimsical pig collection and pithy words of wisdom sprinkled throughout the décor, as well as the handcrafted custom crown molding, wainscoting and coffered ceiling fashioned by Tony Teoli, and his piece de resistance: a precisely organized and pristinely maintained garage.

By using her love of rich saturated colors and sense of fun and his woodworking artistry and attention to detail, they have created space that is designed to be warm and inviting, both inside and out, to share with their family and friends.

“The details of our home are what make me smile,” said Judy Teoli. “I hope everyone will see the whimsy here and feel the same way.”