Beach & Bay Cottage Tour set for next week

Participants in the 23rd Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, which will benefit the Friends of the South Coastal Library, will have the opportunity to visit 10 unique homes in the Bethany Beach/Fenwick Island area. The tour will be held Wednesday, July 23, and Thursday, July 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 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 at $30 are still available for the 2014 tour. Ticket holders will receive a 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, Delaware Beach Life and Going Green on Delmarva magazines. Tote sponsors for 2014 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 17-23 at: Bethany Beach Books, Japanesque and Sea Needles in Bethany Beach; at Carolina Street and The Rooster’s Nest in Fenwick Island; at McCabe’s in South Bethany and at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach.

Tourgoers are able to pick up reserved tickets at the library starting July 17 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.

Again this 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 17 at 10 a.m. They will also be posted on the Tour’s website as of that date.

Two raffles are a traditional part of the Friend’s Cottage Tour. 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 offers framed artwork from Aubré Duncan, Carol Dyer, Tara Funk Grim, Anne Hanna, 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 24; winners need not be present.

Serabian home, Fenwick Island

Over the past 17 years, Kathy and Ron Serabian have enjoyed vacation homes in the Bethany Beach area, but in 2011 they discovered a location in Fenwick Island that offered a beautiful bayfront location with easy access for the family’s boat. Every window of this new bayfront home offers an expansive water view of Lighthouse Cove. The New England-style cedar shingle house sports a gambrel roof, a lighted cupola, custom windows and a front entry courtyard, all designed to reflect the owner’s love for the character of Nantucket architecture. With more than 6,000 square feet, six bedrooms and 5.5 baths, there is plenty of room for extended family and three family dogs to escape to a peaceful retreat. An open floorplan provides an easy flow for entertaining, both inside and out with multiple balconies, a wide back porch and a bayside flagpole surrounded by Adirondack chairs for toasting the sunsets.

Boteler home, South Bethany

The year 2012 marked a significant transition for Severna Park residents Ann and Don Boteler, as they retired and began construction on the South Bethany home that would become their fulltime residence just a year later. The new three-story house is located on a corner canal lot, offering beautiful water views from every window in the house. The home replaced the rancher Ann Boteler’s parents built on the lot in 1973 for their retirement, and the builder preserved and repurposed porch boards from the original house to give the family a visible, tangible link to decades of treasured family memories. The reverse floorplan design with five bedrooms, four baths and 3,300 square feet comfortably accommodates the couple’s children and five grandchildren for weekend and summer visits.

Pollekoff home, Bethany Beach

Linda Pollekoff describes her family’s 2012 purchase of their Bethany Beach property as one of the most impulsive things they’ve ever done, especially since they’d never even vacationed there before. Looking for a nearby escape from the hectic pace of their busy lives in D.C., she and her husband, Bruce, came to Bethany on the advice of a friend and immediately were charmed by the town. Before they knew it, they had purchased a lot, donated the house on the property for low-income housing in Dagsboro and begun construction on their dream vacation home. Their goal from the start was to create a calm, soothing and fun retreat for themselves, their two grown sons and two dogs. It’s clear from the finished house that attention has been paid to be sure everyone, including the dogs, has a place to retreat and relax. The inverted floorplan, five-bedroom, seven- bathroom home is rich with unique design and decorating elements that lend a custom “beach camp” look to every space and reflect a close collaboration between the homeowners, their designer and the builder.

Wheeler home, Bethany Beach

After spending more than 40 summers in Bethany Beach as children and adults, Kathleen and Rick Wheeler of Annapolis finally decided it was time to purchase their own vacation home. Not long after they bought the “No VacanSea” cottage on First Street, they realized that, despite its charms, it was not big enough to comfortably house their two young sons and frequent visits from their close-knit extended family. They began construction in 2008 of a 2,500-square-foot Hamptons-style home with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Their primary goal through every step of the planning and construction was to create a home that was highly energy efficient, utilizing green features in every component from top to bottom. Their consistent attention to this goal has resulted in a uniquely solid structure that will endure even the harshest of weather conditions for many generations to come.

Siciliano home, Sussex Shores, North Bethany

After 30 years of vacationing in the Bethany area with their five children, Denise and Mark Siciliano had outgrown their modest beach cottage in Sussex Shores. They soon embarked on a plan to create a beach retreat that would comfortably accommodate their growing brood. Their new 4,100-square-foot home has six bedrooms and 5.5 baths, so that everyone can have their own space while visiting. The first floor is designed for entertaining large groups, with an open, light-filled floorplan and an expansive kitchen set up for lots of cooking. A screened front porch and backyard patio outfitted with a full-service kitchen expand the entertainment possibilities. The reclaimed white oak floors were selected to withstand sand, dogs and lots of foot traffic, just as the furnishings were chosen to be comfortable, easy-care and family-friendly.

Warren-Forey home, Quillen’s Point, Ocean View

Known as the Sail House, this 1984 contemporary home was one of the first built in Quillen’s Point and appeared on the very first Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, in 1992. Architect Robert Wilson Mobley designed the colorful rooftop stair tower to resemble a sailboat floating on the horizon and earned an award from the American Institute of Architects for his unique design. Owners Patty Warren and Roy Forey first saw the Sail House in 1996, and it was love at first sight. Although unassuming when viewed from the street, once inside, the modest 2,000-square-foot home opens up to expansive bay views provided by floor-to-ceiling windows that encompass the entire east side of the home. In the past 18 years, Patty and Roy have upgraded both bathrooms and created a sunroom from the former screened porch, adding vintage and antique pieces from their travels.

Edmonston home, Bethany Beach

Jenifer and Scott Edmonston bought their lot in 2009, after moving from the D.C. area. Architect Scott immediately began designing the home and, by 2010, had begun construction with the help of good friends and family members. After years of designing homes, he felt it would be an invaluable experience to actually build a home from his own plans. He and Jenifer are both thrilled with the results, which achieved their goal of creating a modest-sized home that lives large, has a small footprint, both physically and environmentally, and has maximum energy efficiency, with net-zero energy usage, due to full solar power. With abundant light, high ceilings and an open floorplan, the home is spacious and welcoming, despite its compact size, and is a perfect fit for this young couple’s lifestyle.

Brigleb home, Bethany Beach

It’s been 28 years since Carol and Dick Brigleb of Fairfax Station, Va., built their home in Lake Bethany, right next door to her mother, who had built one of the very first homes in that development in the late 1970s. Carol spent most of her summers as a child in the Bethany area and was happy to continue that tradition with her three young sons. By 2010, their boys had headed off to college and the Briglebs decided it was time for a renovation. Since then, they’ve added a two-story addition, front entry porch and rear screened porch, and completed a reconfiguration of their interior and exterior layout. That resulted in a freshly updated, open floorplan that highlights their lakefront views from every room. Carol’s goal throughout the lengthy renovation process was to create a comfortable environment that would minimize maintenance and maximize their family’s vacation time together. The result is a well-designed and carefree home with a tasteful coastal color scheme and décor that highlights the soothing waterfront setting.

May home, Bear Trap, Ocean View

When she was looking to relocate from Virginia Beach in 2011, Julie May knew she’d found the perfect spot in Bear Trap. The two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot townhome she purchased offered everything she was looking for: a manageable size, near the beach, a close-knit community and proximity to her children, grandchildren and one of her best friends. After working for years as an art dealer specializing in 18th century antiques, she decided to try something completely new with this home, decorating it in a casual coastal cottage style that mixes reasonably priced items from area home furnishing stores with museum-quality art. She chose a soft seafoam color that coordinates with the fabrics and accessories throughout the house. Her main goal was to create a cheerful, inviting environment that would provide a warm welcome to visiting family and friends.

Richards home, Bear Trap, Ocean View

Helen Richards’ move from life as a Wilmington attorney to life as a retiree on the Eastern Shore seems fitting, given that her family settled in Sussex County in the early 1700s. There is ample evidence of the family’s history throughout her traditional Bear Trap townhome, which is filled with antiques and family heirlooms collected by her mother and grandfather. Helen was initially challenged to fit it all in, as she had spent the past 15 years in large waterfront homes. Transitioning from 4,000 square feet to a mere 1,500 square feet was an adjustment. She loves the ease of living on one floor, however, and has found that the porch and deck offer her “just enough of nature” to smooth the transition from her former home overlooking the Salt Pond.