Beach Getaway

This Oceanfront Escape In Bethany Beach Provides
Secluded Family Time

The panoramic view from the Glueck family’s Bethany Beach home drew rave reviews from visitors on the Beach and Bay Cottage Tour in July. The seemingly endless sand and surf were the centerpieces, but they shared the spotlight with what could be seen on the inside.

From the many shades of blue throughout the home to strategically placed glass that brought the ocean indoors, the team of Mark Dieste of Design Build LLC, in Bethany Beach; noted Washington, DC-area and Eastern Shore interior designer Susan Romans; Bethany Beach architect John Hendrickson; Leanne Glueck and her husband, Ken Glueck, created a relaxing yet vibrant beach getaway that matched the family’s laid-back, fun-loving style and knack for bringing family and friends together to make memories.

“The whole design was to make you feel comfortable and just want to kick your shoes off and gather around that big table we had custom-made and just feel at ease,” Romans said. “The Gluecks always have a large group of people at their home. Everybody just wants to sit on that outdoor swing and on that big sectional and just relax with a mojito in their hands.”

While Leanne toured other Sussex County homes during the 28th annual tour in late July, approximately 1,800 people visited her family’s breathtaking beachfront home. Those visitors marveled at the designs born from a collaboration of ideas that, Dieste said, has made a home resemble “living on a sand dune. We made sure the views and the elevation of the house are in conjunction with the beach and the ocean. That whole house was based on looking at the beach, looking at the ocean.”

The outdoor living space, which features a custom-built swing, firepit and dining table, seamlessly connects ocean and home.

“The deck is huge for us,” Leanne said. “When we entertain and have our family there, that’s where everybody ends up. We sit around the firepit late nights and have drinks and laughs and a lot of good memories. We use our outdoor deck a lot.”

Yet, beach life Glueck-style only begins there and continues to the shiplap wall treatments and many other built-in amenities that Romans said made the space feel airier and lighter. “We got a lot of great compliments,” Leanne said. “The best compliment we got was that it was very comfortable, and the views were great.”

ALL HANDS ON DECK This outdoor space is one of the most popular entertaining areas of the residence.


Leanne Glueck revealed her favorite amenities in her family’s beachfront home:

  • Outdoor swing: Built from reclaimed wood by Marty Bueneman, owner of Old Wood Delaware in Harbeson, it first was her husband Ken’s go-to nap space. Now, she said, “People gravitate to the swing. There has been many a nap taken
    in the swing.”
  • Room with a view: The Gluecks have two chairs in their bedroom that look out a window onto the ocean. Coupled with two chairs on the adjacent outdoor deck, “it’s a nice place to escape and read a book. It’s got a really pretty view, and it’s quiet.”
  • Downstairs laundry room: The space isn’t simply for laundry. With an entrance for family and friends coming off the beach, and a refrigerator for those needing a cold drink, Leanne said, “It’s a well-used room. That’s one of my favorite rooms.”
  • Game room: Much like the rest of the home, the family’s game room exudes feelings of relaxation from everyone who enters. But it also serves as a source of excitement and enjoyment, especially once friendly dart and shuffleboard games break out.
  • Doggie door: The family’s two dogs have their own first-floor entry that leads to and from a fenced-in backyard made exclusively for them. “They love it,” Leanne said, “and come five o’clock, they come out on the beach with us.”
  • Herons in the entryway: They are wood sculptures of herons, but they became members of the family long before the Gluecks moved into this home. They purchased the pieces in Fenwick Island 15 years ago, for their first Sussex County beach home.

The Gluecks razed the 1970s-built home that once stood on the property. But they salvaged a photo of a heron that now hangs in their home and kept a flagpole that displays the American flag, as well as those of their favorite sports teams and schools.

The family initially considered moving the flagpole several feet to the right because they were concerned its current location would block their view. Now, Leanne is glad the family let it be. “I’m so used to it and I love it. It’s just become a part of our house,” Leanne said of the flagpole. “You can see the view from pretty much everywhere.


Story by Victor Fernandes
Photos by Svetlana Leahy

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