Best of Both Worlds

The 2021 Beach and Bay Cottage Tour features a South Bethany home designed to enjoy resort-style living

Story by Alison Pappas  |  Photography by Krista Valliant

A married couple that had been longtime summer residents of Delmarva fell in love with a waterfront lot in South Bethany Beach in 2017. The property delivered jaw-dropping views of the Assawoman Bay, and because it was also just a quick walk to the ocean, the couple felt that it was a “best-of-both worlds” location. They soon purchased the property and dreamed it would one day serve as a home away from home that would comfortably host their growing family for years to come.

They enlisted the help of local builder Bruce Mears, and their project officially broke ground in the fall of 2018. As with all of his clients, Mears was heavily engaged and remained creatively focused throughout the project, from the initial consultation and drawing stages to completion in 2019.

“With my projects, we create something from a conversation. Then, I get to watch these folks enjoy their new home,” shared Bruce.

This particular project was especially evolutionary, as it kept growing from initial ideas into the luxurious property it is now. Where once sat a seaside patch of land now stands an exquisite dwelling with a serene coastal-blue exterior and white trim.

The design of the home is geared toward the ultimate resort-style living. A unique feature is the reverse-living concept, with the living area on the top floor. Each bedroom offers a bay view, an amenity that is admired by all of their guests. The homeowners were also looking to embrace some natural light without the intensity or heat of harsh sunbeams. With this in mind, the windows were strategically placed, and the bedrooms are all equipped with custom blinds.

“While it’s a large house, we didn’t want it to feel too large, and the design was geared toward comfort,” shared the homeowners.

They chose to source the interior design locally, through The Design Center of Rehoboth, which specializes in contemporary interiors and outdoor-living design. The furniture color palettes include varying blues, whites, and tans that pair perfectly with the natural coastal hues of the home’s seaside surrounding. 

The outdoor living area is truly spectacular, with a spacious pool overlooking the Assawoman Bay. The second-floor overhang provides shaded options for those looking to sprawl out on the first-floor lounge chairs. The third floor offers a patio with glass railings, as well as both lounge and dining spaces. The top-floor sundeck provides direct sunlight access and a scenic view of the bay and the Ocean City skyline. If you face the opposite direction, you can even spy the Atlantic Ocean.

“Where the lot is angled on the east side of the pool area, we constructed special walls from the pool level to the top floor. This allows the homeowners to have ultimate privacy. It’s like their own little resort,” shared Bruce.

The home will be featured in this year’s Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, which will be held
July 18-31. Unlike years past, the tour will be completely virtual this year, allowing tourgoers to observe several stunning local residences at their leisure and from the comfort of their own homes. All proceeds from the tour go directly to benefit the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at 

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