Beach Bound without Boundaries

Reels of inspiration, years of conversation and percolating ideas, the what-ifs, the why-nots. Bob and Alana Keeley would digest and dissect YouTube videos of West Vancouver homes tours, hashing over the details.

What if? Then on the last Sunday in January 2017, they stumbled upon a real estate listing and, over breakfast, decided it was a must-see. Except it was not in Canada or the West Coast, not even close. It didn’t matter.

Why not? “We discovered this land in a gated community in the Broadkill Beach area in Milton, DE, by the Prime Hook Wildlife Preserve and we looked at each other like, ‘This is amazing,’” Alana says, especially drawn to the privacy and seclusion yet proximity to historic Lewes and the heart of Rehoboth Beach.

The journey unfolded from there.
The Keeleys acquired the property, eventually enlisted in an architect, broke ground in April 2018 and embarked on another year-plus of unconventional construction. That doesn’t count the six months following when they conceded to living in some dust and moved in mid-completion.

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Past, Present and Future Focused

Treasure hunting in Eastern Shore antique shops is an adventure and pastime for Troy and Tracy Heuer, who purchased a home in Harbeson, DE, and summered there for a few years before deciding to rebuild. Inspired by the old — church doors, leaded glass, unlacquered brass — and in pursuit of new, they decided to start from the ground up.

The vision: coastal but not kitschy; clean lined but not sterile. Frequenting their favorite old-timey spots like Harleysville’s Hartland Demolition & Restoration, they would unearth finds and entrust in their friend Tom O’Connor, a refinisher, to bring pieces back to life to use as raw materials for structures like the bar island or accents like transom windows in the home’s various doorways.

With plans from architect Gregory Hastings of Hastings Associates in Ocean View and in partnership with Jim Parker Builders Inc., in Millsboro, the Heuers dug into a project that would serve as a family hub where their three children, in their twenties, could visit, bring friends and entertain.

“It’s all centered on family, trying to keep us all together,” Tracy Heuer says.  “We can meet just for fun and get out on the water — our boat is docked out back, and that is one of the reasons we picked out this property, to have access to Rehoboth Bay.”

A Statement Entry. While staying at a hotel in upstate New York, Heuer spotted a lantern fixture in the foyer and wanted one of her own. The proprietor tipped her off to the source. “When Paris took its gas street lamps down to replace them, many landed in antique dealers,” she says. Like any resourceful archaeophile, Heuer tracked one down in London and had it shipped to Delaware. “The chain it hangs from my father-in-law took off a tractor.”

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Painting Partners

Being a painter is a reclusive profession. How each one sees their surroundings is unique and isolated by definition — picking details interesting to them and ignoring others. Even creating a piece of art by laying a brush thick with paint on a board or canvas is a solo pursuit. But some are lucky enough to have another artist near, encouraging and pushing them forward to new and better work. Two professional painters living in Berlin, Lynne Lockhart and Kirk McBride, have an almost idyllic situation. They have found a way to paint alone — together.

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A Chill Winter at Bar Mumbo

A casual tavern vibe and farm-focused homestyle menu with a twist are in store at Wylder Tilghman Island’s Bar Mumbo this winter, with a fresh menu selection for chill winter dining. Tuck into the waterfront dining room with fireside lounge or slide into the cozy, classic Bar Mumbo Thursday through Sunday, with curated specials like burger nights (Thursdays), prime rib nights (Fridays) and whiskey brunches (Sundays).

Chef Chris Mitchell brings to the table his classical French training, Eastern Shore style, a touch of Asian fusion and dedication to from-scratch cooking. Seafood is sourced from local watermen and produce comes from Eastern Shore farmers. Dressings, sauces and stocks are house made from scratch, with au jus requiring 76 full hours of preparation.

Mitchell, who garnered Dorchester/Talbot Counties’ 2023 Best Chef honor by the readers of Coastal Style, says foundation dishes like a 10-hour braised pot roast, steak and frites and lasagna meet Chesapeake favorites with flair, such as crab and bacon hushpuppies and oyster stew.

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