Labor of Love

A couple extensively renovates their Fenwick Island beach home while discovering incredible, life-changing news

Written by Alison Pappas  |  Photography by Krista Valliant

A fixer-upper, waterfront home on Bayside Drive in Fenwick Island came across the radar of Dr. Kendra O’Hora and her husband, Jason, at an opportune time in 2019. The couple had recently received the crushing news that they were infertile — news that would later be delightfully disproven when they birthed their miracle son, Lincoln, in the fall of 2021.

At the time of purchase, the home’s appearance was outdated and included 1990s home trends, such as natural- wood trim, antiquated appliances and laminate countertops. It’s safe to say that it needed a lot of work to transition to current times, but Kendra and Jason recognized its potential from the beginning. They also saw the home as an opportunity to redirect their infertility grief as they pursued an extremely hands-on renovation. 

Jason leveraged his extensive background in commercial construction to bring their combined vision to life. One of their first collective decisions was to build two additions that increased the square footage significantly.

In addition to increasing the available space, the large-scale renovation included an almost complete gut job. Peeling back the home to its most basic form allowed the couple to rebuild it to meet their specific needs.

“The project was a labor of love. There were a lot of design decisions, and we made these decisions together,” shared Kendra.

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Their vision was to incorporate a clean palette with subtle nods to the surrounding coastal setting. Using their Pinterest board as their guide, Kendra and Jason curated the furnishings and decor themselves by acquiring many of their selections from online retailers.

Key themes throughout the now 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home are openness and an emphasis on showcasing the coastal views. Black accents sprinkled throughout the residence create a pleasant contrast. A favorite component for the couple is the open kitchen area, which they consider the heart of the home.

The renovations were not limited to the interior of the home, as there were also extensive updates to the exterior, which included tearing down an existing screened-in porch and building a spacious covered outdoor area. The couple also added in a pool — another favorite spot for both — that overlooks the bay and delivers a luxurious outdoor living experience.

“It’s been a neat journey of renovating while our lives were changing.”

While the renovation was a lengthy process due to its scope and delays derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, there were certainly many high points.

“We actually found out that we were pregnant in the house. We have a sweet little video of us finding out while the house was completely gutted around us,” expressed Kendra.

Jason and Kendra have completed the renovation stage and are now enjoying their updated home with the company of their young son. They look back to the transformation stage fondly, and they are thrilled at how together they were able to build their dream home.

“It’s been a neat journey of renovating while our lives were changing,” shared Kendra. CS

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