TRADITION MEETS COASTAL AND CLEAN LINES IN THIS BAYFRONT BEACH HOUSE ON THE DUNES
Written by Kristen Hampshire | Photography by Stylish Production
UNIQUELY COASTAL The shared mindset for this project in Broadkill Beach was to maximize views while celebrating coastal accents in unique ways.
“Clean, crisp and uncluttered” was the underpinning vision for a Broadkill Beach house with expansive dune views — decorated but not overdone, seashore-inspired but not “cute coastal,” said Jamie Merida, owner of Jamie Merida Interiors and Bountiful Home in Easton. When the clients enlisted in his firm and designer Leigh Mayhew to transform an outdated, four-bedroom waterfront home into a comfortable place to vacation, they went into the project with a mind to maximize views and to celebrate coastal accents in a unique way (leaving the starfish and anchors out of it, for example).
“Everything in the home was knotty pine and paneling, and there was an oversized stone fireplace — it was definitely a pig’s ear,” Merida quipped, relating that the 1,900-square-foot residence had good bones, loads of potential and the ultimate selling point: location.
“The property is on the dune, and Broadkill is kind of a secret. It’s a throwback, feels like a beach town, and you can walk around barefoot.” Similarly, the down-to-earth clients were grateful for the opportunity to acquire and renovate the special home, Merida said. “They gave us a free hand and trusted us enough to turn us loose, and I’ve said this for 20-some years: There is nothing better than when a client says, ‘I’m so lucky I can live here.’”
Here is how Jamie Merida Interiors capitalized on dune views, executed a traditional-made-modern design aesthetic and created a fresh and functional home with thoughtful pieces.
As Merida indicated, the clients wanted the design to embrace the Coast without introducing blatant seaside graphics or decor. One example of this is an original, English four-drawer chest with an oyster-shell veneer. “The reason we call it that is because the sliced wood looks like oyster shells, so it’s a nice nod to the beach in a subtle way.”
A wingback chair with blue detailing is “exuberant and fun and gives punch to that corner,” which looks out to the water more openly, since niches were carved into the wall for displaying a statement vase while allowing those enjoying the space to capture dune and bay views. The nautical mirror was designed by Merida for Chelsea House.
Floor-to-ceiling windows are the dining room “art,” and a weathered, antique-style dining table with a trestle base introduces curvature that juxtaposes the long, linear surface and upholstered bench seating. A brass chandelier fashioned after a lantern shape, yet elongated, maintains an airy feel in the space. “It’s very clean and very undone — simple,” Merida shared.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Pieces like this original, English four-drawer chest with oyster-shell veneer epitomizes the outside-the-box beach theme Jamie Merida was going for.
IN THE NAVY Strategic deployment of deep-blue hues add a splash of drama while making smaller spaces appear larger
Coastal Conversation Space
Four swivel chairs in a breezy, blue stripe capture a coastal feel, while a functional, navy-leather ottoman features nailhead detail that resembles waves. This seating space connects to a larger living area with a couch and TV — all pieces positioned so the clients, family and guests could enjoy views.
The existing fireplace was removed; now, the client can enjoy warmth from a stucco-faced fireplace that is open on both sides. “Even in winter months, you can be there when it is cold and light a fire, and it still feels cozy,” Merida said.
A deep-blue wall in Hail Navy by Benjamin Moore washes the bathroom walls. “The dark color adds more drama, and since there is not a window in that room, why not play it up?” said Merida, adding that he’s a fan of saturated color in smaller spaces. “It makes the room look bigger because you can’t see where the border is. There is no delineation.” The client chose a white-quartzite countertop for the vanity, which features open storage that doesn’t close in the space.
Peace and Privacy
The dormer-style ceiling in the primary bedroom has a nickel-gap white finish (as opposed to shiplap, due to the nickel-sized gap between boards). “They wanted the room to be calm, tranquil and relaxing, which is what we did, while keeping the blue-and-white theme to include pops of color,” Merida said.
“Every time I get the chance, I’m doing brass because it looks fresher [than brushed nickel],” Merida said, adding that brass pulls and fixtures also “upgrade” a space and stand out against the deep navy and white cabinetry, while complementing lighting.
Tapping Into Tradition
As Merida said, the interior is not “overdone,” yet it is decorated in an intentional way. These Chinese ginger jars in a matte blue are “a fresh take on a traditional form,” he described. “It goes back to pulling in tradition versus focusing only on a coastal look.” CS