For architect Scott Edmonston and his team at
SEA Studio, based in Bethany Beach, Delaware,
it’s all about process when designing homes.

It’s a labor of love, one in which they pride
themselves on precision and continuous
refinement to create a final product that is perfectly
crafted with function and feeling in mind.

When looking at one of the team’s latest
projects, a recently designed Rehoboth Beach
home, this work ethic certainly rings true.

The owners, a couple originally from Baltimore,
wanted to transform their 1960s-era cottage
into a year-round oasis that would also be
spacious enough for family and guests.

“We wanted to provide them with a space that
could give them privacy and be their getaway
even when guests were around, but without
losing some of the charm and character of this
older beach cottage,” Edmonston says.

The original home, which was torn down, had
some great qualities to inspire, including an open
space throughout and a second-floor loft that
allowed for quality light to “spill in from above,”
he says.

But, like any older beach home, it required
some much-needed upgrades, so the team
worked to create a home that fit both the
husband and wife’s opposing tastes. The husband
wanted a very contemporary and modern space;
the wife wanted a cozier homelike environment.

“We were constantly trying to find a balance of
what was going to be modern and what was
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going to feel warm and homey so that
the wife doesn’t feel like she’s living in a
modern art museum,” Edmonston says.

To do this, they kept modern, sleek
elements like steel plates and bolts but
opted for exposed, rich wood columns to
give it a complementing warmth factor.

A mix of modern meets comfort.

To give the new house more of an oasis
feel, they chose to place the bedrooms in
separate nooks throughout the house,
including the guest room that was purposely
placed in the front of the home above the
garage so that “even guests could have
their privacy,” Edmonston says.

And, like most of SEA Studio’s projects,
both the land and the natural elements
played a big factor in the architectural
design and placement.

“We always start with a sun analysis and
see where the sun is coming from and what
it is doing throughout the year to inform our
design,” he says.

This led to the team twisting the dining
area and kitchen to the south so that the
couple would have the future option of adding
solar panels. And this sun observance also
resulted in the particular placement of the
wooden catwalk “to allow the two-story
light to come through and down into the
living room,” Edmonston adds.

For the master suite, they incorporated
the backyard’s natural elements, as the
home backs up to Gordon Pond Trail.

“We looked at this area and decided to
then stretch out the master suite, pushing
it back and orienting the glass toward the
east, where the preserve is to give them not
only privacy but a good view,” Edmonston
says. “We put wing walls that screen views
to the right and left so that neighbors can’t
look in and vice versa, and also so that it
could be a sort of retreat where they have
an uninterrupted view of the trees.”
Another special, well-thought-out feature
is the “his-and-her-like spaces just outside
the house,” Edmonston adds. He shares
that while the wife enjoys looking outside
and “watching the world go by,” the husband
prefers his solitude. So they ended up putting
in two screened porches — one in the front
of the home looking out to greet neighbors
and one in the back of the home looking
out at the private, naturistic view.

For Edmonston, the final home turned
out to be a perfect balance of what both
individuals had envisioned. And the team’s
process-based and “embrace the grind”
approach toward design shines through
with the home’s precision and carefully
developed details.

It’s spacious and modern and has both the
feel and functionality of a year-round beach
home that this couple can equally enjoy
together and with family and guests. 9