An Entertainer's Paradise in Delaware

A little TLC and stylish design turn an oceanfront home in Rehoboth Beach into the perfect place for company.

Designed for Company

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Designed for Company

When the future owners of a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, retreat first toured the 1980s-style house, they weren't sure it was the right fit for their entertaining-centric lifestyle, but that all changed the moment they caught the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The family reached out to designer Patrick Sutton and a talented design team. Forgoing anything too precious or prissy, Sutton developed a blueprint for the house that would take its cues from what drew the homeowners to the spot in the first place: its waterfront location.

Get the look: The sofas in the family room are by Verellen. The pillows are by Josh Levin Associates; 410/922-2131. The coffee table is by Patrick Sutton Home, and the blinds are by Next Day Blinds.

Open House

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Open House

In order to create a seamless relationship between indoors and out, though, Sutton knew he would first have to do some heavy lifting. In conjunction with Baltimore-based Penza Bailey Architects, the designer crafted a plan to both knock down old walls (opening up the main living area for better flow and lighting) and put up new ones (enclosing former screened-in porches on the main and second floors).

Get the Look: The porch chairs are by Gloster. The table is by Central Station Original Interiors. The bucket is by Patrick Sutton Home.

Closer to Water

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Closer to Water

"There's an easiness to the house that stays with you," says Sutton. "Before, there weren't any spaces where the family could sit to just watch the weather coming in over the ocean." Now, those areas are part of almost every gathering space.

Get the Look: The chairs in the living room are by Provence Collection. The coffee table is by Central Station Original Interiors. The sofa is by Cisco Brothers. The rug is by Greenspring Carpet Source. The side table is by Oly Studio. The sculpture is by Roberta Schilling. The curtain fabric is by Stratum Textiles.

Creating Casual Elegance

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Creating Casual Elegance

The designer carefully curated super durable furnishings with sophisticated silhouettes, paying special attention to scale and comfort. "I didn't want to do a stereotypical beach house," he says. "I wanted it to be relaxing, but I also wanted it to be elegant."

Get the Look: In the guest room, the Extra Fine Arrowroot wallpaper is by Phillip Jeffries. The bed is by Hickory Chair. The bedding is by John Robshaw. The art is by Natural Curiosities.

Sophisticated Meets Durable

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Sophisticated Meets Durable

The best example of Sutton's unique design perspective is the ornate table at the entrance of the home. "It's incredibly intricate and rustic," he says. "It's a definite showpiece, but it's also masculine and a little rugged. If you dropped something on it and dinged it, you wouldn't even notice. That's what we wanted."

Get the look: The mirror in the entry is by Slaysman Forge. The basket is by Pottery Barn. The table and candlesticks are by Patrick Sutton Home.

Easygoing Gathering Place

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Easygoing Gathering Place

Because the homeowners wanted to be able to accommodate friends and extended family at a moment's notice, they needed the house to be low maintenance and capable of multi-tasking. Downstairs, Sutton accounted for a potential influx of guests by creating a variety of different seating groupings. Upstairs, in addition to five bedrooms, a large loft area is outfitted with beanbags and boat-shaped beds for impromptu sleepovers.

Get the look: In the TV room, the sectional is by Verellen. The coffee table is by ABC Carpet & Home. The rug is by Eliko, the art is by Cisco Brothers, and the ceramic stool is by Tozai Home.

The Color Palette

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

The Color Palette

Sutton opted for soft, muted, neutral tones to channel the sandy expanses and cool, moody blues to echo the ocean.

Get the Look: The master bath vanity is from Restoration Hardware. The glazed subway tile is from Waterworks. The sconces are from Pottery Barn.

Relaxing Retreat

Photographer: Rick Lew, Stylist: Loren Simons

Relaxing Retreat

With all the hard work done, the homeowners are finally enjoying the home. "When I did the grand reveal, the wife came in first, and she burst into tears," Sutton says. "There was an immediate emotional connection. They wanted it to be the kind of place where they could spend time with those they care about most, kick off their shoes, and recharge their batteries, and that's what it is.

Get the Look: In the master bedroom, the wire-brushed oak wall is by Miken Builders. The bed is from Josh Levin Associates; 410/922-2131. The rug is from Greenspring Carpet Source. The bedding is from Matteo, the bench is from Cisco Brothers, and the sconces are from Robert Abbey.

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