A flip at the Rehoboth Beach house turned into a permanent home
Photo by David Heitur
After a pinball expert filled her Rehoboth Beach home with select and eye-catching pieces, she decided to move in and stay.
When you work in real estate and become a fan of house flipping like Beth Hughes, there is always the possibility that you can tie yourself in. And when that happens, that’s when you know you’re really good at what you do.
Hughes, a Compass licensed real estate agent in Washington, DC and Maryland, had every intention of returning the 3,000 square foot home she had converted on Coventry Road in Rehoboth Beach, but due to the pandemic she ended up living in the five bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home itself – and throwing more than a few parties there.
“I love to take a house apart and put it back together,” she says. “I love walking into a house and seeing the potential. Every time I would flip a house, I designed it, and for all of my developers, I designed their kitchens. It’s a piece of particular interest to Hughes, who was a chef and owned his own restaurant business for 25 years before turning to real estate. She says the biggest mistake people make when it comes to kitchens is misjudging how the room fits into their home’s flow, compromising their ability to be entertained.
“I’ll see islands running down the middle of the kitchen, with the entrance at one end,” she said. “When you entertain or receive friends, they’re basically sitting in the middle of your workspace. When I design a kitchen, I design it for entertaining as well as for cooking.
For this particular kitchen, she built a huge peninsula with a wine fridge at the end, “so my friends don’t come into my space to take something out of the fridge,” she explains. Hughes also makes sure to provide a focal point in the kitchen – in this case, the back wall clad in blue Riad tiles.
The house Hughes created is resisting labels: “It has a neat style,” she says. “I have a bit of a bohemian beach house, a bit of the mid-century. I have things that are in my family, I have pieces that I have had for years that I love that go from house to house, and I have industrial parts.
And she did not hesitate to reinvent the interior architecture to adapt it to these beloved rooms. In the living room, she replaced the gas fireplace with an electric fireplace and painted it an iron ore shade to match the fireplace. The wood for the integrated benches came from his family farm. Add in a woven seagrass rug, round mid-century Tulip tables, a plush sofa by Blu Dot, and a huge ottoman, and the effect is an inviting and relaxed blend of industrial, modern, organic and rustic. Soils are everywhere from Stuga.
“I wanted a lot of seating, but I didn’t want a lot of furniture,” she explains. “I organized a party that was supposed to bring together 10 people that turned into 25, and everyone got to sit down and eat. It has worked really well, and I think it’s my experience in catering and organizing events that influences how I design.
The dining room immediately fits into the mid-century. She found orange Swing chairs (designed by Gerd Lange for Drabert in Germany, in the 1960s) in a store in Washington, “then I searched forever until I found another set, which are the white “. And true to its sleek form, the eye-catching piece behind the dining set is a vintage doctor’s office cabinet. “In the past 15 years he’s been in every house I’ve had.”
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