Bethany Bank greets “The Big Chill” during the anniversary division at the bank vacation home of Frank Hurley and Catharine “Kit” Dorrier. Every year, the Washingtonians allure their friends, abounding of whom additionally own absolute acreage at the Delaware resort, to adapt gourmet commons and accomplish amusing for a few canicule about Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
“This is a agitating abode to baker and adhere out. There’s abundant amplitude for all of us,” says Patsy Rankin, their acquaintance in Washington and buyer of Patsy’s Restaurant at Bethany Beach, who has aggregate anniversary feasts with the brace for added than two decades. On a November weekend at the couple’s bank house, Rankin and her babe Robin abutting Kate and Len Dwojeski from the anniversary “beach family” to bethink about accomplished celebrations.
It’s accessible to accept why the longtime friends, whose names are corrective on wine glasses stored at the house, like acquisition in the big, accessible rooms. In accession to actuality on the beach, the archetypal shingle-style abode with its white balustrade columns looks like it’s appropriate out of a Ralph Lauren advertisement. Water can be apparent through windows in about every room, and abounding spaces accompany a faculty of the bank indoors.
Designed by Washington artist Jim Rill, the acreage recalls the shingled bank houses appropriate of New England. Cedar shakes, cottage-style windows, and porches in advanced and aback actualize a action of celebrated authenticity. From the beach, the gambrel roofs framing the ends of the abode acceleration from the bank dunes like accompanying abundance peaks.
“The afflatus is from the American summer home from the about-face of the [last] century,” Rill says. He cites the Addy Sea, a 1902 house-turned-hotel in Bethany, as one of his sources for the backward Victorian attending of his design.
Hurley and Dorrier called the artist to architecture the bank abode appropriate afterwards he had broadcast their 1980s abode in the District’s Palisades neighborhood. That aggressive accession of a new kitchen, ancestors room, second-level bedrooms and an appointment amplitude in the attic gave them the aplomb to appoint Rill again.
“He knew our brand and dislikes,” Dorrier says. “The additional time about was abundant easier than the first.” Some architecture elements are again in both houses, including sliding metal-framed bottle partitions in the couple’s home offices and marble salvaged from the Folger Library’s rare-book allowance back it was adapted accoutrement a bath attic and a table.
The couple’s accommodation to body a additional home that could be acclimated year-round came afterwards years of renting backdrop on the Delaware shore. In 1998, back their kids were still teenagers, the brace bought a 1970s home in Bethany and asked Rill to accomplish an acute makeover. “It was a awful one-story bunker,” recalls the architect, who burst best of the anatomy except for the foundation and chimney.
Coastal regulations bound new architecture to the abuttals of the absolute abode on the ocean side, but Rill was able to extend the advanced and top to enlarge the anatomy and booty advantage of the views. “We didn’t appetite the abode to arise too tall, so we created gambrel roofs on both sides,” he says. “They accustomed us to accretion aboveboard footage and accomplish the additional attic beyond than the first.” (Gambrel roofs are evocative of ancient barn roofs.)
Years of active summering on Cape Cod, in Virginia Bank and on North Carolina’s Outer Banks led Hurley and Dorrier to absorb their admired architecture elements from those vacation settings. “This is an admixture of bank houses from our past,” Hurley says. “One of the things we accomplished is that you don’t appetite actuality that gets mildewed, so we accomplished the apartment in copse rather than drywall.”
Low-maintenance affection ache and white-painted boards awning the walls and ceilings to beforehand the autogenous of a ship. Durable Mexican asphalt pavers extend throughout the capital akin while board floors on the additional akin bout the wainscoting and bank in the bedrooms. Gracefully arched cutouts in the amount risers and congenital window seats and cabinets affirm to a aerial akin of adroitness on the allotment of Zink Construction, a Bethesda-based contractor.
Upstairs, bristles bedrooms and a workspace aggregate by Hurley and Dorrier are affiliated by a anteroom overlooking the two-story active amplitude and its clerestory windows, which accompany in ablaze and bank vistas. The adept bedchamber and a guestroom extend beneath the gambrel roofs at the rear to clandestine decks adverse the ocean.
Bedrooms for the couple’s three accouchement and their accompany are tucked into the advanced of the abode and a applesauce allowance in the home’s everyman akin provides added allowance for their pals. On the capital floor, yet addition bedchamber and a media den can be acclimated to host added brief visitors.
From the top akin of the house, the access continues advancement to a amplitude amid the roof gables that is account the climb. The accouter opens to across-the-board angle of the beachfront and the boondocks in every direction. “It’s a abundant abode to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July,” Hurley notes.
The branch is accomplished by rolling a skylight to one ancillary rather than by aperture a door. Rill came up with this able band-aid to abstain architecture a rooftop anatomy that would beat building-height restrictions and attempt with the chimney.
The couple’s attitude of anniversary bank parties started about 30 years ago back Hurley and Dorrier would go to Rehoboth with accompany for New Year’s Eve and connected back they congenital their abode in Bethany.
“The end of the year is a alteration time, and actuality at the bank gives you time to wind bottomward and reflect,” says Hurley, the administrator and arch accurate administrator of RRD International, a Rockville-based health-care artefact development company. “We like walking on the beach, watching the sunsets and adequate the anniversary with our ancestors and friends,” adds Dorrier, a abstruse adviser at the company.
Now their anniversary celebrations aftermost four canicule and are planned weeks in advance, bottomward to the allowance and meal assignments. Hurley and Dorrier adapt their admired recipes for two of the dinners and accredit the blow of the affable to guests.
Arranged on three levels, the abode offers affluence of absorbing amplitude for the 20 to 30 guests who consistently appear the anniversary Thanksgiving and New Year’s parties. The couple’s three children, now in their 20s, sometimes accompany the anniversary but added generally bless Christmas with their parents in Washington or on visits to relatives.
No amount what admeasurement the party, the kitchen at the advanced of the abode – complete with its two dishwashers, bifold sinks and Wolf barbecue – is axial to the operation. “We absorb best our time about this island,” says Rankin, pointing to the axial alertness area. “Food is advance out everywhere.”
In colder weather, visitors coil up in the armchairs and sofas in advanced of the bean broiler in the active breadth breadth a appliance is blimp with album bank reads. All the apartment on the capital akin breeze together, so no accumulation is cut off from the activity, alike from the cooks in the kitchen. Tables are pushed calm in the dining alcove to board ample crowds and again confused abreast for dancing. “We’ve had 38 bodies sitting bottomward for dinner,” Hurley says.
Back at their abode in Palisades, Hurley and Dorrier afresh able their account of guests and meal responsibilities for the accessible New Year’s celebration. “We are assured about 25 from December 29 through January 2,” Dorrier says. “Some who will appear for dinners during that time accept their own houses in the area, but there will 12 or so in our house.”
She and Hurley are planning to barbecue a cream and accommodation and a ambrosia of amber fondue with bake-apple and auto block for dipping. Rill, who has abounding a few of the bank parties, says acceptable aliment may be added important than acceptable architecture to the beach-going brace and their friends. “Everyone tries to beat the abutting guy with gourmet dishes,” he recalls. “At the end of night, anybody ends up on the balustrade attractive at the stars.”
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