This Rehoboth Beach Renovation Is Cozy and Welcoming

A tiny Rehoboth Beach cottage retains its charm after a grand renovation.

As interior designer Kelley Gable describes the overhaul of the kitchen she completed as part of a large home renovation in Rehoboth Beach, she becomes so animated that you know it was the key to the entire project. The historic home is one of the original structures in Rehoboth. In its original state, it was a compact two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom cottage with—the horror!—a kitchen on the wall.

But by the time Gable and Lockwood Construction were done—they expanded the house upward and out—a five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home had resulted. (Gable was involved with the expansion and much of the décor.) The anchor of the now-2,500-square-foot home is that showstopping kitchen.

“The size probably tripled, and there were a couple things that were really important to the client,” Gable says. The first task was to create a large island for entertaining the family, which included three high-school-age and adult children. “They wanted to make sure that they all had a gathering point in the kitchen.”

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According to designer Kelley Gable, the kitchen was key to an expansion and renovation of a 2,500-square-foot Rehoboth house. “Special features of the home include the stunning kitchen with beautiful coastal-blue tile accents from TileBar, and breathtaking lighting throughout, including rattan pendants from Serena & Lily,” she says.
According to designer Kelley Gable, the kitchen was key to an expansion and renovation of a 2,500-square-foot Rehoboth house. “Special features of the home include the stunning kitchen with beautiful coastal-blue tile accents from TileBar, and breathtaking lighting throughout, including rattan pendants from Serena & Lily,” she says.

A custom banquette dining area, featuring an Arhaus white oak table with a drop leaf, provides another place to gather—and looks especially fitting against the room’s shiplap walls. The cane chairs are from Serena & Lily, while the rattan lighting fixture above the table is from Home Depot. “I love high and low,” Gable says.

“The second goal was to create a warm and cozy cottage feel, and we did that by including that incredible tile work that you see behind the range, but also using millwork as a backsplash on the window wall,” she says. “There’s kind of a juxtaposition between the two that works really nicely together.” Gable sourced the tiles from TileBar.

Gable, inspired by the shiplap walls of the dining space, added a rustic-luxe white oak table from Arhaus and dining chairs from Serena & Lily; the family’s design-minded daughter was set on a “moment” for the dormer frame and window seat: blue-print wallpaper and millwork splashed in a rich bluebird hue.
Gable, inspired by the shiplap walls of the dining space, added a rustic-luxe white oak table from Arhaus and dining chairs from Serena & Lily.

The third major element Gable introduced was a curated set of “lighting pops,” represented by four different areas of sconces and “pretty rattan pendants from Serena & Lily that lean [toward] that coastal look.” But that’s not all. The craftsmanship of the cabinetry is another high point: “One of my favorite things to do in a kitchen is incorporate counter-height cabinets—the cabinetry goes all the way down to the countertops for that custom feel,” the designer says. “We framed out the range and that tile backsplash so [that] it all seamlessly works together.” And finally, the beachy flooring, which looks like wood, is actually LVP (luxury vinyl flooring) from CORetec.

The family’s design-minded daughter was set on a “moment” for the dormer frame and window seat: blue-print wallpaper and millwork splashed in a rich bluebird hue.
The family’s design-minded daughter was set on a “moment” for the dormer frame and window seat: blue-print wallpaper and millwork splashed in a rich bluebird hue.

In some design decisions, the children had a say. The high-school-aged daughter, who won a coveted bedroom with a dormer window, had very specific ideas. “This is a fun story,” Gable says. “She has a really good eye for design, and she used this term that was coined, I think, on Instagram or something: ‘coastal grandmother.’” The daughter, like the designer, loves custom millwork, and the result was a bluebird-colored window seat and frame complemented by blue-print wallpaper. “It was definitely a risky choice, but the risk paid off in this case,” Gable says. “I think this is my No. 1 asked-about room whenever I share my work with other clients, because it really makes a statement, and it ties into the rest of the house really nicely.”

The home now contains so many bathrooms that Gable hesitates to choose a favorite. But the powder room, which was part of the original structure, is clearly special to her. Swirly blue-and-white Schumacher wallpaper reminds the designer of waves, while the glass-bulb sconces—which reinforce the home’s nautical quality—are from Pottery Barn. The Carrara marble vanity, with its open plumbing below, is a tribute to the previous iteration of the home. “It’s a nod to vintage,” Gable says.

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Related: This Rehoboth Home Transformation Embraces Coastal Vibes

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