For Washingtonians Mike DeFlavia and his partner Tony, it was time to make a change. But it took two decades to get here. The couple had owned a weekend home in Rehoboth Beach, and their plan had long been to move there permanently. But the existing house wouldn’t do. “We bought the house that was on the same lot in 2002,” recalls DeFlavia, a consultant for nonprofit fundraising (Tony is a software trainer). “It was a small, one-story ranch that was built in the 1980s.”
One word: Teardown. “We gave the house to a demolition guy,” DeFlavia says, “and he put it on a flatbed truck and had it moved to a lot he owns. Then we built the house from the ground up.” They dialed up McGregor Custom Homes in Rehoboth, and construction began on the traditional house, with its numerous gables and eaves, in January 2021; they moved into the five-bedroom, 3,300-square-foot house last year.
The pair worked with an interior designer at Johnny Janosik World of Furniture, a Delaware institution. DeFlavia’s favorite hue is blue, and the color pops out against the neutral gray in many of the spaces. The double-height great room—anchored by a tile-clad fireplace and a fireplace wall that rises to the ceiling—features a Barclay Butera armchair and ottoman in a bold blue print.
Art and throw pillows are also blue, and instead of a choosing a casual dining table to sit between the great room and the open kitchen, the couple opted for more plush seating—a pair of blue-and-white armchairs with an amoeba-like print from Johnny Janosik. (“Ninety-five percent of the furniture is from Johnny Janosik,” DeFlavia notes.)
The kitchen, boasting an ample island topped with a slab of leather-finish marble from Ancient Art Stone in Milford, is a standout. The top-of-the-line appliances are GE Profile, while the backsplash and perimeter countertops are quartz. DeFlavia used Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry in Lewes to complete the kitchen.
In the dining room, a pair of blue Jeff Koons balloon dog sculptures (housewarming gifts from friends) oversee the live-edge dining table (sourced from R-Home Furniture in Fairfax, Virginia), which counts as one of the home’s most unique pieces. The chandelier, sourced from Light House of Lewes, hangs from a rich, elegant gray ceiling that is several shades darker than the gray paint on the walls.
Especially impressive is the seasonal veranda, an expansive, screened-in space featuring a dining table from West Elm and a custom sofa from Johnny Janosik. “That’s where we spend the majority of our time,” DeFlavia says. The couple installed the pool when they bought the original house, but it needed a major overhaul—from tile to concrete—that was completed just weeks ago. They enlisted Anthony & Sylvan Pools to bring the freeform pool up to snuff.
If the home has a signature, it’s the primary bath. “Years ago, and I don’t know how I came up with it, I thought if I ever built a house, I want a [primary] shower that’s behind the vanity, open from both sides—no glass doors to squeegee, no curbs to step up,” DeFlavia says. The result is an open shower room that contains no less than four fixtures. “It’s pretty much the showstopper when our friends come over,” he says.