For Jess Weeth, it all comes back to home. “I grew up between Lewes and Rehoboth, and I have memories of Rehoboth Avenue where our shop and studio are located,” she says. “So, it’s really amazing to be able to have a business here in the little beach community that I grew up in and that I love.”
After an early career out of state in fashion merchandising, Weeth moved back to Delaware, and before long she was flipping houses and taking interior design classes online. “And then this community—friends of friends—started to do projects, and my work grew from styling and decorating into a bigger business with a team where we tackle renovations and new builds, as well as interior design,” she says. Eventually, Weeth Home was erected on Rehoboth Avenue. At present, she has 19 projects on the books.
One local project in Cape Henlopen aptly expresses Weeth’s design sensibility: cozy yet elegant with traditional notes, but also fresh and relevant. A new generation was set to move into the 6,000-square-foot family home, and it needed a contemporary look—and an amplification of its strongest attributes.
“The house had some amazing traditional bones, including [a] beautiful interior glass arch and several sets of French doors,” she says. But a living room can never have too many French doors. “We installed additional sets of doors to create that whole wall of light, and the family of five wanted it to be a space that felt polished and beautiful but also was really comfortable and livable.”
The room is quite long, which, if you ask any designer, can be challenging. Weeth’s mission was to figure out a way to create intimate seating areas without blocking the flow. She succeeded by dividing the room in half and building a scheme of furniture groupings that is more inviting and logical than the lobby of many a high-end boutique hotel. A curved-arm sofa—wrapped in a camel-colored velvet—with a bench seat and a long, loose back pillow is a standout, but then the eye goes to a perpendicularly placed, custom-designed white linen daybed featuring an arty center-blocked pattern. A second grouping is composed of woven beige armchairs.
Echoing the tones of that massive project, but a bit earthier, is Weeth’s shop and studio. It’s stocked with woven fabrics, throw pillows and jute rugs, with even more hominess provided by tongue-and-groove paneling and reclaimed wood borders positioned where the ceilings meet the walls. To enter the store is to feel like curling up with a good book. But instead, people walk in to browse, and later come back to sign up for Weeth’s design services.
That’s partly how the Henlopen home project came about. “Actually, I had known [the client] through friends of friends, but she came into our shop and noticed the textile offerings that we had, and some of the pieces,” Weeth recalls. “She really liked the look and feel of the shop, so we were brought on board to do the bedrooms. But as soon as we made it through that first round of conceptual design, she asked us to do all of the interiors for the rest of the home as well.”