Stairway Landing Vignette
Kitchen and Great Room
Guest Room 1
Guest Room 1
Guest Room 2
Guest Room 2
Guest Room 3
Upstairs Hallway Vignette
Owners Joyce Branda and Stan Reed
Lady Justice in Repose
Beachy Splashes of Color
Works by artists both local and global enliven this North Shores abode
One part of her Bethany Beach-area vacation home that makes Joyce Branda particularly happy is visible to anyone who drives or walks by: the front door.
“It’s periwinkle blue,” she says. “It’s really my pride and joy. I always wanted a periwinkle blue door on my house.”
Shades of that hue and turquoise repeat throughout the house: in a small table tucked into a curved alcove of the front foyer, on the walls in the downstairs powder room, on cabinets and drawers in the kitchen island, even in pillows, upholstery and decorative glassware and ceramics throughout the house.
“I decided, color-wise, that this house was going to be kind of beachy,” Joyce says. “I really like that look, and I like a lot of color.”
She and her husband, Stan Reed, bought the empty Salt Pond Community lot on which their house sits in 2016. Nearly three years later, in February 2019, they moved in to their new house. The architect was David Quillin of Berlin, Md.; the contractor was Beachwood Inc. of Showell, Md.
Joyce and Stan told Quillin they wanted the house to resemble homes in Nantucket, Mass., where they and their children spent many summers. The front has three large gables, covered in cedar shingles, and a fourth, smaller gable in the porch roof, over the front door.
Also reminiscent of their stays in Nantucket is a small second-story deck off one of the home’s two master bedrooms. “We rented a house for many years that had a deck off the bedroom on the second floor,” Joyce says. “We used to sit up there in the evening and have cocktails. My husband dubbed it Stanley’s Fiesta Lounge. So this deck is a nod to our Nantucket drinking experience.”
The heart of the house is the kitchen, part of a great room that includes a family sitting area and a dining area. While Quillin designed the room — “We told him: Start the house drawings with the kitchen, make sure we have a view of the ponds, lights, lots of windows, and then go from there,” Joyce notes — the cabinets were designed by Karen Hourigan with Kitchen and Bath Studios Inc., based in Chevy Chase, Md.
“There’s a ton of storage, and we have two dishwashers, something that can make all the difference in the world when you have company,” Joyce says. The kitchen’s functionality got a true test this past winter when the couple’s two grown children and their families stayed in the Salt Pond home for five months amid the pandemic. “We were there too, off and on, and it really worked for everybody,” Joyce says. “You know, if you have that many people in the kitchen, and everybody’s cooking, and no one is getting in the way of each other and getting irritable, than you’ve done a good job.”
The dining area is set apart from the rest of the great room by a 10-inch dropped beam that arcs across the ceiling. The table, of sturdy maple, already distressed to stand up to lots of use, was custom-made by Joel Antonioli of Lulla Woodworking in Ocean View. The ladder backs of rush-bottom chairs are painted off-white, colonial blue and rusty-red.
The L-shaped sofa in the family room is beige. Color is added to the room by the rug, with circles of red, blue and yellow, by throw pillows and by a chair covered in palm-leaf fabric. Upholstery, including making the pillows, was done by Seahawk Upholstery of Ocean View.
Outside the great room is a patio, overlooking the southwest corner of Salt Pond. Reclining on the far edge of the patio is a sculpture, “Lady Justice in Repose,” a tribute to Joyce’s 37 years as a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice — she retired in 2017 — and Stan’s ongoing private practice in Bethesda. The artist is architect Quillin himself (“truly a renaissance man,” Joyce says).
The Branda-Reed home will be featured on the Friends of the South Coastal Library’s 2021 Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, which will be virtual this year. Joyce hopes that people who “visit” her house come away with an idea of how important it is to design a residence that really works for the family who lives there.
“It’s about functionality first, then aesthetics,” she says. “I really wanted this house to be a place that everybody can enjoy, that will grow with our kids’ families and that someday they can inherit and still want to come to.” n
Lynn R. Parks is a frequent contributor to Delaware Beach Life.