Dining Room and Kitchen
Sitting Room Area
Dining Room, Living Room and Porch
Dining Room and Porch
Master Bedroom and Silver Feathers
Bucket List Prize
Location ruled this couple’s dream of a vacation home
Owning a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach was high on Bobby Feldman’s bucket list.
“I wanted a house where we could all get together — someplace peaceful where, as our kids get older, they could bring their kids and it will feel like home,” he says.
Even so, not just any comfortable house with a sufficient number of bedrooms would do. “We had a four-street limit,” Bobby explains. “We wanted something on the south side of town, one block off the beach, from Stockley Street south to St. Lawrence.”
That dream came true two years ago when he and his wife, Cindy, residents of the Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel, bought a place in the second block of Norfolk Street. “It really was amazing that we found this house within the area that we wanted,” Cindy says.
The Feldmans’ home was built in 1980 and renovated in 2010. The two-story, 2,300-square-foot ranch has five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other than putting in a new driveway — granite cobblestones to replace a combination of pavers and concrete — installing new carpet in the bedrooms and painting interior walls, the couple didn’t have to do anything to the house.
They hired interior designer Christina Ishida, owner of Cici Crib Interiors in Pittsburgh, to help them decide on colors and furnishings. Ishida says her mission was three-fold: “The clients wanted a getaway that is comfortable, that can accommodate lots of friends and family, and that is a place to de-stress.”
She took inspiration for the decorating scheme from the coastal Sussex environment. “What stood out in my mind is the overwhelming power of the summer blue sky and the surrounding nature of Rehoboth,” Ishida says.
The designer collected three shells from the sand in Rehoboth, and matched the palest one with a shade of white, Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, for all of the walls. The umber in a ridged shell is the color of the coffee table in the living room. “We love the coffee table,” Cindy says. “It’s a big cement thing, brown and gray and gorgeous.”
A large abstract painting in shades of blue, hung on the front wall of the living room, “is the sky,” Ishida says. And the dining room table “is the same coloration as the [beach] grass that I see when I walk on the boardwalk. Everything speaks to each other as a single voice from the shore.”
To accommodate the friends and family the Feldmans like to have for dinner, Ishida placed a second table on the front screened porch. Sliding glass doors between it and the dining room can be opened, creating one large space.
And as for comfort, “the couch is super-comfortable,” Cindy says. On the porch are chairs that can rock as well as swivel and hassocks for holding up tired feet.
“Christina knows us well, how we live and how we sit, and she just nailed it,” Bobby notes.
In addition to the large blue painting in the living room, the designer found other decorative items for the house. A wooden door, into which are carved a human figure and two dogs, hangs on a dining room wall. Also in the dining room is a metal, industrial-looking chandelier, long and thin with seven lights and clear glass shades. “One of my favorite things is when you walk out of our house and look back, you can see that light,” Bobby says. “It’s just stunning, looking in at it from the outside.”
Seeing the light from the street “is like a big hug,” Ishida says. “Open arms.”
Hanging over the bed in the first-floor master bedroom are four silver-colored feathers, the largest about 3 feet long and the smallest about 12 inches. “I noticed how seagull feathers float around the beach and how sweetly calm they are,” Ishida explains. “When I told the Feldmans that I wanted to put feathers floating above the bed, there was a bit of radio silence. But I will say that one of the best attributes of the Feldmans as clients is their trust in my crazy ideas. They said, ‘Go for it.’”
Bobby compares his reaction to the feather collection to how he first felt when he saw the carved wooden door that hangs in the dining room. “I said no way — no way! But now I think it’s really cool. Cindy and Christina are hoping that I say the same thing about the feathers someday.”