Desk Vignette in GreatRoom
Kitchen Marble Wall
Sitting Area Main Bedroom
Indoor Outdoor Shower Main Bathroom
Tiled Wall Laundery Room
Powder Room Vignette
Powder Room Vignette
Upstairs Sitting Room
Owners Frank & Wendy Gottdank
With their window boxes and planters, pool and exterior shower, these Lewes homeowners have plenty to draw them outside
By Lynn R. Parks | Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the October 2022 issue
At the Selbyville-area home in which they previously lived, Wendy and Frank Gottdank had an outdoor shower. “And we loved it,” Wendy says.
When it came time to build their new home in the Mariners’ Retreat development in Lewes, the couple knew they wanted to include an outdoor shower. But Wendy had a way to improve onthe traditional model.
“I kept saying that it would be really great if we could just have a door in the house to walk through to the shower,” she says. “We all figured that out and we did it.”
The only way to access the Gottdanks’ outdoor shower is through a glass door in their primary bathroom’s indoor shower. “From 50 degrees on, we shower outside, unless there’s a lightning storm,” Wendy notes. “Even if it’s raining, we shower outside. There’s no roof, so you get to see the sun, and at night you get to see the stars.”
The contractor for the home was Burton Builders, located near Lewes. Stuart Ortel, owner of Behrens Home Design in Towson, Md., and near Rehoboth Beach, helped with the house plans as well as interior and landscape design. Kelly Thompson, who at the time worked for Johnny Janosik World of Furniture in Laurel and who now owns Kelly Thompson Interior Design in Ocean City, Md., also helped with design. The smart-home technology was installed by Ramiro Ramirez, owner of Virtua Home Technologies, near Rehoboth Beach.
Wendy and Frank moved into their new home in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just ramping up. “It was a wonderful place to hunker down and quarantine from the world,” Wendy says. The backyard saltwater pool in particular was a godsend, she adds. “Before the vaccines, it was very comforting.”
On the ground floor of the two-story, 3,600-square-foot home are the great room, a media room, the kitchen and dining area, and the primary bedroom suite. “It’s very spacious,” Frank says. “I hate taking baby steps in a house, bumping into furniture.”
Upstairs are three guest suites, as well as a sitting area and a small laundry area. A full laundry room, with a built-in ironing board, a farmhouse sink set in a granite counter and dark gray subway tile on the wall above the counter, is on the ground floor. “It’s a beautiful laundry room,” Wendy says. “Some people have said that they could live there.”
Windows throughout the house are natural wood, with the sashes (inside and out) painted black. The walls in the great room and kitchen are shades of gray; in the bedroom suite, they are pale blue. The floors are light oak with a matte finish. Ceilings in the downstairs are all shiplap, painted white.
In the living area is a silk rug in shades of blue, gray and brown. The L-shaped sofa and two chairs are gray; a coffee table and two occasional tables are tan and white granite. The fireplace surround is dark brown granite and patterned so that it looks like a dense forest.
That same granite is on the bar counter in the media room. Shades on two sconces above the bar, as well as on a floor lamp in the corner, are made from cocoa leaves. Adjacent to the bar, sliding glass doors open onto the screened porch. “When it’s not too humid, we open them up,” Wendy says.
In the kitchen, Wendy didn’t want lots of grout that she would have to clean. So the backsplashes, as well as the wall around three windows, are marble (gray and white with splotches of black). The same marble is on the counters and the island; pendant lights over the island have navy blue metal shades.
Especially since the start of the pandemic, Wendy has been cooking a lot. But she is frequently called to the outside — to the pool, and to the many pots, planters and window boxes that she has filled with flowers in need of nearly daily tending.
She and Frank often walk to downtown Lewes or to the farmers market. And next to the screened porch, as well as outside the kitchen windows, they have placed bird feeders. “Sometimes,” Wendy says, “we simply don’t get the dishes done because we are watching the birds.”