The Boyds transformed their plain beach bungalow into a home fit for a tour
By Lynn R. Parks | Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the July 2019 issue
When Jackie and Bob Boyd bought their modular home and had it placed on a lot in Bethany Beach, their only intention was simple: They wanted a place to enjoy weekend getaways from the Washington, D.C., area where they lived and where Bob, a career Marine then stationed at Quantico, worked. What they called the “Beach Box” — from Nanticoke Homes (now Beracah Homes) in Greenwood — was a simple 1,200-square-foot rancher with no real distinguishing characteristics.
More than 30 years later, the now-2,100-square-foot home has become a fun and lively expression of their personalities. Color abounds, from navy blue on the walls of a large guest suite and dark gray (“Steel Wool”) in the master bathroom to gold in a guest bedroom, aka the “Southwest Room.”
Several walls are covered with shiplap siding; the wide horizontal boards are semi-gloss white and the narrow gaps between them are pewter-colored.
The sunroom, an addition to the original house, has windows across the back wall and a remote-controlled gas fireplace in one corner. Sitting on the mantel is an antique olive oil jar — olive green, of course — that Jackie bought at a benefit silent auction.
And maybe the best feature of all: The sunroom and the master bedroom, both painted pewter, open out onto a deck and a small, irregularly shaped saltwater pool, 5 feet at its deepest.
The pool is heated and “we use it every day that we can,” Jackie says. Her preferred way to enjoy it: relaxing with a foam pool noodle in one hand and a martini in the other.
“When we moved into this beach house, who knew that we were going to end up living here?” Jackie says. “But we have made this house our own and we love it.”
That is what she and Bob want visitors to their home during this month’s Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, sponsored by the Friends of the South Coastal Library, to appreciate.
“I hope that people who come here go away with a sense of how you can create your own space,” Jackie notes. “I want people to see that this is a fun house, and to see some things that you can do with a house to give it character.”
Since the Boyds bought their home, it has undergone three major renovations. The contractor for much of the work — as well as for subsequent, smaller jobs, including installation of the shiplap last year — was Bill Smith of Smith’s Home Services in Delmar. “He always does a wonderful job,” Jackie says.
In the earliest renovation, two bedrooms were added on to the back of the house to accommodate visiting friends of the Boyds’ two then-teenage daughters. Those bedrooms were the subjects themselves of a later renovation, in which they were transformed into the master suite, including a large walk-in closet.
In another renovation, a small, three-season porch was added and a hot tub installed there. As with the pool, Jackie uses the tub every day. “I go to the gym in the morning, then when I come home I eat lunch in the hot tub and watch TV,” she says.
The home’s original screened porch was enclosed to make the sunroom. And the living room, into which the front door opened in the home’s original configuration, was divided into two rooms: a foyer and an office. The latter, with a built-in, granite-topped desk and reclining furniture by the Norwegian company Ekornes, is where Bob displays his collection of duck decoys, including a couple by brothers and noted Eastern Shore carvers Stephen and Lemuel Ward.
The Boyds also collect art. Throughout the house are prints of paintings by local artists, including Ellen Rice and Barbara Deitrick. A half-circle-shaped beach scene that Jackie commissioned from Bethany artist Sue Clarke hangs on an exterior wall of the pool house. And mounted on a wall inside the pool house is a set of folding doors that originally concealed a small utility room in the kitchen and that have on them a mural painted by Cathy Schultz, owner of Bethany Florist. The mural depicts a shoreline and a lighthouse.
Jackie says that even though preparing for the library’s annual house tour means work for her and Bob, she’s happy to be part of it. “To live in a small town like this and to have such a wonderful library is amazing,” she says. “I’m so very pleased that we can support it. And maybe people will see some of the things you can do with a house, and get some ideas for their own place.”