A Capitol Hill couple—both with political careers—were in search of a home on the Chesapeake Bay that would serve as a tranquil weekend escape. They found just what they wanted in a four-bedroom Sherwood, Maryland, home set on six waterfront acres. “We fell in love with the location. It’s quiet, remote and truly feels like a getaway from DC,” says the wife. “The house, however, was standard builder-grade, so we hired Bountiful Interiors in 2015 to give it more character and a higher-quality design.”
Principal Jamie Merida and lead designer Denise Perkins collaborated on the makeover with kitchen designer Barc A. Upchurch and builder Kurt Hermann. The overall plan added character to the home with new architectural elements, a bold color palette, and chic furniture and art. The team also forged a better connection to the property’s coveted outdoor environment. “We wanted the design to improve the relationship between the land, water, and home,” explains Merida.
The quest for spatial definition began in the foyer, where beige drywall previously set the tone that existed throughout the house; the staircase was plain oak. “We added paneled moldings up to the second floor,” recalls Perkins, “then painted everything—walls, stairs, railings—a crisp white.”
The foyer opens to the sitting and dining rooms, both slightly more formal spaces that have their own distinct character. The eye-catching sitting room is a study in blue and white and incorporates patterns of stripes, trellises, and geometrics that evoke the movement of water outside.
The dining room also pops. A vinyl Thibaut wall covering, which reads like grasscloth but is more practical in a watery environment, provides a textured background. Dashes of red in the china cabinet, chair cushions, and pillows add contrast. “The dining room carries a fresh take on more traditional forms,” says Merida. “It’s coastal in feel but also sophisticated—our signature Tidewater style.”
Upchurch and the Bountiful designers took the kitchen—once closed-off with dark, cherry cabinets and granite counters—in a lighter direction. It now boasts a white-and-navy color scheme with nautically inspired chrome hardware. A widened, cased opening to the family room connects these two revamped spaces. “We created an enfilade of sorts by reorienting the kitchen. Its stovetop and island, and the fireplace in the family room, all lineup and have a sense of symmetry,” says Merida. Other special features in the kitchen include onyx countertops, a custom stainless-steel hood and an island with navy shiplap siding.
The palette of red, white and blue carries into the family room, where a red-and-white checked wool carpet grounds the furniture. Swivel chairs in navy with contrasting white piping sit in a bay window, while the homeowners’ existing white sofas were recast with a medley of red, white and blue pillows. Matched bookcases were also added during the redesign.
Two sets of French doors—in the kitchen and first-floor master bedroom—now lead onto a new screened porch that takes full advantage of the views and is perfect for entertaining. “The porch is divided into sitting and dining areas,” Perkins explains. “It’s furnished with a mix of teak and wicker as well as indoor-outdoor fabrics.” A coral-and-aqua palette prevails on the porch, while the designers introduced shades of tangerine and teal to enliven the bedrooms.
The large master bedroom also enjoys expansive views. “We wanted to make it more cozy and warm, so we chose interesting 3-D stacked-wood cladding for the headboard wall,” says Merida. The hue of the weathered-wood wall is echoed on a brown velvet-upholstered armchair and a side table with a petrified-wood top. He adds, “There are a nice yin and yang of rustic wood finishes and luxe materials like the leather-wrapped night tables.” In the guest room, orange chests flank the bed, providing storage for visiting guests and family.
The owners love escaping to their waterfront getaway. “Our design team did such a great job of bringing in coastal elements while making sure everything remained classic and timeless,” says the wife. “It’s become a wonderful retreat for us.”
Interior Design: Jamie Merida, principal; Denise Perkins, lead designer, Bountiful Interiors, Easton, Maryland. Kitchen Design: Barc A. Upchurch, Barclay Designs, Easton, Maryland. Renovation Contractor: Kurt Hermann, Shore Projects Custom Homes, Easton, Maryland.
Charlotte Safavi is an Alexandria-based writer and stylist. Robert Radifera is a photographer in Charlottesville.