Above the Dunes

Architect Robert Gurney overhauled a Bethany Beach retreat in airy, modern style, ensuring that the home’s panoramic ocean views would take center stage. Per flood requirements, the house had been built on pilings, elevated one level above grade. “I would have put the main living area on this level even if we could have used the lower level,” the architect comments. “The view is amazing, looking out over the planted dunes to the ocean.”

In Gurney’s redesign, a family-room area shares space with the minimalist kitchen (above), which contrasts custom, white-lacquered cabinetry and quartz countertops with rich, walnut floors. The open-plan space flows out through glass panels that slide to one side. Beyond, an ipe deck is bordered by an unobtrusive railing of steel and aircraft cables. “You can see right through the cables to the ocean,” Gurney says. “That was our intention.”

Renovation Architecture: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Robert M. Gurney Architect, Washington, DC. Renovation Contractor: Bruce Mears, Bruce Mears Designer/Builder, Ocean View, Delaware.