A few years ago, one of Mona HajjLongtime clients of bought a condo in Bethany Beach for the whole family to vacation together, but it wasn’t long before they outgrew the place. After 20 years of working closely with the client on several homes, it was time to undertake a major project that would become the ultimate retreat for their busy and growing family which is now spread across both coasts. They struck gold finding spectacular beachfront land in the same neighborhood as their condo building, and it was time to get going.
“The client really wanted more space for all the grandkids to come in because she has kids living in California and wanted to create a place where everyone could come together and spend quality time with each other. “says Hajj. “They like things that are both nice and extremely comfortable, which is what they were really looking for in this house.”
Hajj was involved in almost every step of the process, ensuring the house would be built to take in as much natural light as possible, establishing perfect views outside the living room windows, and selecting light woods and other materials that felt contextual to the naturalness of the house. surroundings. It was also important to Hajj that she create a layout full of intimate corners instead of an open floor plan that would allow too much conviviality. Creating cozy nooks and private spaces was necessary to ensure family members had time to retreat to recharge with a good book, catch up on work emails, or simply enjoy the peace and quiet. tranquility between evenings of board games and swimming sessions.
The designer says the hardest part of this project was working within the constraints of the property, as it had to be some distance from the water and surrounded by dunes. Beyond respecting the terrain, the area has seasonal restrictions where building isn’t allowed at certain times of the year, so construction took longer than expected, but she says every minute was worth the sad to see how much the family enjoyed the house.
“The property itself is very inspiring,” says Hajj. “It’s right on the water, it’s quiet and it’s a second home for guests, so things could be more forgiving. Inspiration came from the land itself, the colors of the water and the views.
However, once it was time to finally fill the house with beautiful things, the designer did it in her signature style: artfully blending Eastern and Western aesthetics to create a home that feels as well traveled as its surroundings. owners. Needless to say, this is not your traditional beach house.
There are antique Arabesque Moorish Hajj tiles found in Spain, Romanian kilim rugs and Venetian mirrors from the mid-1800s, antique Syrian lanterns, Louis XV furniture – the list goes on. And yet, the house still manages to feel right at home on Bethany Beach, full of soothing blue hues, ancient seascapes, and an understated sensibility that’s perfect for a family’s vacation home.
“We didn’t want it to be a typical beach house with the same kind of ideas that you always see,” says Hajj. “[The client] traveled a lot so it was easy for me to work with them as they were open to styles and ideas from different cultures. The mix of European, Middle Eastern and Asian elements was actually preferable to them.
To ensure this home would remain the right size for this growing family, Hajj devoted much of the square footage to bedrooms, each with their own personality, antique collections and dreamy blue walls. . Additional reassurance comes from the darling bunk room which features custom beds to make the room as efficient as it is beautiful. This theme rings true throughout the home, as each piece is selected for more than just its beauty – it had to be comfortable, inviting, and not too precious to endure many multi-generational getaways.