Seven Mile Times

August 2018

The Door's Open

See What's Inside On Cape Regional's 7 Mile Island Designer House Tour

By Mary Byrne Lamb

The dining nook overlooks the water at the Lookout.

The front door opens, and you are transported. Your eyes are drawn through the great room to the wall of windows where the bay unfolds in a flowing maze from Stone Harbor all the way to the Avalon Bridge in the distance. To say this home has a bay view does not do it justice. This stunning home has a view of the ENTIRE bay. And it is just one of the spectacular homes featured on the 2018 Cape Regional Health System Designer House Tour.


Known as the “Lookout,” the home perched on a bayfront lot off Stone Harbor Boulevard was built in 2017 to take advantage of the beauty painted by nature outside of its windows, while providing a haven for three generations of a close-knit family inside of its walls.


“We really wanted a clean, simple feel,” says the homeowner, an artist and graphic designer who handled all of the design decisions. “We knew we wanted to walk up and see straight through to the water, so we did a lot of windows and a lot of glass.”


The kitchen of the Lookout.


Though this sleek home features modern architecture, a neutral palette, and light industrial touches, it is filled with warmth. Vintage finds and personal touches such as black-and-white photos of grandparents frolicking on the beach in a bygone era, refurbished schoolhouse chairs that serve as snack tables, and old fabric spools that double as candleholders, mix with a treasure trove of mementos and art collected by the homeowners over a lifetime of family adventures. “Everything here means something to me,” the owner says.


The master suite of the Lookout…


Designed to accommodate multiple generations of the family including the homeowner’s four young-adult children, friends and grandparents, the home features a variety of spaces. A warm dining nook draws the family together for traditional meals, while expansive decks afford space to lounge and spread out, a lap pool and exercise room satisfies the resident triathlon champ, while a dock filled with kayaks and paddle boards offers waterfront fun, and the sprawling master suite complete with sitting room, artist’s nook, luxurious soaking tub and incredible bayfront vistas offers a quiet retreat.


“Family is really important to us,” says the homeowner. “And this house works for everyone.”


… and the sitting room that connects to it.


Celebrating the gifts of Mother Nature with the joys of family, “Lookout” exemplifies the exceptional quality, style and individuality of the homes that you can explore on this year’s Designer House Tour on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 11am to 4pm. The homes on the self-guided tour are a feast for the eyes and a chance to peek inside some of the island’s most spectacular properties.


“I love going on the house tour to get cool architectural and decorating ideas,” says Lynn Smith, an Ocean City resident who comes to Seven Mile Beach for the house tour with her family every year. “I also love the scavenger-hunt feel as you follow the map throughout the day and each house becomes a new treasure.”


Those treasures are the product of the talents of local builders, architects, designers, cabinet makers, artists and landscapers who work together with the homeowners to turn dream homes into reality. Each home on the tour features the latest trends in architecture, design and décor, and the quality of craftmanship and artistry on display is second to none.


The tour would not be possible without the generosity of the homeowners. “We really want to thank the homeowners for opening up their homes to benefit the work we’re doing at Cape Regional,” says Tom Piratzky, executive director of the Cape Regional Foundation. “The proceeds of the house tour support our cancer and surgical services, specifically equipment purchases for radiation oncology and surgical services for cancer patients. We’re an independent hospital with a clinical affiliation with Penn Medicine. The care we give has an extra touch and we’re grateful to everybody who supports us.”


One of those supporters is D.L. Miner Construction, which built four of the homes on the tour. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have so many homes on the Designer House Tour,” says company president Brian Stuart. “We encourage owners to join the tour and support such a worthy pillar of our community. Raising awareness, as well as funding, is critical to the success of the hospital system. They take care of us, so we try to do the same.”


Thanks to the collaborative effort of local contractors and the open-hearted kindness of the homeowners, guests on this year’s tour will be able to tour 10 magnificent homes. Here is a sneak peek.


Gorgeous Gray Beach-Block Retreat

“Casual elegance” is the description that comes to mind when you step inside this brand-new beauty. After living in a small cottage on the property for four summers with their young family, the homeowners knew exactly what they wanted when the time came to build their three-story dream home. From the spacious sunken living room on the first floor, to the patio that spills directly into a sparkling swimming pool, to the lofty heights of the stunning chandelier over the two-story family room, to the warmth of the kitchen, to the cozy confines of a screened-in porch, this home combines shimmer and shine with refinement and ease.


The spacious sunken living room of Gorgeous Gray.


“We wanted it beachy, but not too nautical,” says the homeowner. So, a soft color-palette with splashes of nature-inspired color was used in each room. Interesting prints and artwork put an edgy twist on seaside décor with jellyfish-patterned fabric on family-room chairs and an edgy print that is an actual X-ray of a lobster on the wall high above the dining room.


The trick in this home is the masterful way it marries modern flair with traditional elements to create a space that is as elegant as it is relaxed and fun.


Old-School Avalon Beach Cottage

Built in the 1970s, this traditional ranch maintains the home’s original footprint but features an up-to-the-minute renovation that transformed a dated space into a clean, crisp, cozy cottage. “We wanted to come in and make it clean and fresh,” says the homeowner, who is also a professional interior designer.


To achieve their goals, the homeowners gutted the previous kitchen and family room to create an open floor plan featuring a smooth white kitchen, hardwood floors, lots of natural light, and a neutral color palette with pops of blue and green.


The renovated kitchen space of the Old School Avalon Beach Cottage.


“I wanted it to be a total casual beach bungalow, but someplace where you could come in and feel super comfortable and fresh and clean,” the owner says. “It’s a combination of a little bit of color but lots of texture. So, instead of having a gleaming white kitchen, we added a warm, textured table and wooden-beaded chandelier.”


Textured throw rugs, pillows, and a wall of sliders that open to an expansive front deck that unfurls across the front of the house with crisp black and white accents make this home as vibrant and lively as it is cool and uncluttered.


Sunnyside Up

With a spectacular location in Avalon, the homeowners of this bayfront retreat selected unique furnishings and finishes to create a home simply vibrating with texture and color.


“The art and accessories in this house truly reflect the homeowners,” says Sara Mass, the interior designer from McMullin Design Group who worked with the homeowners to make a lively space for their large family. “The homeowners wanted a family-friendly home that reflected their personality. There is a sense of humor and playfulness in the details.


We chose durable, low-maintenance fabrics and made sure the general living spaces could accommodate a crowd with-

out any stress. Yet, the private spaces reflect each occupant’s personality and needs, so everyone feels right at home.”


Details such as leather-front cabinets in the family room, a copper-topped island in the kitchen, and custom vanity finishes make this home pop. The outdoor living spaces include an outdoor kitchen and dining area that can accommodate 16 people, while a lighted cable rail system highlights the bay views and caps the edge of the property beyond the pool, spa, custom firepit and seating.


Haven on the Basin

Take mid-century modern design elements, mingle them with family-friendly touches, and put it all inside soaring spaces on a waterfront setting and you’ll get “Haven on the Basin.”


The homeowners are a large, young family who wanted to design something that was casual, and different, but also kid-proof, according to the home’s interior designer, who worked alongside the homeowners and builder D.L. Miner Construction to create this summer retreat.


The first floor contains en suite bedrooms and an ample “bunkroom” for the children and is also the home of the bayside family room. Complete with a gigantic U-shaped sectional, the family room provides a cool and calm space for the whole brood to flop down and relax. Upstairs, the sky-high, textured white ceilings are highlighted with cedar beams that add warmth and character to the living room’s and kitchen’s open floor plan.


In the kitchen, the use of reclaimed chestnut on the large island brings warmth and depth to the space. Walnut accents and a dark gray/blue and yellow palette hint at the mid-century modern aesthetic, while keeping the space beachy and practical for small children.


The master bedroom is not to be missed with a custom fabricated upholstered headboard wall that draws the eyes toward the room’s one-of-a-kind rug that juxtaposes with a deep-blue ceiling.


#Harold’s on 18th

After spending 10 summers with their fun-loving family in a small ranch on the property, the homeowners started to feel as though their summer getaway was bursting at the seams. So, they set out to build a welcoming retreat that would house their brood as their four children began building families of their own. The result is “#Harold’s on 18th,” which mixes contemporary design elements with a classic blue-and-white color scheme and splashes of zesty orange and teal.


#Harold’s on 18th pub room.


With sleek, built-in furniture anchoring each room, ample bedrooms allow for privacy, while a massive great room and kitchen encourage warm gatherings. In the kitchen, no detail is overlooked as the blue-and-white patterned backsplash coordinates with the blue-based island, which plays off the huge round wood dining table surrounded by bright blue chairs and topped off with a crisply textured white chandelier.


On the lower level, overlooking the back deck and pool, a pub room complete with fully stocked bar, lounge area, and an amusing customizable blackboard to update family and friends on “Today’s Weather” and “Drinks of the Week” provides the perfect spot to enjoy the company of family and friends for years to come.


The kitchen at #Harold’s on 18th.


Luxury on the Rocks

This is a huge New England-style home on the water’s edge overlooking Townsends Inlet. Views abound with 18-foot ceilings, strategically placed windows, and expansive decks. And personality shines through with design elements that include a mural by local artist Valerie Waywell, a statement center island in the kitchen, and a Balinese-inspired bedroom.


White Cottage

The homeowners of “White Cottage” sought out an older home that reflected the island’s charm and then modernized the space to fit today’s lifestyle. Creating an open floor plan, and utilizing cathedral ceilings, the cozy space retains an airy feel.


A Home Away from Home

With an open floor plan, high ceilings, wrap-around porches, and practical touches such as pool access right off the family room and mudroom, this New England-style home is polished, comfortable and built for a family to relax and enjoy.


Beach Club Beauty

With a complete renovation and redesign, this Stone Harbor Beach Club condo features fine custom Elmwood cabinetry from Euro Line Designe, deluxe furnishings, and unrestricted ocean views.


Thanks to talents of local craftspeople, the generosity of the homeowners, and the hard work of the volunteers who make the day run smoothly, the Designer House Tour celebrates the beauty and spirit of our community. So, get a ticket, put on your walking shoes, and come on in!



Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at any of the homes on the tour, at the Home & Health Show at Avalon Elementary School on Aug. 11 beginning at 9am, visiting, or by calling the Foundation Office at 609-463-4040. Tickets are also available at the Avalon Welcome Center during open hours.



The Home & Health Show - August 11th, 9am - 1pm

In conjunction with the Designer House Tour on Aug. 11, Cape Regional Health System will be hosting the annual Home & Health Show from 9am to 1pm at Avalon Elementary School. This free event features home and renovation vendors as well as Cape Regional physicians and staff, who will be available to provide information and free screenings for blood pressure, glucose, bone density, pulmonary function, vision, skin cancer, balance and sleep disorders and much more.


The Home & Health Show highlights the vast offerings available through Cape Regional Health Systems.


“As a community hospital, it is our responsibility to reach out and serve as many local residents and visitors as possible,” says Ellen Kravet Burke, chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Cape Regional Health System. “We sponsor the Home & Health Show so that attendees can become informed of the medical services that we provide in Cape May County. The many free screenings allow attendees to get an overall assessment before making appointments with any one of our specialists at Cape Regional Physicians Associates. At the show, our physicians will be available on-site to answer general questions in an informal setting.”

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