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Each of the six houses on Tuesday and Wednesday's Rehoboth Art League’s 68th Annual Cottage Tour of Art was chosen for its unique character, incredible art and an overall “wow” factor.
The homes this year were chosen for their different landscapes, interiors and architectural designs, ranging from historically significant to contemporary and eco-friendly.
The self-guided tour runs July 11 and 12 throughout the Rehoboth Beach area and includes the art league's homestead, made over in a more modern way for the tour by furniture and decorating company J Conn Scott and tour underwriters Richard and Lisa Scott.
Among them is the Holmes/Rocca house on Henlopen Avenue. The first floor is basically one giant room, said home owner Tom Holmes. Every year the Holmes/Rocca family host a cocktail party for 100+ people and it never seems crowded, he says.
It is also a great house for color and art, as the two homeowners have collected art from around the world, including a collection of paintings and prints by American artist Peter Max, the pop artists known for his use of bright color and psychedelic images.
The Ellinghaus home at 121 Henlopen Ave. was originally built by riverboat captain, Derrick Lingo, and was recently updated to better take advantage of their beach location. The house is filled with local art and hand-painted accent pieces.
“You can feel love wrap around you when you walk in. Their home is breathtaking,” said Holmes, who also encourages visitors to the Henlopen Avenue homes to look for similarities in the outdoor gardens - the three homeowners are avid gardeners and share plants between themselves.
Highlighting the importance of preserving the environment and the fragile ecosystem that is Rehoboth Beach, is one of the main attractions of the Filipek/Richardson home on Silver Lake. The house is set back from the lake with the yard terraced leading to the lake to protect the bank from erosion. The entire house is inspired with a nautical theme and is situated to capture light and views of the lake.
Even with all that dazzle on display, here are five highlights that shouldn't be missed.
1. A dirty kitchen and hidden beds. In home No. 1, Blackpool Road, Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club, one kitchen just wasn’t enough. Look behind the working kitchen in the great room for the “dirty kitchen,” an area that provides storage and additional work space if needed.
Bonus here: Check out the kids room. See if you can spot the six hidden fold-out beds for sleepovers.
2. Permanent indoor garden. Home No. 4, the Holmes/Rocha Home, 114 Henlopen Ave. While the gardens outside this home are stunning and full, it’s the garden of custom hand-made glass flowers that are not to be missed. The homeowners traveled to Detroit to meet the artist who made them with colors they chose. The larger flowers can actually be taken apart to mix and match pieces of them.
Bonus here: See if you can figure out how they got the spiral staircase in place. Custom made in Canada and shipped in after much of the house was finished, it took some ceiling scraping (and maybe a gouge or two).
3. Offerings of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. In Home No. 7, the Filipek/Richardson Home, 8 Silver Lake. Follow the nautical theme in the floors and throughout the house, but don’t forget to look up to see the constellation of heavenly bodies above.
A trio of lights — Moravian stars over the living room, a programmable, changing ‘moon’ over the front door, and a 200+ piece glass chandelier that acts as a sunburst — surround the wood inlay compass in the floor that points true north, of course!
4. In Home No. 5, the Ellinghaus Home, 121 Henlopen Avenue, take time to see if you recognize any of the locations and settings in the art around the house. Much of the extensive art collection is by local artists such as Steve Rogers, Laura Hickman and Julie Molyneux.
Bonus here: Check out the lights. The chandelier is a wire basket the owners bought in New York.
5. The old is new again. The Peter Marsh House. Built in 1743, the home and gardens are part of the art league and on the National Register of Historic Properties. For the two days of the tour, though, the usually antique filled rooms are emptied and turned into a contemporary space by the magic and artistry of Richard and Lisa Scott, of J Conn Scott furniture and decorating. While the theme stays a secret until the tour opens, it is always something fun and unexpected with bright colors and bold patterns and a definite must see.
List of the homes
• Home No. 1: The Schell Home
• Home No. 2: The Jaso Home
• Home No. 3: The Montgomery Home
• Home No. 4: The Holmes/Rocha Home
• Home No. 5: The Ellinghaus Home
• Home No. 6: The RAL Historic Peter Marsh Homestead
• Home No. 7: The Filipek/Richardson Home
If You Go
What: Rehoboth Art League 68th Annual Cottage Tour
When: Tuesday, July 11 and Wednesday, July 12; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Throughout Rehoboth.
Cost: $35/person. Recommended for people 13 and older. Tickets may be bought the day of at the art league at 12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach. Those who buy tickets ahead of time may park at the Rehoboth Elementary School, 500 Stockley Ave. Tickets bought online at www.rehobothartleague.org must be picked up at the Art League.