Nesting Place

A second home in Wilmington becomes the quintessential gathering place for some peace and family time. 

A seaside retreat where family can gather, long after children have grown into adults, and watch the new generation grow up seems like the most idyllic way to spend the latter half of your life. When clients of Lisa Sherry of Lisa Sherry Interieurs came to her, they were empty nesters – though far from retirement and still in the thick of busy lives – and looking for just such a place.

“They really wanted a waterfront retreat that was perfect for weekend getaways and vacations,” Sherry explains. “A second home where they could be with their grown children and grandchildren.” Her client, Marie Kalil, found a home online in Wilmington, right on the Intracoastal Waterway. “The home was tired and dated, but it was a great size for us and had beautiful views,” Kalil says. The home, however, didn’t make the best of the views, so Kalil wanted to open up the kitchen and living room to reveal lots of light and unfettered sightlines to the coast. 

To that end, as Sherry puts it, “The walls had to go!” And in turn, she created one unified kitchen, living, and dining area that was light, bright, and communicated with the coast to create a visually stunning scene. “Lisa manages to make perfect in the imperfect,” Kalil says, “and can see the beauty that can be created from that imperfect.”  Sherry adds, “This house is a jewel, formerly a diamond in the rough.” Once the walls were gone, a flurry of textures set amidst a neutral, tranquil palette was Sherry’s masterplan for creating a true gathering space that spoke with the surroundings. “This home is all about communication and connection.”

Sherry’s style is meant to elevate everyday life, but as she reminds clients, “It’s not necessarily posh, and it’s never precious. The result is casual and luxurious.” On this project, Sherry delighted in the juxtapositions like a modern concrete fireplace with a reclaimed wood mantle; hand-blown glass and chrome and brass hardware; Belgian linens and knit throws. It came together through layering textures and adding patterns for interest, tearing down walls, and redoing every room of the 3,000 squarefoot home. It was a year-long process that resulted in the perfect relaxation haven for a family getaway.

 “Relentless editing is the key to any design, especially here,” Sherry notes. “Nature is the true star of this home. Why compete with superfluous detail? Many of my choices honor nature: books, baskets, statuary, macramé, and driftwood objets d’art. Other choices are lovely counterpoints, like the shiny mercerized lamps on a bedside table.”

Sherry and Kalil agree that the living space is their favorite part of this home. “It has a soul,” Kalil says.  “It’s spacious, peaceful, and uncluttered.”