top of page


Peace of Mind on the Chesapeake Bay

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

If you have bought a waterfront house on the Chesapeake Bay, you know how peaceful it is to live near a body of water.  How calming it is to both hear and see the soft rolling waves on the bay.  Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols once said that humans have a “blue mind” when around water, by which we enter “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.”  During this time of COVID-19, we need that sense of happiness more than ever.  But there are usually some parts of your home which do not quite work as calmly as you would hope.  Let’s find out how you can remodel to make your waterfront home more peaceful and enjoyable to live in.

Renovating your waterfront home gives you the opportunity to increase your property value, improve your home’s appearance, and/or simply live more comfortably. In order to enjoy those beautiful water views, you need outdoor decks, 180-degree views and an open floor plan which brings the beautiful seaside environment in and takes full advantage of its waterfront locale.  A deck off the great room should be designed for maximum durability and minimum maintenance with a high-wind and saltwater environment in mind.   You can choose teak decking for a classic look that will weather to a faded gray over time, or choose hard-wearing, low maintenance composite decking, such as Trex.

Wire cable rail has bolts as end caps to hold the wire. PVC trim is hard wearing and low maintenance.  The railing is almost invisible and does not block the beautiful water view.

Aluminum windows will hold up well in the moist climate, and they’re triple-glazed to help create a tight, energy-efficient building.  Depending on the particular style you choose, the windows can open from the bottom or from the sides depending on the prevalent wind directions.  If you are concerned about the stronger storms and climate changes, you can purchase special windows designed to withstand pressure from strong winds and protect your home from rain and flying debris during a storm. In addition to using impact-rated glass, it’s essential to invest in energy efficient doors and windows, as they will save you significant amounts of money on your energy bills.

Whenever you have the choice, add more ways to see or get outside — French doors, a wall of windows or sliding glass doors provide a beautiful view and allows for more natural bright light.  Specialty windows, such as porthole windows can add a nautical touch. 

A Juliet balcony off the master bedroom extends only a few inches from the doors but allows for the room to be opened up to the views, the breezes and the sound of the waves.

Waterfront properties must deal with humidity and moisture in the air, and it’s crucial that your home is well insulated. An insulating material’s resistance to heat is measured in terms or R-value- the higher the R-value, the more effective the material is. The R-value may depend on the temperature, moisture, and aging. With so much moisture in the air around a body of water, it’s crucial to explore all options for the best insulation whether batt or foam.

A proper outdoor shower is a waterfront home essential. If you have the space, a full walk-in shower with hot and cold water is a luxury worth splurging on.

Older homes were built with multiple closed off rooms with lots of walls.  But the current popular design is to remove walls and open up the house into a spacious, inviting place for living and entertaining. Think flexible, open and easy. The advantage of the open floor plan is the wide-open view through the home and out to the Chesapeake Bay. Choose low-profile chairs for the deck to keep the views to the bay clear. Large doors open out to a deck large enough for dining. Starting with the entry way, the door sets up a nice reveal.  A visitor does not have a sense as to what is beyond, and then all of a sudden, you’re hit with an unobstructed water view.  We call this the “WOW” factor.

The entryway also sets the home’s nautical tone with color, storage, and a bench to take off your shoes off. Also, an excellent place for storing towels.

Even the staircase can be renovated with a coastal touch with built-in shelves and nautical lighting.  Or add a special touch in the hallway with a shiplap-curved ceiling in the hallway.

When it comes to selecting paint colors, allow the landscape outside your windows to assist you in choosing paint colors inspired by the sand and sea.  Sea Salt from Sherwin-Williams is a lovely pale blue-gray reminiscent of misty morning light over the water or a kitchen island paint color from Benjamin Moore Whale Gray 2134-40.  Choose lighter colors for cabinets, flooring, wall colors and furnishings. A neutral color palette allows the beauty of the water views to take center stage and not be cluttered by dark colors and patterns.  Crisp white walls and ceilings, such as Linen White from Benjamin Moore, make the perfect backdrop for colorful art collections, and a tiled floor feels delightfully cool on hot feet.  The crisp white paint and cohesive finishes help achieve a timeless and seamless look throughout the home.

Woven materials and natural fibers are a perfect fit with seaside homes. Jute, sisal and sea grass rugs are an inexpensive and always-welcome touch.  Indoor/outdoor rugs are a HUGE advantage- they soak up moisture from damp feet, are easy to clean and can easily be taken outside to hose off the harsh nature of sea salt and damp air. 

Furniture upholstered in Sunbrella fabric is the best-kept secret in a waterfront home, especially since it won't fade in the sun.  Sunbrella fabric can be used both inside and out, and easy to clean.  Cotton duvets, outdoor pillows and cushions covered with Sunbrella can help simplify your home maintenance.

A fresh waterfront home needs a fresh kitchen! Choose an all-white farmhouse sink, classic sink fixtures, and white cabinets with splashes of color, such as the backsplash and/or island. Nautical details include beadboard molding, brushed-nickel drawer pulls and subway wall tile.

The same clean look in the kitchen can also be designed in the bathrooms.  A built-in stack of shelves makes use of a narrow space next to the cast iron tub in a bathroom for storing rolled up towels. A hinged three-quarter glass door keeps the tub open and airy with no track to clean.  A splash of color with glass tile in Caribbean blue on the shower wall can warm up a white bathroom.  A porthole mirror with other nautical décor can add interest in any bathroom.

As you plan the renovation of your waterfront home, think about the areas that you are not happy with.  Want a better water view?  More open areas for entertaining?  What materials, floors, decks, etc. need to be replaced, which will help keep your home clean and easily maintained while leaving you more time to relax?  Hopefully, this blog has given you many new ideas as to how you can remodel your waterfront home.  Let us help you create the feeling of relaxation and peace even when you are not on vacation.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page