The Nepas appoint their turn-of-the-century home in Lewes with authentic antiques and other trappings designed to take a nostalgic trip back in time
When the Prettyman family originally built the Kings Highway home in which Debbie & Ernie Nepa currently reside, the neighborhood was bustling. It was 1896; the Lewes train station was right around the corner and occupied the space where the public library is today. Kings Highway meandered past Murray’s Corner and Carpenter’s Corner through farmland and past vegetable canneries as it met up with the road to Rehoboth Beach, which was already a popular and growing resort. Today, as it was almost 120 years ago, the home stands proudly as a tribute to traditional Lewes architecture.
It was in 2012 that the Nepas acquired the turn-of-the-century home, which has been upgraded to include a modern sunroom and an extra bath to more adequately support its 3.5 bedrooms. Fueled by the desire to do the home justice, Debbie & Ernie meticulously picked antique pieces that are suited perfectly to the philosophy of their restoration. Eating Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in the dining room, for example, is like an elegant trip back in time. The rich wood of the authentic heirloom table for eight with rail-back chairs, buffet and china closet form the makings of a memorable repast, with echoes of antiquity supplied by the original plate rail, crystal chandelier and scalloped wood trim over the bay window. The three-candled centerpiece with sprigs of greens and poinsettia and golden-sparkle leaves appropriately complement the voluptuous holiday-themed antique gold cutlery that graces this inviting holiday table. A sterling silver tea service, trimmed with sprigs and cranberries, whispers the essence of the old country.
A leisurely stroll through the home’s lovely kitchen, with its cherry beadboard cabinetry, granite countertops and brick-tile backsplashes, reveals that the benefits of modernity are not lost on the Nepas, though original wood floors, a Dutch door and a working pair of old telephones unignorably contribute to the antique charm of this historic residence.
The outdoor entertainment area, meanwhile, boasts its own access/egress in addition to the openness and bright shades that make it so popular with the Nepas friends and family. Off the entertainment area is the family room, whose genuine warmth makes it the perfect spot for eggnog and hot toddies while basking in the holiday glow of fond reminiscences. Additional warmth comes courtesy of the festively trimmed eight-foot blue spruce Christmas tree featuring vintage glass ornaments and the red-brick fireplace — a favorite resting spot for the family’s adorable pug. Gorgeous tiger wood floors under wingback chairs with ribboned throws clearly send the message that Santa, as well as everyone else, is welcome in this cape-side gem.
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