Owners Jim & Donna Alpi decided to start from scratch, tearing down their former property on the riverside plot and building a comfortable and coastal home for their extended family and guests to enjoy – complete with a guest cottage and boat house. While architects Purple Cherry and Mike Butler of Choptank Builders worked on the construction of the property, renowned interior designer Marika and her team set about specifying finishings and furnishings.  Her main aim? ‘To ensure the home owners could relax as much as possible when at the house and not worry about anything being too precious.’  Read on for insight into how Marika went about creating the finished look – and when you’re done, hop over to our page dedicated to the world’s best homes for more.


The design of the house was laid out to follow the river front, ensuring that each room has a magnificent water view. It features custom milled paneling and millwork throughout, the team working with the mill shop to create unique panel and door profiles so that each space is truly one of a kind. ‘We previously worked with the couple on a large renovation/addition for their Virginia home and enjoyed all the benefits of working as a repeat team on this project,’ says Marika. ‘We have an amazing shorthand between us that made a project of this scale very easy and enjoyable.’ 

Sitting room

The quintessential coastal palette of blue and white runs through the property, and – where possible – the rooms offer multiple aspects of the scenic river bank.  Wraparound banquette seating means there’s always a spot from which to admire the view.

Main living room

Family life centres around an exceptional living kitchen diner, with comfortable lounging area.

Breakfast room

The kitchen leads off to this informal breakfast area where family and friends can enjoy a hearty breakfast to set themselves up for a day’s sailing. 


The kitchen is elegant and timeless, its island pendants reminiscent of buoys on the water. 

Formal dining room

Dark wood furniture, smart upholstery, glazed cabinets and Chinese vases bring formality to the family’s main dining room. 


Jim’s desk and media center has been treated with a teak boat finish to compliment the family’s Hinkley sailboat. 

Drinks’ station

Features like this drinks’ station promote a ‘relax and help yourself’ attitude to guests. It’s stocked with teas, coffees and integrated storage for soft drinks and wine. 

Boot room and rear entrance

Storage has been a key consideration in the design process. Family and guests can grab towels conveniently placed by the door for time spent messing about on the river.  Coats and shoes can be stowed in this custom-built cabinetry, just off the back door. And of course, a special area is reserved for leads and toys belonging to the family’s beloved golden doodle. 


While the five bedrooms share the same color palette, each have their own statement features – be they a studded and upholstered headboard or a comfortable armchair for reading.


Mirroring the style of the kitchen, this luxurious yet restful wall-to-wall white scheme allows the view to do the talking while encouraging relaxation. Interior Design / Marika Meyer Interiors (opens in new tab) Photography/ Angie Seckinger