has become a self-taught master craftsman. He has restored all the bathrooms
by fabricating Corian counter tops and sink combinations along with
Corian showers, backsplashes and windowsills. He
has made the woodwork and the cabinetry in the bathrooms out of Teak
wood. The shower doors have been made out of Teak wood and glass. Many
guests say it reminds them of a ship. Fred has also designed and made
the two double exterior front doors out of Teak wood and beveled glass.
The transom glass above the double doors is also of Teak wood and ornate
design of beveled glass panels. Fred has recently become interested
in metal work. Also self-taught, he has designed the front door handles
and assorted hardware out of titanium - a lightweight and very durable
metal. The inlaid carnelian stones add a special touch to the glamour
of the door handles. Throughout the house Fred's wonderful woodwork
is evident. His designs are evident in the dining room Teak wood weather
station, the rosewood barometer cabinet and the walnut shadow box coffee
table. The coffee table is used as a display cabinet for Joan's seashell
collection for the guests to enjoy. A three-panel large stain glass
window (which blends with the wallpaper colors perfectly) was placed
in the dining room in a Teak wood frame when Fred removed the clear
glass window. Although off premise to their guests, Fred has refinished
the kitchen with Corian countertops and such.
Joan has chosen to decorate the interior of the house with light and bright colors instead of the typical darker colors of the Victorian era. The wallpapers have been tastefully chosen to coordinate with the upholstery and pillow fabrics. She has made all the lace curtains throughout the house. One can see the art glass collection, the jack in the pulpit vase collection, animal teapot collection, cranberry glass and the paperweight collection throughout the house. The garden in the front yard, however small, is very mighty with some unusual flowers. The garden is one of Joan's hobbies and passions. The garden is adorned with blue thistles, phlox, balloon flowers, daisies, coreopsis, vinca and an assortment of other flowers to coordinate with the exterior colors of the house. When Joan isn't busy gardening, managing the Gingerbread House and taking reservations, she's hard at work in the kitchen preparing a wide assortment of baked goodies for breakfast and afternoon tea.
Classical music is played in the parlor for the guests to enjoy. The wood-burning fireplace is an enjoyment in the wintertime as guests drink wine or have afternoon tea. The wicker filled front porch is a favorite gathering spot in the summer for breakfast, afternoon tea or just plain chatting with other guests, while listening to the sounds of the sea and enjoying the light ocean breezes.
Original artwork fills the walls at the Gingerbread House. Jane, Fred's mother, painted many watercolor paintings of Cape May homes and interior scenes, and then published a book. All of her pictures are on display at the Gingerbread House. Prior to buying and restoring the Gingerbread House, Fred was involved with photography. Many of his pictures are framed in handmade teak and cherry wood. Other artwork by a notable painter, Mary Whyte from Charleston, S.C. formerly of the Philadelphia area, fills the many walls. The artwork is bright and cheery to keep with the taste of the colors and feeling created in this house.
Authentic Victorian antiques fill each room with flair. The woods are either rosewood or walnut and much of the furniture has been hand refinished and restored. The marble tops range in color from white, taupe, peach and rose. Joan and Fred searched for the antiques from Newport, R.I. down to Charleston, S.C. and had many eventful experiences in their antiquing jaunts. The very beautiful secretaries, armoires, sofa sets, bed sets, chairs, tables, dining room servers are a few examples of the antique jewels throughout the house.
talent in craftsmanship and Joan's personality and eye for decorating
have made the Gingerbread House a success.