Design Matters: Yurts in Maryland-Who Knew? By Jennifer Martella

Recently I co-hosted a shower for a dear friend who is getting married in early November. As she and her fiancé were opening their gifts, one of the guests asked where they were going for their honeymoon. Their surprise answer was they were going to stay in a “yurt” at the Savage River Lodge in Western Maryland and enjoy “glamping”. We further learned that “glamping” is the new buzz word for ”glamorous camping”.

I vaguely remembered from my architectural history classes that a yurt was a portable structure shaped like a small circus tent used by nomads in Mongolia and other Asian countries. After further investigation, I rediscovered the yurt’s round shape, with sloped roof rafters ending at a compression ring at the top that framed an opening to the sky.

The Savage River Lodge has eight thirty-foot diameter yurts updated with a skylight for stargazing, double layers of wall insulation behind the outer canvas wall covering, gas log fireplaces and radiant floor heating for optimum thermal comfort. The nomads laid rugs over the ground for floor covering, but the Lodge’s yurts are permanent structures with wood flooring that rest on foundations raised off the ground.

Photos by Jennifer Dobson

Each yurt has a private deck and the interior contains a sitting area, beverage center and breakfast nook, sleeping area with a king size bed and luxury linens and a private bath with an oversize shower. Room service will deliver fresh baked muffins and orange juice to your door for a private breakfast.

If you are seeking an unusual weekend getaway to enjoy the fall foliage, hiking or kayaking or want to celebrate a special occasion contact the Savage River Lodge here

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Spy Habitat Price Points: What over $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $1,295,000 at 27715 Villa Rd, Easton.

The history of this unique property dates from a 60 acre land tract sold to Wenlock Christison, a notable Quaker leader, in 1677.  He added it to another 150 acres he had acquired that was called “The Ending of Controversie”.

The house is the focal point of its 4.9 acres with mature trees and landscaping and views of the Miles River Tributary beyond.  I admired how the period details like the original staircase, fireplace mantels, and wood floors have been carefully preserved and maintained.  The kitchen, bathrooms and HVAC have been modernized without compromising the interior architectural character of the original room layout.

For more information about this property contact: Schuyler Benson with Benson and Mangold at 410-310-3251 or sbenson@bensonandmangold.com or Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty at 410-310-5745 or info@shorelinerealty.com

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Design for You: Remembering Jim van Sweden by Pamela Heyne

Oh we had fun! Jim van Sweden was one of the most delightful of collaborators, and an extremely talented and successful landscape architect.

Littlefield house addition by Pamela Heyne AIA, from Bold Romantic Gardens

I met Jim at a party in Washington in the 1970’s. He had recently started a landscape firm with Wolfgang Oehme. Wolfgang had been a successful Baltimore landscape architect with a unique naturalistic style, partly an influence from his native Germany. Jim actually had been in the city planning field, but realized he loved landscape design. At the outset of their partnership, Jim worked out of a bedroom, then the basement of his Georgetown house.

van Sweden home garden, viewed from kitchen designed by Pamela Heyne, AIA

One day Jim received a phone call from David Lilly, a board member of the Federal Reserve, saying he wanted them to design a garden for the facility. Jim said to Wolfgang, “This is our big break”. After a tough winter which killed magnolias, Jim and Wolfgang created a series of varied areas that included benches and pergolas, so that people in the neighborhood could use the garden. When the project was finished I happened to pick up a copy of The New Yorker, which reviewed the garden as “being touched by the hand of God.” Well, that was something, from the urbane New Yorker. Soon I helped design Oehme van Sweden’s office in a Georgetown commercial building. Eventually they “bought the bank”… purchasing a bank building for their offices on Capitol Hill. They would go on to design other major projects such as Battery Park City, the World War II Memorial, and the National Gallery. They obtained numerous important residential clients, such as Oprah Winfrey.

Federal Reserve Garden

The name of their style was “the new American garden” or sometimes termed “the low maintenance garden” . Jim said he hated “ditsy” landscape design, and mentioned “anyone can do spring.” They disliked neat lawns with clipped borders. Instead they created gardens that were more like meadows, big scale and colorful throughout the year. The wind was an important factor, as were water features. They had a wide palette of perennials, and made bold use of grasses…. unusual at the time. The essence of the gardens was an exuberant lushness throughout the year. However, when the gardens were first planted, clients had to be lectured (usually by the heavily accented Wolfgang) that patience was a virtue.

Jim was generous in giving architect friends such as myself interesting jobs with which to collaborate. He might suggest a type of window, or a placement in the landscape that was unusual, and made your work better. He also laughed and said some architects asked him to “cover up their mistakes!” I remodeled his home, and did several projects for one of Jim’s best friends, Jerry Littlefield. The Littlefield house and garden is shown in this article. Jim and I worked on a number of other projects together, including Evelyn Nef’s Georgetown house, known for its two story high Chagall mural in the rear garden. A particularly fun project was a pool house I designed with a curved outdoor shower covered with a trellis festooned with Jim’s choice of vine, silver lace. I always thought it would be fun to shower out of doors under plants, a la Mary Martin in South Pacific.

I put a picture of the kitchen I designed for Jim in a recent book of mine on kitchen design. Jim and I had many happy hours sitting at that table, laughing, and looking at his spectacular garden. When I met Carl Widell, a man I considered marrying, I took him over to Jim’s house one night to meet my friend, sit at that table and observe the garden with dramatic uplighting. That of course was not the only reason Carl married me. But, it didn’t hurt.

Jim passed away a few years ago. His firm carries on with capable and talented stewards. For me he is ever reaching forward, planting a delicate shoot,….and laughing.

Pamela Heyne is an architect and owner of Heyne Design on the Eastern Shore. She is author of the recent book “In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child.” She can be reached at  pam@heynedesign.com  or 410-714-9040

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Heyne, AIA
a Saint Michaels and Wash.,DC architect and
head of Heyne Design
is author of In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child

Spy House of the Week: In Easton Village on Hemmersley Street

Easton Village’s master plan was created during the peak of the New Urbanism movement. One of the New Urbanism principles found in this house is its quality architecture (correct scale and proportion, etc). The master plan also placed the larger houses on the corners to anchor the streetscape.

I am always drawn to houses that have deep porches and this house’s front porch has plenty of space for furniture and circulation. I especially liked the street elevation with its center gable that breaks up the roofline, the proportions of the windows in relation to the surrounding wall space and the hipped porch roof that draws your eye upward to the front gable.

The floor plan is zoned well for family living with its ground floor master and upper floor family room.  Many of the rooms have pitched ceilings and the open floor plan on the ground floor allows plenty of daylight to penetrate into the interior rooms.

 

 

For more information about this property, contact Chuck Mangold, Jr., with Benson and Mangold at 410-924-8832, or mangold@bensonandmangold.com

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Spy Habitat Price Points: What $701,000 to $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $865,000 at 105 Cherry Street in St. Michaels.

When I moved to the Eastern Shore, my first apartment was above one of the retail shops. I enjoyed my daily walks through the historic district with my beloved Sheltie as I admired the range of architectural styles of the houses. This house’s traditional color palette of white siding, red metal roof and black shutters was very appealing.

I liked the house’s commanding presence on its large corner lot and how its massing is scaled down by the hipped roofs of the house and front porch. The house has been renovated with care to preserve the historic character of the interior spaces with its many fireplaces, and details like the clawfoot tub and the Victorian style front and rear porches.

For details about this property contact Kate Koeppen  with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus at 410-829-0705  or katekoeppen@lovsmre.com  

The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

Spy House of the Week: Presqu’ile and Historic Perfection

Talbot County has many distinctive manor houses with their tree-lined drives leading to secluded waterfront sites. This property intrigued me since it is on the market for the first time in over fifty years and its historic exterior and interior have been carefully preserved.  

Part of the reason for such intrigue is the fabulous history that comes with Presqu’ile. The home of such well known Talbot residents as the Vermilye family, former U.S. Secretary in the Interior Rogers C.B. Morton, and later, his daughter, the late Babes Wyman, who was the celebrated hostess of countless house parties there for over fifty years.

I can imagine entering the gracious entrance hall and admiring its large arched doorways leading to the main rooms. One of the sitting rooms with its fireplace, tall window and bookcases was especially appealing to this avid reader. I also appreciated that the kitchen and baths have been upgraded without losing details like the transom window above one of the bathroom doors and the butler’s pantry with its original cabinet hardware.

Most of all I could daydream about an afternoon relaxing in the boathouse surrounded by the expansive Wye River vistas.

For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272. (v), 410-924-0082 (c), or mre@goeaston.net.

Spy Habitat Price Points: What $100,000-$400,000 Buys You in Talbot County

When I first moved to the Eastern Shore, I looked for a rental in Neavitt. I thought the village  had great appeal with its mix of cottages and new houses, community park, public boat ramp, and proximity to St. Michaels shops and restaurants.  

I love the diminutive scale of cottages. One of Neavitt’s many cottages is this charmer that has also been remodeled for the perfect weekend retreat. Its open floor plan, vaulted ceiling with skylights and the screened porch create great spaces for relaxation. Kids of all ages will love the privacy of the second floor loft. The property is also a licensed vacation rental.  

For more information about this property, contact Debra Crouch with Benson and Mangold at 410-924-0771 or dcrouch@bensonandmangold.com

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections exclusively based on her experience as a trained architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Spy House of the Week: 315 Morris Street in Oxford

At first glance, this house appears to be a renovated older house but it is actually a newer house that was seamlessly fitted into Oxford’s historic streetscape. Its street and side elevations are traditionally detailed. However, as you move around the house, the side courtyard’s extended balcony and the rear decks have an almost invisible contemporary steel post and cable handrail.  

Even though this is a small urban lot, the house offers plenty of options to enjoy being outdoors. A wrap-around deep front porch is a spacious outdoor room.  Two covered porches and a third-floor deck for soaking in the sun offer expansive views of the harbor.

The house has three floors to easily accommodate family gatherings or weekend guests. The open stair to the second floor is a striking architectural feature and the clerestory window floods the stair with light. There are many other large windows and oversized doors to brighten the rooms throughout the house. Teak floors and other high-end quality finishes complete the contemporary interior.


For details about this property contact Cornelia Heckenbach at Long and Foster Real Estate Cell: 410-310-1229 or Email: info@CorneliaHeckenbach.com

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from HUD neighborhood revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio to renovate an abandoned barn into a library for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat: Getting Back Home by Liza Field

How was your summer getaway?

“Trip from hell,” my neighbors reported.

They’d headed west to escape the mugginess, traffic, politics and heat of our Eastern states, hungry for clear mountain vistas, cool breezes, hikes and fly-fishing in Montana.

Instead, haze and heat met them. The warmed trout streams of drought-stricken Montana barely trickled. “We ate smoke for days,” they said. Wildfires surrounded them — even pouring smoke down from Canada.

They drove home dispirited, not just from the loss of so much North American forest, but the loss of a vision, the mirage of some last unspoiled refuge out there in a world that no longer exists.

A coworker’s family had fled in the opposite direction, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, for a similar escape from heat and traffic, for some ocean breeze and carefree birding.

But construction workers accidentally chopped a power line to their isle — the umbilical cord to human livability there — winking out AC and shuttering grocery stores.

Our denuded coastal areas, once cooler, covered in wildlife-rich forest and flanked by fish-filled tides, are no longer habitable for long without trucked-in food and refrigerated buildings.

It’s true nearly everywhere.

Sitting in inland-bound traffic, my colleague had time to ponder our profound dependence on a power grid that wasn’t needed by our ancestors, whose landscapes were cooler, edible, livable.

This fall they’re spending their vacation refund on making their own place more alive — converting some lawn to shade tree saplings, a garden and native shrubs for those migratory birds they’ve always traveled elsewhere to see.

And the smoked-out neighbors? Alarmed by the loss of so much western canopy and groundwater, they also decided to create a rain garden, to protect local groundwater, and begin converting portions of lawn to canopy.

I find this remarkable. The two summer getaways from hell each in fact opened a way out of hell on Earth. That way leads back home. And it’s a route recommended by a growing groundswell of younger environmentalists.

Emma Marris is one. This environmental science writer/speaker encourages people to get out and explore nature in their own imperfect realm.

“I try to get [people] psyched about the possibilities of whatever kind of space they have direct control over,” Marris says. “Their backyard, or the roundabout on their street. Or their window box, if they’re in Brooklyn.…There’s a lot you can do with fiddling with your garden and making it much more biodiverse.And if you want to get into it … you could be planting the plants that certain migrating birds and insects need.”

Marris, who is “more interested in joy than despair,” is tired of the doomed-Earth news that only makes humans want to run away from our own world.

Millennial conservationist Evan Marks has a similar return-to-home ethic: “I think, ultimately, it’s probably unplugging the phone, putting your hands in the soil and just becoming a citizen [of the] planet.”

After managing sustainable farms around the world, Marks felt a call to return home and stir life, hope and community in his native Orange County, CA. Gathering helpers, he turned an old house and dirt lot into what is now a thriving ecological refuge, teeming with young and old student volunteers.

Back in my Virginia mountains, water-quality advocate Tim Miller is also helping kids and adults to feel at home in nature — and to invite nature back home.

Miller quit his indoor teaching gig to get humans back outdoors. His goal is to stir up love for the homeland and awareness of how local landscapes influence the entire world downstream.

“I work to re-establish a connection that’s been frayed between people and the natural world,” Miller told me. “If we love something, we want to protect it … a great blue heron standing in a creek, fireflies dancing on a summer’s evening, a tree growing stubbornly out of a rock.”

This love also brings humans back to life and joy. “I’ve seen middle school kids squeal with delight the first time they hold a crayfish,” he said.

Miller regularly takes hundreds of middle-schoolers into their local Catawba Creek, alongside a local cement plant. They learn stream species and water quality basics, from that mountain stream to its Chesapeake Bay destination hundreds of miles east.

Many of these kids will never in their lives get to go see the Chesapeake Bay — or an ocean, for that matter. But you’d never convince them, giddily exploring their local creek, that they aren’t on a vacation in the exact place they want to be.

Liza Field is a conservationist, tree planter and ethics teacher in southwest Virginia.

Spy House of the Week: Morning Glory Cottage in Bozman

I admit it – I am besotted with bungalows. Two of the five houses I have called home were bungalows. I can’t resist their usual story and a half massing, low pitched gabled roofs with wide eave overhangs, shed dormers for cozy attic spaces and deep porches for gathering with family and friends.

What attracted me to this house was the weathered wood siding and crisp contrasting trim I first admired on childhood trips to visit family on Long Island. The fenced rear yard with a deck and patio for relaxing, the interior stained woodwork, exposed beams and hardwood floors also contribute to this house’s charm.

The house has been renovated from the foundation to the roof so it would be a perfect weekend retreat.

Location: 8204 Bozman, MD
List Price: $399,000

For details about this property please contact Elizabeth Foulds Long and Foster Real Estate at  410-924-1959 or foulds@longandfoster.com

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from HUD neighborhood revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio to renovate an abandoned barn into a library for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.