Spy House of the Week: Windows on the Water


In my orientation class when I was a freshman in architecture at UT Knoxville, the instructor pointed out that most people do not hire architects. Thankfully many people in our area do. Beginning this month, I will add new houses or renovations/additions designed by an architect to the weekly mix of Houses of the Week. Today’s house is a renovation/addition designed by Christine Mizak Dayton, Architect.

I was intrigued by this project’s pictures on the firm’s website. Some of the pictures were split vertical Images of the existing house juxtaposed with the renovated version. By sliding arrows either right or left, one could view full images of either the “before” or “after” version of the house. The site is located on a tributary of the Miles River but views of the water were hindered by the narrow width of most windows. Three of the rooms were dramatically transformed by Ms. Dayton’s more creative approach.

One was the ground floor addition that contains the master suite. The rear wall of the master bedroom is almost totally glass in one large frame. The side wall wraps around with a fireplace flanked by windows with transoms whose headers are angled just below the pitched ceiling above. Hardwood floors and earth toned bed linens create a peaceful retreat. The soaking tub in the master bath is anchored under a wide picture window with operable units at each side-the perfect setting for a languid bubble bath accompanied by your favorite bubbly.

The second transformation was the living room. The existing rear walls were angled to create a bay and the roof had a minimal overhang so each side of the bay walls angled up from the center bay. The narrow tall windows and transoms were replaced a large picture window and transom above in the center of the bay and a pair of French doors with double transoms above on each side of the bay. The window headers were aligned horizontally to unify the interior architecture and to offer panoramic views of the water.

The stair landing to the second floor was the third transformation from its low windows with tall windows above to one large rectangular window that now filled the entire landing for views of the landscape and the water beyond. I could well imagine the landing is now the favorite spot for small children or the family pets.

To update the front elevation, Ms. Dayton removed the dual narrow two-story bay projections with their vertical siding and replaced them with triple window units flush in the exterior wall that toned down the elevation. The front door had been overcome by a long shed roof extending from the second floor eave and an incongruous two-story brick column. Ms. Dayton replaced the roof with two windows at the second floor wall and a lower shed roof over the front door. Now the two-story entry had daylight from the upper windows and the front porch roof with its shorter column was better proportioned to the revised elevation.

The bay window at the rear of the breakfast area was eliminated and replaced with wrap-around picture windows at the side and rear. The kitchen with its sleek craftsman details behind the breakfast area now has more expansive views of the water. With a creative approach, simple solutions like re-thinking windows can make a dramatic difference. It certainly did in this house!


Architecture by Christine M. Dayton Architect PA, 413 Needwood Ave, #B, Easton, MD 21601, 410-822-3130, cdaytonarchitect.com or chris@cdaytonarchitect.com.
Photography by Steve Buchanan Photography, 410-212-8753, 310-996-7295, steve@buchananphotography.com, www.buchananphotography.com
For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.


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.

Letters to Editor

  1. Barbara Watters says

    I love Jennifer’s posts!!
    Nice addition to the Talbot Spy!!

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