House of the Week: Royal Oak Perfection

There are probably not enough superlatives in Webster’s dictionary to describe this spectacular site, house and interiors for how many synonyms are there for “perfection”?  As I approached the house along the entry drive flanked by trees, I noted the linear footprint of the house and how part of the length is angled to embrace this waterfront site. The rear elevation shows how the two-story wings are separated by links that cleverly breaks down the massing to one-story wings at each end of the house. The Owner graciously gave me a tour and I learned the main wing was built in 1990 and the subsequent addition of the guest wing/garage followed in 2007.

The floor plan is zoned very well with the main wing containing the entrance hall, kitchen, family room, den and gallery with a breakfast area. The family room with its stone fireplace has a rear wall with a wide elliptical arched opening that connects it to the gallery and water views beyond. The brick-floored gallery is a wonderful space with its row of French doors and elliptical transoms for panoramic views of the water. There is both a seating area and a bay window with a window seat and chairs around a table for casual dining.

The story and a half-wing with the  butler’s pantry, potting room, short hall and screened porch leads to the living room beyond. The soaring two-story ceiling, sunlight from the front and rear windows, dormer windows, deep auburgine walls and full height stone fireplace and chimney gives the living room great interior architecture. On the other side of the living room, another short hall with doors at the front and back leads to the guest suite behind the garage with a sitting room and kitchen. Two bedrooms and two baths are located upstairs.

At the opposite end of the house, the geometry of the stunning solarium with its chamfered rear corners, glass walls and glass roof connects to the gallery and to the master bedroom suite. The master bedroom has a high pitched ceiling and views to the water through the wide rear wall opening to the solarium. Above the center wing of the house are three additional bedrooms, two baths and a third room used as an office. The office has its own stair that leads to the living room below and French doors give access to the deck along the rear of the house for the office and the rear bedrooms.

After walking through the house to understand the floor plan and the flow, I returned to each room to savor the exquisite interior design. I later learned from the listing agent who accompanied me that the interiors were the result of the Owner’s innate sense of design and style. The solarium was clearly my favorite room due to its geometry, transparency and orientation for breathtaking sunsets.

I also loved the charm of the smaller service spaces. The dressing room of the master suite with its blue walls of alternating dark and light vertical stripes, the white dressing table and soft patterned window valances is a serene space to start and end the day. The butler’s pantry could service any size party and the charming potting shed would entice anyone to become a Master Gardener.

The chef’s kitchen has a painted black and white checkerboard floor and warm wood cabinets that contrasted with the lighter wood of the island.  The mirror above the sink above the side wall was a clever way to add perspective to an interior wall and the mirror reflects the decorative tile over the range on the opposite wall.

One of the second floor bedrooms was a serene space with its small scaled patterned wallpaper, window treatments and bed linens. The  master suite’s blue and white color scheme, white bed linens and floral upholstered pieces was a restful retreat.

As I left this exquisite house, I took a final look back at the solarium to make sure Ms. Scarlett wasn’t waiting there with the revolver tucked into her clutch purse….

 

For more information about this property, contact Laura Carney with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0415 (o), 410-310-3307 (c) or laurahcarney@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by Jim McKee of BroadView Concepts

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.

 

Spy House of the Week: “Pretty in Pink”

There are so many architectural styles that I admire but it is always difficult for me to resist the Queen Anne American style for its sheer exuberance. The elements of this style are all here in this house- the asymmetry, dominant front two-story gable projection, side secondary two-story gable projection, square tower with its hipped roof, wrap-around porch with articulated columns and fretwork, eave brackets, lap siding with fish-scale siding on the third floor, bay windows, accent attic windows, stained glass and diamond patterned muntins-this “Pink Lady” stands tall and is dressed in her Sunday best!

The front door opens onto a deep two-story entrance hall with beautiful herringbone patterned wood flooring. The triple run “U” shaped staircase with stained carved newel posts and railing cap with white balusters wraps around the side and rear wall. The side double window and arched transom with top and bottom diamond patterned muntins infilled with stained glass filters light within. The rear double window at the landing with full diamond patterned muntins and clear glass brings in direct sunlight.

The bay-windowed rooms on the first floor are parlors whose interiors designate their different functions. The front parlor has a seating grouping around the fireplace and a Queen Anne style writing desk at the bay window. The rear parlor with its paneled wainscot has a seating grouping around the TV and leads to the “U” shaped kitchen with a peninsula bar. The kitchen is open to the dining area with its trio of double windows along the side and another double window at the rear for views to the back yard. The glassed-in porch off the dining area has direct access to the rear terrace with seating and dining areas. The high fence between the house and the storage shed gives seated privacy for enjoying meals outdoors.

I loved how the stair landings were enlarged to create seating areas under the decorative windows. At the second floor a wide window with narrower sidelights and diamond muntins on the top light and a picture window below would be a cozy space for reading to a child or grandchild before bedtime or a sitting area for the bedrooms to share. The third floor landing at the top of the stair tower has a beautifully detailed window trio with an arched top center unit infilled with diamond muntin segments over a picture pane below. Shorter sidelights with full diamond muntins complete the design and the sofa below would be a quiet spot for an afternoon nap.

Two of the bedrooms on the second floor have one bay-windowed wall for great interior architecture and the third floor with its pitched ceiling that follows the gable roof above and dormer windows is a great space for myriad uses limited only by one’s imagination. This “Pink Lady” has irresistible appeal with its distinctive architecture and numerous period details inside and outside.  It is updated and ready for a new owner to fully appreciate this gem.

   

For more information about this property, contact Retha Arbital with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-708-2172 (c) or rarrabal@hotmail.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.

Spy House of the Week: Little Giddings – At Home with Joan Wetmore

Today as a new feature of Habitat, I will begin to celebrate excellence in interior design, whether the work was done by professionals or owners with innate design talent. Recently I attended a luncheon at Joan Wetmore’s house in Neavitt, As my friends and I arrived, I remarked how charming her shingle style two-story house with a front wrap-around porch was.  After opening the front door, it was clear the interiors were even more charming. As I walked through the beautifully decorated rooms, I noted how well the scale of the furnishings complemented the size of each room. I also appreciated how the floor plan had not been “modernized” to create the ubiquitous “open concept”. Instead, the rooms maintained their original dimensions with very little alteration. I also learned of Joan’s lifelong interest in antiques and many beautiful pieces that her discriminating eye selected graced each room.

Since this was my first visit to Joan’s home, she gave me a tour and explained the changes she had made to the original house. She extended the HVAC closet next to the stairs that had the dual effect of creating an entry alcove and a short hall leading to the bathroom. The half glass door, sidelights and transom added light to the entry and a wooden rack on the side wall held her collection of hats. Next to the HVAC closet, new millwork displayed her art, books, collectibles and family photographs. The wall opening between the sitting and dining rooms was widened to create a vista to the rear wall of the house.

I coveted the two distinctive spindle chairs with high backs and fretwork sides in front of the porch windows of the main sitting room.  The loveseat with side arms that curved slightly inward was carefully chosen to fit between the two front windows. The neutral colors and placement of the furnishings made the space seem larger than it was and the accents of the patterned rug, the Oriental style tray that became the coffee table top, artwork and simple window treatments gave this room a sophisticated look.

The dining room was at the center of the house and had views to the rear yard and all the main floor rooms. The beautiful antique table anchored by an Oriental rug was centered in the room opposite an antique Grandfather’s clock and an antique chest that gave warmth to the space. The delightful sun room with triple side windows and rear double windows was Joan’s office.  Since it has a closet, she is considering replacing the deck chair with a chair/bed for her grandchildren’s visits.

My favorite room was the kitchen at the rear of the house. The pitched ceiling with two exposed collar beams and windows on three sides for daylight created great interior architecture.  Along one side wall cream colored cabinets with glass-fronted upper doors held Joan’s collection of ceramics and glassware. Antique pieces including a distinctive armoire with upper glass fronts, another chest and a small piece between the doorway to the dining room and the pantry/laundry that held more serving pieces. In the center of the room was an antique table with Queen Anne chairs for dining for views through the rear double windows to the deep rear yard.

One of the two upstairs bedrooms spanned across the front of the house and had windows on two sides. This serene bedroom  with its light aqua walls, wood bed frame with low headboard and footboards, white quilted coverlet, striped bedskirt and patterned shams created a restful retreat.  Two small wooden tables with lamps served as nightstands. The rear bedroom walls were painted in butter yellow which was a backdrop for a vertical row of china plates and artful arrangements of art and memorabilia. A set of nesting tables served as one nightstand and on the other side of the bed was an antique washstand.  An antique trunk at the foot of the bed held stacks of art books and design magazines.

As I left Joan’s house, I reflected upon her innate design talent and exquisite taste that produced such wonderful interiors and gave the house its distinctive personality. Brava!

 

Joan Wetmore is a realtor with Meredith Fine Properties and provides staging assistance to her customers. Contact Joan at 410-924-2432 (c) or JoanWetmore@msn.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.

Spy House of The Week:  Le Gates Cove Charmer

The textures, massing, symmetry and accent colors of this house immediately caught my eye. The house with its center two-story wing clad in red brick below the wood shake gambrel roof and the one-story wings clad in creamy white siding nestles under the trees in this wooded setting on the Tred Avon River. The combination of the center wing’s symmetry with the two asymmetrical wings gave this house great character. The right side is a single story wing but the left side telescopes down to a wing with a triple window dormer then down again to a one-story hipped roofed room with a bright red door.

The front door opens to an entrance hall with a French door at the rear and an “L” shaped stair that evokes Maryland’s historic center-hall floor plans. Both entry doors and a window at the stair landing filter daylight inside and the apricot walls and wood floors create a warm and inviting entry. The main floor plan is linear and one room deep so as one moves through the house the water is always visible.

The entrance hall separates the living room and the dining room. The focal point of the living room is the fireplace and pairs of windows at the front and rear of the house make this a sunny space. The dining room also has pairs of windows at the front and rear and it connects to my favorite space, the kitchen and sunroom furnished as a family room with a breakfast area. The sage green walls, warm wood floors, triple windows above the front cabinets, fireplace, beautiful Craftsman styled cherry cabinets, solid surface countertop, triple windows with the sills at the top of the counter along the front cabinets and a wall of windows that wraps around the sunroom create an irresistible space.

Beyond the living room is the spacious master suite. The master bedroom’s light blue walls, the fireplace opposite the poster bed with pale blue linens, millwork with books and family memorabilia and a wide chaise create a serene retreat.  The three upstairs bedrooms are tucked under the geometry of the gambrel roof and one charming bedroom has windows at the rear and a triangular wrap-around side window that follows the roofline below. As I walked through the house with the agent, I admired the interior design and was not surprised to learn that the owner is an artist whose flair with warm wall colors, antiques, art and collectibles created a home with great personality.

The site’s outdoor rooms offer many  opportunities for relaxing and enjoying the river views.  Off the sunroom is a brick terrace with a fireplace and pizza oven for al-fresco dining.  Large stone pavers connect to another brick terrace accessed by the rear entrance hall door and a door to the master bath for quick access to the hot tub.  If a hot tub is not enough, there is room for a pool on the site. Another seating area is close to the river with a fireplace to warm cool fall evenings. The lawn slopes gently away from the rear of the house to the river to complete this picturesque setting.

 

For more information about this property, please contact Cheri Bruce-Phipps at Long & Foster Real Estate at 410-745-0283 (o), 443-994-2164 (c), or RCheri@lnf.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.

 

Spy House of the Week: Historic District Dutch Colonial

The streets in the heart of Easton’s Historic District have a rich variety of architectural styles including Bungalow, Georgian, Queen Anne, Victorian, Revival and this charming Dutch Colonial with the distinctive gambrel roof that defines this style. The gambrel roof gable faces the street and the decorative attic triple window, the light yellow lap siding, white windows with blue trim, blue shutters and the red accent of the front door give this house great cub appeal.  Another appealing design feature is the recessed porch that spans across the front of the house. The railing and the supports at the corners of the porch are clad in the lap siding which gives the porch privacy. The pair of white double columns on either side of the stairs to the offset front door break up the long span with the white beam above. The red slat porch swing is the perfect spot for relaxing.

I loved the spacious entrance hall with its beautiful hardwood floors, one turreted corner, paneled wainscot that wraps around the bottom steps of the “U” shaped stairs, patterned wallpaper above the wainscot and the pair of French doors that lead to the living room. The Gothic overlapping arches in the upper part of the half-French entry door are a graceful touch. My other favorite room is directly behind the entrance hall and is furnished as a mini library with deep red walls, prints and an antique bookcase. A short flight of steps uniquely connects to the entrance hall stairway landing.  Two windows and light from the stairwell landing window filter light to this cozy interior.

The spacious living and dining areas are connected and painted a deep green color to complement the multi-colored Oriental rug that anchors the seating area under the wide window. The fireplace on the end wall and the wide bay window on axis with the Queen Anne table and chairs opposite the fireplace create a very pleasant space to linger over dinner. The kitchen and the family room at the rear of the house open to an elevated deck through wide sliding doors overlooking the yard below that ends at a fence on either side of the one car garage off the alley.

The charming master bedroom with the sleigh bed under high windows around the corner of the room is a cozy retreat.  The fourth bedroom connects to the master bedroom and is used as a sitting room to create a master suite. There is also a basement with access to the rear yard and an attic for endless possibilities.  A captivating house with period details, moldings, interior French doors for vistas through rooms and an urban lot close to the Historic District’s shops and restaurants-simply irresistible!

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.” Photography by Janelle Stroup of Through the Lens

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.

 

Habitat Book Review: “Portals” by Philippa Lewis

One of my favorite Christmas presents this past year is a book from my dear friend, Carol Parlett, which she discovered at a book fair in Philadelphia. I was immediately enchanted by this diminutive book with its black and white cover of a stone bridge surrounded by a rural English scene. The book’s author, Philippa Lewis, is an architectural historian and was intrigued by “gates, stiles, windows, bridges & other crossings” described in these and twenty-four other categories that are the subjects of this delightful book.

Each category is briefly described in two pages, with one page divided between the text and the featured picture(s) along with other illustrations on the opposite page. The exquisite black and white miniature illustrations are either historical references or original drawings by the British artist Miles Thistlewaite.

Like the author, I also had four years of Latin so I was not surprised by her selection of “portals” for her book’s title. She explains “portal” derives from the Latin “carry” (portare) and in her view we are transported elsewhere though harbors, airplanes and railway stations and other means of transport that are the subjects of the book. In the age of the Internet, “portal” now means a gateway to other websites where one has instant access to an infinite amount of information from diverse resources.

The “portals” category includes airports, harbors, and railway stations that the author considers to be “gateways” for travel. Illustrations includes the Berlin Friedrichstrasse station and the Swedish port of Stockholm.

In contrast to man-made portals, the category of “natural portals” includes canyons, gorges and valleys that are natural geographic passes by which we cross mountain ranges. One of the illustrations was the waterfall between rock walls in Snowdonia, Wales. Being an ardent fan of the Sherlock Holmes series, I thought of the famous final confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty at the edge of the Reichenbach Falls, over the Reichenbach, a tributary of the river Aare.

As an architect, her categories of “thresholds” and “doors” were familiar so I was interested in the illustrations she chose. The striking ancient gateway in the wall surrounding Beijing is all that remains of this remarkable edifice. The beautifully drafted sketch of a design for a Parisian ornamented and studded door probably opened onto an interior courtyard. I was intrigued by her reference to the metal “snuffers” for extinguishing a torch before one entered a building in the days before streetlamps and I was charmed by sketches of door handles and knockers.

Perhaps my favorite of her categories was “stairs” since they include such diverse examples as modern treads with open risers, steep steps of the step-form Mayan temple of Teotihuacan which I climbed once, or the illustration of the plan and perspective of the wooden staircase with two graceful turns.

What would a room be without windows? The author devotes one category to “large windows” which were made possible by the development of techniques in glass-making. Sizes and shapes of windows changed forever by this technical breakthrough and made possible the penetration of even more daylight into interiors. I was mesmerized by the exhibit at the National Gallery of “Vermeer and his Contemporaries” where the subjects of the paintings looked out through the frames of large open windows that broadened their view of the world outside as the sunlight filtered in. Two famous houses in the US, Philip Johnson’s Glass house and Mies van der Rohe’s design for the Farnsworth House, windows become full exterior walls entirely of glass.

Several categories dealt with rural life and I was intrigued by the “fences for animals” category. The illustration for a “ha ha” showed a masonry wall next to a wide ditch at the bottom of an embankment that was a clever way to separate the house’s garden and landscape from the grazing areas for livestock.

Several categories were devoted to various “styles”. “Styles Over” were breaks in a fence with protruding stone steps or wooden cross steps that allowed people to cross over but animals could not. “Styles Through” again allowed people to cross over via a bridge style with horizontal planks at each end to deter animals. Another option in metal was the “squeezer style” that resembled an open arced tweezer attached by horizontal iron bars to a masonry or stone fence. The category “Kissing Gate” certainly caught my attention. It was a variation of a turnstile which flapped back and forth in a fence that maintained a barrier to animals but allowed humans through.

Bridges were another category that appealed to me as an architect. The cover of the book shows the 19th century Eltham Bridge at Eltham Palace in Kent, England, with its Gothic styled arches and thick piers. The author noted that the Romans invented stone arches which made it possible to join multiple spans of arches for the aqueducts that delivered water to an empire. The Incas invented the suspension bridge hand woven from natural fibers that had to be renewed or replaced annually for safety.

“Magical Portals” have enchanted children of all ages and I still treasure my childhood copies of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” with their original illustrations. When I first read these books as a child, I was entranced by Alice’s ability to follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole and pass through the looking glass to meet live chess queens and endure a most unusual tea party.

The last category is “The Rainbow”, a bridge or portal in many myths and religions worldwide. It a symbol of the pact of peace between heaven and earth to Christians and Jews. My Scotch-Irish ancestors believed that leprechauns hid pots of gold at a rainbow’s end. The author believes rainbows “remind us of journeys yet to be made”. Great books expand one’s horizons and I am so grateful to the author for my journey through this enlightening and charming book.

“Portals” is a book in “ The Wooden Books Series” and was published by Bloomsbury USA, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. “Portals” first US edition was in 2018..

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.

Spy House of the Week:  Little Presquile

Last year I had the pleasure of featuring one of Talbot County’s great estate houses, “Wyecliff,” which holds the record to date of over 5,000 “like” clicks from Spy readers for a House of the Week. Wyecliff has been sold but I was delighted to revisit the property to feature the former guest house that now has its own parcel of over 2 acres on the Wye River. Your first approach along the main gravel drive lined by an allee of mature trees turns onto a circular drive for the final approach to this traditionally styled house nestled among the trees.

The front door opens onto a lovely entrance hall with daylight from the “U” shaped stairs window at the landing.  Passing through the entry, a short hall leads to either the sitting room with a wood burning fireplace built-ins and water views or the master suite with windows on two sides for views of the water and the landscape. A French door in the living room leads to a flagstone terrace overlooking the water.  

My favorite room is the dining room behind the living room with its bay window that fills the height and width of the room and frames the landscape and water views beyond.  A pair of French doors leads to the spacious screened porch. The laundry/mud room has cabinets and a sink for double use as a pantry/garden room and direct access to a side entrance and the screened porch. Opening the wall between the kitchen and the dining room would connect these rooms and would extend the views from the kitchen through the dining room bay window and the water views beyond.

At the top of the stair is a landing with daylight from another window in the front façade. All three sunny bedrooms on this level had windows on two sides of each room for views of the water. The bath is centrally located and accessed from both the hall and one of the bedrooms. Another bedroom and bath are located on the third floor.

The historic site, close proximity to the water and charming scale of this house with its beautiful hardwood floors and other details are very appealing. With a few upgrades the property would be a wonderful weekend retreat.

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

Spy House of the Week:  Fantastic Fairbanks

The massing and exterior color palette of this very charming house immediately caught my eye-the scalloped gable siding and window and door trim are painted a pale yellow and the lap siding below is a deeper butter yellow. The pediment above the windows, the turned columns of the porch and the panels below the bay windows are accented in a deep cranberry red. The color palette and the massing with its front and side gables, wrap-around porch and the “ELL” rear addition gives this house great curb appeal.

One of the owners graciously gave me a tour and I was surprised when he explained that the original gable portion of the house had been the size of a three-car garage. Subsequent additions of ten feet in depth at the rear of the original house, the rear “ELL”, wrap-around front porch and the rear screened porch with a deck above were a seamless blend of old and new-the best compliment this architect could make for alterations to an original structure.  

The front door opens to a vista of sunlit open space since the interior walls in the original portion of the house were removed and the fireplace chimney now divides the space into two sitting areas. The stairway with its original balustrade is on one side and on the opposite side is a row of windows to the porch and the water views beyond.  

I loved the “ELL” at the rear which is clearly the hub of the house. A wide bay window at the side of the family room area has views to the water and the cozy breakfast nook with its bay window is a perfect spot to linger over one’s last mug of coffee.  A French door from the family room leads to the corner screened porch with its panoramic water views. The spacious kitchen anchors the rear of the space and behind the kitchen are the service areas including a butler’s pantry.

So many real estate articles caution sellers to “neutralize” their interior paint colors so it was a refreshing relief to see beautiful shades of warm colors throughout the house. The Owner explained his daughter had been inspired by her studies in Italy to add the lovely rose finish to the walls of the front sitting rooms. One of the second floor bedrooms echoes the warm butter yellow walls of the exterior and the hardwood floors, wood antique pieces and the flowered multi-colored quilt is so pleasing to the eye.  Another bedroom cleverly uses a fireplace mantel as a headboard and the pale yellow painted wood floors, warm sage green walls, dusty rose bedspread, more antiques and Oriental rug is equally charming.

The master suite is a stunning retreat with its ceiling sloping to connect to the underside of the collar beams for great spatial volume. The multiple sources of light in the master bedroom with the windows, skylights and French door to the private deck gives it sunlight throughout the day. The pencil post bed maintains the light airy feel of the room and the loveseat by the rear window is a cozy spot for a nightcap. The master bath is enhanced by the wide bay window over the soaking tub, the large tiled shower and the antique wood piece that now has a new life as a dual lavatory cabinet with vessel bowls.

Serene waterfront site with multiple water views, seamless blend of old and new architecture and beautiful interiors – all the features I seek for a House of the Week-Bravo to the Owners!

 

 

Design by Dawn Carlson. For more information about this property contact Dawn Lednum with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus LLC at 410-745-6702 (o) 410-829-3603 (c) or dawnalednum@gmail.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.

Spy House of the Week: “Riverhaven”: Ode to Joy

I know this house well since I was the buyer’s agent for my friend Joy several years ago. Over a long holiday weekend shortly after the closing, I helped Joy and another friend furnish the house. Joy had ordered some pieces from IKEA that needed assembly, a beautiful Stickley coffee table from Bay Star Consignments was perfect for the library and a sofa from my neighbor’s garage sale completed the library. Joy added some antique pieces inherited from a friend, art and accessories to make the house a home. Another friend drove down from New York City with boxes of books to stock the library shelves. In four days we fully furnished the house down to the cutlery in the kitchen drawers.  Joy’s intention was to rent the house for half a year and several tenants over the years enjoyed the serenity of “Riverhaven”.

When Joy visited, she invited her Mid-Atlantic gal pals for weekend parties.  During the late spring we reclined on the deck chairs and watched the Regatta on the Miles River. The sailboats began as tiny shapes on the horizon and grew larger and larger until they turned around at the buoy behind her house for the return to St. Michaels.  In the winter we enjoyed the library since all of us are avid readers and we enjoyed sitting by the wood burning fireplace and reading after dinner. Summer brought house parties with cook-outs on the spacious deck. Joy did not visit in the fall for how could one miss the splendor of the fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains?

Joy loved architecture and had once been the Marketing Director for the American Institute of Architects in DC.  She and I would sketch ideas of how she could alter the house if Riverhaven became her retirement home. Joy preferred the ground floor front “Matisse” bedroom with its blue walls that was the perfect background for her colorful Matisse poster. The room had originally been two small bedrooms so having a “bed-sit” was perfect for her and her beloved dogs. We explored alternatives to renovate the downstairs bath or to add a bath to her suite.

Even though it has no water views, I love the cozy front library with its walls of books, wood-burning fireplace and front and side windows for sunlight. The open plan of the large “river room” that flows into the adjacent dining room with its side water views from the bay window was the perfect space for Joy’s house parties. Sliding doors lead to the rear deck that has plenty of room for al fresco dining and reclining on the chaise lounges. The deck wraps around the house to another “bed-sit” suite with its own sliding doors for direct access to the deck.

The  previous owner had added the “river room” and the spacious master suite above. Both the bedroom and bath have pitched ceilings and double windows for views to the river. The sill height above the double window over the long claw-foot tub was a tranquil spot for a long bubble bath and gazing at the boats along the river from the Patriot to the plethora of summer sailboats.

I shall miss my friend Joy’s visits but I hope someone else will appreciate its Miles River setting and the contrast between the original cottage’s cozy rooms with the addition’s spacious rooms.  It is a great house for guests since all of the bedrooms are located in different areas for privacy and the waterside river room and deck are delightful gathering spaces.

For more information about this property, contact Mary Haddaway with Benson and Mangold at 410-745-0415 (o), 410-924-8574 (c), or maryhaddaway@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.

Dixon’s Furniture Auction: Nirvana in Crumpton by Jennifer Martella

My interior design friends have told me for several years now about the legendary Dixon’s Furniture Auction in Crumpton.  I have been trying to downsize the scale of my furnishings to better suit my 1900’s farmhouse and felt it was time to pay a visit to Crumpton.  I finally had the opportunity to visit recently with a new friend as a guide who has a shop in DC that specializes in vintage jewelry and she invited me to accompany her on one of her weekly Crumpton visits.  I arrived early and had an opportunity to look around and read the framed articles about Dixon’s history and learned it is a third generation company that was founded in 1961 by Norman Dixon.

Seven auctioneers on on-site and their combined experience exceeds 210 years so they know how to set the minimum bids.  Fascinating facts about Dixon are that they sometimes conduct three to four auctions simultaneously resulting an average of 200 items sold per hour or 3,000 to 6,000 lots a week; items are consigned the morning of the sale and sold by 5:00 pm the same day and consignors may bring anything ranging from a single item to the contents of an entire house. Consignors are either paid after the auction is over or if they are not in attendance, Dixon’s mails checks out every Thursday. Regular buyers can set up house accounts.


The auction categories include furniture, tools and household a items; antique smalls and jewelry, coin and showcase.  Furniture, tools and household and antique smalls consignors call the main office on Monday between 9:00 am to 3:00 pm to reserve a space.  They may then drop off their consignments on Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm or Wed. from 6:00 am to 8:00 am prior to the auction beginning at 8:30 am. For the Antique Smalls, 53 tables are available to consignors each week. On the day you set up, you stop by the office to receive your table assignment.  The Jewelry, Coins and Showcase schedule is slightly different. This sale begins at 1:00 pm so a consignor can also bring their lots from 7:00 am to 10:00 am on Wednesdays.

On the day I visited, the front of the warehouse contained furniture ranging in styles from Art Deco, Craftsman, Gothic, Mid-Century, etc. Antiques sat next to more recent handmade pieces. At the rear of the warehouse were tables with glass topped cases of jewelry for each lot.  Buyers must buy a single lot even if they only want a few items and knowing they will get a range of quality and value. Tables behind the jewelry held a range of miscellaneous items. My mother’s family had vase and punch bowl make of Carnival glass and the colors always appealed to me. Much to my surprise I found a Carnival candy dish but could not stay to place a bid. My friend was lucky and bought two lots of jewelry for her store.

The Auctioneer has a mobile chair set high above the crowd for visibility and he zipped around the building after his rapid delivery about each item in every lot.  Keep in mind this is a live auction and you must be careful of body language that may signal you are placing a bid-catching the eye of the auctioneer, nodding your head, raising your hand, etc. may get you an unexpected item! I kept my hands in my pocket and avoided eye contact with the Auctioneer.  You may also bid online by going online to Dixon’s website , www.crumptonauctions.com, and download their App.

The auction schedule is set for 2019, and occurs every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with these exceptions:  May 29th, July 3rd, September 4th,November 27th and December 25th. Wear comfortable walking shoes and there are a few benches near the food area when you can rest or wait until the lot that interests you is up. If the weather is bad, you may also bid online by going to Dixon’s website, and download their App. You just don’t know what you will find each auction day and by the end of my day there I was hooked.

Dixon’s Furniture Auction is located near Chestertown at 2017 Dudley Corners Rd, Crumpton, MD, 21628. For more information, call 410-928-3006 or visit their website.

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.

 

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