House of the Week: Where Michener Slept on Broad Creek

Being a history buff, I especially enjoy writing about houses with an interesting past. The Sellers told me they learned at their closing of their property that it had been christened “Traders’ Point” since traders traveled up Broad Creek to unload their shipments in earlier days.  Its most recent history is even more interesting since the Sellers also learned “Traders Point” had been a rental house and that James Michener stayed there while he was working on his master work “Chesapeake,”required reading for Eastern Shore residents.

On the day I visited, I drove down a gravel road that meandered through the woods with my windows down to enjoy the sounds of nature.  Late afternoon sunlight filtered through the trees and serene vistas changed from water, meadows and woodland around every turn. By the time I arrived at the house, all the day’s stress had dissipated and I was immediately captivated by the property.  I walked around the house and the panoramic views of the shoreline with very little trees to obstruct the water views was a very pleasant surprise.

The one and a half story house, detached large shed and detached garage are located very close to the water, a sought after siting that is no longer possible today with the Critical Area requirements. The Cape Cod Cottage style architecture tied the three buildings together in a very appealing composition. I especially liked the two elevations that faced the water-the side elevation had a center brick chimney flanked by pairs of French doors on each side and an octagonal accent window on the second floor. The long side has a shed roof that extends from the main roof to create an offset bay from the living room to the dining room that breaks up the large open plan and creates a covered porch off the dining room and rooftop deck above.

The entry door opens to a large room defined by the kitchen, sitting and dining areas.  Even though the day was overcast, the rooms had daylight from windows on multiple walls. I especially liked the sitting and dining areas with the color palette of slate blue and cream of the rugs, upholstered furnishings grouped around the fireplace and the accessories.  Older wood distressed finish pieces like the cupboard in the kitchen with a colorful collection of fish and crab ceramic pieces and the storage bench at the door were delightful accents and gave the house great personality.

The rest of the main floor contains a corner bedroom with double windows on two sides and a bath. The stairs to the second floor has built-in shelves with interesting collectables including wood figurines of Tweedledum and Tweedledee and several birdhouses. The second floor has a large bedroom with sloped ceilings, the octagonal accent window and French doors to a rooftop deck. Another bedroom and bath completes the floor plan.

This house works so well for a family with master suites on both floors but also has great potential for modifications.  If one wanted a larger main floor bedroom, the rear wall could be extended with wrap-around windows for a panoramic view of the landscape and water. The shed could become a screened pavilion for warm weather crab feasts or could be finished for all-season use by adding rows of windows that would increase its vistas to the water.  It could even be moved back to conform to Critical Area setbacks and connected to the main house.

Fantastic site, seventeen acres of privacy, two-thousand feet of water frontage on Broad Creek, a charming cottage that could easily be expanded, a large shed that has rough-in electrical and plumbing ready for its transformation, proximity to St. Michaels restaurants-what more does one need?  I’m buying my lottery ticket this week!

 

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: Serenity on Solitude

For the first time in forty-five years, this twenty-acre property is now for sale. Located between St. Michaels and Easton near Oak Creek Bridge, this unique property has a main house, large barn containing an office, two apartments and a loft entertainment room, Pole Barn and other outbuildings that offer myriad uses from a family compound to a mini-farm. The main house is surrounded by mature trees, landscaped areas, a pond with a bridge and nearby gazebo. The fork of the gravel drive leads to the barns and the other fork becomes a circular drive for the house. The wrap-around porch has a pitched gable to mark the entry flanked by brick steps. On the day visited, loquacious ducks were clearly enjoying a late afternoon swim in the pond. I sat in the gazebo nearby and enjoyed the serene sounds of nature.

I loved the geometry of the original house’s front to rear gable with shorter gables at each side. The wrap-around porch spanned between the two side gable wings to tie the composition together. Subsequent additions altered the original geometry by adding a family room and a ground floor master suite. The beautiful Georgia pine stained hardwood floors, the wood balustrade with its stained newel post and white balusters, window and door moldings are a few of the original details that remain. The exterior wall of the charming dining room is a full bay with long windows and a door to the porch. The second floor contains two other bedrooms and one bath.

The immense open plan loft of the barn is a delightful surprise with its exposed gambrel roof framing, high ceilings, Georgia pine floors and is the perfect space for a family reunion or other celebrations. Two billiard tables still leave plenty of room for the bar and seating ready for entertaining.

It is not unusual for a potential buyer to write a letter to the sellers in the hope their letter would sway the sellers if multiple offers were made. I was quite touched by the remarks of the sellers of this property who wanted to share their love for the property’s space, privacy, convenience and quiet that meant so much to them for almost half a century. Their description of sharing their property with wildlife from birds who daily feasted at several feeders to nocturnal owls to deer and foxes sprinting across the fields to the surrounding woods should entice another family to call this unique property home.

For more information about this property, contact jay Frost at Long and Foster Real Estate Inc., 410-745-0283 (v), 410-310-7623 (c) or jay.frost@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: The Teeny House

When prospective buyers drove up to this property, their two-year old exclaimed with glee “why, it’s a teeny house”! It was love at first sight for all and of course they christened their new home “Teeny House”. The house was a small hunting cottage so the couple hired an architect to create a weekend/summer cottage for them. The architect kept the lodge feeling and created a cottage loaded with charm.  The sloped entry hall that extends from the front door to rear windows overlooking the water connects the two story wing of living room and bedroom with other bedrooms above to the one-story wing of the dining, kitchen and den areas.

The hall is lit by skylights and separates the living room from the dining room. The living room has a wood stove between pairs of double windows with bookcases below. The rear wall facing the water is all glass for maximum views to Caulk Cove through French doors, full glass sidelights and transoms above.  The French doors lead to a porch covered by second floor deck. The wood ceiling is a continuous plane from the living room to the porch ceiling to connect the indoors and outdoors. Accent walls of wood, light from the hall skylights, upholstered furnishings and quirky accent pieces like the twig rocker and vistas to the French doors and windows of the dining room make this a light and cozy space.  

The dining room extends beyond the rear wall of the house so it has windows on three sides and a chamfered ceiling creates a great space for lingering over meals. The French doors to the side patio and the island with bar stools separates the dining area from the spacious kitchen with its white cabinets, quartz counters, tiled backsplash, stainless steel counters and wood floors. Behind the kitchen is a cozy den for watching TV.

The front elevation’s distinctive triangular bay window detail of three stacked ventilated window units on either side of the triangle’s point is the focal point of two bedrooms, one on each floor. The windows are full height and with the double window unit at the side wall brings more light into the spaces. Each bedroom has a closet and a cabinet door above for seasonal storage. One bedroom has soft sage green walls and the other has butter yellow walls with white bed linens and wood furnishings to complete the restful look. My favorite bedroom was the master bedroom at the rear of the house. Pitched ceilings, butter yellow walls, a wall of French doors with full glass sidelights leading to the covered deck and side windows create a serene space.

The 12 acre site includes a the three-car garage has space for a workshop on the ground floor and the upper floor is currently furnished as an open plan guest suite containing sleeping areas, sitting areas and a kitchenette. There are myriad outdoor opportunities to enjoy the water views and sunsets from the covered decks at the living room, master bedroom, deck next to the kitchen with a umbrella covered table and chairs for al fresco dining, stone paved terrace with a glider and two chairs and the stone terrace next to the living room deck with a high top table and chairs.

I can well imagine how delighted that two-year old was when he explored his house for the first time since I fell under the spell of this charming cottage too.  Where else can you relax on a bench and contemplate nature in the company of a giant frog?

 

For more information about this property, contact Tom Crouch with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-310-8916 (c) or tcrouch@bensonandmangold.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: Bozman Beauty

As I drove down the long driveway lined with trees, the vista to the front door of the house expanded more and more to reveal a traditional styled house with light yellow siding and a wood shake roof.  The historic one-room deep house had a center full story and a half original wing marked by two original chimneys on each end next to lower side wings. Later additions were designed to enhance the original footprint. The addition at the front created a master suite and steps back to respect the original house’s massing. I absolutely loved how the rear elevation additions artfully transformed the original house with its array of wide shed dormers, window dormers, porch and screened porch, making this elevation almost totally transparent for views to the water.

The front door opens onto a foyer opposite the stairs and cross vistas on one side through the dining room, kitchen and mud room/laundry and on the other side, through the living room, library and master suite. Part of the living room, entrance hall, and dining room opened onto the new spacious family room with its dramatic interior architecture created by windows and French doors on three sides, two dormer windows opposite each other and a double unit window high above the shed roof of the covered waterside porch. Another small addition connects to the new family room and creates a spacious informal dining area to the rear of the kitchen with wrap-around windows for water views.

The ground floor master bedroom has chamfered ceilings and a sitting area in a box bay wrapped in windows for panoramic water views.  The suite also contains two bathrooms, a mini-bar and a French door to a private terrace. On the second floor, two other bedroom suites are separated by the two-story stairwell.  I loved the interior architecture of these spaces-one bedroom had two dormer windows opposite each other connected to another sleeping area with a row of low windows under shed dormers that became headboards for the beds.  

Even though it was late afternoon on the day when I visited the house, the quality of light that filtered inside from so many windows and doors gave the interiors a light and airy feel.  Every room had awareness of the water in some way. Peaceful setting on Harris Creek, great floor plan and flow, wonderful additions that update the house for today’s lifestyle, pool and guest house with living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and bath, close to St. Michaels’ attractions-quite a list and too hard to resist!

For more information about this property, contact Cornelia Heckenbach at Long and Foster Real Estate Inc., 410-745-0283 (v), 410-310-1229 (c) or info@corneliaheckenbach.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: Mansfield House

The Charles H. Mansfield house, circa 1875, is a classic two-story side entry-parlor Victorian that is one of the most popular styles found throughout St. Michaels’ Historic District. In the late 90’s, the original rear wing was expanded and an addition built along the Chew St side. The addition is connected by a one-story hyphen and the end wing has a gable facing the street to break down the massing and to minimize its impact on the original historic structure. The other side of the addition faces the side yard that is surrounded by a privacy fence. This house is a landmark during the holiday season and I enjoy driving past the huge holly tree at the corner of the house that is illuminated by strings of colorful lights.

The Mansfields would recognize many period details that have been carefully maintained such as the turn doorbell at the side door, the ornamental escutcheon plates on the original doors, the high ceilings, built-ins, beautiful hardwood floors, stairs with winders, interior transoms above doorways and stained glass accents.  The full front porch with its fretwork on each side of turned columns and decorative railing has also been preserved to maintain the historic streetscape. The porch has maximum seating space since the entry door is at the side, offering front row seats to all the holiday parades throughout the year.

Most of the rooms have large windows on at least two sides for daylight throughout the day and even on the overcast day when I visited, the rooms were bright. The house flows well from the front living room to the dining room, kitchen and sunroom. The sunroom and the rear spacious master suite are part of the addition and overlook the private enclosed outdoor room containing hardscape and planting beds. The master suite’s high pitched ceilings add character to the space and stained glass panels allow light to filter in while maintaining privacy. The addition also enlarged the dining room with its original fireplace and a large pantry. I could well imagine having cocktails on the terrace and then moving into the spacious dining room that could seat ten to twelve for  dinner.

The second floor layout creates private suites separated by the stairs. The two front rooms could be a bedroom and sitting room or the smaller of the front rooms could be a nursery or study.  The rear suite is a spacious second master with generous closet space and a dressing area.

A historic house with modern amenities, additions that greatly increased the livable area, private outdoor space and across the street from Gina’s Restaurant and the Mill shops-great property!

For more information about this property, contact Kate Koeppen with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus, LLC,  at 410-745-6702 (o), 410-829-0705 (c) or katekoeppen@lovsmre.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: Cooke’s Hope Cottage

This charming cottage in the popular Cooke’s Hope community was built in 2005 but contains many appealing details reminiscent of older cottage designs. Story and a half massing, front gable with accent window, large wrap-around porch and dormers give this cottage great style. From the street the house’s compact size is quite deceptive since the linear floor plan runs front to back instead of side to side. The floor plan is organized very well with the master suite and two other bedrooms and baths on one side and the living, dining, breakfast room and sitting room on the opposite side. The interior architecture is articulated by an angled bay window at the front bedroom and two square bays, one at the dining room and the other at the breakfast room. High ceilings, wood floors and crown moldings enhance the spaces. The main stair is centrally located for access to the bedrooms, studio and office on the second floor.

The easy flow through the wide doorway between the living room and the dining room blends these spaces together and leads to the centrally located kitchen and the sunroom at the rear of the house.  The focal point of the living room is the fireplace and the dining room windows are surrounded by millwork to display the Owners’ collection of ceramic pieces. The “L” shaped kitchen has a breakfast bar as well as a table for informal meals. A second stair leads to the family room above the garage.   

The second floor plan’s interior architecture with the sloped ceilings and dormer windows is cozy and the flexible floor plan can accommodate myriad uses.  The front room with the decorative accent window is currently used as a studio but could be a sitting room for the adjacent bedroom. The large rear room could be a bedroom or office or playroom.

Both the wrap-around front porch and the rear terrace are great spaces to enjoy being outdoors now that spring is here.  I especially liked the rear terrace with its brick paving and its privacy from both a side fence and landscaping. Direct access to the sunroom makes a great indoor-outdoor space.

Great curb appeal, flexible floor plan and the desirable Cooke’s Hope community-it’s no surprise this house is now under contract.

For more information about this property, contact Tom Crouch with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-310-8916 (c) or tcrouch@bensonandmangold.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: Modernism by a Master

McInturff Architects is based in Bethesda, MD, and the firm’s principal, Mark McInturff, FAIA , has designed many houses on the Eastern Shore including his own second home in Neavitt. The owners of today’s featured house had searched for several years for the right property on the Eastern Shore that would be a weekend home until they moved here full time. Their primary criterion was a waterfront site that maximized the naturally cooling breezes off the Bay. After several years of searching, they found a unique seven acre property with an existing house very close to the shoreline with panoramic water views on three sides. The existing house had too much deterioration and fire damage to justify renovation so the owners turned to McInturff to design a new home.

The main wing of the new house fits precisely over the former house’s foundation and contains the living, dining, kitchen, and den along the water side with the stairs and service areas at the entry side. A new secondary wing containing a guest suite, office and storage is perpendicular to the main wing and set back to maintain unobstructed water views from the main wing’s living areas. Connections flow seamlessly between indoors and outdoors with the wide hall that separates the waterside areas from the front entry areas. One end of the hall blends into a screened porch open on three sides of the house that is the perfect spot for a crab feast. The other end of the hall ends at a secondary entry to the wrap-around waterside deck that separates the guest suite/office wing from the main wing. The detached garage/pool house wing is connected to the main house by deep eave overhangs that slide under the secondary wing’s higher eaves to create a covered walkway.

The geometry of the house is a masterful study in massing, solid/void interaction and transparency. The materials of glass, stacked stone and lap siding in earth tone colors become part of the wooded landscape and the slender edges of the deep roof eaves accentuate the horizontal planes. The deep eaves offer another benefit-windows can remain open to catch the Bay breezes without relying upon air conditioning. Vertical projections from the front wall frame the living-dining area’s two-story wall of glass beyond. Full height glass walls, standard windows that wrap around corners of rooms, high windows that turn down along the edges of solid wall planes, the zinc-clad roof clerestories and the openness of the “Crab Room” enables the house to come alive at twilight when illuminated from within.

Like the historic Eastern Shore houses, the two-story main wing telescopes down to the one-story guest suite on one side and the one-story “Crab Room” on the other side.

The rear deck at the second floor covers the deck area below next to the  living/dining area. The glass wall panels at the rear of the living-dining area can fold and disappear making the space completely transparent, increasing the floor space by 30%. In addition, motorized screened panels at the rear edge of the deck drop down to enclose the covered deck creating a variety of transparency options from total transparency to closed house/closed porch.

The crisp detailing of the interior with its lack of trim around the windows and doors was refreshing and the stained window frames contrasted with the surrounding white walls. I loved how the roof clerestories penetrated the rooms below for a variety of ceiling planes and distinctive interior architecture. The detailing of the “U” shaped stair enclosure was equally impressive. A long narrow slit in the stacked stone exterior wall aligned with the vertical slit in the center drywall handrail between the lower and upper run of treads. A small round handrail floated over the top of the drywall handrail and was anchored to it by short brackets. On the lower run of treads that were suspended above the floor, a full-height stained wood screen instead of a handrail enables light to filter through the stairs to the adjacent kitchen. Treads without overhangs and the flush stringer edge delineated by a black trim piece completed the crisp design.

I was very fortunate to have a tour with one of the Owners and to my surprise the tour began in the basement but I soon learned why. He was deservedly proud of the sustainability and sophisticated technological features of the house and site including geothermal wells that provide heating through radiant floors. The biggest surprise was beyond double doors where eleven huge cisterns taller than my 5-8” height store water collected from the roofs which eliminates any concern about storm water management. The water is then released onto the site for irrigation when needed.

This Dream Team of clients with sophisticated taste and vision, a master architect and a contractor’s precise workmanship worked together to create this Modernist masterpiece.

 

Architecture by McInturff Architects, 301-229-3705, www.mcinturffarchitects.com. Design Team: Mark McInturff FAIA, Christopher Boyd and Jeff McInturff.
Photography by Mark McInturff and Julia Heine Construction by Think Make Build LLC, 202-798-5000, www.thinkmakebuild.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:  Rio Vista Transformation

The Rio Vista neighborhood adjacent to St. Michaels has many advantages. Its location in Talbot County frees residents from County taxes. The housing mix varies from homes on waterfront lots along the Miles River to homes on interior streets whose residents can enjoy several waterfront community parks. Many of my friends who live there walk or bike into town in warm months to enjoy St. Michaels’ shops and restaurants.

 Best of all, Rio Vista has no through streets so traffic is light, making walking one’s dog or riding a bike a pleasure. For these and other reasons, friends of mine who live in the DC area bought a waterfront one-story rancher for a weekend home for their young family. They retained the architect Charles Goebel to transform and update the house.

The existing house’s footprint was maintained but the geometry of the house was dramatically altered. The new high pitched roof was extended over the driveway to create a porte-cochere and this extension divided the massing into four equal parts. Next a wide gable was inserted into the center of the roof to create additional headroom front to back for the new second floor master suite. Hipped roofs at each end of the house drew your eye to the center gable. A cupola at the pinnacle of the roof was the perfect finishing touch.

The architect Mies van der Rohe said “God is in the detail” and the details of this front elevation were the work of a gifted architect. The combination of wide double windows, triple window bay and the arched transom gable window above greatly expanded the window area of the front elevation. New lap siding with accents of board and accents of board and batten siding above the gable transom and around the bay window and trim updated the facade. The arched pergola with detailed columns over the front door echoed the arched top of the gable window. Charles Goebel offers each client a choice of weather vane for the cupola and my friends chose the crab. I loved how these details combined to create a beautiful and elegant front elevation in perfectly pitched four-part harmony!

The rear elevation that faces the water was also dramatically altered since the front center gable extended to the rear wall. Windows and  French doors with an arched transom on axis with the front gable window added sunlight. Low sloped roofs added space to the master suite and enabled the sunroom roof to become the second floor deck.  The main floor sunroom was wrapped in windows for panoramic views of the water. The new large main floor deck is a perfect spot for relaxing after a day on the water.

The interior space planning opened the house to the water views. The vista from the two-story entry hall to the row of sunroom windows shows no trace of the former rancher plan. The kitchen and a TV room are located on one side of the entry and on the other side, a hall leads to the main floor bedrooms and baths.

At the top of the stairs is the sitting area for the master suite. The high pitched ceiling, trimmed exposed collar beams and light from the front and back windows create a great space for relaxing. The bedroom is separated from the sitting area by a pair of wide doors and the rear windows offer views of the water.  Since the master bath is tucked under the roof, an interior window at the side of the two-story entry cleverly captures light from the front elevation gable window. A small office area and attic storage complete the second floor.

The day I visited my friends for a tour of the house, ducklings were enjoying their  swimming lesson from a parent and swans were gracefully gliding through the cove. How fitting for this house’s transformation from an ugly duckling to a sensational swan!

Architecture by Charles Paul Goebel, Architect, Ltd, 410-820-9176, chas@cpgoebel.com, www.cpgoebel.comPhotography by Ted Mueller, tedmuellerphotography@gmail.com, 443-955-2490

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.

 

 

 

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: 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.

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