Spy House of the Week: Villa d’Avoncoeur

This Easton Historic District landmark was built in 1920 at the height of American interest in “eclectic ” houses including styles of Tudor, French, Italian Renaissance and Spanish colonial architecture. The hipped roofs with flared eaves, the symmetrical side wings, stucco, and multi-planed windows exemplify its French Eclectic style. The villa underwent a full renovation that restored original features such as the ornamental iron fencing, hand applied stucco and the boxed beam ceilings.

A pair of multi-paned French doors open onto a two-story entrance area defined by hardwood floors that separates the sitting room from the dining room and breaks up this large space that span across the front wing of the house. Opposite the front doors is a “U” shaped stair and landing at the second floor. The beamed ceiling is painted white to reflect the light and to lighten the volume of the room. The seating area boundary is anchored by a large rug with an upholstered sofa under the wide front window, a loveseat and several chairs grouped around the fireplace. The contemporary glass-topped table is juxtaposed against the wood antique pieces and the floor to ceiling drapes that accentuated the height of the room.

The dining room with its seating for 10 and the beautiful antique furnishings would be a lovely setting for a Thanksgiving dinner. Double French doors led to the kitchen-breakfast area that was centered on large windows at the front and side windows for a sunny spot to linger over that last cup of morning coffee. The antique table, high-backed wood benches and chairs, a corner china cabinet, art and an antique rug over the brick floors and the chandelier gave this space much charm. I loved the kitchen area with its large colorful antique posters, the white cabinets and accents of black in the island countertop, Captain’s bar chairs, side cabinets and the green accent of the hood over the stove that picked up the green in the background of the Bugatti poster. The exposed collar beam was painted white as well as the pitched ceiling for a bright and airy space in which to work and relax.

The subtle colors of the bedroom walls on the first and second floor master suites and the second floor bedrooms were very appealing, ranging from light plum, aquamarine, rose and light pink. The bolder baths with walls of caramel and purple were a colorful backdrop for the pristine white fixtures and white floors.
A villa on a corner lot on one of the best streets in the Historic District-tres chic!

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.

Spy House of the Week: On the Beach

When I moved to the Eastern Shore fourteen years ago, one of my favorite villages was Claiborne.  I loved the Bay setting and the charming older homes, especially the historic Miracle House. I learned its site was developed in the 1930’s as a summer camp for children whose parents had contracted TB. All that remains today is one of the buildings that is now a charming residence and Claiborne’s former one-room schoolhouse was moved to the site.  

This house down the street from Miracle House has a dramatic site along the Eastern Bay and was built in 2005 in the traditional style to blend in with its older neighbors. The front gable, wrap-around porch, rhythm of windows around the center door and the light gray siding with crisp white trim create an appealing front elevation. The rear elevation is dominated by the variety of outdoor spaces to enjoy the panoramic Bay views from a large screened porch flanked by two decks and another deck at the second floor. Steps from both decks led to the lawn and sandy beach beyond for early evening strolls to enjoy stunning sunsets.

The front door opened to the staircase that was centered in the entry hall with  gallery space on the side walls. The stair hall led to the open plan area of the gourmet kitchen, butler’s pantry, dining and sitting areas with captivating water views that was clearly the hub of the house. French doors led to the screened porch and the decks for easy access. The lightly stained hardwood floors and the slightly darker stained trim added warmth to the spaces. I especially liked how the screened panels of the porch were carefully detailed to make them as wide as possible for maximum views of the Bay beyond. A media room and a spacious master suite were also located on the main floor.

Another spacious master suite with a fireplace, guest rooms and the laundry were located on the second floor. The third floor contained storage areas and the shed dormer with its triple window was a cozy bonus room with fantastic “bird’s eye” views of the Bay from that height.

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 Design/Build by Dawn Lednum and Safe Harbour Construction, LLC

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: East Chestnut Charm

I always enjoy featuring houses in a Historic District and this charming house in St. Michaels immediately captivated me. The original house was beautifully restored and a rear addition created a sumptuous master suite. The street elevation was very pleasing with its rhythm of five windows on the second floor and a full screened porch at the main level.  The pale yellow siding, the large windows with dark shutters and the careful detailing of the porch created great curb appeal.

The entry door at the center of the house led to a foyer with the staircase along one wall and a vista through to the kitchen and dining area. The two sitting rooms that flanked the foyer were beautifully decorated with antiques and art. The focal point of the living room was the fireplace between two tall windows and the symmetry and variety of the mantel decorations was a deft touch. The other sitting room was a cozy TV room with walls of art and millwork.

I loved the kitchen dining area with its “L” shaped plan around an island. The hardwood floors, white cabinetry, white granite with gray veining counters, stainless steel appliances and the black accents of the pendant lighting would inspire any cook, especially this one. The adjacent dining area with its antique sideboard and corner cabinet added warmth to the space and French doors on either side of the dining room added daylight throughout the day. One French door led to the driveway and the other led to a fenced outdoor room with paving, dining space under a colorful umbrella and seating between the kitchen area and the master suite.

The master bedroom had a variety of windows on three sides for sunlight throughout the day- high windows over the sleigh bed, a wide bay window and French doors to access the outdoor room.  However, my favorite bedroom was on the second floor decorated in tones of black and white.  The black sensuous curlicues of the iron bedframe, the circular open frame of the nightstand, the Zebra fabric accents and the triple spheres of the floor lamp were delightful.

The best of old and new, a verdant private outdoor room and one lot away from St. Michaels Harbor on a dead-end street-irresistible!

For more information about this property,  contact Cornelia Heckenbach at 410-745-0283 (o), 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: Chance Hope Farm Contemporary

When I search for a House of the Week, there are four criteria I look for: a special site (wooded, waterside or urban or rural) distinctive architecture, appealing interiors and landscape that enhances the site and the architecture. This spectacular site is located on a property that once was farmland but is now a development named Chance Hope Farm. This site is high above the water with panoramic views of the Miles River and two Adirondack chairs on the rear lawn have front row seats for watching the sailboats glide by.

The house was designed by Mark Sullivan Architects of Massachusetts in a contemporary style. The one-story house has a series of hipped roof wings that break up the massing. At the center of the house a second-story wing bisects the house and at each end are triple picture windows with ventilated units below.
The family or “nautical” room faces the water and its custom wood floor of alternating mahogany and maple wood planks, TV, gas fireplace, wet bar and broadwater views was a perfect space for relaxing. A guest bedroom faced the front with the same triple window treatment as the nautical room.

The entrance hall had a pitched ceiling and the landing of the “U” shaped stair faced the front of the house and was deep enough for a chest to display family photographs under an oval decorative window. The stair was primarily detailed in white with accents of stained wood in the treads, newel posts and cap rail. The living room had two focal points; one was the rear wall of French doors with full height sidelights and transoms that followed the line of the pitched ceiling facing the river. The other wall had a fireplace with stained millwork inset into niches flanking the fireplace. Although there was a formal dining room, it would be hard to not choose the breakfast room that projected beyond the rear wall of the house with angled corners so the entire room became a bay window on the water.

The large kitchen with wood cabinets, a combination of granite and corian counters, and a breakfast bar was connected to both the family room and the bay windowed breakfast room for views to the water. The rest of the main floor contained another guest room suite, and office/bedroom. High cathedral ceilings, rooms filled with light, an open floor plan, the unique “nautical” room and breathtaking river views were an appealing combination.

For more information about this property, please contact Tom Crouch with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-310-8916 (c ), or tcrouch@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Authority”.

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.

Mid-Shore Habitat: Bee House at The Inn at Perry Cabin

Several days a week I drive past the Inn at Perry Cabin and I have enjoyed observing their master plan improvements along Talbot Street. First a white fence along the street appeared, then red rose bushes were planted to add color and to soften the fence. Next a white lattice fence with decorative detailing enclosed a tennis court. Lastly, a diminutive white shed appeared. I thought at first it was a storage shed, since it was located on a gravel service road. After further inquiry, I learned that it was actually a “Bee House”, part of the Inn at Perry Cabin’s farm-to-table initiative and their landscaping and amenity upgrades.

Bees have always been on the property at the Inn at Perry Cabin and as herbivores, their original role was to eat pollen and nectar from plants and to pollinate flowers from the cutting garden to support the Inn’s restaurant and Spa. A newly planted orchard will bear fruit in about two years and will give the bees another opportunity for support. As part of the Inn’s master plan improvements to their property, a Bee House was determined to be needed to provide a healthy year-round environment for the bees. In 2017, the architect Charles Goebel was retained to create a design for the Bee House.

Traditionally, bee hives were Slovenian in design and have been used for centuries in Europe. The beekeeper accessed the hive from the rear of the house which allowed he/she to quickly inspect the hive and to access each frame. The frames were stacked and removed much like one removed a book from a bookcase. The bees entered the house from the front at each level and they could then move throughout the entire hive.

The Slovenian design took into consideration the thermal comfort of the bees and beekeeper. The roof overhang protects the hives from the high noon sun and rain. The beekeeper can easily access the hives even in inclement weather. Stacking the frames adds insulation which results in lower winter mortality rates for the bees. Rear screened windows provide ventilation and the rear door with hinged vents helped reduce humidity during warm weather.

American hives were primarily based upon the design created by the Reverend Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth in 1851. The Langstroth design was modular with vertical moveable hung frames, a bottom board for the bees’ entrance, an inner cover and top cap that provided weather protection. The form of a Langstroth hive resembled a stack of boxes.

Charles Goebel’s challenge was to create the external appearance of a Slovenian bee house that contained conventional Langstroth hives. Unlike Slovenian Bee houses which are quite colorful, the Inn at Perry Cabin’s Bee House is clad in vertical board and batten siding and painted white in keeping with the color palette of the complex.

On my last visit, the bees were very busy accessing the hives from the front of the house. The next time you dine at the Inn at Perry Cabin or enjoy a Spa treatment, “bee” glad the Inn’s smallest employees have strived to provide the best possible product for your enjoyment.

Architect: Charles Paul Goebel, Architect, Ltd, 410-820-9176, chas@cpgoebel.com, www.cpgoebel.com.
Consultant: Anna Wysocki, Inn at Perry Cabin Beekeeper Builder: Stoltzfus Outdoor Living.

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: San Domingo Cottage

I was immediately captivated by this charming cottage’s front elevation. The full-length shed dormer across the front of the house added ceiling height to the second floor rooms. The first floor roof was broken by a hip gable that extended to create a porch over the front door. Next to the front door was an accent window complete with window box and shutters for the first floor windows added more personality. All these features beckoned me inside for a closer look.

The front door opened to an entrance hall with the stairs to the second floor. From the front door you had a vista through the house to the rear French door, and views of the pool and San Domingo Creek beyond. On either side of the hall were the dining room and the living room. The spacious dining room had a fireplace, built-in millwork, wainscoting and trim in light blue. Windows on both sides of the room, French doors to the sunroom and antique furnishings created a special space for making any meal a special occasion.

The focal point of the kitchen was its floor to ceiling millwork at one end of the room. Cabinets below a wood counter top and glass-fronted upper cabinets provided ample storage for china and glassware. I love kitchens that have space to accommodate a table for informal dining as this kitchen did. The spacious sunroom off the kitchen had views of the pool and San Domingo Creek beyond through floor to ceiling sliding glass doors for a warm weather family room.

The delightful child’s room had an alcove for beloved stuffed animals and a colorful beanbag for relaxing. Double windows over the bed and a beautiful antique dresser created a special retreat.

My favorite space was the diminutive guest house close to the water which seemed like a dollhouse for adults. White board and batten siding, a hint of Carpenter Gothic in the front gable trim over the door, windows with blue shutters and colorful window boxes were simply irresistible! If I were a guest I would find it very hard to pack up and leave this peaceful setting.

For more information about this property, contact Jana Meredith with Meredith fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o), 443-235-3404 (c) or jana@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: Bar Neck Vernacular

I am always attracted to rural vernacular buildings converted to a residential use. When I first saw this house I wondered if it had been a converted barn but discovered it was new construction. The aerial shows how the roof planes over the rectangular house footprint were broken up to add architectural interest. On the front, a shed roof extended into half of the house to create a screened porch and a sloped ceiling over the dining room beyond. A row of clerestory windows above added daylight for the second floor rooms. The shed roof then wrapped slightly around the other side of the front elevation to extend the kitchen.

Another shed dormer at the rear created a deck at the second floor accessed by French doors and the rest of the second floor rooms had skylights. The massing, light-colored metal roof, variety of windows and the vertical batten siding created a very appealing vista from the approach to the house. The stained wood pergola with the lavender colored wisteria gave shade and privacy to the front screened porch and was a soft and colorful contrast to the creamy white siding of the house. The cream color was the perfect backdrop to the colorful variety of flowers and plants that surrounded the house. Clearly a gifted gardener had been at work here.

The outdoor spaces included the rear deck that was elevated above the large fenced pool for better views of the water beyond. The table and chairs on the deck beckoned for al-fresco dining or sunbathing after a dip in the pool. In true Scandinavian style, there was also an indoor sauna for post-pool relaxation.

The dining room had a pitched wood slat ceiling, wood floors, an accent wall of brick and double doors leading to the adjacent living room. I especially liked the spacious living room with wrap-around windows at one corner and a row of windows at the rear toward the water views.

Some of the second floor rooms had pitched ceilings with exposed wood collar beams. I could well imagine opening the French doors to the deck and lingering there over my second cup of coffee in the morning. Surrounded by woods, water, colorful flowers and plants, this serene setting would be the perfect retreat.

For more information about this property, contact Carolina Barksdale with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0417(o), 443-786-0348 (c) or carolina@talbotrealestate.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: Trappe Traditional

The aerial of this 99 acre property with its 10,000 sf house shows how it was sited at a bend of Trappe Creek to take advantage of its panoramic views. The dock, large pool, tennis and basketball courts offered a range of outdoor activities. The rear elevation of the brick house shows its Georgian style with a hint of Adam’s influence in the elliptical and semi-circular transoms over the windows and doors.

From the center two-story wing, the house steps down to one and a half story wings and the garage wing is perpendicular to the house to break up the massing. The focus of the rear elevation toward the water were the full length porches on both floors. The porch columns were perfectly proportioned for their height and the second floor porch railing was a pleasing mix of vertical rails accented by panels of the “Union Jack” design.

The interior vistas of the house began with the front door that opened to a one-story foyer then beyond through a wide elliptical arched opening to the dramatic curved stair, through a central hall that ended at a pair of French doors with an elliptical transom and sidelights to the porch facing the water. One side of the central hall was open to a spacious living room and the other side was open to an equally spacious dining room. The rear walls of both rooms had a pair of French doors with elliptical transoms flanked by wide floor-length sidelights to the porch and water views beyond. Another vista through an elliptical arched opening was centered on the fireplace of the family room beyond. One of my favorite vistas was a hallway that ended at a painting above a hall table behind an antique rug over the beautiful hardwood floors.

The dominant interior design color palette was shades of blue with accents of red and light yellow. The yellow walls of the kitchen highlighted the Owners’ collection of blue and white ceramics and art. The kitchen and family room had pitched ceilings with exposed wood collar beams to add volume to this large space.

The bedroom of the ground floor master suite was furnished with a four-poster bed, other antiques and a corner fireplace. French doors and wide windows offered views of the landscape and the water beyond. I especially liked the column capital sconces that flanked the lavatory cabinet of the master bathroom.

 

For more information about this property, contact Glenn Sutton with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty at 410-280-5600 (o), 410-507-4370 (c) or gsutton@ttrsir.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity Photography by Sean Shanahan Photography, 703-582-9462, sean@shanahanphotography.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: Modern with a Twist of Swiss Miss

Talbot County’s rich architectural heritage includes this house designed by the well-known mid-century architect Royal Barry Wills. Born in Boston just before the end of the last century, he established his practice in 1925 and was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1954. His traditional work was focused upon the style most associated with New England, the Cape Cod. He refined the deceptively simple design by being attentive to the proper “scale” or how each building part relates to one another to achieve elegance in design. What intrigued me about this house that was built in 1966 was how different it was with its Modernist style and a twist of Swiss Chalet.

The plan is zoned very well-a spacious entry opens to a rear wall of windows that overlooked the Talbot County Country Club golf course. The guest wing on the right and the living room/kitchen/dining wing to the left project beyond the rear wall of the entry to create a terrace shaded by a large tree and a stepped low wall with pots of colorful flowers marking the boundary of private hardscape to public landscape.

Like Wills’ Cape Cod houses, the focal point of the living room is an outsized central chimney that soars through the pitched ceiling. The rear wall was divided into a grid of picture windows with two operable units for ventilation opposite the massive chimney and simple mantel. The pitched ceiling continued through the loft above the kitchen/dining area behind the chimney and ended at a cantilevered balcony with a handrail detailed in the Swiss Chalet style. An enclosed breezeway connected the garage to the kitchen area.

The Master suite was located on the opposite side of the house from the guest rooms for privacy. All three bedrooms had pitched ceilings and each bath had a vintage late fifties vitreous china lavatory highly prized by collectors today.

At 1,700 sf, this house seemed larger due to its efficient floor plan, great flow and pitched ceilings. A unique opportunity to own a house by a well-known architect and to continue the stewardship of this special house on the prized Oxford Corridor!

For more information about this property, contact Joan Wetmore with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-2001 (o), 410-924-2432 © or JoanWetmore@msn.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: Craftsman Bungalow  

One of the architectural details that intrigued me on my first drive through the Historic District of St. Michaels was a repetitive roof design I observed of two dormer windows connected by a shed dormer that was inset higher on the roof. Today’s house has that detail and the dormer windows are also wider than usual to create more headroom on the attic floor. Thompson St. is unusual in that it is a single-loaded street and spans between Talbot St. and the Rails to Trails in the heart of the Historic District. Opposite the houses along Thompson St. are the sheds and garages of W. Chestnut houses so the street has little traffic. The picturesque neighborhood park at San Domingo Creek is only a block away and accessed by a charming wooden covered bridge.  

I liked the exterior color palette of light butter yellow lap siding, olive window trim , door trim and corner boards with the paprika red accents of the porch handrail, front door and screened door.  A wooden porch swing invited one to linger on the porch and savor the peace and quiet. Vintage craftsman interior details like the beautiful hardwood floors, carved stair newel posts, French doors, five-paneled wooden doors and large windows give this bungalow great charm and appeal.

A side door off the driveway leads directly to the kitchen for unloading groceries and other household necessities. Instead of stairs, there is a ramp detailed to match the front porch railing. When you enter, there is a wonderful vista from the front door through a pair of French doors to the side double window of a corner room that could be a dining room or master bedroom since there is a full bath on both floors. Off the kitchen is a screened porch with an outdoor shower that overlooks the rear yard with landscaping, one garden shed detailed like the house and two other sheds for storage.

The second floor rooms have cozy charm with their pitched ceilings and one room under the higher dormer windows has open shelves for storing toys and games.  Quiet street, close proximity to neighborhood amenities and a charming bungalow waiting for the buyer who can see its potential and complete the renovation according to one’s tastes.

For more information about this property, contact Elizabeth Foulds with Long and Foster Real Estate at 410-745-0283 (o), 410-924-1959 (c) or foulds@longand foster.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.