I discovered this charming house by chance and it was easy to see why this family based in DC enjoys their weekend/summer retreat so much. When they found the house in the spring of 2010, it had been unoccupied for about two years with little maintenance of the house or grounds. They loved the historic farmhouse character and how the house was set back deep from the road to be close to the water. The wrap-around porch and the front two rooms on both levels are circa early 1900’s. The side wing addition was added in the mid-20th century and steps back in deference to the original part of the house and includes a spacious kitchen and a master suite above.
This combination of old and new with shed dormers is very appealing. As I walked up the herringbone patterned brick sidewalk, I admired how the screening of the porch were wide vertical panels with transoms above to minimize framing and maximize the clear view whether you were sitting or standing. I also noted the bright yellow shutters and Adirondack chairs grouped around a firepit on the side lawn that hinted of further colorful delights within.
As one of the owners gave me a tour, she explained their first task after general clean-up was to rebuild the pool in the front yard and design a pool house in keeping with the main house’s architectural style. The screened porch and the pool house offer respite from the summer sun after a dip in the pool or an afternoon on the water. Next they renovated the interior by opening up the great room to the water by replacing some windows with French doors and installing longer windows.
Except for the staircase and the front bedroom suite, the rest of the main floor is a delightful “U” shaped wrap-around great room of sitting areas, dining area and kitchen. The contemporary white interior has painted wood floors and white walls with splashes of color in the mix of antique and contemporary furnishings, rugs and art. I especially liked the wallpaper design on the side wall of the kitchen-dining area-different sizes of freehand outlines of “frames” display family photographs that make a colorful backdrop of family memories.
The kitchen-dining area of the great room spans one side of the house from front to back. The base cabinets of the kitchen extend to a window seat below the double unit window on axis with the dining table. On the other side of the windows is millwork for books and games. I loved the pristine look of the kitchen with its white cabinets and countertop with accents of the stainless steel appliances and the gray fabric of the bar stools. Two pairs of French doors at the front of the kitchen access a brick terrace covered by an extension of the front porch’s roof with a grille ready for family feasts.
The rear of the house is “L” shaped and the wall of windows and French doors opens up the house to the water. The roof deck created by this geometry at the second floor is accessed by French doors at the master bedroom and the recreation room at the other side of the house. I loved the deep hues of the wall colors in the bedrooms ranging from red, orange, purple and green and the ceilings of some bedrooms are gambrel shaped for added height. The en-suite green bedroom is located on the main floor and the other bedrooms are on the second floor. The white baths have walls of subway tile, floors of polygonal tile and porcelain/stainless steel lavatories.
The owners completed their renovation in time for Thanksgiving the following year after their purchase. They are generous hosts and the house is usually filled on weekends with family, dogs and friends. I can imagine sitting in one of the reclaimed theater seats in the great room and watching the show of constant activity in a house that is well-loved and shared. Bravo to the owners for their stylish renovation and interior design!
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.