Spy House of the Week: Lynnhaven

The dictionary defines “haven” as a “port”, a safe place”and a place offering favorable conditions. “Lynnhaven” is aptly named for its private, gated location minutes from the much sought after Oxford corridor, SW exposure, 6 ft. MLW off the Tred Avon river and to this aspiring oenophile, its wine cellar!

I was immediately captivated by the entrance hall, with its polished granite floor, curved stair and rounded landing above. Works of art were hung on the wall at eye level above several stair steps. Clearly this would be the harbinger of a beautifully appointed house. I loved the serene neutral palette of the interior design accented by rugs, pillows, accessories and decorative porcelain in the living room, library, dining room and sunroom. Beautiful hardwood floors and four fireplaces added extra warmth. The sunroom windows were on a direct axis to the pergola at the end of the pool to frame the vista.

The front and rear elevations were very different. The front was a classic traditional central gable wing with an ocular accent window and two-story columns flanked on each side by secondary wings. In contrast, the rear elevation opened to the water with walls of windows, gables, second floor decks and dormers to maximize the water views. The solar roofing panels were unobtrusive since the roofing shingles below were a dark color.

The pristine kitchen with its warm wood cabinetry was connected to an elegant informal dining area with an antique hutch and cabinet to accompany the round table and Regency chairs. I loved the family room with its stone floor, painted wood-slat ceiling, millwork filled with books flanking a fireplace, comfortable furnishings and a large-screen TV. The perfect spot for relaxation after a dip in the nearby pool.

Since the house had an elevator, the master suite could remain on the second floor for more expansive water views from its private deck. I also liked one of the guest rooms that had another private deck. The graceful arc of the iron headboard and the warm wood chests and dresser would make any guest linger; however, the guest room tucked under a “canopy” of exposed collar beams painted white to blend with ceiling would be my choice of accommodation. Dormer windows with bookcases built into the eaves created charming interior architecture.

For more information about this property, please contact Cornelia Heckenbach at 410-745-0283 (o), 410-310-1229 (c), or info@ corneliaheckenbach.com, “Equal Opportunity Employer”.

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 “Snuggery”

By a funny coincidence, the House of the Week I chose for Chestertown last week had a cozy sitting room with a fireplace that the owners had dubbed the “Snuggery”. St. Michaels own Snuggery house began its life as the Robert Dodson House, circa 1798. The log house was built by Dodson on a site facing St. Michaels harbor. In 1870 Henry Clay Dodson relocated the log structure to Cherry Street, where it remains today. He remodeled the house in the Victorian style and expanded the original log restructure to its present form. The front part of the house holds the distinction of being the only early log structure remaining in St. Michaels. The original milk house at the rear of the property has also been renovated for myriad uses.

The charming cottage style architecture has many double windows to brighten the interior rooms. The 1870 renovation left portions of the original log walls exposed in the front parlor, the dining room and the ground floor bedroom which gives the rooms great architectural character. The two front parlors have angled corner fireplaces with original decorative surrounds. A wide cased opening connects the two rooms for better flow and the cross vistas through the wall opening are of double windows on each side of the house for an open feeling. The dining room between one parlor and the kitchen would be a cozy spot for breakfast.

The Snuggery is currently a B&B with a main floor guest suite. The second floor contains other charming guest rooms tucked under the roof eaves with exposed cross bracing beams under the drywall ceiling. I especially liked the Owners’ sitting room on the main floor with its wide bay window framing views to the back yard and the fireplace for cozy winter evenings. The Owners’ bedroom was located on the second floor and spanned the width of the house which created areas for sleeping and an office area with double windows at each side of the space.

Many fans of the Snuggery would be quite disappointed if the new Owners decided to convert this charming cottage back to a single-family residence but it could easily be done. Whatever happens it remains a delightful part of St. Michaels’ history.

For more information about this property, please contact Elizabeth Foulds at Long and Foster Real Estate at 410-745-0345 (o), 410-924-1959 ©, or foulds@lomgadfoster.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: “Into the Woods”

When I first saw this property that caught my eye, the waterfront wooded setting and how the house massing of shed and gable roofs blended “into the woods”, to borrow the title of a Sondheim musical. The crisp forms evoked New England salt boxes but the interiors were a delightful contemporary surprise. I loved the open living-dining room with the wood joists and decking floating over hardwood flooring the same warm light color as the ceiling. The eclectic mix of modern, antique and Scandinavian furniture reminded me of a visit to a Danish friend many years ago, complete with the bold contemporary art.

The hall that led from the living-dining room was more than a mere passage; rather, it was another opportunity to display art and sculpture atop a Scandinavian sideboard. The “U” shaped kitchen also had light finishes and the dropped counter with chairs below under a large picture window was the perfect spot for breakfast. Another hall had space for a mini-home office or workspace complete with an ergonomic chair.

The spare contemporary look carried through to a main floor bedroom with a platform bed covered by a colorful quilt in a star pattern. The bath had European touches of a narrow depth porcelain lavatory over a teak cabinet with inlaid wood work. This suite had its own exterior door which would be convenient for guests.

The master suite was a delightful dormer room tucked under the roof with dormer windows for light and views into the woods for nocturnal star-gazing. Appropriately, a wedding ring quilt adorned the bed and the warm wood furnishings created a restful retreat.

An inviting deck at grade level with chairs by the water was a peaceful place for contemplating nature. The two-story barn could be converted to a guest house and the site is large enough for the addition of a pool.

For more information about this property, please 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: A Perfect “Ten” on Aurora

I can’t resist the charm of houses from another era. This house, circa 1885, intrigued me with its modified American Four-Square style and Victorian details had great curb appeal. The house was built by local realtor Bob Shanahan’s great- uncle Jesse Edward Shanahan and the current owner is only the fourth steward of this unique house.

Two distinctive brick chimneys with their corbeled brick caps rose from a multi-planed hipped roof that extended over two-story bay window wings. A low slope metal roof covered the welcoming front porch. The two half-moon decorative attic windows and the large windows opened the house to its surroundings and filled the interiors with light. There were two other porches, one off the main stair that led to the rear yard and the other was off the dining room for al-fresco dining. The original shed at the rear alley was expanded to a four-car garage across the full width of the property which gave privacy for the rear yard.

The vista from the front door ended at a graceful arched full-height wall opening trimmed in stained wood that beckoned you further to discover the main “U” shaped stair with its beautiful carved balustrade with light from a window at the landing. The main floor ceilings soared to over eleven feet and the eight foot door and window headers were perfectly proportioned for the interior height.

Flanking the entrance hall was a parlor with its bay window and fireplace and another sitting room used as a family TV room. I loved the large kitchen with its cheerful blue and white color scheme. As an architect who has designed many kitchens, I especially appreciated how the kitchen was modernized without compromising the original window and door openings. The master bedroom was nestled in one of the bay windowed rooms and the large bath with period fixtures made a charming master suite.

The rear part of the house was a former servants’ quarters and a second stair accessed this part of the house. The full attic is an unfinished gem with its dramatic interior architecture formed by the hipped roof and gable wings.

The beautifully proportioned rooms, exquisite wood work and period detailing and fixtures from another era make this magnificent residence at 9 Aurora Street a perfect “10.”

 

For more information about this property, please contact Mary Losty with Benson and Mangold at 410-770-9255 (o), 215-920-3595 (c), or Mlosty@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography courtesy of Eve Fishell of Chesapeake Pro Photo, 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.

Nice: Closed St. Michaels Acme to Become Town Center

According to the Star-Democrat this morning, the old Acme food store in downtown St. Michaels will be transformed into a new town center. Plans call for second floor apartments with balconies looking down on Talbot Street.

Read the full story here. Charges may apply.

Spy House of the Week: Tuned in to Tunis

When I was active in real estate, I always enjoyed showing prospective buyers properties in Talbot County’s small unincorporated towns like Claiborne, Sherwood and Tunis Mills. This house in Tunis Mills was built in the farmhouse style and two additions greatly expanded the living space. One addition contained a family room with a fireplace and my favorite room, the sunroom. Floor to ceiling glass doors around three sides opened the room to the patio, waterside pool and sunsets over Leeds Creek.

Both the spacious great room and the recreation room had fireplaces to ward off winter’s chill. I liked how the large kitchen had a table and chairs instead of a center island for informal dining. The kitchen was large and the dark cabinets with off-white flooring and countertops were a welcome change from the white cabinets found in most houses. The decorative wood beams in the great room carried through to the kitchen, and a skylight added light to illuminate the Owners’ collection of copper cookware on the wall below.

There was a bedroom on the ground floor, but the elevator allowed the Owners to use the master suite on the second floor with its beautiful views to Leeds Creek. I liked the graceful sloped ceiling detail in several of the bedrooms where the ceiling sloped slightly down to the wall. A great family house and perfect for entertaining friends and neighbors in this quaint village.

For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins 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.

Know Thy Neighbor: Carol Bean and Mark Connelly of “Know Good Farm” in Wittman

I first met my neighbor, Carol Bean, when she ran the FreshFarm Market and lived with her husband, Mark Connolly, in a charming cottage on Pot Pie in Wittman. Most Saturdays I would visit her stall at the St. Michaels Farmers Market and I was soon hooked on her radish microgreens which enhanced many of my summer tuna salads.

Know Good Farm started with heirloom tomatoes, ducks for eggs and meat, and flowers. The day I visited several male turkeys with their resplendent plumage strolled through the property in hot pursuit of the “ladies”. Carol explained that the heritage turkeys were smaller and an older breed than their Butterball cousins. Her turkeys are grass-fed which produces succulent meat.

As Carol and I chatted, Muscovy ducks checked under the bird feeders to pick up any seeds that had fallen while the birds feasted above, a great example of a food chain.

Making a living solely from the land is unpredictable since each year you are at the mercy of Mother Nature, like the heavy rains we had in the spring of 2017. To supplement the farm, Carol now offers Vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes of fresh vegetables for $25/week for pick-up at the farm or the St. Michaels Farmers Market. There is also an Oyster CSA in November and December with free delivery to the St. Michaels/Bay Hundred Area. Classes and workshops are offered as well as gift cards and seasonal farm gift boxes (Mother’s Day, Summer Season, Fall Season and Christmas). Seasonal wreaths are available during the holiday season.

Summer’s and Fall’s bounty from the 1.5 acres under cultivation may include heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, radish microgreens, beans, cucumbers, several varieties of squash, etc. The Muscovy duck eggs are especially prized by bakers and the duck meat is sought after for its being 97% fat free and tasty due to the grass-fed duck diet. Seasonal Bay bounty includes soft-shell crabs and oysters.

Know Good Farm is now open Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 am to noon or by appointment. The first Open House at Know Good Farm will be held on May 19th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, followed by a class on “Growing Heirloom Tomatoes” from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The St. Michaels Farmers Market is now open from 8:30 to 11:30 so visit Carol at her stall (please leave a bunch of radish microgreens for me). Starting May 26, she will be at Piazza Italian Market on Saturdays in the summer from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm where she will be selling her over 25 varieties of tomato seedlings.

Upcoming dates or events include orders for the Mother’s Day Gift Box available from April 20 through May 12 and the Open House and Plant Sale on May 19.

For more information about Know Good Farm at 8721 Cummings Road in Wittman , visit www.knowgoodfarm.com or call 410-829-1829.

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: Mulberry Perfection

The original plan of St. Michaels was developed by British agent James Braddock. The cornerstone of the plan was St. Mary’s Square in the area known as “Braddock’s Square” whose boundaries were the harbor, Mulberry, Talbot and E. Chestnut. This house at 202 Mulberry was one of the first sold In Braddock’s Square to John Rolle “Gent”. There was an reference to a frame dwelling as early as 1804 when it was home to the Merchant family, who later built what became known after the War of 1812 as the “Cannonball” House next door. Until 1916, the other owners were the Fairbank and Hambleton families. At that time, ownership passed to the Orem family who undertook extensive renovations.

During the Seventies, the house became a duplex but in 2001 Minerva Enterprises reverted the house to its original single family residence.  Their careful restoration preserved original items from its past such as two doorbells, and a push-button light switch. They replicated the shed in the backyard that is now a studio to a very gifted quilter.

I loved the form and massing of the house with its front gable and wrap-round porch that ended at the side gable wing which projected from the main house. The original house layout was a side stair hall, front parlor, rear kitchen and another sitting room.  The 1915 renovations replaced the kitchen with a dining room and a new kitchen was added at the rear along with another sitting room.

What impressed me so much about this house were the wonderful vistas on axis from room to room throughout the house.  When you open the front door, you look through the dining room to the rear kitchen. The cross vista from the dining room is centered on a fireplace flanked by large windows.  The sofa on the side wall is in front of a wide doorway to the family room beyond and centered on the double windows on the rear wall with views of the landscape beyond.

I am a cook and I loved the kitchen with its two-toned wood craftsman cabinets with the trim in a darker shade than the face of the cabinets.  The sloped ceiling had two skylights and windows on the side and rear for more light and views of the pastoral rear yard. A small butler pantry connected  the kitchen to the dining room and I noted the owners had many of the same cookbooks that I do!

The second floor front guest room’s iron beds had beautiful multi-colored quilts in a triangular pattern crafted by the owner. The middle room was a sitting room for the serene and spacious master suite that opened to a bedroom with clever storage to maximize space and a bath.  

The rear yard was lushly landscaped and a quiet oasis from the Town activity nearby. The shed at the rear was the domain of the quilter and I loved how the original exterior door was preserved.  A bi-fold French door behind it allowed the owner to have light and views to the landscape while she created another quilted work of art.

This house truly embodied Habitat’s goal to celebrate the best of Talbot County’s architecture, interiors and landscape.  When I bade goodbye to the Owner, I told him I wish I could write him a check for the house! The lucky buyer who does will become the steward for this wonderful part of St. Michaels’ architectural history.

For more information abou

t this property, contact Amy Berry with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-2001 (o), 310-310-0441 (c) or amy@talbotfinehomes.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: Sherwood Serenity

One of my favorite villages in Talbot County is Sherwood, because it embodies a wonderful sense of place due to the group of historic houses that comprise its core.  From The “Wharf House” to the charming bungalows, the village is simply charming. This house caught my eye for its site with its expansive views of the Chesapeake Bay and its evolution from 1890 to the renovation in the 1990’s. Modern touches included the contemporary windows without any muntins and the addition of a “lighthouse” room at the third floor that complements the original massing of the house.

When you open the front door the vista opposite in the two-story entrance area is an “L’ shaped stair with an open railing on one side up to the second floor. I liked the open plan of the main floor, with the kitchen as the pivot point between the family room and the dining room. The large sunroom was one of my two favorite rooms with its windows on three sides and French doors to a deck for direct views to the water just one lot away from the community pier.

The bedrooms were located on the second floor but my other favorite room was located on the third floor, accessed by an open stair from the master bedroom. Furnished as a sitting room, its rear “picture” window was truly that-it framed the water views and the decorative octagonal window allowed light in from the front of the house.  I loved the “bird’s eye” expanded view of the water since you were on the third floor and could look over the rooftop of the surrounding houses for a clear view of the water. The pitched ceiling with its stained wood lateral beams below made a dramatic space. It was indeed a “lighthouse”- one filled with light.

It would be easy to enjoy the outdoors and the water views since most of the main rooms had access to the decks on both floors. The site also contained both a one-car detached  garage and a studio/office/workshop outbuilding in the large fenced rear yard.

For more information about this property, contact Benson and Mangold Real Estate agents Gene Smith at 410-745-0417 (o),410-443-1571(c) or gsmith@bensonandmangold.com, and Kim Crouch Ozman at 410-745-0415 (o),410-410-829-7062 (c ) or kcrouch@bensonadmangold.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: 102 Locust Street in St. Michaels

One of my two reference books about St. Michaels is “Historic St. Michaels, An Architectural History” by Elizabeth Hughes”. St. Michaels’ initial growth was linked to the shipbuilding industry and prosperity led to the incorporation of the Town in 1804. The 1806 survey showed three “squares”, “Braddock’s Square” (the original plan of the Town), “Thompson’s Square” and “Harrison’s Square”. This week’s feature at 102 Locust Street was part of “Harrison’s Square”.

The street’s original residents were primarily employed in the shipbuilding industry and related trades.

The original house was the bungalow with the shed dormer facing Locust Street and a large shed in the rear yard contained a wood working shop. The house was first expanded with a two-story addition to the north side of the original bungalow. The front room was lined in Chestnut panels whose wood was rescued from an abandoned and demolished barn. The beautiful woodwork and the wood-burning fireplace created an inviting study for the current owner and was my favorite room.

The last addition was a “hyphen” that connected the rear shed to the two-story addition. At that time the former shed was renovated as a master suite and the woodworking tools were donated to the St. Michaels Museum on St. Mary’s Square. The finishing touch was the current owner’s renovation of the large kitchen and upgrades to the two bathrooms in the “hyphen” connection. The additions and renovations created a master bedroom, two bedrooms and two baths so a new owner could enjoy one-level living. The original part of the house could then be the living room, dining room and study.

The backyard was a serene oasis in this hybrid block of commercial structures along Talbot Street and the residences along Locust Street. Two sets of French doors in the “hyphen” led to a terrace surrounded by plantings.

This house is an example of how houses have been adapted over time but the original charming bungalow is still clearly defined for architectural buffs to appreciate. Hopefully this unique house will attract a new owner who will appreciate its place in St. Michaels’ architectural history.

 

For more information about this property, contact Wink Cowee with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0415 (o), 410-310-0208 (c), or winkcowee@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.