House of the Week: Beauty on Benoni


Oxford is one of my favorite Eastern Shore towns with its main street bisecting a narrow point of land between the Tred Avon River and Town Creek so you are never far from the water. Tree lined streets, many of which terminate at the water, beautifully maintained historic houses and new houses whose architecture respects the historic streetscape give Oxford an irresistible appeal.  

This lovingly maintained Victorian is a seamless blend of old and new architecture. The symmetrical  front elevation has a full porch with turned columns and fretwork brackets, front door with sidelights and transom next to a double window with shutters that align with the pair of double windows and shutters above. The porch is elevated off the street and shrubbery give the porch just enough privacy for relaxing but not too much to miss greeting neighbors out for a stroll.

The Owner graciously gave me a tour and when I stepped into the front sitting room, I was immediately impressed with the sophisticated interior design that was perfectly scaled to the room’s size. The room spanned the full width of the house and the open stair with its original stained wood balustrade was the first of many details that have been lovingly preserved. Beautiful family antiques, wood and neutral upholstered pieces are grouped around the fireplace with a mirror above to reflect the light from the front windows. Accents of the niche of books and the watercolors of Parisian theaters gave the room personality.  I soon discovered this serene look was the innate talent of the Owner.  

The exquisite dining room was one of my favorite rooms.  The blue and white wallpaper inspired by Delft tile design, the wood floors and the antique dining set centered in the room opposite the fireplace would be a delightful setting for a dinner party.  The focal point of the room is the wide bay that projects from the floor with a graceful elliptical arched header over the bay’s center double window and the side windows.

The kitchen window has a stained glass panel to block the view of the house next door but cleverly allows light within.  The “U” shaped kitchen layout with wood floors, white cabinets and countertops and stainless steel appliances would satisfy any cook.  Opposite the kitchen is an informal dining area with a glass topped table and iron chairs in front of a wide bay window with a cushioned seat below for panoramic water views. Another of my favorite rooms is the family room next to the kitchen with its full bar, wood burning fireplace and continuous angled walls of full height glass for more panoramic water views.  The family room connects to the screened porch with seating and dining areas with views of the garden and the water for a delightful indoor/outdoor room. 

A second stairway leads to my third favorite room, the master bedroom. It is directly above the family room with the same angled walls of glass.  Here the glass windows suspend you above the treetops to the water views beyond. The master bedroom’s unique interior architecture and the color palette of cream, yellow and light blue creates one of the most delightful bedrooms I have featured. There are other bedrooms on the second floor and a smaller room that could be a nursery or home office, along with baths for the master suite and the other bedrooms.

Beyond the brick driveway is a picket fence that leads to the garden.  The perfect balance of brick hardscape terrace, lawn, plantings and shrubbery combine to create a private outdoor room with expansive water views.  My compliments to the Owner’s style and discriminating taste that created the beautiful interiors and gardens.

For more information about this property contact Jane McCarthy with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-6692(c) or, 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.

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