I first noticed this house several years ago when I met a friend for lunch at the former Mitchum’s Restaurant whose building she had designed. We both admired this house’s classic Georgian design with a side door to maximize the interior room sizes in response to its town lot width. The original part of the two and a half story house was built between 1790 and 1805. I admired the front façade’s pattern of Flemish bond brick in a deep reddish brown color, headers of flared soldier courses and the belt course above the headers of the exposed foundation windows. The front door is beautifully detailed in two vertical panels below three rows of horizontal panels with a full transom for sunlight to filter into the foyer. Both the front door and the two-paneled shutters are painted in a rich slate blue color that complements the brick.
The house is set back from the street to create areas for landscaping between the brick stoop and sidewalk. A tall wood fence that has weathered to an appealing patina hides the restaurant’s parking area and tall shrubbery obscures the house’s driveway. The front door opens into the foyer with a clear vista through the house to the deep landscaped yard. The creamy plaster walls, warm olive green trim, Oriental rug over the beautiful original wide plank pine floors, deacon’s bench and art create a welcoming ambiance. The “U” shaped stair’s balustrade and risers are also painted olive green for a harmonious blend of stained and painted wood. The foyer’s window has a stained glass pane over the center of the 9/6 window and the scene of sea, high cliffs and a ship on the horizon must remind the owners of their native Scotland.
Off the foyer is the sitting room with three windows that wrap around the front corner of the room next to the fireplace and the windows have both wooden blinds for privacy and swags over the top window pane for color. The chair rail below the window sill connects the windows and creates a defined wall space for the art of seascapes and landscapes. This inviting room with its comfortable seating anchored by the large Oriental rug, soft lighting from both the period pendant light fixture and table lamps would be the perfect space for pre-dinner conversation.
Off the foyer hall is the original dining room that the current owners renovated to make it a flexible space for use as a bedroom or an office. Opposite this room is a full bath to complete a main floor bedroom suite. The foyer hall ends in the addition of the open plan family room-dining room-kitchen with wood floors of the same species and stain as the floors in the original part of the house. Clearly this is the hub of the house for family gatherings with wide wall openings linking the three spaces. I liked how the kitchen’s upper cabinets and the range hood continued the olive green accent color and the clever detail of the upper cabinets’ lower arrowhead edges between the glass fronted doors. The kitchen is designed for a serious cook and the side window, double rear window and cased opening to the dining room bring natural light into the space and the wide wall openings keep the cook connected to family or guests.
The interior design of the dining area is simply charming with its wrap-around windows, butter yellow valances and curtains with a pattern of colorful roosters over the lower window panes, the walls of painted vertical board, Congoleum floor in a very realistic stone pattern and the exquisite wood antique table with Windsor chairs anchored by the striped yellow-white-red rug. The side French door leads to the terrace for al-fresco dining under a pergola for shade. The low rusticated block planter defines the boundary of the deep fenced rear yard with ample room for children and/or pets to play. Two sheds, one for lawn and garden equipment and the other larger one for general storage are located at the side edge of the lot to maximize the yard area for children and/or pets to play.
The primary suite is located on the second floor and has windows on three sides for daylight, a fireplace and clothing “cupboards” on either side of the door. The fireplace paneling becomes a clever headboard for the bed and I wondered if the colorful plaid accent pillow was actually one of the owners’ tartan. The landscape painting over the mantle with its meandering road adds perspective to the wall.
If I were lucky to be a guest, I would claim the third floor suite with its “zoom” shot of the stairs down to the main floor. The low knee walls and high collar beam at the flat portion of the bedroom’s ceiling creates a quiet and cozy space for relaxation and sleep. The bed is placed against the gable end wall for bird’s eye views of the town from the front and rear dormer windows .
This historic house has been lovingly maintained with an addition and renovations that respect its original form and materials. The owners’ stylish interiors showcase its Old World charm with upgrades for today’s lifestyle. The rear yard is a rare bonus for a town lot and the high weathered wood fence adds texture and privacy for play and entertainment. Both sheds have electric service so the larger wooden shed could be fitted out as an office/climate controlled storage area. I was delighted to see this property I had admired several years ago-Bravo!
For more information about this property, contact Christie Bishop with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-770-9255 (o), 410-829-2781 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Photography by TruPlace, (301) 972-3201
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.