One of the excursions I have intended to do ever since I moved to Talbot County fifteen years ago is to tour the historic houses along the James and Potomac Rivers. I could easily imagine this exquisitely proportioned house, “Charlecote”, being on any tour of historic houses. I was curious about the name and learned that the original “Charlecote” is a grand 16th century country estate in the UK and the name is from the French for “free peasants’ cottage”.
This peasant prefers Talbot County’s “Charlecote” for the perfection of its scale, proportion and symmetry. The front elevation has a center wing with a side entry door, three windows and three dormer windows in the roof equally spaced over the windows and door below. Two chimneys are bookends for the center wing and two recessed “hyphens” with circular windows connect the center wing to the gable wings at each end of the house. The classic color palette of red brick, white trim and black shutters is so pleasing to the eye as are the details such as the brick water table. I especially liked how the front door has a transom above that aligns with the headers of the 12/16 tall windows for a seamless line.
The rear elevation facing the water has a gallery with brick walls and floors that connects the two ends of the house. The center room is a charming bowfront sunroom with window seats under the two end window units and a seating arrangement in the center for views of the landscape and the water beyond. At one end of the gallery is the large kitchen which was one of my favorite rooms. Two low circular windows alternate between three rectangular windows. The kitchen island anchors the space with its “L” arrangement of cabinets and a separate wall for the refrigerator and a workspace. There is also an area for a bar sink and glass fronted upper cabinets.
The main sitting room is beautifully detailed with double wood doors that open to the gallery. A wood paneled transom over the doors extends upward to several layers of wood moldings. Another wall has built-in millwork with a center opening to the adjacent room. The opening projects slightly beyond the millwork and has the same wood transom as the other doors but the molding at the header aligns with the millwork crown molding. The blue and white color scheme completes the design of this beautiful room.
The master bedroom has a fireplace with a seating area and built in closets that have extra storage above the closets. The wall of white woodwork is broken by the long window to the views of the landscape.
Classic architecture, perfect proportion and scale, beautiful interior vistas, excellent craftsmanship, waterfront setting in Oxford -everything for which this peasant yearns!
For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o), 410-924-0082 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org , “Equal Housing Opportunity”. This property is also co-listed with John Akridge of the John Akridge Management Company.
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.