As an architect with a background in neighborhood revitalizations, I always enjoy writing about this unique and thoughtfully planned development of five neighborhoods. I also look forward to the approach along the entry drive lined with shade trees and glimpses of the belted cows. Unfortunately on the day I visited, the cows were at a distant spot of pasture but further along the drive, a group of ducks were practicing social distancing on a lawn, oblivious to my passing car.
To me, Cooke’s Hope offers the best of great neighborhood design-irregular boundaries for appealing vistas, meandering instead of a gridded streets for traffic calming and distinctly different neighborhoods to suite a variety of lifestyles, set into a landscape of mature and pristine woods. One of the most unique advantages of living in Cooke’s Hope are the amenities including over five miles of walking trails, wildlife sanctuary ponds, a covered bridge above Peachblossom Creek, and a picnic pavilion that overlooks one of the ponds. Exercise enthusiasts can work out in the Fitness Center or outside on the tennis courts. For me, the best feature is the lack of home and yard maintenance!
This property in the Springfield neighborhood is hidden from the road by dense foliage and specimen trees including several majestic magnolias, evergreens and deciduous trees with additional color from blooming crape myrtles. From the street the drive curves to cross over a culvert enhanced by the bridge-like wooden railing as the carriage house and main house come into view. I loved how the exterior palette of taupe siding and darker trim becomes a camouflage in its woodland setting.
The house is sited for westerly views across the shoreline at the end of Peachblossom Creek and the rear lawn rolls gently down to the marsh and water for a peaceful paddle in a canoe. The massing is very pleasing with the front elevation’s two-story left wing’s full length stacked porches with the main floor porch leading to the entry door. The right wing telescopes down and has another entry door under a small porch for direct access to the kitchen and the mudroom/laundry. The rear elevation opens up to the water with an elevated deck off the sunroom that adjoins the pool area. Another deck at the second floor offers bird’s eye views of the landscape and water. Low plantings soften the edges of the lower deck and pool surround to provide unobstructed peaceful views of the marsh and water.
The main door opens into a spacious entrance hall with cased openings to the living room, family room and dining room. The blue and white interior design throughout the house is fresh and inviting and begins in the living room with its lively blue zigzag patterns of the living room chairs, window treatments, blue lamp shades and accent pillows on the white upholstered pieces. The family room seating has a variety of blue from the leather sofa, striped fabric on the wing chair and valances, rug and chair. One wall has floor to ceiling built-in white millwork with shelves for books and closed storage above and below. I liked how the TV is centered between the rear windows so one can enjoy programs and the views to the landscape and water simultaneously. The sunroom is my favorite room for it is hard to resist its exterior walls of floor to ceiling windows and French doors that blend the inside and the outside. I could easily sink into the rattan chairs with upholstered cushions patterned in oversized knots of blue on a white background for an afternoon of reading. Cased openings connect the sunroom to both the family room and the dining room.
The dining room has wonderful vistas to both the entrance hall up one step and the sunroom windows for views of the landscape. Another cased opening connects the sunroom with the breakfast area and kitchen for an open plan layout. The breakfast area was especially appealing with a mix of seating from a blue upholstered end chair, wood side chairs and the banquette under the bay window with a blue cushion and accent pillows for back support. I envied the spacious kitchen detailed with white cabinets and countertops, upper glass fronted cabinets, stainless steel appliances and the focal point of the range between cabinets on the side wall. Blue accents of the wooden island and the window frames and half French doors completed this stunning look.
The second floor stair hall separates the primary suite from the other two bedrooms and the guest bath. Off the hall is the exterior door to the front porch for all to enjoy. The large primary suite’s bedroom has sleeping and a seating areas and red and white is the predominant theme here from the red valances, table skirt and pillows with white bed linens. The primary bath was a delightful surprise with wallpaper featuring lacey black trees on a white background, white cabinetry, black lavatory and dressing table countertops on white marble floors.
If I were a guest, it would be difficult to choose a favorite bedroom. One bedroom is located at the side gable wall with a shed double window dormer creating space for an oversized chair for bedtime stories with a child. The other bedroom has a black and red design scheme and sloped ceilings with roof windows above knee walls tucked under the roof framing on the third floor.
Great neighborhood in my favorite development, direct access to the Easton-Oxford corridor, appealing traditional architecture whose exterior palette blends seamlessly into the landscape, easy flow among the rooms, ten foot ceilings, moldings, tall windows for sunlight to filter through the trees into the rooms, outdoor spaces of porches, terrace, pool area and upper deck, access to Peachblossom Creek, carriage house containing a one car garage, storage space, one climate controlled work/storage room, 2nd floor office and lean on shed for canoe or garden equipment storage; quality construction by Ebby DuPont and renovation by West and Callahan-hard to resist! Bravo to the Owners for their beautiful interiors.
For more information about this property, contact Cornelia Heckenbach at Long and Foster Real Estate Inc., 410-745-0283 (v), 410-310-1229 (c) or [email protected], “Equal Housing Opportunity”. For more photographs and pricing visit www.stmichaelsmdwaterfront.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by Tyler Lindsey of Home Visit, 361-813-9864, www.Homevisit.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.