Looking back on the five years I have been writing Houses of the Week, Easton’s S. Harrison Street has been the street I have featured most often. It is easy to understand why-its range of historic houses from Brinkloe’s Cotswold type cottage, several Victorians, a Dutch Colonial and a Classic Colonial continue to inspire me. I have often passed by today ‘s feature, “Covington House” so it was a special treat to tour this magnificent property. The lot spans from S. Harrison St. to the alley named Tylers Lane. The graceful circular driveway leads to the house that is sited back from the street and as I walked along the drive I enjoyed views of the house from several angles.
Before I went in, I paused to fully appreciate the beauty of the front elevation with its harmonious blend of Georgian symmetry, pedimented front porch and multi paned windows combined with Craftsman elements of the roof eave brackets, shake siding and attic shed dormers. The exterior palette of white siding, black shutters and the stained wood entry door is classic. I loved the symmetry of the three-bay house with the porch leading to the front door in the center bay flanked by identical end bays of a wide window on the main floor below two windows above. Red brick steps lead up the front porch with the pedimented roof supported by Doric columns and pilasters at the front wall. Instead of a handrail, benches float above the ground between the columns. Above the ridge of the pedimented roof are a center window and two smaller side windows below the deep soffit detailed with eave brackets protruding from the cornice board. Two shed dormers placed in the hipped roof complete the elegant composition.
The gracious sequence of entering the house continues from the entry porch to a shallow vestibule open to the foyer. I admired how the soffit beam curved to meet the wall at each end and how the molding at the spring line defines the boundary of wallpaper below and paint above. I was not surprised to learn that one of the Owners, who is an artist, added the molding that was the perfect decorative touch. The foyer is the circulation hub of the house with its location between the living and dining rooms, side hall and the stairs. The French doors in the rooms around the foyer and the full sidelights at the front door filter sunlight into the space. Opposite the stairs is the elevator, cleverly disguised by a frameless door camouflaged in the wallcoverings. The rear wall of the foyer contains the staircase and the cozy room named “The Snug”, perfectly sized for watching TV a-deux with a view through the triple windows overlooking the lawn and gardens. The living room spans the full depth of the house and has two seating areas, one grouping around the wide front window and the other grouping around the fireplace at the rear wall. The adjacent sunroom began its life as a porch but a previous owner had seamlessly infilled the bays between the Doric columns with windows, moldings to conceal the window coverings tracks and raised paneling below. These two rooms create a wonderful entertaining area.
The focal point of the elegant dining room is the majestic crystal chandelier installed by a former owner above the current Owners’ beautiful antique furnishings. Off the dining room is a spacious pantry that once was a second stair but now stores china and serving pieces. Behind the butler pantry is the mud room with an exterior door and the kitchen-breakfast area. I love checkerboard patterned flooring in kitchens and when I complimented the Owner on the colors and the softness of the material of her flooring she told me it was a “Marmoleum (marbleized linoleum)” product. The checkerboard scale was perfect for the size of the room and the white cabinets, upper cabinets to the underside of the ceiling, earth toned granite countertops, olive green molding and window trim, accents of the stainless steel stove and the diamond patterned backsplash, blue and white ceramics and upholstery creates a kitchen this cook coveted.
The second floor contains three bedrooms, two diagonally opposite each other at corners of the house so either one could be the primary bedroom. One bedroom has beautiful rose patterned wallpaper, a bed with an openwork canopy over the wood bed frame and an oversize chair and ottoman. Matching rose floral fabric cover the valances of the adjacent bath and the background color is used for the walls of the claw foot tub. The other bedroom has a blue and white color scheme and is furnished with two beds with the same openwork canopy opposite the fireplace on the rear wall.
As appealing as the second floor guest room was, I would remain in the elevator until it stopped at the attic level to claim the bedroom tucked under the hipped roof. The elevator opens into the book lined stair landing that is a mini library as a foyer for the bedroom. The bedroom’s charming interior architecture from the knee walls and deep recesses to the front and rear wide shed dormer windows. Below the front dormer window is a cushioned seat where one is apt to find a canine or feline family member taking a nap. The spacious room is furnished with a sleigh bed and a crib for family visits and a table a-deux for watching TV or enjoying a leisurely breakfast. I liked how the wallpaper’s vertical stripes around the knee walls emphasizes the room’s height and ends at the spring line for the sloped ceiling planes. A walk-in closet encourages guests’ expanded stays.
The lower level is climate controlled for safe, dry storage. The main laundry is located here near the elevator and there is also space for a gym and half bath. Being sports challenged, my choice of exercise would be strolls around the lovely lawn and gardens surrounding the side and rear of the house. A summer sojourn in France long ago gave me a love of topiary and parterre and the exquisite parterre garden at the side of the house has a Lutyens bench on one side for rest and enjoyment of the landscape’s symmetrical pattern. In the rear yard, serpentine low hedges define planting areas. At one corner of the yard is a pergola floating over a deck’s seating area with lattice walls for privacy with the floor curvature matching the edge of the circular pool. The Owner told me she had been inspired by the two oriel windows in the house to use that shape for the pool.
The property originally had two double garages connected by a smaller wing. One original garage remains opening onto the alley next to the addition for the Owner/Artist’s studio. The rest of the building is a spacious office suite for the other Owner and I reflected how the two Owners must have cheerfully endured Covid quarantines in such comfortable and stylish workspaces.
In the middle of the rear landscape are two small sheds with a gate to the alley. The space along the edge of the alley paving has been transformed with a high solid privacy fence enhanced with plantings and a terrace-not your average alley view!
I know realtors can be accused of “puffing”, (exaggerating a property’s appeal) but to fully appreciate this property, visit the link at the end of the article and savor the beauty of a stunning balance of architecture, interiors and landscape-Bravo!
For more information about this property, contact Long and Foster Real Estate agents Martha Suss at 410-770-3600 (o), 410-310-4856 (c), or email@example.com, or Annie Witte Raymond at 410-310-9387 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs and pricing, visit
https://www.longandfoster.com/homes-for-sale/211-S-Harrison-Street-Easton-MD-21601-323778142 , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.