This two-story craftsman style house was built in 2008 on one of the few remaining lots in St. Michaels’ Historic District. The house setback respects the streetscape and the exterior palette in earthy tones of brown, green and red blends into the landscape. I especially liked the green color of the trim against the texture of the light brown lap siding and the green shutters against the texture of the brick. The property extends to the rear alley where the two-car garage eliminates space for a driveway in the front yard that also maximizes the area for lawn and landscaping added by the current owner.
To break down the massing, the front elevation has a four-bay brick section with a one-story porch that spans over three of the bays with a gable at one end to mark the entrance. The other section of the elevation is a side bay that steps back slightly and is clad in lap siding. This setback sets the stage for a series of clever offsets in the floor plan that define the spaces within the open plan layout while maintaining each space’s boundary as part of the whole. The discovery begins by opening the beautiful pair of custom wood paneled doors into the entry enclosed by the “L” shaped stair and coat closet.
On the day I visited, I was immediately captivated by the interior architecture and the stunning interior design by the owners. High ceilings, wood floors that flow throughout the open plan, long and cross vistas from the entry of the living area, dining area, side porch and through the house to the rear French door create very special spaces. The side porch off the dining area was created by another offset that not only defined the shape of the dining area but also created an inglenook for the living room’s fireplace.
Sunlight filtered through the house from the variety of windows carefully placed to balance views from within and privacy. I especially liked the low window at the stair landing that provided light without views of the neighbor’s windows. In the living room, the entry’s double molding ceiling detail becomes a coffered ceiling that is centered over the wide fireplace mantel. The modern furnishings of white sofas opposite the glass topped coffee table hinted of other delights to discover and the serene light gray walls are the perfect backdrop for the Owners’ art collection.
In addition to the offset, the interior architecture of the living-dining area is enhanced by an opening framed by a single free-standing column at the porch and a pair of columns at the other end of the dining room. The dining table is on axis with the pair of French doors flanked by windows to the terrace with views to a dense row of hollys that rise to the roof eave.
The open circulation space separates the dining room and the kitchen. As I cook, I coveted this stunning kitchen that was part of the current owners’ renovation with its spacious “U” shape, row of windows overlooking the rear landscaping, partial upper cabinets’ glass fronts that added more transparency, wood floors, white cabinets, white tile backsplash, dark countertop and stainless steel appliances. The center island at the boundary of the circulation space has a white quartz countertop for contrast and Modern black cushioned bar stools. My favorite vista through the open plan layout was from the living room fireplace to the dining room and kitchen with carefully placed blue accents in the large artwork at the dining room wall, the coats in the Oriental scene at the entry closet wall, the urn at the stairs and the tones of the artwork at the entry.
Behind the dining room is the main floor bedroom suite that the Owners use as a study with a wall of built-in millwork and furnishings including Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona designs of the chair and daybed in black leather opposite an Eames chair and ottoman. A French door leads to the side terrace opposite a high accent window overlooking the rear landscape. Even the rear mudroom has great style with its cushioned seat, colorful pillows, wall hooks for jackets and built-in millwork with a display of Italian ceramics and posters of Portofino and St. Michaels.
The stairs to the second floor open out onto the TV room between the primary suite at the front of the house and the second bedroom suite and laundry. The luxurious primary bedroom is located over the living room below and also has a fireplace. I loved the airy openness of the pitched ceiling intersected by roof trusses trimmed and painted white against the light mocha gable wall. The thin profile of the “U” shaped bench at the foot of the bed, the millwork that both supports the slanted headboard and provides nightstands on each side of the bed, the blue and white accents of the rugs, ceramics and the fantastic “Lillet” antique poster create a sleek and serene retreat.
As lovely as the other bedroom was with another fantastic antique poster, “Veuve Amiot”, I loved the third floor suite with both double and twin beds, perfect for a family stay. The sloped ceilings create a cozy retreat and the two seats below the dormer windows provide wonderful views of St. Michaels’ rooftops. There is also an office/additional sleeping area at this level.
Between the house and the detached garage are wonderful outdoor rooms created by the current owners and wooden fencing surrounds the spaces for privacy. The hardscape at the kitchen side of the house has weathered teak furnishings for seating and sitting areas. The hardscape continues from the rear door of the house to the garage and separates the relaxation area from the landscaped area. A gate in the fence leads to a paver path that meanders past the row of hollys to the front lawn. Above the garage is an open space that could be another guest suite but is currently furnished as an office. I imagine guests would claim the loft space for its bird’s eye views of the Town below.
It is not often that I find a property that meets all of my criteria of site, architecture, interiors and landscape as this property does that also has the highest quality of construction and materials. Bravissimi to the Owners for their interior design and landscape that enhances the original house!
For more information about this property, contact Skipper Marquess with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Annapolis Church Circle at 410-263-8686 (o) ,410-924-3212 (c) or [email protected]. For a virtual tour, visit https://mls.truplace.com/property/237/95830, “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.