Earlier this year I wrote an article about how I greatly admired the work of William Draper Brinckloe, an architect who lived in Easton from 1911-1933. I illustrated the article with photographs of his six enchanting Period cottages that are located in Easton’s Historic District. Part of my research was reading his book “A Small Home.”At the end of the book, he wrote that he was leaving his farm in the country on Peachblossom Creek and designing a cottage for him and his family in downtown Easton. His new home became known as “Dutch Cottage.”
Brinckloe sited the house parallel to a stream that at the time he designed his home bisected the property which gave the house privacy from the street. The wood fencing that surrounds the property has weathered beautifully and blends into the landscape. A meandering brick path crosses over the small bridge above a current small fishpond and the surrounding mature trees give one the illusion of living in the country.
I love the massing and materials of this charming cottage with the first floor’s gray/blue stucco walls, multi-paned windows and light pink shutters; the steeply pitched roof with architectural shingles punctuated by several shed dormers for the second floor rooms and how the flared roof profile creates deep overhangs. A seamless addition by a subsequent owner enhances the massing by extending beyond the original footprint.
The current owner replaced the solid wood front door with a French door to give more light into the small foyer. I think Brinckloe would approve since it brings sunlight into the small space and creates a lovely vista to the landscaping from the interior of the house. The foyer leads to a spacious wood paneled room with corner windows, built-in bookcases and a fireplace at the one end with Delft tiles surrounding the firebox. The current owners also use this room as their dining room. Brinckloe cleverly hid the heating radiators behind vertical slots in the wood paneling and the darker wood paneling contrasts well with the lighter wood floors.
What was once an exterior door off the dining room now opens into the family room addition with a pitched ceiling above dramatic stained roof trusses. Wide windows on three sides bring sunlight throughout the day. The addition tucks under part of the second floor and the original first floor exterior Dutch door and window and the stained glass window above are delightful reminders of the original design.
Wood doors with upper wooden spindles separate the dining room from another sitting room with a fireplace. A short hall off this room accesses a bedroom and bath and the stairs to the second floor. At the landing, the stairs turn in two directions to access the front and rear rooms; a clever idea to eliminate hallways.
The kitchen is in the center of the house next to a cozy breakfast area with two windows and a French door leading to the covered terrace. The living room, dining room and bedroom all have a pair of French doors with multi-paned glass above a wood panel for access to the landscape.
The second floor bedrooms have a combination of one, two and three unit windows for sunlight. The dormer windows with storage below recessed into the eave space and the pitched ceilings add interior architectural character. Like Goldilocks, I think that the spacious corner master bedroom was “just right” with its sitting area beneath the gable window and the dormer triple window that divides the room into the sitting and sleeping areas. The wood floors, bright blue walls, white trim, crisp white bed linens and the antique wood pieces create a serene space.
A detached garage off the rear alley with off-site parking has a second floor studio and I could easily imagine an artist being inspired by this lovely setting. Walking through this charming house made me appreciate even more Brinckloe’s genius. I envy the next lucky owner of this architectural gem!
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@example.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
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.