I am quite familiar with this charming property since it went under contract during the time I visited the neighborhood to look for my new home. The property still appeals to me for its private setting surrounded by landscaping, mature trees and extensive protected woods across the road provide a peaceful view from the front porch. I also like the detached screened pavilion and the two-roomed greenhouse in the rear landscape that I had envisioned making one side my office and keeping the other space as a greenhouse. Water features add sound to the landscape and as I walked around the rear of the property I discovered the koi pond partially shaded by a tall Japanese maple with a heron sculpture standing guard. The Owners are obviously more attentive gardeners than I am as the decks are filled with pots of colorful flowers and bonsai. Beyond the koi pond is an enormous fig tree that will bear fruit very soon.
Two tall crape myrtles flank the sidewalk to the street and the house’s classic exterior color palette of white lap siding and trim with deep green shutters stands out against the green landscape. I chuckled when I saw the bronze plaque next to the door that reads “On This Site in 1897 Nothing Happened” and anticipated other clever surprises within. The typical Farmhouse floor plan has the center door opening opposite the stairs to the second floor. The stone flooring between the front door and the first stair riser is a perfect “walk-off” mat and divides the sitting room on the right from the dining room on the left.
The sitting room has a fireplace with windows on each side opposite a wall of built-in millwork for the TV and shelves ready for books, collectibles and family photographs. Another window at the front of the room brings additional sunlight and makes this a very pleasant space to call “home” as the letters over the mantel declare. The dining room has front and side windows and a half French door to the adjacent part of the porch that has been infilled for use as a laundry and storage. The period details of white beadboard wainscot and the beautiful wood floors add character and the chimney between the door and the rear wall creates a nook for the sideboard below another window. The wood table and Windsor chairs set the scene for dining with family and friends. The accents of art, especially my favorite Toulouse Lautrec poster of the Moulin Rouge, add finishing touches.
The white beadboard wainscot wraps around the wide cased opening to the kitchen with its “L” and island layout that leaves room for a sitting area by the wood stove for guests to keep the cook company. In addition to the white bead board wainscot, the painted tin ceiling adds texture and the vertical soffit above the upper cabinets is the perfect spot for the high velocity AC supply vents. I appreciated how the original cabinets were saved and painted with upgrades of the countertop of granite squares and the tumbled marble backsplash. The wood countertop on the island is a pleasant contrast and is the perfect surface for making pastry. Another half French door leads to the filled in area of the porch.
Off the kitchen is a room with base cabinetry and sliding doors leading to the deck and gardens. I would be tempted to install undercounter washer and dryer units in this space to create a laundry/mud room next to the full bath for easy clean-up after an afternoon of gardening. The infilled part of the porch with the wrap-around windows and the doors to both the dining room and the kitchen could then become a great sunroom.
The second floor stair landing expands into a space that makes a quiet office with a side window for visual breaks between computer work. Behind the stairs is a nook for storage and the room’s sloped ceiling meets the flat area of the ceiling to create a space for cabinet doors to access the attic area for more storage. Both the full bath and one bedroom face the front of the house and the rear bedroom is located in the rear “L” of the floor plan. I loved the bath finishes of deep slate walls, multicolored slate flooring and the front and side windows for sunlight. A recycled wood table now has another life as a stylish lavatory with small multicolored tiles for the countertop and larger triangular tiles for the backsplash behind the white vessel lavatory bowl.
Both bedrooms take advantage of the gable roof framing to create high ceilings with storage units at the window height in each room. One bedroom is painted a deep mint green and the other bedroom is painted the color I chose for my own bedroom, a deep caramel color. This bedroom faces the rear landscape and has windows on all three sides for sunlight to filter through the trees. The rear wall is cleverly designed around the flue to the kitchen wood stove below with windows and seats next to built-in shelving. This bedroom has a view from one of the rear windows on axis with the deck to the koi pond below.
Perfect weekend retreat and with a few more finishing touches to one’s taste, this property would become a great family home. Our neighborhood would gladly welcome another family to enjoy our amenities of launching kayaks from our boat ramp, shopping at the Wittman Seafood Market and picnics in the public park.
For more information about this property contact Dawn Lednum with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus LLC at 410-745-6702 (o) 410-829-3603 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org,. For more pictures and pricing, visit www.cbreplus.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.