The architectural style of this farmhouse is rooted in the Eastern Shore rural vernacular but its detailing and interiors clearly place it firmly in this century. Site, architecture, interiors and landscape combine to create this stunning 5.2 acre property on the Miles River. The traditional farmhouse with its “T” form and end gables, shed roof over the front porch and metal roofing are reinterpreted with sleek and crisp detailing. The cementitious board and batten siding casts shadows as the sun moves around the house to enliven the facades and the imaginative placement of the windows devoid of trim adds great delight.
The front door opens onto a long entrance hall with a staircase at one end. The front door is also on axis with a pair of French doors centered in the rear wall of the living-dining room opposite the hall. Tall windows mark the stair landing and filter light in two directions. Part of the stair wall is also a recessed bookcase. The other end of the entrance hall leads to the service wing, with a powder room that is connected to the spacious mud room, exterior door, pet washing area, and another set of stairs to the second floor.
The rooms at the rear of the house create an open plan oriented to the water. From the living-dining room, French doors lead to a waterside terrace and large floor to ceiling windows along the rest of the rear wall perimeter provide views to the water. The living room seating is arranged around the fireplace with the TV to one side and the raised hearth has wood storage below that adds texture. The dining area’s storage closets with a dropped soffit frame the large island of the kitchen beyond and the vista ends at the triple window over the kitchen sink. Another sitting room projects beyond the rear wall of the house and French doors lead to the waterside terrace. Its large picture window allows additional views of the water from the adjacent kitchen.
The main stairs lead to a playroom at the front of the house opposite the two bedrooms and baths for the children. The office area is above the service wing below and is accessed from the playroom so parents can take breaks from work to join in play time. The master suite contains a large walk-in closet, a luxurious bathroom and the bedroom over the sitting room below has a pitched ceiling and windows on two sides for water views.
The thoughtful detailing of this house is crafted with the highest level of construction and I loved so many details. The trimless doors and windows with thin muntins in a black finish disappear into the landscape beyond. The dramatic wide picture windows from the floor to the underside of the header above on the main floor keep one in tune with nature. The lower run of the main stair is open below the stringer to float above the floor and the crisp detailing of the minimalist handrail in a black finish maintains the transparency. The imaginative design of one child’s bedroom has bunkbeds with the upper bed accessed by a steep stair that continues to a nook overlook above the closet below. The mix of upholstered furnishings, the Noguchi coffee table, Scandinavian chairs, splashes of color in the bedding and the kitchen island stools against the neutral palette of create a highly sophisticated look.
All of the elevations have great character but my favorite was the side elevation with a sliding barn door painted deep red leading to the storage area, two upper windows that are in step with the staircase beyond the wall and the corner window at the stair landing. The simple form of the gable end, the board and batten siding and trimless windows in black frames create a simple yet complex elevation that I could easily imagine being a cover for Architectural Record magazine’s “Record Houses” annual issue.
Stunning definition of the Habitat goal of great site, architecture, interiors and landscape in total harmony. Bravo to the design and construction team!
Architecture: Thompson & Cooke Architects, 202-686-6583 Interiors and Construction: thinkmakebuild, 202-798-5000 Landscape: Loch Collective, 443-569-7290
For more information about this property, contact Brian Gearhart with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-5179(c), or firstname.lastname@example.org, “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.