When I saw the aerial for this charming waterside home on Dogwood Creek leading to the Chesapeake Bay, I realized the house had started its life as a prefabricated structure. The simple rectangular shape had been opened up to the panoramic water views with an addition of a screened porch that wrapped around the facades facing the water. Single sloped roofing cover the porches for a low country look and the simple plain Vanilla design was transformed into Neapolitan. The house is nestled near the top of a knoll that gently slopes down to the water and groupings of mature trees on both sides of the house and tall native grasses at the water’s edge provide privacy from the neighboring houses. The grounds are a blend of expanses of lawn enhanced by plantings inspired by British gardens.
I especially liked how the detailing of the horizontal framing grid for the screened panels was carefully thought out. At the porch interior, there is a low solid wall with a horizontal bar slightly above to maximize the panel sizes for panoramic water views and for seated privacy. The porch’s spacious size creates space for both sitting and dining areas as well as play space on a rainy day. Along the long wall facing the water, a low “window” seat with cushions is no doubt the favorite place for young children or family pets. The porch has an outdoor kitchen and a screened door leading to the adjacent deck for grilling.
The driveway approach leads up to the short side of the house framed by a giant Magnolia. The front door opens into the open plan living-dining-kitchen area with filtered sunlight from the side wall’s single windows next to the front door and the pair of sliding doors flanking the wood-burning fireplace. The TV is strategically placed at the corner of the room between one pair of the sliding doors and a window so one can enjoy both watching TV and also the water views. The dining area easily accommodates six people but with a drop leaf or other expandable table, larger family celebrations could also be accommodated.
The “U” shaped kitchen has plenty of workspace and the wood cabinets echo the warmth of the wood floors. The wide double-unit window over the range provides the cook with water views. The contemporary cabinet style with sleek chrome hardware and the darker quartz countertops complete the look. I would prefer to have the sink under the windows instead of its location on the side wall since I tend to spend more time in food preparation than I do standing over the range. One could also add open shelving along the end wall for frequently used items or a wall hung pot rack.
The floor plan’s center hall divides the public area of living-dining-kitchen from the private area of bedrooms and baths. A wide cased opening leading to the center hall is on axis with one pair of the sliding doors in the living room for a vista through to the water. To maximize each bedroom’s interior layout, the doors open against a wall; however, in the primary bath, I would change the door from the primary bedroom to the bath into a pocket door. This is an easy fix and would free up the floor area in the bathroom.
The corner primary bedroom has a dressing area next to the bathroom that is offset from the bedroom. The sleeping area has two windows at one wall and the pair of sliding doors on the other wall leading to the screened porch for water views or for a nightcap before turning in. Another good floor plan detail is the hall bath’s layout that is shared by the two guest rooms. The door opens against the W/D closet in the hall so the corner of the closet provides privacy for the toilet and shower area behind the closet. The lavatory cabinet is long enough for space for each guest’s toiletries on either side of the center lavatory.
Great waterfront site with a pier to access Dogwood Harbor leading to the Chesapeake Bay, one level living with a compact floor plan enhanced by a spacious wrap-around porch for warm weather relaxing and al-fresco dining, upgraded kitchen, upgraded bathrooms with new cabinetry, granite countertops, tiled and glass fronted showers, new carpets in all three bedrooms. Other property features include an encapsulated crawlspace, an extensive drainage system and rip rapped shoreline, a kayak and garden shed between the deck and the main house, a detached studio with electric and a smaller storage shed by the parking area. Great vacation house or a perfect retirement home!
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”. For more photographs and pricing visit www.stmichaelsmdwaterfront.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Photography by HomeVisit, http://www.homevisit.com/, 703-953-3866
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.