Once again I return to Brookletts Avenue, one of my favorite streets in Easton’s Historic District, with its generous width shaded by mature trees, sidewalks for daily exercise and majestic houses like this one with its unusual materials and details. It would be difficult to walk past this gem without pausing, as I did, to admire its front elevation. I loved the symmetry of the three-bay façade with the center door surrounded by wide and long windows on two floors, the center dormer with two windows at the third floor, the wrap-around porch with its dark metal roof broken by a gable to mark the front entrance and the color palette of the soft brown façade accented with white trim and black shutters.
When I walked up to the front door I was amazed to discover that the façade was not stone but was decorative block with limestone header and sills for the windows. Decorative block was very popular in the 1930’s for its low maintenance, fireproofing and availability in many shapes and sizes. I especially liked the size of these blocks with hints of exposed aggregate and recessed narrow mortar joints that mercifully have never been painted! Another surprise was to find that the bay windows stacked on the two floors ends in a turret that pierces the roof eaves. Perhaps a homesick Anglophile asked for that unusual detail many years ago-one will never know! It is very fortunate that over the past sixteen years this house has been lovingly and extensively renovated and enhanced under the watchful eye of owner Daniel Arnold, of Daniel Arnold Historic Restoration & Custom Renovation. No detail was too minor, beginning with the black steel fence around the front of the property.
The deep front porch is the ultimate outdoor room with mahogany flooring, light aqua slat ceiling with fans for humid days and rattan chairs for relaxing and greeting neighbors on their daily walks. The elegant front entrance of double doors, sidelights and transom opens to a small vestibule surrounded in filigreed patterned wallpaper that is perfectly scaled for this small space. Another door opens into the center hall that is articulated by a graceful elliptical arch with side brackets over the stairs that beautifully defines the public and private spaces. Wide doorways lead from the hall to both the living room and the dining room.
The living room seating is grouped around the front and side windows facing the wood-burning fireplace and built-in millwork. On the other side is a passage to a side entry door opposite the powder room that leads to the rear corner room currently used as an office. The focal point of the dining room is the wide bay window wall with white wainscot and warm caramel colored wall above. The mix of the Scandinavian style dining table and chairs with antique sideboard and corner cabinet and art set the scene for lingering over dinner. As a cook, I coveted this kitchen that has been transformed by revamping the space and adding new cabinetry, quartz countertops, tile flooring and stainless steel appliances. I admired how the creamy taupe walls were a backdrop for the creamy white cabinets and the contemporary bar stools at the island were a deft touch. Behind the kitchen is the screened porch, sunroom and laundry.
The four bedrooms on the second floor are located at each corner of the house so each room has at least two windows for abundant light. Both baths were renovated and I especially liked the master bath with its large white tiles in a textured pattern behind the glass shower door, gray tiled floor and dark stained lavatory cabinetry and mirror frame. The integral bowl carved into the solid surface cabinet top completes the sleek contemporary look. The “Rapunzel” of the family is the lucky occupant of the bay-window room under the crenelated tower and I imagined her seated at the dressing table in the bay combing her long tresses. The center hall ends at the rear door to the deck above the one-story sunroom-screened porch and is delightful outdoor room to overlook the rear yard with the landscape and hardscape.
The third floor is a blank slate for myriad uses and has a new stair for ease of access. The HVAC was thoughtfully installed to maximize the floor space with the ductwork around the perimeter. Sunlight steams in from the double windows in the dormers at the front and back of the roof. If this space is not needed for storage there is also a basement.
Wonderful architecture that contains some of my favorite styles or elements-without the rear addition, the house is an American Four-Square, with touches of Colonial Georgian windows and deep Craftsman style eaves with the unique tower, beautiful interior oak floors on the main floor and pine on the second floor, original moldings and doors-simply magnificent-bravo to the Owner/Builder who restored this gem!
For more information about this property contact Janet Larson with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-6665 (o), 410-310-1797 (c) or email@example.com. For more photographs and pricing visit www.shoremove.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by Janelle Stroop, 845-744-2758, Janelle@Thruthelensphotos.com Construction by Daniel Arnold Historic Restoration Custom Renovation, 410-822-3240, FB @DanielArnoldHisotricRenovation.
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.
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