It is sometimes challenging for me to balance my selection of houses that illustrate the rich character of our area’s historic architecture with contemporary designs so I was especially pleased to find this week’s feature. On the day I visited, I drove through a wooded site with sunlight filtering through the treetops and arrived at this three-storied post and beam contemporary design that was built in 1983. The house is sited parallel to the shoreline of a quiet cove of Broad Creek with a solar orientation that must provide beautiful sunrises. The exterior color palette of light olive green textured siding and the deep purple brown of the exposed structure and trim combined with the third floor gambrel roofs with dormer windows create a striking design. At the entry side of the house, the gambrel roof eave projects from the wall and scales down to intersect the pedimented roof over the front door.
The floor plan is a “coastal” design with a full flight of steps from the gravel driveway to the main level. The stair landing leads to the elevated pool deck and the steps continue to the entry door at the side of the house. Before I went in, I was first drawn to the screened porch with its front two-storied wall and its rear one-story wall with a gambrel roof that creates a delightful enclosure for outdoor dining. The entry deck wraps around the screened porch and enlarges into a deeper deck that spans across the living and dining area. I loved how the house’s post and beam structural framing extends over the deck to create a pergola that defines the three-dimensional space. From this height above the ground, the house feels like a treehouse nestled into the canopy of trees. The deck width changes again to wrap around the side of the house ending at a French door at the main floor master suite. Another flight of steps leads down from the deck to the seating area around the firepit at the waterside lawn near the pier.
The sliding doors off the deck lead to the open plan living-dining-kitchen area full of sunlight from the window walls and the exposed beams and decking painted white to better reflect the light. The interior details of the sculptural wood stair that spirals up to the second floor, the stained trim around the windows that was slightly darker than the beautiful wood floors, the window header detail that overhangs the jamb trim, and the owners’ stylish craftsman interiors with antique accents made me want to linger.
However, being a cook, I was drawn to the exquisite kitchen that was the work of the current owners. The design features of the white Amish crafted cabinets that contrast with the gray-green veined granite countertops with rough hewn edges, the eclectic mix of hammered metal drawer pulls of round knobs, cutlery and animal styles and the light aqua-green subway tiled backsplash is a cook’s dream. I especially liked their clever idea of extending the backsplash around the sides of the range hood up the wall to the door header height. This extra space on either side of the stainless steel range hood holds stainless steel hanging racks containing the most frequently used cooking utensils. Double French doors conveniently lead to the adjacent screened porch for serving meals.
Behind the living room is the spacious primary suite with the sitting area offset from the sleeping area. The cozy sitting area has a fireplace with speakers hidden in the Craftsman style fireplace surround. The interior walls that define this space have additional perspective from the seascape over the mantel and the Gothic style window frame on the wall above the sofa. The antique wood chest has a new life as a coffee table and the cream colored upholstered sofa with colorful accent pillows create the perfect spot to unwind from the day. The short hall leading to the primary bath is lined with built-in millwork with an uplit top that must be a great nightlight opposite the closet wall. The primary bath has dual pedestal sinks with beautiful mirrors of hammered silver inlaid with small colorful Mexican tiles.
The sculptural spiral stair beckoned me for further exploration and I was eager to explore the loft overlooking the living-dining area. This stunning space has sloped window walls that infill the shape of the gambrel roof and wrap round the Owner’s “corner office” with fabulous views to the landscape and the water.
The two guest bedrooms are located at opposite corners of this floor for privacy with the shared bath off the hall. I liked how the rear corner bedroom had the same gambrel wall shape infilled with glass as the “corner office”. I then realized the two walls were indeed “bookends”, separated from each other by the exterior wall’s offset. The rear guest bedroom has a minimalist look with an accent of a lacy screen as a headboard behind the platform bed. The other guest bedroom has a dormer window inset into the gambrel shape and its carved bed frame has creamy white linens and a beautiful multicolored quilt composed of triangular designs.
The architect Le Corbusier once said “Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep”. Walking through these exquisite rooms enhanced by the Owners’ stylish interiors, with the outlooks through the glass walls to the trees to the water, I was reminded of his wise observation that this house clearly embodies-Bravo!
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 email@example.com,. 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.