The design of this charming house was a labor of love between the husband and wife. Working in sync, the husband’s focus was the floor plan layout and architectural style while the wife, a very talented artist, turned her creative eye to the interiors. The site is surrounded by mature trees and plantings for privacy and there are water views between the houses across the road. The center wing of the house has a deep front porch that spans the full length of the house and the arrangement of doors and windows is quite pleasing. The front French door is balanced by a dormer window above, the middle five-unit French sliding doors is balanced by a triple window dormer above and at the other end the main floor’s single window has a dormer window above. Two one-story wings step down on each side of the center wing for a very appealing composition.
The floor plan works very well with an offset center hall that has entry doors at the front and the rear. The front French door has full sidelights and a transom that opens into the two-story entrance hall. The rear door is accessed from a small porch and leads to the mud room and kitchen. To the left of the front entrance hall is a spacious living room with tall 6/9 windows at the front and side and a fireplace. I loved the taupe wall color that is the perfect backdrop for the collection of her art as well as that of her fellow artists.
A wide wall opening leads to the dining room with its tall windows covered by plantation shutters. A colorful Oriental rug anchors the beautiful wood dining table and chairs and above the side table is a collection of blue and white ceramics in a shallow plate rack that creates a colorful vista from the living room. Between the dining room and the mud room is a short hall for pantry with closets. I truly craved the kitchen with my favorite “L” shape and island arrangement with the island’s high counter for bar stools open to the family room. I especially liked the full height built-in breakfront at one end of the room with drawers below and glass fronted upper cabinets that displayed more beautiful ceramics. The white cabinets have period hardware and dark countertops that contrast with the wood floors. Clearly the kitchen that is open to the informal dining area and a seating area in front of another fireplace and bookcases is the hub of the house, with sliding French doors to access the front porch. Another French door leads to the screened porch that is sized for sitting and dining.
My favorite room is the cozy space next to the great room. How could one resist a daybed with comfortable pillows for stretching out with a good book selected from the bookcases between the tall window? The mocha walls, white built-ins and colorful accessories would make a great backdrop for a languid afternoon. The remainder of the ground floor contains two bedrooms and two baths, one of which has an exterior door to the deck and screened porch.
The master suite covers the entire second floor and at the top of the stair landing is a sitting area with a TV. Direct sunlight from two dormer windows and indirect light from the two-story entry’s window create an inviting space; however, I was immediately distracted by the five-story Edwardian style dollhouse in the corner of the room. During their stay in London for her husband’s business, the owner became interested in dollhouses. This was another labor of love-her husband built the shell and installed electricity. The wife spent three years accumulating the initial furnishings and accessories in keeping with the Edwardian era theme. I was most impressed when she told me she had painted the exterior brick façade, complete with its Flemish bond pattern-keep in mind dollhouses are built 1”=1-0’ and a brick is nominally 4” x 8”!
Off the sitting area is the master bedroom with a water view from the triple-unit windows under the shed dormer. The splendid master bathroom spans the full depth of the house next to the large dressing room. The center door to the master bedroom separates the room into two areas with windows at each end. On the opposite wall, a storage tower separates the two lavatory areas, one with a lower counter for a make-up area.
The large artist’s studio over the living and dining rooms has a triple north-facing window on the gable side and two other windows for daylight. This could easily become a playroom or separated into two offices.
I always love featuring homes of artists-they understand color and texture and have an innate talent for interior design. The artist owner’s selection of wall colors, rugs, furnishings and accessories, enhanced by her own art and works by fellow artists, has created a home with an air of timeless elegance. Brava!
For more information about this property, contact Joan Wetmore with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6702 (o), 410-924-2432 (c) or JoanWetmore@msn.com. For more photographs and pricing visit www.meredithfineproperties.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Photography by Janelle Stroup, Though the Lens Photos, 845-744-2758, janelleathruthelensphotos.comItalian ceramics are available locally at Simpatico, Italy’s Finest, 106 Railroad Ave., St. Michaels, 410-745-0345.
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.