House of the Week: Royal Oak Perfection


There are probably not enough superlatives in Webster’s dictionary to describe this spectacular site, house and interiors for how many synonyms are there for “perfection”?  As I approached the house along the entry drive flanked by trees, I noted the linear footprint of the house and how part of the length is angled to embrace this waterfront site. The rear elevation shows how the two-story wings are separated by links that cleverly breaks down the massing to one-story wings at each end of the house. The Owner graciously gave me a tour and I learned the main wing was built in 1990 and the subsequent addition of the guest wing/garage followed in 2007.

The floor plan is zoned very well with the main wing containing the entrance hall, kitchen, family room, den and gallery with a breakfast area. The family room with its stone fireplace has a rear wall with a wide elliptical arched opening that connects it to the gallery and water views beyond. The brick-floored gallery is a wonderful space with its row of French doors and elliptical transoms for panoramic views of the water. There is both a seating area and a bay window with a window seat and chairs around a table for casual dining.

The story and a half-wing with the  butler’s pantry, potting room, short hall and screened porch leads to the living room beyond. The soaring two-story ceiling, sunlight from the front and rear windows, dormer windows, deep auburgine walls and full height stone fireplace and chimney gives the living room great interior architecture. On the other side of the living room, another short hall with doors at the front and back leads to the guest suite behind the garage with a sitting room and kitchen. Two bedrooms and two baths are located upstairs.

At the opposite end of the house, the geometry of the stunning solarium with its chamfered rear corners, glass walls and glass roof connects to the gallery and to the master bedroom suite. The master bedroom has a high pitched ceiling and views to the water through the wide rear wall opening to the solarium. Above the center wing of the house are three additional bedrooms, two baths and a third room used as an office. The office has its own stair that leads to the living room below and French doors give access to the deck along the rear of the house for the office and the rear bedrooms.

After walking through the house to understand the floor plan and the flow, I returned to each room to savor the exquisite interior design. I later learned from the listing agent who accompanied me that the interiors were the result of the Owner’s innate sense of design and style. The solarium was clearly my favorite room due to its geometry, transparency and orientation for breathtaking sunsets.

I also loved the charm of the smaller service spaces. The dressing room of the master suite with its blue walls of alternating dark and light vertical stripes, the white dressing table and soft patterned window valances is a serene space to start and end the day. The butler’s pantry could service any size party and the charming potting shed would entice anyone to become a Master Gardener.

The chef’s kitchen has a painted black and white checkerboard floor and warm wood cabinets that contrasted with the lighter wood of the island.  The mirror above the sink above the side wall was a clever way to add perspective to an interior wall and the mirror reflects the decorative tile over the range on the opposite wall.

One of the second floor bedrooms was a serene space with its small scaled patterned wallpaper, window treatments and bed linens. The  master suite’s blue and white color scheme, white bed linens and floral upholstered pieces was a restful retreat.

As I left this exquisite house, I took a final look back at the solarium to make sure Ms. Scarlett wasn’t waiting there with the revolver tucked into her clutch purse….


For more information about this property, contact Laura Carney with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0415 (o), 410-310-3307 (c) or, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by Jim McKee of BroadView Concepts

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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