I discovered the charm of Leehaven Road several years ago when I showed a prospective buyer the house across the street from this property. The approach from highway 33 passes by fields that are part of Lee Haven Farm. This pastoral scene is protected from development through a conservation trust. I loved the scale of the architecture of the waterfront properties at the end of the road that reminded me of summer cottages on New York’s Long Island or Nantucket.
Not surprisingly, this charming house began its life as a carriage barn for the Lee Haven Plantation. It was rebuilt in the early 20th century as a summer home for the Henderson family who subsequently rented the property to the Driggs family of New York and Philadelphia. The Driggs soon fell under its spell and purchased the property in 1935. It has remained in their family since that time. I love puns and learned at the time of the purchase, there were six other homes along the road so the Diggs were inspired to christen their home “Seventh Haven”.
The day I visited, I was struck by the peace and quiet from the lack of traffic noise and I was immediately captivated by both the grounds and the house. The 3.7 acres has a long trapezoidal shape along the shoreline of Dixon Creek with western exposure for serene sunsets over the water. The house is nestled in a setting of both towering oak trees and, to the delight of this native Tennessean, dogwoods and other flowering canopy trees for spring color. The rectangular house is perpendicular to the water and as you round the curved driveway the house’s weathered shingles, white trim, multiple low shed dormers over the second floor windows, two-story bay window projection, wrap-around windows of the great room and the stunning second floor porch have great appeal.
The flagstone path leads from the gravel drive to an enclosed porch then to the main entry at the middle of the spacious great room with focal points of the fireplace at one end opposite the wrap-around windows on the water side. The original ceiling joists and posts of the barn portion of the house have a dark stain that accentuates their geometric pattern against the wall planes infilled with drywall. The wood floors, accents of stained beadboard around the fireplace and the wainscot below the living room windows enhance the cottage look. The ceiling may seem low to some but the room is wide and long and when you are seated under the wrap-around windows to enjoy the water view, your thoughts are easily diverted away from the ceiling height.
The kitchen was renovated with new craftsman style cabinets and quartz countertops and the dining area with the bay window with water views would cause one to linger over any meal. Behind the kitchen is an enclosed porch, currently used for firewood storage with another entry door to the house. This space offers many possibilities-laundry/mud room/powder room attached to a new garage, or additions of a family room or main floor bedroom suite. The cleared area at this side of the house would be a great spot for a waterside pool.
The single window shed dormers add sunlight to the second floor hall at the top of the stairs with the stained barn framing infilled with drywall that continues the first floor’s interior design scheme. Two of the bedrooms are located at the gable end walls for extra headroom. The primary bedroom suite is located at the water side with the bed positioned under a slightly deep alcove. Glass sliding doors flanked by full-height windows lead to the porch for views of the pier, water and the Osprey nest. On summer nights, I would be tempted to claim the porch as my bedroom to sleep under the stars. The other bedroom suite is at the opposite end of the house and has a fireplace and a seating area underneath the bay window for water views stacked over the dining area’s bay window below. The bath is located off the hall and is shared by the middle third bedroom. The middle bedroom would make a great TV room for the two other bedrooms.
It is not often that one finds a property where the past renovations have already fixed the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, insulation, windows, exterior sheathing, etc. issues that consume a renovation budget. This unique property awaits the finishing touches the next owner wishes to make this house their true “seventh heaven”.
For more information about this property, contact Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty, Inc, at 410-822-7556 (o) 410-310-5745 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.shorelinerealty.biz , “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.