My last featured house in Royal Oak was the Modernist interior renovation of the late architect Mark Beck’s residence located on the main road. Today’s feature is, as Monty Python would say, something completely different: a twenty acre farm in Royal Oak on Irish Creek. I drove down a gravel driveway lined with tall grass that soon opened up to lawns gently sloping down to over one thousand feet of shoreline. I passed a family cemetery and the dates on the old headstones ties the land to several generations who once called this property home.
The main house was built in 1962 with its linear plan parallel to the shoreline. The stylish renovation that was recently completed takes maximum advantage of the views of water with a backdrop of wooded lots across the creek. The renovation increased the total gsf to over 5,200 including a range of outdoor rooms to enjoy the peaceful setting. From the front porch to a connected series of spaces that stretch across the rear of the house ranging from the covered dining terrace, enclosed sunroom and an open deck, the water is always visible.
The massing of the story and a half house is enhanced by a long shed dormer across the full length of the front elevation that meets the low sloped roof that covers both the front porch and additional interior space. At one end of the porch is the main entry door and at the other end is another door to the mud room. Steps lead down from the mud room door to a hardscaped walkway to blend into the in-ground pool surround. The rear elevation’s long windows and sliding doors at the main floor and double window dormers in the roof provide broad water views. The board and batten siding casts shadow lines upon the facades and the color palette of light gray siding, crisp white trim, gray tones of the higher roof and the slightly darker gray metal roofing over the additions create a very appealing composition against the green of the towering deciduous trees.
The house’s layout is two rooms deep and the easy flow among the rooms begins with the entry foyer with the stairs to the second floor. One side of the stairs overlooks the living room with beautiful wide plank flooring milled from trees on the property and finished in a medium brown stain. The side wall is detailed with a wide expanse of brick for the fireplace and another opening for wood storage. The warm earth toned brick blends with the stained wood mantel across the full length of the brick wall. The exposed stained rafters and post and beam construction create a great room for relaxing with views of the water from the wide pairs of sliding doors to the deck. At the front wall, a pair of French doors leads to a room furnished as an office with the desk positioned on axis with the sliding doors of the living room for water views.
The spacious gourmet kitchen is clearly the hub of the house with its location between the great room and dining room and overlooks the adjacent sunroom through a long cased opening. The creamy white cabinets accented by the darker wood island’s overhang to accommodate four generously sized upholstered bar seating, stainless steel appliances and contemporary hardware create a sleek look. The dining room was staged with a round table in the center of the room which accentuates the room’s size that could easily accommodate large family celebrations and the wainscot around the perimeter of the room of moldings adds texture. The pair of sliding doors to the adjacent dining terrace and the side double windows offer diagonal views of the landscape and water.
Sunrooms are usually my favorite rooms and this long sunroom is a perfect space to spend the afternoon relaxing on the sectional sofa. I noticed that the room is three steps below the kitchen so the cook has unobstructed views of the water from the wide wall opening to the sunroom since the sunroom furniture is below the sill of the wall opening. The remainder of the first floor contains a large mud room off the front porch for easy clean up after an afternoon in the pool or on the water and one en suite bedroom.
The second floor is zoned very well with two identical primary suites at each side gable walls of the house. High windows leave wall space below for a headboard and the double window dormers have built-in seats just waiting for cushions and accent pillows for cozy nooks overlooking the water. One ensuite is beautifully staged and I coveted the bath with a large, tiled shower and freestanding soaking tub. Between the two ensuites are two other guest bedrooms, bath, laundry and loft.
The property also includes a detached two-car garage plus storage areas and a workshop, a one-bedroom guest/caretaker cottage that has a half bath to serve as the pool bathroom/laundry for drying towels and bathing suits, beautiful gardens and walking trails that pass a spring fed pond. Nature lovers would be intrigued that local birders recently identified thirty-seven species of birds!
This is an ideal house for a family and the first floor ensuite offers the option to age in place. The property would also be a great vacation rental.
Bravo to the team of Dave and Bobi Dodd for their vision and stylish renovation!
For more information about this property, contact Debra Crouch with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-924-0771 (c) or email@example.com . For more pictures and pricing, visit https://debracrouch.bensonandmangold.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.