I have featured many houses on Harrison Street in the heart of Easton’s Historic District and this one is very special for it meets all my criteria-site, architecture, interiors and landscape. The site is prominently located on a corner double lot above a slight rise in grade that creates a backdrop for continuous landscaping at the street elevations. The house is further elevated with steps from the Town sidewalk to the wrap-around porch for relaxing and enjoying the summer shade. Several of my friends who live nearby tell me the owners are very hospitable hosts and welcome neighbors to stop by on their daily stroll and visit with them on the porch. How could they not? It is a delightful outdoor room with its walls of light blue cedar siding with an eclectic mix of windows at different heights, pale blue wood ceiling, lighter wood floors and white trim, columns and handrail. It would be easy to linger on the swing, rattan sofas and chairs with cushions and pillows for comfort as you catch the breeze. The white bench does double duty as a coffee table and several glass topped end tables offer a spot for one’s reading material or favorite beverage while enjoying the fragrance of the pink geraniums.
The massing and openness of the exterior elevations creates great architecture. The cruciform shape of the main roof creates gable ends on each elevation and the footprint of the house creates bay shaped projections onto the wrap-around porch. I was intrigued by the extension on the side street elevation with its low sloped roof extension ending in a wall of side by side dual bay projections that meet in a “V” shape. Clearly, one bay contained the stairs with its higher window and I looked forward to discovering the other bay-shaped rooms on my interior tour. At the rear, two low sloped shed roofs meet at the outside corner with one side being the rear wall of the second floor sleeping porch over the sunroom/breakfast area below and the other an office/sitting room over the laundry and porch to the garden. Each elevation is as beautiful as the others-simply marvelous!
The delightful giraffe sculpture at the front porch hinted of further visual delights within and I was not disappointed. The main floor plan is ideal for entertaining guests circulating between the main rooms and the wrap-around porch. The vistas through the house were a delight to discover as I walked through the rooms with the Owners. The spacious entrance hall spans the length of the front living room and the adjacent family/TV room. The bottom three steps spill onto the floor and the vista ends at the dining room’s hutch with glass doors. The house felt like an art gallery with walls of original art and posters from exhibitions with rugs and antique pieces artfully arranged over the beautiful wood floors. My eye was immediately drawn to the large blown glass “eye” hanging down behind the center of the side window to the porch.
The entrance hall’s wide cased opening leads to living room with its focal point of the bay window wall onto the screened porch that is on axis with the pair of pocket doors to the family/TV room beyond. Both rooms’ walls are painted a soft peach/apricot that is a perfect backdrop for the art. The side vista from the family room is from the cased opening to the stairs and the bay wall with a door and window to the wrap-around porch.
Behind the “U” shaped stairs I discovered one of the side bay projections, the exquisite dining room. The entire exterior wall is a bay window next to the corner fireplace. The round wood table, Windsor chairs, period pendant lighting and the simple white painted brick fireplace surround with a wood mantel sets the scene for memorable dinners with family and friends. I could well imagine savoring winter meals by firelight and candlelight with the pendant light dimmed.
The dining room flows into the kitchen and the Owners kept the original cupboards with their stained wood countertops on a side wall when they renovated the kitchen that is open to the charming breakfast nook/sunroom with wrap-around windows for diagonal views of the side and rear gardens. A pantry open to the breakfast nook is cleverly tucked into the geometry of the family room’s bay wall for easy access. The rear kitchen window looks over the deck to the gardens and the rear door leads to the laundry/mudroom and then to the deck and gardens.
The second floor has delightful space planning features also. The upper hall stacks above the entrance hall below but is slightly longer with a side door leading to the cozy room formed by the bay wall of the dining room below. I would immediately claim that cozy room for an office! The hall ends at a full bath with a linen closet for the three bedrooms off the hall overlooking the side garden. The rear bedroom would be my choice for a primary suite. It has a door to the side sunroom/sleeping porch and to the rear office/sitting room that could be converted into a primary bath and walk-in closet.
The property also includes access off the side street to a one-car garage behind the garden next to the adjacent property that creates both a backdrop and privacy for the garden. There is ample storage space in the garage, basement and attic.
Don’t be surprised to find a Plein Air artist staking out a spot at this irresistible house; in fact, the Owners hosted an artist one year who returned for six more years and left them a painting in thanks for their hospitality. Art and architecture are kindred spirits and I am sure he was inspired as I was by the natural light streaming into the rooms, the splendid architecture, interiors and gardens. The main floor plan is ideal for entertaining guests circulating between the main rooms and the wrap-around porch. I ended my tour with great reluctance-this historic house is what Habitat is all about!
For details about this property, contact Rob Lacaze with Long and Foster, Easton, MD -Realty at 410-770-3600 (o), 410-310-7835 (c),or [email protected]. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.roblacaze.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.