Spy House of the Week: Divine Design in Royal Oak


When I lived in East Tennessee, one of my family’s favorite restaurants was the Parsons Table in historic Jonesborough. The small restaurant was formerly a church, and we always reserved the cozy “choir loft”.

I was intrigued by this renovation of another former church into a residence. The bell tower is now a vestibule and moving from this small space directly into the soaring great room with its 14 foot ceilings is quite a leap in scale. The great room’s eight tall windows with their pointed headers cast delightful shadows like giant pencils across the custom painted floors laid out in a diagonal pattern. The focal point of one wall is the fireplace with a pair of French doors leading to a new deck.

Details include translucent globe pendant light fixtures, door frames with pointed headers, solid wood doors with period hardware, the iron stair balustrade with its wood cap and the stained glass transoms above the entry doors. The current owners kept one pew in homage to the former church.
The back rooms now contain a gourmet kitchen separated from the great room by a large island, an adjacent dining room, laundry and an addition that contains the master suite. The choir loft is now a guest suite.

A new detached two-car garage has an unfinished interior. The second floor has rough-in plumbing for a future bath. This space could become another guest suite or a home office.

For details about this property, contact Sheila Monahan with Chesapeake Bay Properties at 410-924-4163 or shebattin@aol.com

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. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

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