Spy House of the Week: Historic Royal Oak Restoration


Every summer I negotiate the crowds and traffic in St. Michaels on my way home to Wittman. If I could live between Easton and St. Michaels, this house could convince me to move. The aerial photograph shows how the house’s site is a wonderful balance of trees, mature landscaping, lawn, and water. There is also a guest cottage and barn that have also been preserved.

I especially liked the front elevation with its two-story gable extension that created three-bay porches on both floors. Dormer windows aligned above the front door and the front window complete the symmetry of solid/open spaces for great curb appeal.

I also liked this historic house’s extensive restoration and updates. The 2/2 window pattern lets in a great deal of light, and the soft wall colors lighten the spaces even more. This cook loved the kitchen with its professional stove, island worktable in a soft slate blue color and butcher block countertop ready for holiday baking. The worktable’s accent color was a very pleasing contrast to the wall of warm arm light wood original cabinets. Period pendant lighting over the island worktable completed the blend of old and new.

Perhaps my favorite room was the recreation room with its walls of windows and transoms above to open the space to the landscape and water views. Large enough for a game of billiards, this room could easily accommodate gatherings of family and friends.  And one of my favorite details was the second-floor stair landing with its dormer window and door with a chamfered corner to fit into the sloped ceiling. A small chaise under the window would be the perfect spot to settle in with a good book and a pet or two on your lap.


For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@gmail.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. 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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