Spy House of the Week: Second Look at Second Tree


When I was active in real estate, I attended an open house at this property several years ago. I decided to take a second look at Second Tree and see what changes the current owners made. The spectacular waterfront setting is at the confluence of San Domingo Creek and Broad Creek as they flow into the Choptank River.

The original house had a typical traditional floor plan with the living, dining, kitchen and support rooms on the main floor and the bedrooms and baths upstairs.  The house was transformed by several additions that encapsulated the original footprint. One addition contains the library and office; the “River Room” addition has panoramic views of the water; another addition contains the billiard room and media rooms and the master suite addition is also oriented to the water.  

The architectural changes begin with a porte cochere at the front door that is carefully detailed with columns, dropped beams, a paneled ceiling with recessed lighting,light-colored interlocking pavers and red brick steps that combine to create a gracious entrance. One side addition contains a gable with two windows and a porthole window above that would become a recurring detail in the architecture. Tall windows pierce the eave portion of the addition to break up the sections of walls of the library and office spaces. The other side addition has both dormer windows that match the original dormers of the second floor and another gable wing with a porthole window.

After the floor plan and the architecture were resolved, the talented owner turned her discriminating eye to the interior design. The formal living room with its coffered ceiling is exquisite with its fireplace flanked by antique sideboards and framed mirrors. The color palette of cream, light rose and light yellow was a serene space to relax by the fire and watch the sunset over the water.

The stunning river room’s perimeter wall is a series of bays with French doors, sidelights and transoms connected by soffits that rest on a paneled wall. Each bay is accented by pitched ceilings, light coves and a porthole window. The sitting area projects beyond the adjacent areas to break up the large space into intimate entertaining areas. I thought how tranquill it must be to sit in that room in the winter as snow fell to create a winter wonderland beyond. The main floor also contains a media room and a billiard room for indoor entertainment after one tired of the pool or tennis court on the grounds.

The detailing of the mahogany woodwork, arched ceilings between the tall windows and seating grouped around the antique fireplace from the Loire Valley created a dramatic library space that led to the adjacent office with its mahogany walls, millwork and coffered ceiling.

The ground floor master bedroom wing projected beyond the exterior wall and was surrounded on three sides with French doors and windows for sunset views over the water. My favorite child’s bedroom had sloped ceilings with dormer windows, and colorful splashes of light blue, orange and cream in the bed linen and furnishings.

Second Tree is definitely worth a second look and is testament to a talented owner who had the design skills and means to achieve her individual vision.

For more information about this property, contact Sheila Monahan with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-924-4163 (c), or shebattin@aol.com,  “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Photography by Jim McKee, Broadview Interactive LLC, 703-593-4392, www.broad-view.net, jim.mckee@broad-view.net.

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.

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