Spy House of the Week:  Stone Haven


“Fair Acres” was my favorite neighborhood in my hometown of Kingsport, TN. The original houses were designed by local architects in early part of the 20th century when the popularity of “period” houses was at its peak. I still have a picture of the two story Colonial clapboard with a one-story stone wing that captivated me so I am always looking out for other stone houses. I was intrigued to discover that the beautiful stone front façade of this week’s house was not original but had been added by the current owners.  

A gently curving driveway through the trees and along the water leads to the house surrounded by tall trees. A breezeway separated the main house from the a three-car garage and one-bedroom guest suite. The simple beauty of the texture and warm colors of the stone, the symmetry of the front elevation with the center entry doornand the shed roofed front porch with a center gable above the entry door created a very appealing vista.

The interior vistas were equally appealing.  I loved the spacious entrance hall’s ceiling planes that changed from high to low and the  “L “ shaped stairwell with its long run was open to the second floor. The Mexican tile floors, light walls, the French doors to the screened porch beyond and the triple window at the landing created multiple vistas and made this space bright, airy and welcoming. The hall closets were separated to frame an open niche with a glass shelf in between at counter height for a vista to the living room and then through the doorway at the family room beyond to the fireplace chimney.

When you walked through the entrance hall to the left was a hall that ended at the French door to the breezeway or you could access the wrap-around screened porch from the kitchen and the living room.  The owner is an interior designer and I loved the light-rose colored Mexican tile, the neutral upholstered furnishings with splashes of gold and rose red and accents of black. Two dark stained armoires flanked the living room wall opening into the family room and the kitchen was a delightful mix of white and black cabinetry. 

One of my favorite rooms was the cozy family room with its stone chimney that soared to the flat portion of the pitched roof and the comfortable sofas that one could easily sink into. The tall windows on either side of the fireplace, the wide bay window at the rear wall  and the two windows on the front elevation brought sunlight throughout the day and views of the landscape and water. My other favorite room was the wrap-round screened porch with space for dining and seating with peaceful views through the trees to the lake beyond.

The bedrooms were all on the second floor and the master suite had a cozy room with windows on three sides for a sunroom, office, or additional seating area. Great setting and imaginative interiors combined to make a peaceful retreat!

For more information about this property, contact Christie Bishop with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-770-9255 (o), 410-829-2781 (c) or info@cbishoprealtor.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Interior design by Vita Merryfield Designs, 410-215-5806.Photography by Janelle Stroup, 410-310-6838, janelle@thruthelensphotos.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.

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