I always enjoy featuring a house on West Chestnut since it is one of my favorite streets in St. Michaels’ Historic District. At one end is the park at San Domingo Creek and the Rails to Trails. At the other end is the Blue Heron coffee Shop and the Village Shoppe, purveyor of fine foods. I could easily imagine hitting the trail for an early morning walk and then treating myself to a coffee at the Blue Heron before walking home to this charming Victorian house, circa 1850, to begin my workday. In her book, “Historic St. Michaels, An Architectural History”, author Elizabeth Hughes mentions this house’s “delicate spindle work of the entrance porch and the faux ashlar masonry of the first floor”. The light colored faux ashlar blocks are outlined in slate blue “mortar” that accentuate this unique detail.
The lovely entrance hall has a full height arrangement of a center half-French door with half glass/half paneled sidelights and a full transom. Additional daylight filters in from a tall window on the side wall above a white Deacons bench and the artwork, Oriental rug over wood floors create a welcoming look . Opening off the entry hall is a living room with two windows on the front wall and a fireplace on the side wall flanked by built-in millwork and another window. The living room leads to the elegant dining room with another fireplace, both a built-in hutch and an antique hutch with the antique table and chairs centered in the room. French doors lead to the spacious living room with a window seat on the rear wall next to a built-in bookcase and a wing chair for a cozy reading space by the fire. When one is tired of reading, there is an alcove with a fully stocked dry bar.
The addition to the side of the house is set back so the original part of the house is the prominent façade on the streetscape. The space planning throughout the house works very well with a side entrance opening to the large “mud room” whose lovely interior design belies its function. The mud room is between a full bath and the laundry room. The galley kitchen with a center island is connected to both the family room and the large sitting/breakfast room at the rear of the house. Since the full bath has a door to this space, you could easily carve out a master bedroom and a walk-in closet in the space containing the fireplace and have plenty of room left for a breakfast room. The breakfast room would then retain the side double windows and the French doors to the rear yard. Since the house is deep, the second stair that leads to the second floor is a plus.
As tempting as a ground floor master would be, I would prefer the luxurious second floor master suite at the rear of the house with its high knee walls, sloped ceilings and the large sitting room offset from the sleeping space. A three-bay millwork unit contains the TV, books, magazines and space to display family photographs and collectibles. The remaining bedrooms are located at the front of the second floor. I especially liked one bathroom with an antique sideboard that now cleverly contains bath linens with an antique mirror above it and the white wainscot walls. One bedroom is tucked under the sloping roof with built-in storage in the eaves. The dollhouse and child-sized furnishings are the perfect retreat for a child or grandchild.
The geometry of the house and the addition create appealing outdoor spaces, especially the side yard with a trellis topped with a pergola overhang and hardscaped terraces for relaxing outdoors.
A historic house that blends Victorian style with modern amenities, additions that greatly increased the livable area for today’s lifestyle, multiple fireplaces, on one of my favorite streets-so many features to love!
For more information about this property, contact Kate Koeppen with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus, LLC, at 410-745-6702 (o), 410-829-0705 (c) or email@example.com. For more photographs and pricing visit www.lovestmichaels.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.