Habitat House of the Week: Sassafras Stunner


I am always happy to celebrate another architect’s work and to find a contemporary house as stunning as this one was especially pleasing. This house’s setting on a private peninsula above the Sassafras River at Turners Creek appealed to me with its picture postcard setting, broad views to the river and the surrounding wooded Kentmore Park community.

The house’s two-story massing is centered on one gable with other gable projections on both the front and rear that descend to one-story hipped roofs at each side. At the rear, a narrow wrap around porch enlarges at the corner to create a sitting and dining area with water views. A variety of windows, doors and decorative windows opens the house to the landscape.

The interior is a multi-level delight with the living and dining areas open to the second floor seating area above. My favorite design feature was the bold cut-out stair with projections to emphasize its structural elements and painted an accent color. Like the stair, the partial wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area stepped down in different heights and echoed the paint colors of the stair.

Since the kitchen and dining areas had a pitched ceiling, added a beam to define the two areas also created recessed task lighting for the kitchen. The kitchen, complete with the Michael Graves famous teakettle design, won high marks from this cook for its minimal overhead cabinets for open vistas to the two-story living room, the woods and the water beyond.

I loved the dramatic interior architecture of the living room with its recessed light trough that uplighted the rear wall upper window wall, sculptural stair, black accents on the columns and the fireplace shaft, the sensuous curvature of the seating in front of the fireplace and the backdrop of the water beyond is just waiting for that cover of Architectural Digest!

For more information about this property, contact Chris McClary with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-639-2118 (o), 410-708-2614 (c) or mcclary21@hotmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Architecture by Charles Harker

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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