Spy House of the Week: Stylish Cottage by the Bay


This story and a half large cottage began its life as a modest bungalow with a detached garage. The Owner saw the potential in both the site and the house and began transforming the four acre property on the Chesapeake Bay. The detached garage was connected by a breezeway and became a new master suite with sitting room/office.  Abundant windows and French doors brought light into the interiors and views of the Bay were dramatically improved.

I especially liked the waterside elevation for its symmetry and light color palette. The main floor was virtually all glass with a pair of French doors at the center and two pairs of large picture windows with slight elliptical arched headers on either side of the doors that framed the water views.   On the second floor, dormer windows offered “bird’s eye” views of the water.

Careful attention was also paid to the landscape and hardscape. The flagstone terrace is surrounded by shrubbery and flowering plants and flagstone steps lead down to the lower lawn and to the water. A fireside stone water pit, in-ground salt water pool, outdoor shower and dock offer many options for enjoying the outdoors.

The front entry French doors open onto a space that spans the entire length of the house.  The entrance area is defined two dimensionally by the rug by the French doors and three dimensionally by the arched openings in the short walls at the rear on the dining room and the living room side walls.  The wide arched openings are a clever way of defining spatial boundaries without impeding the flow. The “L” shaped stair with winders, the flared bottom steps and open handrail is a graceful vista opposite the entry French doors.

The large arched picture windows in both the dining and living rooms offer serene views of the lawn, the water beyond and great sunsets.  The living room spans the depth of the house which creates a seating area under the front windows and another seating area grouped around the fireplace.  The dining room is open to the kitchen with its Brazilian Cherry floors and countertops with custom white cabinets and period hardware. Windows above the sink, another side window and glass-fronted upper cabinet doors create a warm and open feel to this dream kitchen. I particularly liked how the Owner cleverly hung blue and white patterned ceramics and art on the wall between the base and upper cabinets instead of a traditional backsplash. The entry/living/dining/kitchen flow is perfect for entertaining a large or more intimate group in  great style.

The main floor one-story master suite has skylights in the sitting/office area and built-in millwork for the Owner’s collection of books, photographs and art Above the top shelf ceramics are illuminated by narrow windows at the spring line of the pitched ceiling. The two upstairs bedrooms have identical architectural details  with the dormer windows, high knee walls and pitched ceilings for cozy retreats. The Jack and Jill bath with dual pedestal lavatories, beadboard wainscot with moldings and trim and the large tiled shower make sharing easy. The full mirror above the lavatories reflects light from the dormer window on the opposite wall.

A remarkable transformation, great interiors and great flow-the perfect waterfront retreat!

For more information about this property, contact Sarah Dean with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o),410-708-2528  (c) or sarah@csrealtors.com.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.

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