When I made a site visit to a property on Byford Court that was a recent House of the Week, I drove past this house on Queen St. that caught my eye for several reasons. It is easy to be charmed by a diminutive scale, and I was intrigued by this house’s two rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the second floor. The long driveway is between houses on Queen St so I surmised this house must have begun its life as a carriage house. The street side of the house projects a pleasing façade of vertical board and batten blue-gray siding that adds texture and shed dormers that break the wood shake roof over the second floor windows above the two windows below. I especially liked the “Carpenter Gothic” touch of the decorative edging of the eave fascias and how the same blue gray paint is used on the walls and trim of the house to give it greater massing.
A gate in the fence along the driveway leads you along a gravel path to the entry porch that has a very low slope red metal roof below the main gable roof above. The porch spans the full length of the two-bay house and is supported by simple double columns at the corners and a center column with diagonal bracing from the sides of each column to the beam above. Above the front porch is the gable side of the house with an arched vent at the attic level and two windows at the second floor that are aligned with the entry door and window below.
When you open the front door into the living room, the contemporary interiors are immediately apparent. White walls and trim, a ceiling of white exposed decking over light brown tile floors laid on a diagonal stretches the space. The eye-catching detailing of the stairs that are fully open at the living room side with an ogee edged trim under each tread and matchstick inside-mount blinds over the windows completes the contemporary look. Accents of the simple round stained wood handrail at the wall behind the stairs and the black stovepipe open fireplace become sculptural elements.
The vista from the front door ends at the dining area that is open to the kitchen. The table and chairs are placed in the alcove created by the stairs along the side wall and the double unit window behind the table and contemporary chairs creates a pleasant dining area. The “U” shaped kitchen has a window at the street side of the house and the cabinetry cleverly accommodates the low window sill by adding a window seat with storage below at the break between the base cabinets. The tones of gray of the stainless steel appliances, cabinetry and countertops blend seamlessly together and the mirrored backsplash is a deft touch. The continuation of the tile flooring into the kitchen-dining area ties the main floor together with the benefit of easy maintenance.
At the top of the stairs is a delightful office area with a pitched ceiling, wood flooring and two windows for diversion from office work. Behind the office area is a pocket door that leads to the spacious bathroom and a closet for the stack washer/dryer. Another pocket door leads to the large bedroom at the entry side of the house and the stovepipe from the fireplace below penetrates the space. All of the second floor rooms have ceiling planes that follow the shed roof framing over the windows.
Move-in charming cottage architecture with wonderful contemporary updates and a full basement for storage- enjoy the view of the landscape from the private entry porch or “park” yourself on the bench at the corner of the yard while you envision your garden design to create your own urban oasis!
For more information about this property, contact Retha Arrabal with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-708-2172 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more pictures and pricing, visit www.dougashleyrrealtors.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Photography by Janelle Stroop, Thru the Lens Photography, 845-744-2758
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.
Please support the Spy’s House of the Week project by making a donation here.
Letters to Editor
Maryann Ruehrmund says
VERY talented and local architect, Max Ruehrmund (M3 Architecture) designed this stunning cottage/coach house! GREAT job!
Sandy McClary says
What an adorable cottage. I would love something like this when I give up my house. Just right and every area has a purpose. We need more of these in Chestertown. He is very talented.
Dave Turner says
I believe that the lady from Annapolis who purchased this dream cottage is just as delightful an addition to town as is this house. She’s a journalist.