When I walked up to preview this charming house, I paused to admire its setting, massing and exterior color palette. A tall tree in the planting area between the Town sidewalk and the street shades half of the full front porch overlooking the colorful street plantings below. The three-bay house with side gable walls, 6/6 windows, two single dormer windows at the attic level, the articulated cornice with extended brackets and the exterior color palette of reddish-brown shake siding and white trim create great curb appeal. The rear addition that was completed in 2015 respects the original house with a vertical trim board at the juxtaposition of original to new and the massing telescopes down from a two-story gable wing to a story and a half wing with two single gables then to the one story wing with the same shake siding and trim colors.
Instead of solid columns, the front porch with its hipped roof is detailed with framed supports in a stacked “X” design with fretwork at each top of the support and picket railings to maintain the transparency of the space. The side entry door creates spaces for both sitting and dining and the mix of wood and rattan furnishings becomes an inviting space to chat with neighbors on their daily strolls. One side yard of the house is fenced with a gate to a walkway past a screened porch then to the rear terrace area. This private urban oasis has a mix of tall trees and perimeter plantings around the brick terrace inlaid with a slate border and the umbrella provides shade for an al-fresco meal. The perimeter fence is broken at a small shed for gardening equipment and another gate in the rear fence leads to three designated parking spaces.
The half glass/half paneled front door opens into a spacious foyer opposite the stairs and a wooden plantation shutter over the bottom portion of the window modulates sunlight and privacy. The beautiful pine floors, lunette table and other antiques introduce the Owner’s gracious interiors throughout the house. A cased opening leads to the living room with a fireplace on its interior wall. Windows on the three exterior walls, with the rear original windows now overlooking the screened porch flood the space with light. The spacious size easily accommodates two sofas and several chairs and the neutral colors with splashes of coral anchored by several Oriental rugs create a space for entertaining. I love painted furniture as accent pieces and I especially liked the painted chest in three colors next to the fireplace. On the other side of the fireplace is a cased opening to the office area with work and storage space tucked under the stairs.
Another cased opening leads to the large eat-in kitchen with cork flooring that is so easy on a busy cook’s feet! The dining area has a double-unit window and a row of cabinetry with upper glass fronted doors for china and glassware. The white cabinets, dark countertops and stainless steel appliances are a neutral palette waiting for the next cook’s accent pieces. The window over the kitchen sink overlooks the screened porch furnished with rattan pieces, including a chaise for relaxing.
Wise master planning included a short hall past the accessible full bath opposite the laundry leading to the large room currently furnished as a dining-family room. The interior architecture with the gambrel ceiling to the underside of the collar beam and windows on three sides of the space create an appealing space that could also be converted to a bedroom.
The stairs to the second floor end at a hall with two landings, one to the rear ensuite then another at the front of the house to access both the primary ensuite and the stairs to the third floor. I loved the serene look of the primary bedroom with its light aqua walls, pencil post bed frame, white bed linens, black & white patterned quilt, wood chests and a rattan chair. The rear bedroom has a door between the twin guest beds beneath side windows and small chests at the end of each bed for guest storage. Between the beds is a colorful long kilim leading to a chest of drawers between the closet and the bath. The furnishings and the ceilings that follow the underside of the roof rafters create a cozy guest space for sweet dreams.
Throughout my tour, I noticed the interesting art in every room but until I reached the third floor, I did not know that the Owner was also an artist. This floor is a delightful studio space filled with light from windows on three sides that also offer views of the Historic District’s roofscapes. The stairs separate the space into her studio and an area for another set of twin beds for guests.
It is hard to believe this house was once a duplex since the rooms work so well as a single residence. The great variety and sequence of outdoor rooms from the front porch, side screened porch and fenced rear terrace extend the living space. The main level has an easy flow among the rooms, the second floor bedroom ensuites are zoned for privacy and the third floor is a delightful space for myriad uses. All this and three off-street parking spaces and its location on one of my favorite streets in the heart of downtown Chestertown-who could ask for anything more?
For more information about this property, contact Beth Ostrander with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-778-4241 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more pictures and pricing, visit https://www.bethohomes.com/. “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Photography by Janelle Stroop, 410-310-6838, email@example.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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