Stone houses have always had great appeal for me-perhaps it is because of my many years of admiring manor houses in PBS’s programs so the stone facades of this house nestled into its wooded setting on Mill Creek caught my eye. The earth tones of the stone pattern and texture of a mix of ashlar and larger random stones, the brown vertical siding and the lighter brown of the roofing shingles and the bright yellow-orange of the doors that picks up one of the stone colors is very appealing against its backdrop of leafy towering trees. The massing of the house’s wings, steep roof pitch and minimal trim clearly identify its contemporary style.
The 1.58 acre site feels much larger for its being surrounded by woods that offer peace and quiet to focus upon the sights and sounds of nature. The outdoor rooms of screened porch, deck, firepit and the meditation labyrinth lined with stones are aligned along the creek. The large in-ground pool, barrel sauna and hot-tub are located near the pool on the opposite side of the house. The pier leads to a charming boathouse lined with benches for a waterside picnic, or to launch your kayak for a slow glide along the creek or simply to sit and savor the peace and quiet.
The main entry’s pair of double doors opens to a vista of a deep apricot wall with a landscape painting above another piece of art, a beautiful wood cantilevered “shelf” that is the work of the talented wood artist Vico von Voss. Walking toward the accent wall, the open plan living-family-kitchen-dining area soon becomes evident and the wood ceilings, exposed timber framing and wood handrail around the upper level that soars to the ceiling create a dramatic space. Two back to back corner fireplaces define the seating areas in the family room with its vistas through the screened porch and the dining room to the water. The living room has glass sliding doors at the side wall and another pair to the deck for diagonal views of the woods and water. In the other direction, the vista ends at the kitchen’s steep gable wall infilled with glass.
The kitchen is a cook’s dream with its “U” shape, warm wood cabinets and texture from the granite countertops below the subtle backsplash of thin horizontal rows of tile. I could easily imagine enjoying the views of the woods and water while working at the sink below a pair of operable windows or at the cooktop with its long picture window between single operable units. A wide cased opening leads to the dining room which feels like a sunroom with its three walls of full height windows or sliding doors. The end gable wall has an accent half-moon window centered above two panels of the doors. The mix of the gypsum board walls and the wood slat ceiling, wood floors and the wood contemporary furnishings create a setting for memorable meals.
Sliding glass doors lead to the spacious screened porch furnished for sitting and dining. I especially like the corner view of the water beyond the trees through the wide screened panels below the wood ceiling and the views of the treetops through the skylights. Next to the porch is a large deck at the rear corner of the house that connects to the sliding glass doors at the living room for a continuous flow among the rooms for easy entertaining. The rest of the main floor contains the laundry room, full bath and two bedrooms, one of which has a door off the family room so it could be an office.
The stairs to the second floor lead to a wide hall past the primary suite. Walking along the hall under the dramatic geometry created by the intersecting ceiling planes of wood is a spatial delight that ends at a sitting room with a large gable end wall infilled with glass. Below the low windowsill are cushions to savor the views of woods and water. Upholstered seating is arranged around the view and another TV. The primary suite is a serene retreat with its fireplace between closets, double windows overlooking the landscape below and a sloped ceiling with wood slats. Stairs off the second floor hall lead to the third floor’s office open to the primary suite below for a bird’s eye view of the woods.
Great waterfront site along Mill Creek leading to the Sassafras River, wonderful variety of outdoor spaces from the screened porch, deck, in ground pool, barrel sauna, hot tub, fire pit, pier and boat house. The bench at the water’s edge and the meditation labyrinth offer quiet areas for contemplating nature. Great flow among the main level rooms and the bedrooms are zoned for privacy with guest rooms on the main floor and the primary suite on the second floor. The property also includes a two-car garage with an attached workshop.
For more information about this property, contact John Burke with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-275-2118 (o), 443-206-3727 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more pictures and pricing, visit https://gunthermcclary.com/, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Vicco von Voss, https://www.viccovonvoss.com/ ,410-708-4698
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.