Spy House of the Week: Urban Charm with Expansive View

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This street between the heart of downtown Chestertown and Washington College is a quiet short cross street with congenial residents who hold block parties and Holiday Open Houses for their neighbors. The house is sited on a lot with open space behind the rear of the property that is protected from development which extends the view from the house to the trees beyond. The mix of brick and wood lattice foundation, light green lap siding with creamy white trim, the center front door surrounded by windows and the front porch that is slightly inset from the front façade all contribute to the house’s charm. One of my design pet peeves is using unadorned square posts to support porch roofs so I especially appreciated the detailing of this porch with the caps, trim and plinths for the columns and stair newel posts. The lattice at one side gives some privacy but lets the light and breezes filter in and flow through this delightful outdoor room.

The entry is separated from the living room by a wide elliptical arch that opens the stair to the room. A corbeled brick fireplace with a wood stove insert at the front of the room flanked by windows is another focal point and the hardwood floors create a restful spot for relaxing at the end of the day. The bold red walls of the dining room and the white corner cabinet between the two windows also caught my eye. I have the same style of upholstered chairs in my dining room and the fully upholstered chairs in this room are great extra seating around the Queen Anne styled table and chairs.

I love to cook and this large kitchen is well designed with its “C” shape, island with stools opposite another wall of cabinets with a wall oven. The kitchen extends into the butler pantry and wet bar area that ends at the French doors to the deck overlooking the rear yard. The wood cabinets with period hardware, stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops and hardwood floors create a great spot for cooking with direct access to both the dining room and the deck for dining with family and friends.

The second and third floors contain the master bedroom and bath with a soaking tub and separate shower. Two other bedrooms, another bath and laundry complete the floor plan. The third floor is a great space with its knee walls and sloped ceilings that is furnished as a wonderful bedroom and sitting area divided by the stairs. The house was renovated in 2008 and the current tenants have lovingly maintained it.

For more information about this property, please contact Jennifer Mobley at Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company, 410-778-0330 (o), 443-350-5917 (c), or jmobley@cbchesapeake.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.

Spy House of the Week: Upper Chester River Dutch Colonial

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This house began its architectural life with a couple who built the original section  in 1999 as a weekend retreat. The current owners quickly saw its potential as a permanent home and constructed an addition of over 3,500 sf. of living space that transformed the old and new into a permanent home.  I love the Colonial styles of American architecture and Dutch Colonial is one of my favorites. The gambrel roofs and dormers add charm-the dormers on this house have either double or triple windows for expansive views of the landscape.   

The center hall plan begins at the double French entry doors and ends at the rear single French door and offer vistas to the landscape.  I like how the front doors are in the middle of the front elevation and the triple window above in the largest of the dormers marks the entry behind a long front porch. The telescoped side wing, wide roof dormers and the porch break down the massing for great curb appeal. The rear elevation is equally pleasing with a two story shed roof breaking the gambrel roofs on either side. The terrace the full length of the house paved with interlocking stones is ready for a modern day Fred and Ginger to dance the night away.

The great room is the hub of the house with sitting and dining areas open to the large gourmet kitchen.  Scandinavian styled millwork and dining chairs blend with upholstered pieces for a contemporary look. The second floor master suite at one side of the house has French doors to the deck with stairs to the stone terrace below. The original house is now a guest suite with a sitting area and its own kitchen.

The aerial photograph shows how the house is a short walk through the woods to the Upper Chester River. Great design, privacy in almost three wooded acres- it is no wonder the current owners made it a permanent home.

 

For more information about this property, contact Doug Ashley with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-708-0408 (c) or doug@dougashleyrealtors.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.

 

Spy House of the Week: Rive Du Temps

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In my orientation class when I was a freshman in architecture at UT Knoxville, the instructor pointed out that most people do not hire architects. Thankfully many people in our area do. Beginning this month, I will add new houses or renovations/additions designed by an architect to the weekly mix of Houses of the Week. This house, christened “Rive Du Temp” by its owner, was designed by Peter Newlin, FAIA, of Chesapeake Architects.

In her preliminary programming discussions with Peter, the Owner asked for a “thoroughly interesting house” with “an intimate experience of the weather and nature”.  She also expressed a fondness for curved walls. Peter listened intently and their collaboration resulted in a site plan and house design that is tres’ magnifique!

The wooded site sits on the bank of the Chester River and the river curves and turns both upriver and downriver to provide broad long views from the house.  The vista across the site is a serene view of woods and off to the right the top part of a silo is the only building in sight. The wooded landscape on either side of the house gives it privacy from its nearest neighbors.

The approach to the house is via a sand colored gravel drive and suddenly you notice the garage and house quietly hidden in the woods by its bark-colored siding. The gravel drive is edged in red brick adjacent to large stone pavers that delineate the walk to the house. After meandering through the landscape you reach a short brick retaining wall with steps down to the clearing at the house and the path continues to the steps at the front door. A previous house had burned and this house was built on top of the original rectangular footprint to maintain the close proximity to the water. The detached garage and the hyphen from the main house to the “summerhouse” disguise the original house’s simple geometry.

The airy summerhouse is a delight with its screened walls and curved ceiling.  The roof decking is painted light cream to reflect the light from the clerestory windows at the rear and to accentuate the bark-brown roof joists.  I could easily imagine dozing in a hammock in this marvelous space through the summer.

In homage to historic Maryland houses, the center hall plan separates one sitting room from the kitchen, dining area and another sitting room.  A rhythm of two rows of beautifully detailed wood columns with headers float below the exposed ceiling joists. The vista ends at French doors to the deck overlooking the water. On either side of the center hall, bowed walls of windows capture the broad views of the river bends, opening the entire rear wall to the water views.  

Another curved wall of cabinetry becomes a boundary to the kitchen area and a soffit above echoes that curvature. Instead of walls, the dining area between the two sitting rooms is defined by millwork on each side and on one side upper cabinets with glass fronts continue the transparency. The cross-axis of the house leads on one side to the hyphen and summerhouse and on the other side are stairs to the second floor bedroom suites.

At the top of the stair is a quarter circle overlook with views through the skylights above the sitting area below that would be the perfect space to inspire creative work. The focal point of the master bedroom is the exquisite wooden carved headboard whose sinuous intertwined form is tucked under low windows that overlook the sitting room below and are opposite skylights for daylight or moonlight to filter within.

The Owner’s collections of Native American pottery and other artifacts from her travels, art, accessories and furnishings articulate this house’s unique personality.  The free-standing chimney that separates one sitting room from the passage to the hyphen and the summerhouse is also slightly curved and is inscribed with lines from a poem by Lamartine: ”Le temps n’a pas de rive, L’homme n’a pas de port “ (Time has no riverbank-Man has no port). A fitting coda for a visit to this remarkable house by a gifted architect and a client with a sophisticated vision. The jury for the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the AIA agreed and awarded  “Rive du Temp” a Citation of Excellence in Architecture. The house was also featured on an episode of HGTV’s “Dream Builders , episode 1207.

Architecture by Peter Newlin of Chesapeake Architects,  410-778-4899, peter@chesarch.com, www.chesarch.comContractor: Patrick Jones, Allen/Jones Inc. Custom Lighting: Deep Landing Workshop, 410-778-4042, www.deeplandingworkshop.com and Woody Labat, Cabinetmaker Area Rug Designs: Marcy RamseyCustom Headboard:  Sculptor Don Carslon and Joshua Miller, Cabinetmaker  Photography: Tyler Campbell, 410-778-4938, tylercam@friend.ly.net

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.

 

Spy House of the Week: Pining for Pine Acres

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“Green Acres” was a late sixties sitcom about a New York City attorney who pines for “farm living” and persuades his reluctant wife to give up their New York penthouse. If he had been a boater instead, I could imagine his pining for this “Pine Acres” property surrounded by 3-1/4 wooded acres and a dock on Lovely Cove which leads to the East Fork of Langford Creek. This cottage style house very close to the water make this property a tranquil weekend retreat. Outbuildings include a garage, workshop, storage and potting sheds for non-nautical weekend pursuits.

The house is perpendicular to the water to give panoramic views of the water from most rooms in the house. The symmetrical middle wing with two pairs of triple windows and two dormer windows above has two wings on either side. One wing has a bay window to the master bedroom and the other wing is a sunroom with wrap-around windows broken by the chimney. The color palette of pale yellow siding, light green metal roof, white windows and the massing is a very pleasing combination.  

The contemporary kitchen has corner windows above the sink and a table for informal meals.  The main sitting room is open to the sunroom for views of the water beyond to expand the living space. The interior design contains Oriental accents in the Shojii screen doors in the bath, the master bedroom headboard and other details.  The loft contains another bedroom with a window in the gable end and a dormer windows facing the water.

A serene waterfront setting and charming cottage architectural style-an appealing  weekend retreat. Now, if I can just get that “Green Acres” jingle out of my head…

For more information about this property ,contact Dick Barker with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 410-708-7594 (c),  “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.

Spy House of the Week: Spring Colors

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I first saw this house on a yet another dreary cold day that made me pine for spring.  I loved the house’s bright colors of the yellow lap siding, red metal roof and dark green shutters. The house is a classic Victorian with a front porch, symmetrical windows around a center front door and the front gable with its decorative window.

The front door with side lights opened into the living room with its beautiful wood floor laid on a diagonal and the stair railing open on the living room side to extend the space. The kitchen and dining area were combined and French doors led to a room at the front of the house that the owners use as a master bedroom. A rear addition to the original house could be used as a sunroom or a family room. Another option would be to make the rear addition the master bedroom since the current location is on the street side of the house. That would create an “L” shaped open plan kitchen/dining/family room.

My favorite part of the house was the second floor. The bedrooms were sunny due to their having windows on two sides and the pitched ceilings added architectural interest. The decorative roof gable window was a dormer that opened into the second floor spacious bath for extra sunlight. The bedrooms accessed the deck that spanned most of the second floor length for a “bird’s eye” view of the back yard surrounded by mature trees.

For more information about this property, contact Doug Ashley with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-708-0480 (c) or doug@dougashleyrealtors.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.

 

Spy House of the Week: “On the Waterfront”

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On my trips to Chestertown I have noticed the newer townhome buildings on the waterfront so I thought it was time to feature an alternate choice to a detached home. This two-story unit with the amenities of a private beach, walking paths, outdoor pool with bath house that Chester River Landing offers might be the answer to a single detached house.

I liked how the one-car garage was set back from the front elevation so from one direction on the street you focused on the appealing gable front with its symmetrical arrangement of the front door and windows. There was an oval accent window in the stairwell and a front porch that spanned the full width of the house that completes the curb appeal.

The vista from the front door ended in views of windows at the sunroom wing at the rear which was my favorite room. Tall windows on two sides and a fireplace opposite one window wall would invite one to linger by the fire and watch the activity on the river. The open plan of the sunroom, dining area and kitchen with a deck for dining was the hub of the house. I liked how the third side of the kitchen had no upper cabinets and the sink was located here to visually connect the kitchen to the dining and sunroom areas.

The spacious master suite was located on the ground floor. The second floor bedrooms had the bonus room of the rear deck for an expansive “bird’s eye” view of the river.

For more information about this property, contact Liddy Campbell with Cross Street Realtors at 410-708-3779 (o), 410-708-5433 (c), or liddy@csrealtors.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.

Spy House of the Week: Contemporary on the Chester

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Several readers have wanted to know my favorite architectural style. I love houses and have lived in a mid-century modern, bungalows, four-squares and my current farmhouse. If I had lived in the early twentieth century my dream team of designers would have been the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and the interior designer William Morris. Contemporary houses are also hard to resist so this house on the Chester River caught my eye.

The views of the broad expanse of the river from the house are unbroken by vistas of other houses for serene seclusion. The street view of the house shows an interesting  mix of contemporary forms faced with vertical battens that cast shadows on the walls for added texture. The kitchen, family and dining areas are open to each other and the exposed ceiling and roof rafters are painted white to reflect the light from the skylights above.

The “L” and island layout of the kitchen is my favorite layout. I also liked the light wood cabinets with off-white countertops, the stainless steel appliances and the tile backsplash. The master bedroom on the second floor at the end of the house has daylight from both the window on the end wall as well as the triple window in the dormer with views to the water. Knee-walls that blend into the sloped ceilings created  interesting interior architecture.  

 

For more information about this property, contact Mathew Hogan with The Hogans Agency, Inc. at 410-778-6858 (o) or matt@hogans.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. 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.

Habitat House of the Week: American Four-Square on Water Street

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On my first visit to Chestertown I took the self-guided walking tour and spent a great deal of time admiring the grand houses of Water Street. This house caught my eye since it also happens to be one of my favorite architectural styles, American Four-Square.

I loved the symmetry of the front elevation with its center door with two windows on either side, five second floor windows aligned above and three third floor dormer windows protruding from the mansard roof. The white color scheme was simply accented by dark shutters and the greenery of the landscaping surrounding the house. The deep front porch that spanned the full length of the house was traditionally detailed and its elevation above the sidewalk and the shrubbery along the front created a private outdoor room to enjoy the street activity.

The gracious entrance hall with its slight alcove at the front door widened to the dramatic side staircase connecting three floors. The transom above and the sidelights on each side of the front door let light into the interior. A wide cased opening led from the entry to the living room with its fireplace flanked by large windows. My favorite room was the dining room with its wide windows and window seat below flanked by built-in glass-fronted china cabinets and other period details like the wainscot that contributed to the house’s period charm.

 

For more information about this property ,contact Richard Budden with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 443-480-1181 (c) or rbudden@easternshoremdre.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. 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.

Habitat House of the Week: Sassafras Stunner

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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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