Spy House of the Week: Cozy Comfort on a River

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The setting, exterior color palette and massing of this property is very appealing. The front elevation of the “L” shaped house has one wing containing shed roof extensions covering a front porch and a bay window at the gable end. The other wing steps down and ends in a short hipped eave. The exterior color palette of cream and brown blends into the wooded setting enhanced by the landscaping. The curved entry terrace that is an extension of the front porch is surrounded by a short hedge that links the two wings. The sloped site creates a lower level and the rear elevation opens up to the water views with a variety of windows.  There are two spacious sunrooms stacked above each other with windows on three sides. One side of the lower floor sunroom is a greenhouse that spans the full width of the space. Two other bay windows and French doors bring light and views into the spaces.

The “hinge” for the two wings of the “L” is the kitchen and breakfast room. One side of the “L” contains the living room at the gable end with a wide bay window, wood-burning fireplace and millwork for books and a master suite.  Comfortable neutral upholstered pieces are anchored by a patterned rug for relaxing by the fire. A wide doorway leads to the large sunroom with room for sitting and dining areas overlooking the water views through the trees. The other side of the “L” contains another master suite, dining room and garage.

I loved the dining room’s caramel colored walls above the crisp white wainscot in between wide and long windows for views to the landscape. The warm wood table and chairs are anchored by an Oriental rug and the vista through the wide doorway to the hall gallery. The “U” shaped kitchen has generous counter space and upper cabinets to the ceiling for generous storage. The wall of cabinets opposite the “U” is a dream for anyone who likes to entertain- glass fronted upper cabinets to display crystal, bar sink, wine fridge and a pantry. Double windows over the kitchen sink and views from the cooktop through the breakfast room to the rear bay window give the cook great views.  

My favorite room was the breakfast area that is a warm and cozy space for any informal meal. The wide bay window with its seat below, stained wood table and chairs, crisp white wainscot and trim outlined the rose red walls Above the window headers was a shelf that wrapped around the room and displayed the Owners’ beautiful collection of blue and white ceramics.

There are two master suites and three other bedrooms. I especially liked the main floor master suite with its skylight  and a wide bay window. One of the lower level bedrooms had a wide triple window for water views, a patterned valance, white bed linens and an antique armoire for a serene look. Another lower level bedroom had light blue walls, white wood slat ceilings, wood antique bed frame and washstand with a shelf above the mirror to display part of the Owner’s ceramic collection.

Great setting, floor plan with easy flow, beautiful interiors and two floors for flexible living-it is no surprise that this house is under contract!

 

For more information about this property, contact Susan Sams with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-725-2768 (c) or susansams7@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. The Sellers invite inquiries via email,  acmadar@aol.com, about their fine wood antique pieces that are for sale

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: Stylish Cottage by the Bay

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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.

Spy House of the Week: Decked Out Coastal Design

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Now that my daffodils and Lenten roses are beginning to awaken from their winter slumber, I can finally anticipate being outdoors. This coastal design with its lovely color palette of yellow lap siding, white trim and light gray metal roof offers multiple opportunities for being outdoors with its main floor wrap-around deck, the brick terrace off the sunroom and the upper deck. For shade there is a porch at the front door and the upper deck creates another porch for part of the main floor deck. The guest house also has a front porch. The massing combination of the main two-story house’s telescoping down to a one-story addition at the rear and the front gable that projects from the house was very appealing. I was especially drawn to the twilight photograph that showed how most of the elevation that faces the water is primarily glass-many windows, skylights  and sliding doors bring light into the interiors.

The ground floor of the main house is zoned very well with two bedrooms and two baths on one side. On the other side, the “U” shaped kitchen connects  the dining and family rooms. Behind the family room is a sunroom for a clear vista from front to back. The sunroom with its deep yellow wall color, hardwood floors, wrap-around windows and space for both a seating area and another dining area make this a delightful space.  The wall between the sunroom and the family room is almost transparent with its pair of sliding doors and full-height windows at each side. The master bedroom with its pitched ceiling, sage green walls, hardwood floors with Oriental rugs, warm wood armoire and chest of drawers creates a serene retreat.

Since space planning is my forte, I especially liked the layout of the second floor.  The front corner is a second master suite with its own deck facing the water. The rest of the floor is open and the offset architecture creates interesting vistas from the main sitting room with a mini-bar and the cozy sitting area at the top of the stairs with an alcove for an office area. Windows on all three sides of this spacious  sitting room make this a sunny space. The side walls of the house has high windows facing the neighboring houses for privacy and longer windows or sliding doors for views at the front and rear.

The guest house has a sitting room with a Murphy bed and a sauna for relaxing after a day on the water or sunbathing on the decks.  The attic contains an artist’s studio for creative endeavors. A wonderful house for entertaining family and friends with the bonus of having the Bay as your neighbor!

 

For more information about this property contact  Lynn Hilfiker with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-639-2118 (o), 443-480-1163 (c)  or lynnhilfiker@gmail.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: Foxchase

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This custom built house was built in 1992 and its massing might have been inspired by historic houses that had a central wing with hyphens leading to side wings at each end. The symmetry of the story and a half central wing with the house’s color palette of blue lap siding and white trim was very pleasing. The left hyphen has a small decorative window that leads to the master suite and right hyphen is a solid wall that connects to the garage wing with an in-law/ guest suite above.

The floor plan works very well for everyday family use and for entertaining. The two-story entrance hall with the “L” shaped stair is open on one side to the dining room and on the other side to a room currently used as a billiard room. The dormer window above the front door brings daylight into the space. A short hall leads to the master suite and connects the billiard room to a rear sitting room that is a cozy space with sage green walls, white millwork and comfortable upholstered furnishings.  Double windows at each corner wall creates a sunny space. Behind the dining room is the spacious breakfast/kitchen area that has French doors leading to the large screened porch with expansive views to the landscaped rear yard. The kitchen layout get high marks for being my favorite “L” and island arrangement with its white cabinets, lightly veined granite and stainless steel appliances.

The kitchen/breakfast area connects also to the great room with its pitched ceiling with trimmed collar beams, brick fireplace flanked by tall windows with quarter-circle transoms and built-in millwork for books and the TV.  The furniture tones echo the light gray-green walls with accents of colorful pillows and the subtle pattern of the large rug that anchors the furnishings. The window-sized artwork of a water scene added perspective to one interior wall.  

The master suite is located on the main floor. The second floor bedrooms are tucked under the pitched ceilings with deep dormer windows and knee walls that create great spaces.  A secondary entrance opens to the laundry area and leads to a stair to the in-law suite above the garage. A wonderful family home with a great floor plan that has been lovingly maintained. Was it my imagination or was that Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the candlestick as I closed the front door…?

 

For more information about this property, contact  Peter Heller with Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 410-708-3301 (c) or pheller@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: Small House, Big Charm

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Good things do come in small packages. This small house is located on an urban lot on one of Chestertown’s original streets and is packed with charm. The historic details of the roof eave brackets, the shuttlecocks and the symmetry of door and window arrangement in the front elevation are design elements of Chestertown’s 19th century architecture.  The white lap siding, green accents of the shutters and front door give it great appeal.

The rear elevation has a gable end and a shed roof extension at the main level that breaks the scale down to the landscape and adds character to the architecture. French doors lead to the rear yard that is a shady urban oasis. The brick terrace narrows to a path that leads to a gate in the wooden fence that surrounds the perimeter of the yard.  Trees and plantings break up the hardscape; chairs and a wooden picnic table with an umbrella beckon for relaxing or for sharing an al fresco meal.

The front door opens to an expanse of space with the living and dining areas in the front and the kitchen and laundry at the rear.  The living room has front and side windows and the focal point is a wood stove painted a colorful red. Beautiful hardwood floors and white kitchen cabinets maintain the spacious interior layout.  The French doors at the rear offer views to the yard and allow daylight to penetrate the space from both ends of the room. The window over the kitchen sink cabinet and the glass-fronted upper cabinets keep the compact kitchen light and airy.

Two bedrooms that are spacious master suites  and two baths make this rental easy to share. When I moved to the Shore fifteen years ago rental houses were scarce and I would have loved to find one as attractive as this one!

 

For more information about this property, contact Liddy Campbell with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o), 410-708-5433 (c) or liddy@csrealtors.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: A Study in Elevations

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Looks can be deceiving-when I first saw the front elevation of this house it appeared to be a small one-story cottage but the rear elevation that faces the water was completely different. One story became three-there is a walk-out lower level, a main floor and an upper level. A deck spans the length of the house at the main level and connects to a terrace with a retaining wall for “bird’s eye” views of the water. Wide two-story bay wings from the lower level projected from each side of the rear elevation and were wrapped with windows on both levels; skylights and a trellis at the recessed center bay also enhanced the architecture.

Daylight flooded the great room through the multiple sources of windows and skylights. The open plan began with one long bay window that defines the sitting area inglenook. The fireplace and views to the water created a cozy space that flows into the dining area and kitchen. A partial height wall on one side of the kitchen visually connected the kitchen to the dining and living areas and views to the water. French doors at the center bay and another French door at the dining area lead to the deck.

The overlook from the second floor stair landing down to the great room was my favorite view since the spaces are enclosed by the wall of windows with skylights above the center windows and a large picture window above the French doors to the deck. The side wall also had a large picture window above the dining area triple windows whose header follows the sloped ceiling that encloses the dramatic interior architecture.

The other bay window wing contains the master bedroom with skylights over the French doors to the deck. Since the master bedroom is at the rear corner of the house, side windows combine with the bay windows to give this room panoramic views of the water.

The lower floor contains a large space for a family room with a fireplace, fitness area and a guest bedroom suite. The terrace below the main floor deck above provides shade and views to the water. The other bedrooms are on the third floor. This house maximizes its rooms’ relationship to the water and becomes a great house to enjoy with family and guests.

 

 

For more information about this property, contact Ashton Kelley with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-275-2118 (o), 410-708-8144(c) or akelleyre@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography by Steve Buchanan Photography, 410-212-8753, 310-996-7295, steve@buchananphotography.com, www.buchananphotography.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: 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.

 

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