House of the Week: Town Home with a Twist

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Queen Street is another of my favorite streets in Chestertown’s Historic District because of its historic character of distinctive architecture, mature trees, brick sidewalks and the close proximity to the attractions of High Street and the waterfront. This charming Victorian semi-attached townhome has appealing outdoor spaces from the front porch that spans the full width of the house and the private fenced rear yard.  An added plus is off-street parking for two cars.

In many town home designs, the front door is at one side of a house opposite the stairway so it was a very pleasant surprise that this house’s front door opens directly into the living room. The stairs for this house are between the living -dining area and the kitchen at the rear of the house which maximizes the size of the living and dining rooms.

Two long windows at the front and another window at the side wall bring daylight into the living room. The focal point of the room is the fireplace with millwork on each side surrounded by comfortable upholstered pieces that are anchored by a beautiful rug of colorful floral squares and accent pieces of warm wood.

Columns below a beam define the full-width wall opening leading to the dining area with its side wall windows, wood table and chairs and a painted armoire for storage. A small accent table and two extra chairs for dining are placed against the living room sofa to maximize the space.  All the windows in the living and dining rooms have sheers to filter the sunlight and to provide privacy.

I loved the kitchen with its checkerboard patterned kitchen floor, the white cabinets with glass-fronted upper cabinets and the rear wall of windows with views of the yard. The range hood shaft is accented by a shelf with collectibles and the table for two in the middle of the room is a cozy spot for breakfast. A cut-out in the side wall next to the refrigerator opposite the range brings daylight into this corner of the room from the kitchen’s rear windows. Another cut-out in the front of the kitchen wall offers a vista to the front door and could also be a pass-through to the dining room.

The charming master bedroom on the second floor has a painted rattan headboard trimmed in the same fabric as the bedspread and window valances, two painted nightstands and lamps to create a serene retreat. Another bedroom and a third bedroom complete the second floor plan.  The third floor with the computer below the dormer window and built-in shelving is a quiet home office space.

Victorian charm with original details including the beautifully maintained pine flooring, spacious living -dining area, updated kitchen, great outdoor rooms in a prime location- a perfect in-town spot!

 

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, “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: Bayview Beauty

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The exterior and interior of this house was completely renovated including the infrastructure and has been transformed with great style. The focal point of the front elevation is dominated by a wide two-story gable with a hipped roof below that covers a spacious front porch. The rear elevation facing the water has multiple types of windows for breathtaking Bay views-large picture windows with side units to create shallow bay windows, clerestory windows, windows with transoms and French doors. Dark gray roofing, light gray siding, white trim and wide bay windows give the house distinctive character.

The front French door with full height sidelights opens to a spacious entry hall with a “U” shaped stair that leads to the second floor. Beyond the entry is the large great room with a stone fireplace in the center that divides the space into two sitting areas. Each sitting area has a wide bay window and a French door in between the bay windows leads to a flagstone path that meanders down to the deck at the water’s edge.

The sitting area with the fireplace is a dramatic two-story space with exposed stained collar beams and a bridge above connecting the bedroom suites on the second floor. The underside of the bridge, the railing, the window trim and the wood flooring are stained wood as accents against the white walls. At the rear, a row of clerestory windows above the wide bay window enlivens the space with light.

Beyond the great room the rear wall projects out in a box bay wing to create a dining area and another sitting area. Tall windows with transoms wrap around the corner of the house for panoramic Bay views. Behind these spaces is the kitchen that is open to the dining area and to the Bay views beyond. There are two master suites, one on each floor, each with its own amenities. The main floor suite has a private brick floored screened porch and the second floor master has a private deck for watching sunsets with perhaps a cappuccino from the nearby coffee bar?

The second floor contains my two favorite rooms, the office/library and the corner guest room. The library/office is open to the bridge and has floor to ceiling walls of books surrounding the wide bay window with a seat cushion and pillows at each end for reclining with a good book and a stuffed bear for company. I could easily envision setting up my laptop on the writing table anchored by the patterned rug and getting to work since the chair is strategically placed with its back to the water. My other favorite room is the corner guest suite with its triple windows and transoms that wrap around the corner of the room. Spiral stairs lead to a loft for extra sleeping space. The wood table a-deaux, the chaise lounge at the corner below the windows, and the bed linens in neutral colors create a serene space for guests who would be tempted to extend their stay.

The grounds include a fenced pool, vegetable garden and a large building that is currently used as an artist’s studio. No doubt the artist draws inspiration from the peaceful surroundings and the ever-changing Bay.

 

For more information about this property, please contact Richard Keaveney at Cross Street Realtors, 410-778-3779 (o), 410-708-6470 (c), or rdkeaveney@gmail.com, “An 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 Beach

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Now that I have turned off my heat, I am finally enjoying my screened porch for the first time since last fall and daydreaming about a day trip to a beach. The next best thing is to pretend my office chair is a deck chair on the beach at this property with its “coastal style” design. The house is nicknamed “Three Bridges” because you can see the Kent Island Bridge, the Bay Bridge and Baltimore’s Key Bridge simultaneously from the house’s sweeping views of the Bay.

The lower floor contains the garage, stairs to the second floor and the rest of the covered space offers a break from being out in the sun while being cooled by the Bay breezes. The second floor has a wrap-around all-seasons sunroom the full length of the house with a continuous wall of tall and wide windows for a bird’s eye view of seemingly endless water. The dining area at the corner of the wrap-around sunroom with the 180 degree views would make it easy to linger over dinner as the sun sets. The spacious gourmet kitchen and family room is connected to the sunroom by two pairs of French doors to create a large space for entertaining family and friends. An offset short hall leads to the master suite and a guest suite at the front of the house.

The story and a half design of livable space creates my favorite area-the third floor suite with its three gables and double windows in each gable. The sloped ceiling follows the underside of the roof joists and the intersection of the rear gable and the side gables creates an articulated ceiling plane. I especially like how the sloped portions of the walls are painted an accent color of sage green in contrast to the short knee wall and ceiling planes of white. The gable facing the water has a double window and a U” shaped window seat for a cozy seat for stargazing.

Coastal design, endless water views-heaven on the beach!

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: Octagon Origami

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I have always enjoyed designing additions because it is a fun challenge to take an existing house and improve its views, space planning flow, connection to the outdoors, etc. On my first visit to the architect Peter Newlin’s office, I was captivated by one of his projects that had won an award for an addition that transformed the existing house by its octagonal geometry. Peter’s clients had asked for three things: maintain a good fit with the neighboring houses and streetscape of Chestertown’s Historic District, new interiors that would be compatible with the existing ones and greater awareness of the Chester River. They also wanted to expand their living space with a “river room” on the main floor and a master bedroom on the second floor. What they received from this gifted architect was much more.

Newlin’s design concept began by extending a small gable at the rear of the house and attaching octagonal shaped spaces on both floors. This strategy reduced the impact of the addition but what it did to the interior architecture was magical. Suddenly new diagonal connections to the existing rooms occurred and panoramic views of the river were visible through the octagon’s wrap-around windows, the master suite’s deck and a covered terrace on the main floor. Doorways were enlarged, the hefty exposed ceiling beams that created the octagon’s clear span were painted out white to disguise their mass, resulting in an articulated ceiling plane and airy and light interiors. At the side of the house, a new two-story entrance linked the existing house to the octagonal addition. French doors at the main floor and an accent window at the second floor brought light into both floors of the hall. The design’s finishing touch was a direct path to the river from steps at the main floor covered terrace.

One of Peter’s distinctive design motifs is to place picture windows (no screens) at seated and standing heights with lower operating window units for ventilation. In the master bedroom, the combination of a small accent window close to the ceiling, large four-pane square picture windows and small rectangular vented units created a sophisticated composition. The master bedroom ceiling was a stunning piece of origami. Above the exposed octagonal ceiling joists, the pitched segments of the octagon roof framing were covered with white beadboard paneling that was uplit for great dramatic effect.

Great design is timeless and it is no surprise that this exquisite addition won a Merit Award from the Maryland AIA Chapter. This house was sold a few years ago to new owners who were delighted with the addition. They completed the renovation by closing off the door to the kitchen next to the entrance hall, removing the wall between the kitchen and the sitting room beyond and updating the kitchen and master bath. The door to the walled off opening was cleverly left intact and now opens to the shallow wall depth that is the perfect space for the Owners’ dog’s leashes. Their sophisticated interior design throughout both floors complemented the old and new part of the house.

Architecture by Peter Newlin of Chesapeake Architects, 410-778-4899, peter@chesarch.com, www.chesarch.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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