The aerial of this eight acre wooded property with frontage along an inlet of the Wye East River is an appealing illustration of peace and quiet. The cottage and its pier are surrounded by approximately 460 acres of protected woods and the Pickering Creek Audubon Center is a neighbor. As I drove along the long gravel drive through the woods, the sights and sound of nature began to work its magic and I began to relax. I arrived at a clearing in the woods just as the sun was beginning its descent and the cottage and a large deck came into view.
The cottage with its rural vehicular form and its deck have panoramic views of the water from their position at the top of a deep lawn that gently slopes down to meet the steep bank along the shoreline. The earth tones of the exterior color palette blends into the landscape. The compact pitched form of the story and a half cottage is enhanced by shed roofed one story extensions on three sides of the main floor of differing depths that give the cottage’s massing great charm. One extension creates a recessed area for the entry door and becomes longer to create space for a bath and guest bedroom. The side extension creates both space for the kitchen with a box bay for the greenhouse window above the sink area and also room for the dining area with its wrap-around full height windows.
The third extension on the other side creates space for a spacious primary bedroom. The deck spans across the rear elevation and wraps around the corner of the dining room for diagonal views of the water. Glass doors from the living room and primary suite creates indoor-access to this wonderful outdoor room. The lower portion of the deck contains an outdoor shower and a sink for cleaning the day’s catch after a day on the water.
The entry door opens into a foyer that blends into the hall to the bedrooms and bath and to the kitchen on the other side. Stairs lead to the loft that overlooks the open plan living-dining-kitchen area. The wall cut outs of various sizes introduce the contemporary interior architecture.
As I walked through the foyer, I admired the vista through the living room to the water and how the late afternoon sun from the glass doors with transoms above fills the room with light and offers views of both the water and the blue sky. The living room’s furniture is arranged around the wood burning fireplace whose brick chimney rises to the underside of the ceiling to become a sculptural element. Built-in stained wood millwork on either side of the fireplace creates the cozy feeling of an inglenook.
Before I toured the rest of the main floor, I could not resist going up the stairs to explore the loft bedroom above that overlooks the spatial geometry of the living-dining-kitchen area below. The pitched ceiling plane of the two-story living room transitions to the one-story shed roofed dining and kitchen areas below and stained wood collar beams accent the white ceiling. Wall planes define the open plan and vary from partial height walls to the full wall openings between the living room and the dining-kitchen area. Sunlight streams into the spaces from the glass doors, transoms, full height windows and the kitchen’s skylight. The pair of windows above the shed roof of the dining-kitchen area provide additional sunlight and views of the woods from the loft bedroom.
I especially admired the dining area with the wrap-around picture windows, operable units below and the triangular transom that combine to create diagonal views of the landscape. Glass doors lead to the deck for al-fresco dining.
The kitchen’s white cabinetry blend into the white walls and ceiling above the beautiful wood floors and reflects the sunlight from the windows, skylight and box bay greenhouse style window. The mix of gray-green quartz and wood countertops accent the white of the space. Although the desk area is inviting, I would prefer to relocate the washer and dryer from the basement to this area since it has direct access to the hall leading to the main floor bedrooms and bath.
The single story shed roofed area creates corner windows for diagonal views of the woods and water and creates a spacious primary bedroom with both sitting and sleeping areas. The adjacent bath has dual vanities with separate framed mirrors and a large shower. The exterior door leads to the deck for a quick clean up after an afternoon on the water.
There is another bedroom and hall bath on the main floor. The loft bedroom spans the depth of the main floor and has two large closets along the interior wall. The interior architecture is defined by the exposed stained wood rafters under the pitched ceiling, the overlook to the open plan area below and the shed dormer above the pair of glass doors to a balcony for bird’s eye views of the water.
Charming cottage blending a rural vernacular exterior with contemporary interiors, sited on eight acres high above the shoreline of Pickering Creek in a clearing surrounded by over 460 acres of protected woods. Savor the peace and quiet from the large deck overlooking the water, sandy beach and a 120 foot pier for enjoying the outdoors. Great living-dining-kitchen open plan with interior wall cut outs to flood the spaces with sunlight, flexible loft space for a third bedroom or a TV room with a waterside balcony-the perfect move-in ready private retreat close to Town!
For more information about this property, contact Keith Hensley, who helped sponsor this article, at Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o), 410-739-2526 (c), or [email protected]. For more photographs and pricing, visit https://m.prspcts.co/kk49rEfBrAaKx1Wu7 , “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Photography by Janelle Stroop, 410-310-6838, [email protected]
Jennifer Martella has pursued dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. She has reestablished her architectural practice for residential and commercial projects and is a referral agent for Meredith Fine Properties. Her Italian heritage led her to Piazza Italian Market, where she hosts wine tastings every Friday and Saturday afternoons.