I enjoy selecting each weekly feature to create a mix of contemporary/historic, rural/urban, etc. so today’s feature is a counterpoint to last week’s contemporary house. This house in Easton illustrates many design elements of the Shingle Style with its wood shake siding that wraps around the corners without corner boards, asymmetrical facades enhanced by a gable projection with eave brackets, steeply pitched roof with gables that penetrate the eaves, an entry porch and a side service porch.
Since architectural historians place the “Shingle Style” as a subset of “Victorian”, I liked how the window frames, trim and the bay projection at the side elevation reflect the bright colors of the Victorian Age, balanced by the light colored trim of the fascia and eaves. The quirky alignment of the windows at both the front and side facades gives this house great charm and curb appeal.
The corner lot has fencing around the rear hardscaped yard with a meandering stone path overlay that passes by a former koi pond, firepit, hot tub and play equipment. The rear door of the house leads to a pantry and to the kitchen for ease of serving the outdoor dining area.
At the corner of the property is a three-bay rusticated block carriage house with single doors at both the street and the alley, a single sliding barn door and a double pair of sliding doors for access. The single bay could become an office, studio, or general storage and the attic space has been renovated.
The front door is a half French/half paneled door to filter sunlight into the deep foyer from the porch. I admired the original thin slat oak flooring, original staircase with its walnut newel post and cap rail, slender white balusters and decorative brackets; and the baseboard’s moldings along the top and bottom. The period light fixture completes the look. The louvered door leads to a powder room discretely tucked under the stairs.
Off the foyer is the spacious living room with a fireplace at the front wall. My eye was immediately drawn to the bay projection at the side wall and I especially admired how the layers of molding and decorative brackets framed this cozy space. Plantation shutters over just the bottom of the window panes would provide privacy and allow direct sunlight into the room from this wall in addition to the sunlight from the front window by the fireplace.
The equally spacious dining room’s interior architecture is enhanced by the exposed original hand hewn beams painted to match the wall color that accentuates the structure of the room. The cased opening between the dining room and living room frames a vista of the fireplace from the dining room table. The wall to the left of the framed opening has been partially removed to create a built-in bar/buffet for entertaining. The side wall has both a cased opening to the butler pantry and a pair of original full height frosted glass and paneled doors to a cozy sunroom/office that filter light into the dining room.
At the rear wall of the dining room is another stair to the second floor and to the basement. Since the dining room is quite long, the extra space could be modified to relocate the laundry and create a laundry/mud room by the exterior door to the porch at the side of the house. The rear wall of the dining room would then have an opening opposite the staircase wall for a lovely vista from the dining room table to family photographs, a mirror or artwork hung on the staircase wall.
It is always a pleasure to discover original millwork and I loved the butler’s pantry’s mix of the corner cabinet opposite the wall of closed base cabinets and glass fronted upper cabinets over the original thin oak flooring. The dining room has direct sunlight from the butler pantry’s window.
The work area in this compact, commercial grade kitchen is opposite the R/F wall leading to the walk-in food/wine pantry with extra cabinetry. The color palette is neutral with white cabinets, quartz countertops and stainless steel/black appliances for the next cook to make the space his/her own. I liked how the mix of open shelves and glass fronted upper cabinets don’t encroach upon the spatial volume of the space. Next to the range is a cased opening leading to a pantry filled with cabinetry and countertops for small appliances.
There are four bedrooms and one bath on the second floor. This bedroom is located at one front corner of the house and would be my choice for the primary bedroom. The millwork is designed to contain a small TV and the open shelves contain family photographs and other mementos. One door leads to the small adjacent bedroom that could become a primary bath to create an ensuite with the adjacent large closet.
One of the bedrooms is located under the gable roof at the rear of the house which creates a cozy loft sleeping space that leaves the floor area clear for play and the charming tree mural adds a touch of whimsy.
Another separate stair leads to the attic area that spans across most of the front of the house. The interior architecture is defined by the steep pitch of the roof framing with single windows in the end wall and the front dormer. Drawers, cabinets and open shelves infill the area under the eaves. Although this could be used as a bedroom, I would imagine young children would claim this space as their own for a rainy day playroom or sleepovers.
Convenient in-town location close to the Rails to Trails, cultural events, festivals, shopping and restaurants. Deep corner lot with a rear yard hardscaped for low maintenance and fencing for privacy to enjoy family gatherings or entertaining friends. The carriage house can both accommodate parking and storage and the attic area has been renovated for myriad uses-office, storage, etc. Irresistible charm of historic Shingle Style architecture dating from the early 20th century that has been preserved (thank God the wood shakes were allowed to weather naturally!) and interior period details including the original main staircase, moldings and trim and built-in millwork, combined with upgrades to the bath and the commercial grade kitchen. Great opportunity for the old house enthusiast to become the next steward of this unique property!
For more information about this property, contact Debby Geist-Lyons CREN, with Long and Foster Real Estate. Inc., Easton/Talbot at 410-770-3600 (o), 410-463-7132 (c), or [email protected] . For more photographs and pricing visit https://www.longandfoster.com/homes-for-sale/308-North-Street-Easton-MD-21601-355299615 , “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
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.