The busy Washington, DC-based owners of this Eastern Shore family retreat wanted it to embody the informal open living of their favorite vacation spots – with spaces both ample, to accommodate large gatherings with their adult children and a growing number of grandchildren, and more intimate, for the two of them.
The house reflects a combination of influences: beachfront vernacular, Carolina coast, Shingle-style and an island-feeling outdoor space – together, evoking a Chesapeake character. Set on a wide expanse of land, it is organized as a linear composition, allowing broad water views from every room in the house. A primary hall element connects a first floor master suite at one end to a spacious sunroom at the other end, perfect for enjoying watery sunsets within view of the lanai, with its full outdoor kitchen, fireplace-centered covered seating area, and large saltwater pool. At the push of a button, the lanai can be screened in, allowing afternoons to turn into evenings without the company of mosquitoes. A greenhouse and garden (fenced-in for protection from hungry four-legged neighbors) allow the avid gardeners to cultivate farm-to-table goodness year round.
An artfully curved staircase unites foyer and living room, whose double-volume space brings an abundance of natural light deep into the house. A tower element contains a second stair that leads to a large “secret” third floor dormitory room to be shared by grandchildren; its door concealed in a hinged bookcase.
With countless details lovingly incorporated, this family-oriented compound is uniquely suited to the extended family to occupy it, for generations to come.
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