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Camp Time on the Wye: Poolside addition to Queenstown waterfront impresses all who come

Jun 29, 2015 01:27PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Carol Sorgen // Photography by Stephen Buchanan

Larry and Sherri Gotts want their family and friends to consider their Queenstown vacation home as “Camp Gotts.”

“We want it to be a gathering place,” say the couple, who spend most weekends at the house, as well as longer stays during the summer—the better to be on hand for guests who like to visit before or after their trips to the beach.

The Gotts, longtime boaters who make their primary residence in Potomac, Maryland, decided about 10 years ago that it was time to have a second home on the water. Initially, they preferred not to have to cross the Bay Bridge, but when they found a builder’s model home on a 3-acre site on the Wye River, the Bridge issue no longer seemed that important.

The main house, with 5,500 square feet, six bedrooms, and seven bathrooms, is “open and comfortable,” say the Gotts, but much of their entertaining is done outdoors. After one function, they realized they needed a bathroom that guests could use without going into the house. And as most remodelers ruefully admit, from one small wish grows one large project; in this case, the outdoor bathroom morphed into a year-round pool house. “Or in other words, the ultimate in ‘project creep,’” laughs Larry, an intellectual property trial attorney in the D.C. office of global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP.

The Gotts turned to Stevensville-based Lundberg Builders for help in refining their plans and constructing the 630-square-foot pool house that, yes, does have the bathroom that started the whole project.

Lundberg architectural designer Bob Moreland explains that the Gotts desired a pool house that blended seamlessly with their existing home, but would allow for year-round use as a quiet getaway area and a gathering spot to watch football when the weather turned chillier. Open flow to the pool and patio area was also important, as was allowing for views to the river below.

“We chose siding, roofing, and stone materials that were consistent with the main house for an integrated look,” Moreland says. “We also installed a folding glass wall that gave total access from the pool house to the terrace area, as well as uninterrupted views to the river.”

Among the items on the Gotts’ wish list for Moreland was a wood-burning fireplace inside the pool house, a fire-pit outside to gather around on cool summer or fall evenings, and an outdoor shower. The existing concrete pool terrace and pool coping was removed and replaced with interlocking stone pavers that complemented the stone veneer on both the house and pool house.

“In summer, the pool house feels like an outdoor space, but in the winter it’s warm and cozy,” say the couple, adding that they now spend most of their time year-round in the pool house. “We could almost dispense with the main house!”

When it came to the interiors, the Gotts worked with their longtime interior designer, Carole Lindenberg, ASID, of Potomac Designs in Bethesda. It was her suggestion to cover the cathedral ceiling in a tongue-and-groove limed oak for a “coastal” look, complemented by Sherwin Williams 6220 “Interesting Aqua” on the walls and Benjamin Moore “White Dove” trim.

“Everyone comments on the paint color,” say the Gotts. “It has such a cool, soothing feel.”

Lindenberg also suggested the cobbled limestone facing for the fireplace, which has a lighter touch than more traditional fieldstone, as well as gray-washed custom cabinets from Ephrata, PA-based Prevo Cabinetry. The cabinets echo the gray-grained tile floors with their wood appearance. For ease of maintenance, the sectional furniture is upholstered in Sunbrella fabric.

The Gotts say they couldn’t be happier with the results. The pool house reflects the style of the main house which, in turn, reflects the style of the homeowners themselves—casual and comfortable.

“It’s just a colorful, festive place to be!” they say.