A Forever Home in Eastport: A property built with every amenity desired by the homeowners
Top to bottom, inside and out, this property was built with every amenity desired by the homeownersBy Carol Sorgen // photography by Stephen Buchanan
After living in the older home they had purchased in Eastport on Horn Point, these discerning homeowners realized the house didn’t work for their lifestyle. Since renovating wasn’t feasible, the couple turned to Annapolis architect Cathy Purple Cherry to help them create their “forever” home in their adopted hometown.
According to Purple Cherry, the character of the house was designed so that it would feel smaller in scale and “cottage-like” from the street, yet allow for bigger and broader views from the water. “The owners desired large sweeping roofs covering blue shingles and siding, their favorite [exterior] color,” Purple Cherry says.
Indeed that “Chesapeake Blue” has been used in every one of the homeowners’ previous residences. What changed in this house, however, are the interior colors. “All our other homes were white inside, but in this home we wanted color!”
Taking into account the couple’s lifestyle and needs, Purple Cherry incorporated such creative functional elements as a hidden doggy door under the custom cabinets leading to an exterior ramp and fenced outdoor area. A secret panel in the master closet also leads to a path and a hatch allowing access to the widow’s walk on the roof peak. From there, visitors can enjoy the two sides of views of both downtown Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay.
“Tons of kudos to Cathy for reflecting our life,” says the appreciative lady of the house, who was an active participant in every phase of the design and construction.
“We picked every detail of the house with our hearts and souls,” she says, adding how much she loves living in Eastport for its eclectic character. “You don’t get that in a lot of places.”
“I spent hours on the floor at the hardware store, touching and looking at doorknobs, hinges, etc.,” she recalls. “Who knew a door knob for an inside door consists of more than one part! You have to choose the knob, the back splash part, material (all oil-rubbed bronze). The lighting was also a tremendous event. And bathrooms are another story. Picking a toilet and sink is amazing!”
Though the original structure itself couldn’t be renovated, nothing went to waste. Everything within the house was pulled out, donated, or repurposed. The new 5,000-square-foot dwelling, sits on a half-acre, and includes three bedrooms upstairs and one down, two offices, a movie theater, wine cellar and tasting room, workshop, library, open plan kitchen/living room/dining room, elevator, multiple decks, two-car garage, and the piece de resistance for any waterfront homeowner, its own beach.
“We had always lived within our means so that we could have everything we ever wanted in a home, from a fireplace in the bedroom to a wine cellar,” says the wife, a budget analyst by profession who applied her financial expertise to keeping the project in line.
Indeed, thanks to her savvy shopping skills, finding a Rockville, Maryland, granite shop that sold remnants at a lower price than she had budgeted for, allowed the couple to “granite everything!”
Ten-foot ceilings, crown molding, foot-high baseboards, and archways were also on the wish list and were accomplished through Purple Cherry’s attention to detail. “We went the extra mile with this home,” says the homeowner. “We spared no expense...though we did have a budget.” Among her favorite features are the wide-planked rustic oak flooring, in-floor heating in the basement and master bath, and a trompe l’oeil painting in the wine tasting room.
Saying she knows what she likes, the homeowner assembled a booklet with paint colors of all the rooms (such as pale sage green in the master bedroom and sunny yellow in the grandchildren’s guest room), so that she could coordinate fabrics when shopping.
The homeowner’s favorite part of the house is the main living area with its screened porch. She plans to tweak the outside as time goes on—perhaps a swing for the grandchildren, and new outdoor furnishings.
When it comes to the indoors, however—though she admits it’s bigger than she needs—“it’s perfect just the way it is.”
“This is still my forever home,” she says. “It reflects everything I need and want.”