This project is a renovation and addition to an early twentieth-century Victorian farmhouse in Talbot County Maryland overlooking the Choptank River. The modest farmhouse comprised six rooms, three on each level, in a simple T-shaped plan. A three-bay porch on the East provided the front of the house, facing the rising sun over the Choptank. The existing farmhouse was built over a poor foundation, and the house had fallen into disrepair.
The client purchased the property as a weekend home and wanted to provide accommodation for a ground floor bedroom suite, and additional bedroom, screened sleeping porch and art studio space on the second floor. As an avid gardener, our client requested a garden shed and asked that we restore the existing springhouse.
The new road that provided access to the property posed an additional challenge. The Southern side of the house, originally the side, became the approach side of the house. Expansion of the house toward the water was prohibited.Our solution involved the conversion of the T-shaped farmhouse into an H-shaped plan with the central section providing the new entry to the South. We sought to design a stylistically compatible addition, which, while providing a new entry facade, would open the residence to the Choptank River. To facilitate this, two bay windows were added and the historic front porch was restored, all facing the Choptank. The new addition provides a compatible two-story wing with the restored side porch forming the new entry. All rooms are organized to take advantage of the water views, with a second floor screened sleeping porch facing the water.
The new floor plan allows the original six-room house to remain recognizable, while nearly doubling the house in size. The detailing of the addition was intended to be seamless with the original farmhouse. Exterior siding, new wood windows, and exterior detailing were chosen to be compatible with the original farmhouse. Antique pine flooring was used on the interior, to match that found in the existing residence.
The house remains primarily a summerhouse, although provision has been made to permit year-round use. The location of the porches affords natural cooling during the summer, eliminating the need for air conditioning for all but the hottest of Eastern Shore summers. The new balcony off the second floor Master Bedroom is sheltered by a new gable that incorporates a more crafted façade, facing the balance of the farm to the west. A small garden shed provides the boundary of the garden and is reminiscent of the modest boathouses that dot the shoreline of the Choptank.