Remodeled bungalow takes advantage of riverside location


April 25, 1993|By YOLANDA GARFIELD

For 15 summers, dripping-wet children romped from th riverside swimming pool through the tiny, viewless kitchen (the screen door slamming behind them).

They headed for the master bedroom. It was the most convenient room for changing clothes; the other bedrooms were crowded with bunks and suitcases. Summers on the Magothy River, as owners Judy and Howard Cardin discovered over the years, were abuzz with children and visiting relatives and friends fond of the cutoffs-and-thongs lifestyle.

The Cardins regretted the unfortunate traffic patterns and the lack of a convenient changing area, but made do until the children grew up.

Then, after they briefly considered bidding adieu to their much-loved summer cottage, the Cardins approached Baltimore architect Steven Hoffman Shapiro. They inquired about adding a changing cabana; a larger addition seemed problematic because of riverfront zoning restrictions. The house had a pool on the river side, and stringent setbacks on other sides. Also, the owners wanted the remodeled house to fit in architecturally with its Eastern Shore neighbors.

This 2,000-square-foot Cape Cod-style bungalow was transformed from dreary to dreamy by the addition of two matching pavilions. Inspired by the design of Chesapeake Bay lighthouses, the pavilions eliminate the traffic problems of the original house and have additional benefits:

The little house's lack of windows obscured its one big asset: the coveted river view. Before renovations, the view was visible only through the jalousie windows of an overcrowded porch.

Fresh from a trip to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Hooper Strait lighthouse in St. Michael's, Mr. Shapiro showed the Cardins how a reconfiguration of the floor plan would make the master bedroom private, provide a convenient changing area, retain the Eastern Shore feel of the place -- and let the light in.

"The use of a lighthouse design turns out to be a perfect metaphor for the light we invited into the house," he says.

Mr. Shapiro's reinvention of the floor plan involved first removing the old porch and kitchen. The porch removal opened the living )) room to the river view. In one of the lighthouse-inspired additions, an octagonal dining room was placed at an angle to the living room in a plan that visually expanded the interior space.

The Cardins' privacy was restored by one of the pavilions, which houses a master bedroom suite facing the river. Complete with a master bath and generous dressing and closet space, the new (( suite is a far cry from the old, viewless master bedroom, which was on the street side of the house.

To improve the traffic patterns in the house, Mr. Shapiro created a foyer leading from the pool and garage area. It bypasses the house's new, large kitchen and provides access to the rest of the house. The new changing room is accessible directly from the pool area, as well as from this foyer.

Throughout, ceilings in the pavilions were tinted a shade of blue used on the ceilings of Victorian porches -- a color evoking languid summer afternoons. The walls were touched with yellow -- a faint whisper of gold to lend them a subtle glow.

"I wanted to enhance the quality of sunlight coming into the room and the warm yellow tones do that," says Mr. Shapiro.

From the street, the house appears unobtrusive and very much a cottage, in keeping with its neighbors. From the river side, it is an exciting presence on the landscape.

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