Designer Laura Hodges’s latest project, the remake of a family’s Maryland vacation home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, was going to be an exercise in problem-solving. “It’s right on the water, definitely in a flood-prone area,” she explains. “The waves you can see out that window right there were coming up all the way onto the shore.” The existing home, a former hunting cabin, would have to be torn down. In its place, Hodges worked with Christine M. Dayton Architect to erect a three-story home on stilts, with a carport underneath (to take on storm surges) and a viewing platform for the top floor.
As for the living quarters? “You’re like, ‘OK, well, up is great, but you know we also need space to meet the demands of their growing family,’” Hodges says with a laugh. The couple’s kids “probably will be bringing grandkids soon,” but local zoning restrictions limited how far the footprint could be expanded, and capped the build at just two bedrooms. So in the reading room, what looks like an extra-deep bench seat is actually a pair of twin beds. “We call it a little reading room, but it actually also sleeps four people because those are trundle beds underneath,” Hodges explains.
To keep the small home feeling as expansive as the views, the designer cherry-picked colors from the grassland marshes outside for the inside. The living room is swathed in sandy tones and dotted with green accents to reflect the biodiversity of the bay. And the adjacent kitchen, with an ocean-blue island, is directly connected to the outdoors via an outdoor staircase. “You don’t even need any artwork,” Hodges says. “You just kind of open up the window!”
Low-slung sofas by Lee Industries keep all eyes on the waterfront views in this Chesapeake Bay house by Laura Hodges Studio. Sisal rug: Dash & Albert. Coffee table: Theodore Alexander. Basket and garden stool: Domain by Laura Hodges Studio. Cabinet: vintage. Chairs: Sam Moore. Side table: Fairfield Chair. Curtains: custom in Schumacher fabric.
Custom pillows wrapped in Kravet fabric call to the reeds swaying outside. Bed: Universal
Furniture (discontinued). Table and chair: Domain by Laura Hodges Studio. Rug: Annie Selke. Sconce: Circa Lighting. Ceiling fan: Minka-Aire. Painting: commission, BB LaMartina Fine Art. Curtains: custom in Schumacher fabric. Paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore.
An outdoor staircase connects the room to entertaining areas, to keep muddy footprints from popping up indoors. Sconces: Rejuvenation. Pendant lights: Circa Lighting. Fridge: KitchenAid. Counter stools: Vanguard Furniture in Tynedale fabric. Table and bench: vintage. Dining chairs: Woodbridge. Ceramic planter: Domain by Laura Hodges Studio. Pillows: custom in Thibaut, Kravet fabrics. Paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore.
A custom bookcase and bench by Focus Construction hide four twin-size beds (two built-in, two trundles) for extra guests. Lamp: Circa Lighting. Ceiling fan: Minka-Aire. Painting: commission, BB LaMartina Fine Art. Paint: Chopped Dill, Benjamin Moore. Throw: Domain by Laura Hodges Studio. Pillows: custom in Schumacher, Maxwell Fabrics fabrics.
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