THE NAOMI

4055 Sq. Ft., Exterior Dimension
3825 Sq. Ft., Living Area
Optional basement

Some people collect match books and some people collect chia pets; me, I collect old houses. Port Townsend, WA, is one of my favorite haunts to roam through in looking for little treasures of late 19th Century Victorian houses to photograph. On a warm, bright day in early May several years ago, I found the inspiration for the “Naomi” setting on a side street in this wonderful, scenic town, nestled in a mature yard of laurel, wisteria, rhododendrons, camellias, cabbage palms and lantana, and shaded by a gigantic, 100-year old horse chestnut tree, in full bloom.

The “Naomi” progenitor would certainly be considered a Second Empire design by those who need to classify a style, but my little discovery was exhibiting few of the formal embellishments of exterior detailing that one would expect to see ornamenting this style. Except for the signature mansard roof and frieze and braced corbels under the eaves, I was touched by its unpretentious detailing and folksiness. In designing the “Naomi,” the house grew considerably larger than the cottage in my photographs, but I have tried to retain some of the informal, vernacular aura of the original structure.

You enter the house off of a wrap-around Verandah and step into a broad Foyer that traverses throughout the depth of the house. To your right, a colonnaded portal invites you into an expansive, formal Parlor. The Parlor is flanked with a walk-in, windowed bay on one side and a carved, painted fireplace façade and fireplace shared with the adjacent Great Room on the other side. A pressed metal frieze and cove and paneled ceiling add to the late 19th Century demeanor of the room.

Double French doors lead to a large, fully paneled Library well-lighted with an octagonal, walk-in bay with full-height windows. The Library is smart-wired and can also be utilized as an Office for an in-home business. A private exit to the Verandah emphasizes the planned dual functionality.

Double, arched portals access the Great Room from the Parlor. It, too, is flanked with a walk-in bay and shared fireplace, and features eight windows that were designed to cast copious natural light. A coffered ceiling with inset, architectural detailed boxed beams span a room that is designed to accommodate upwards to 12 people.

To the left from the Foyer is the Dining Room, featuring a walk-in bay and faux-stone fireplace, and designed to sit ten guests.

Adjacent to the Dining Room is a formal Orangerie. Full height windows line all five walls, and a paved, brick floor adds to the ambiance of a special room for showing off exotic plants. The Orangerie can also be used as a seating solarium or as a dining adjunct for over-flow family gatherings.

Abutting the Dining Room and Orangerie is a commercial-grade Kitchen with two dishwashers, roomy cabinet storage, up and down, a large pantry, an eating bar and an abundance of countertop space created by wrap-around wall cabinetry and an elongated peninsula. A full-sized Morning Room with walk-in bay will easily accommodate either eight seated diners or two seated newspaper readers.

The second floor is highlighted with a capacious Master Bedroom and Master Bath suite. Within the Master Bedroom, a clestory window wall niche is designed for a king-sized bed, a walk-in bay creates an intimate seating area, and a roomy walk-in closet will give the master suite occupants more than 35 linear feet of double hang space. An arched portal connects a dressing vanity with two sinks to the Maser Bedroom, and a private spa room with a free-standing spa tub and over-sized, tiled shower, open, floor-to-ceiling linen storage and period water closet round out the amenities of the Master Bath.

Completing the living area of the Second Floor are three, over-sized Bedrooms, one with a private Bath and a shared continental Bath for the other two Bedrooms. Walk-in closets and walk-in bays are also features of two of the Bedrooms.

Bill Garnett © 2004

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