2307 North St. James Parkway (2001)


This gracious Georgian home was built in 1930 for Dwight Joyce, president of the Glidden Paint Company. Sixty-seven years later, the present owners, who had lived here for 26 years, purchased the half-lot to the south and began construction of an addition that doubled the home's footprint while maintaining its character. One requirement was that the large oak tree on the southwest corner be preserved, and it now sits very comfortably in the angle created by the old and the new.


The addition features an airy and spacious garden room built on the much expanded site of the old library. The bluestone floor is repeated on the new patio outside. To the right is the new library with a fireplace made of bricks from the old, and beyond that is the master bedroom with a lovely view of the garden. There are large and plentiful closets throughout. The sliding pocket doors between the library and garden room contain a surprise. Instead of simply painting both sides of the doors as intended, the painters created faux knotty pine on the library side to match the room's paneling. They then presented the delighted owners with the accomplished fact.


The kitchen has also been expanded. It is very simple and elegant, with blue tile and soft blue cupboards. The floor covering is Pergo, a Swedish product made of pressed wood particles that looks like regular wood flooring but has the advantage of being resilient and easy to clean. The pantry is new, converted from the former breakfast room. The whole access to the kitchen has been changed, with a new back porch and entrance and an open archway that replaces the wall between the kitchen and the former library.


In the living room, the fact that the ceiling molding is narrower than that in the center hall suggests that at some time in the past it was altered, probably when the ceiling was re-plastered. The two bookcases here are recent additions that echo the molding. The brass fittings throughout the house have all been removed and polished.


The basement is now a very homey office space with its stone fireplace and many objects of interest, including a musical instrument from Thailand and a framed photograph of a long-ago Fourth of July street parade plus that of a group of young entrepreneurs' "lemenade stand."


The visual hub of the house is the garden room, which integrates the exterior garden with the interior. On either side of the garden room windows are a pair of Allegheny Serviceberry trees. The shade of their leaves on a sunny morning creates the illusion of sitting on an open porch in the shade of these rustling leaves. Stepping from the garden room out the back door and into the garden, brings you to the driveway and patio area. The herringbone brick drive is edged with rectangular granite stone. The gray granite edge provides a color transition from the brick to the Pennsylvania Bluestone patio. Different varieties of clematis drape over the arch to the patio area. To your immediate left, next to the garage, is a rare, fall-blooming Franklinia tree. Many textures of evergreens edge the patio, from a clipped Hemlock hedge to the cream-edged leaves of Daphne x burkwoodii. The patio looks into the lawn area with its sweeping curves and teak bench. The bench draws you into the yard, and the lawn carries your eye to the garden around the corner to your right. In this area, the plantings, with overlapping textures, create a feeling of privacy and provide a pleasing backdrop to the perennials. Hostas, Japanese Anemone and ‘Clara Curtis' Chrysanthemums, provide interesting fall color against the persistent blooms of Annabelle and Oak-leaved hydrangea.


In the patio area, an addition to the back of the garage creates a pleasing focal point from this view. It is also a practical place for these avid gardeners to store the equipment that maintains this beautiful yard. Return to the drive through the arch. On the right are a Paperbark Maple and on the left, ‘The Fairy' roses, which bloom continuously until freezing weather. The front gardens are understated elegance, with a crescent of pachysandra, and Hosta under mature shade trees. Matched Japanese Tree Lilacs and Holly flank the stairs leading to the sidewalk and road.