Unlike some of the historic houses Stephen Muse has worked on, this 1784 residence on the Eastern Shore of Virginia hadn’t been treated too badly over the years. “The basic body of the house was in pretty good shape,” Muse says. So the main goals for the Washington, D.C.–based architect and his colleagues William Kirwan and Mary-Margaret Stacy were to retain the building’s many good points, remedy some awkward changes, and generally restore it to its former glory.

Although few drawings of the original house existed, the architects deduced that the twin front entry porches probably had reappeared on the creekside rear façade at one time. They added back those elements to give the house more of a relationship with the creek. Also, they moved the kitchen to a more historically appropriate location—just outside the main house—and connected it to the rest of the building with a pantry. A new breakfast room addition echoes the original home’s proportioning. “It’s an extraordinarily sensitively done renovation,” a judge said.

Entrant/Architect: Muse Architects, Bethesda, Md.; Builder: Tim Maloney, Lansdowne, Pa.; Landscape designer: In Full Bloom, Painter, Va.; Living space: Withheld; Site: Withheld; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Erik Kvalsvik.

Product details

Bathroom fittings: Waterworks, www.waterworks.com; Bathroom fixtures: Kohler, www.kohler.com, Toto USA, www.totousa.com, Waterworks, www.waterworks.com; Dishwasher/garbage disposer: KitchenAid, www.kitchenaid.com; Flooring: New Ravenna Mosaics, www.newravenna.com; Garage doors: Designer Doors, www.designerdoors.com; Lighting fixtures: Rejuvenation, www.rejuvenation.com; Range: Wolf, www.wolfappliance.com; Paints: Benjamin Moore, www.benjaminmoore.com; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, www.subzero.com; Windows: Marvin, www.marvin.com

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Virginia Beach, VA, Washington, DC.