Chesapeake Bay Historic Beauty
Situated on a creek right off of the Chesapeake Bay, this 1880s farmhouse is living its best life now as a gorgeously remodeled bed and breakfast/ inn. Do you ever visit an older house and just feel the happiness it exudes? This house is so obviously cherished that it feels like it was always meant to be used as it is today. The current owners and innkeepers (Greg and Lori) are not only masters at hospitality, but they clearly know a thing or two about old houses.
The farmhouse is situated on an ~8 acre peninsula surrounded by Tabbs Creek. Tabbs Creek is a short boat ride away from the Chesapeake Bay, and there is abundant wildlife and beautiful vegetation in this tidewater area of Virginia. The grounds of this property are vibrant and pristine.
The farmhouse has clearly been added on to over the years. Before Greg & Lori purchased it, a pool was added to the side yard, which is now a cool eco-friendly (chlorine free) pool for guests to use.
The back of the house is utterly charming with its third story window and screened in porch. I love how old houses are always surrounded by a bunch of little buildings, like old smokehouses/ well houses/ storage sheds/ you name it. This is no exception. It kind of grounds the main house and adds to the grandeur of the three stories.
Check out how Greg and Lori have decorated this– is it beautiful or what? I love the nod to the local history. Lori said most of these have washed up on shore/ she’s found them locally.
Here’s the view from the back deck looking out over the creek. Talk about de-stressing. 🙂
Below is another old building on the property. The rusty metal roof is so gorgeous to me. Architecture and architectural features are what make country houses so special and give them their charm. This roof almost exaggerates those features so that the property retains its own character and its history.
This Virginia LOVE sign is on the side of one of the guest houses on the property and it is so cool! Lori made it herself.
Stepping inside we see one of my favorite features ever: a “backwards” staircase (where the staircase starts at the end of the hallway and makes it way up toward the front of the house). (Here’s another favorite farmhouse of mine that had this, swooooon!)
The woodwork on this staircase is absolutely incredible. I appreciate how it’s been kept in its original wood state and not painted. A lot of older homes in this area of Virginia were at least partly constructed by shipbuilders who had to get the woodwork airtight and perfect. I could see this staircase being one of those.
A super cool feature in this staircase is this round circular thing where you walk around the bend. Greg and Lori think it was added so that people don’t hit their legs into the main balustrade while walking around the curve. I’ve never seen one of these before! It adds so much charm. I love how it’s obviously handmade too. It is deliciously hodgepodge and softens the straight lines of the staircase.
Front Sitting Room
In the front of the house is a beautiful sitting room with a fireplace that commands the attention of the room.
It’s a highly unusual mantlepiece and the origins are unknown. I could stare at it for hours and not tire of this exquisite inlay detailing.
Coffee Room/ Kitchen
Past the foyer with the staircase in the middle of the house is a gathering room that is now used for guests to grab food and coffee. It’s such a versatile space and the neutral palette embraces the natural warmth of wood.
This room also has a stunning fireplace as a focal point. On either side of the fireplace are little peek through openings to the back dining area.
Greg and Lori’s resident innkeeper is a beautiful Great Dane named Bay. She is the sweetest and most well behaved puppy possibly ever!
These built-in pantries have such pretty trimwork. They’re not only functional for storage but beautiful too.
Inside the pantries you can see the original lathe and plaster walls! How cool is that?
Nothing makes a farmhouse more personal than good art. I love these pretty paintings all over the walls!
Off to the side of the house is a fun breakfast room drenched with light.
I love a bright room! Lori’s collection of blue and white ceramics brings together this wallspace and really elevates the room.
Wood Paneled Dining Room
The dining room in the back of the house is beautifully dark and moody with all the natural wood paneling and wow is it gorgeous. It opens up to the breakfast room and has those little pass through countertops to the front hearth area, so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic or anything. This is such a special place for guests.
(Bay is pretty much the world’s best model, is she not?)
At the very back of this beautiful house is a screened in porch with all the rustic charm. It looks out at the water surrounding the property. It is timeless and elegant, incorporating a mix of old and new furniture. My favorite part of this is the worn painted blue floorboards.
The second floor has three bedrooms each with their own bathroom and views of the water. One was occupied while I was visiting, but I get to show you two!
My favorite room in the whole house is the blue bedroom that is at the back. It is absolutely stunning. The headboard is actually a fireplace mantle (love it!) and the color of the walls totally picks up on the water outside.
Greg made these nightstands himself using old pieces of salvaged wood from the property!
The decor in this room is so sweet.
One feature I love about this house is the old doors with antique hardware. Look at this door going into the bathroom, for example. Country homes are never straight– the walls and ceilings and floors are a bit crooked as they settle– and I love how the doors have been here so long they’ve settled a bit too.
Aren’t these hinges awesome?
Here’s the view from this room. As you can imagine, I didn’t want to leave.
The other bedroom I got to see upstairs has a different, more cheerful vibe and also is totally charming.
In this room, you see the fireplace when you walk in (and the windows also have amazing views!).
I love these old storage areas tucked away behind fireplaces. (Here’s another house where I saw that, but it was in the dining room! I didn’t realize folks did this in bedrooms too until now.)
Photos really can’t convey how peaceful this property is. The house itself really seems to speak by honoring its architecture and historic details. Greg and Lori have furnished it with a fun mix of antiques and fabrics, lots of rugs, and artwork. The overall effect is relaxed and collected over time. This evolved and well-loved farmhouse is not only interesting, but also a beautiful expression of the home’s personality.