REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Hansel? Gretel? Crozet terra cottage quirkily charming
Address: 6818 Jarmans Gap Road
Year Built: 1920
Size: 2,571 fin sq. ft. / 570 unfin.
Land: 2.05 acres
Agent: Marjorie Burris, Stevens & Company, 960-2847
Curb Appeal: 7 out of 10
At the base of a mountain slope, abutting land owned by Crown Orchard Co. (of the Chiles family, whose farm stand is just down the road), this four-bedroom cottage is ideally situated for those who like the quiet life. Just off Greenwood Road, the house overlooks a peach orchard on two sides and is bordered by Licking Hole Creek.
Despite all this idyllic pastoralism, however, the home's two acres— while prettily landscaped with a Japanese maple and periwinkle ground cover— don't boast much of a yard. Parents searching for a soccer field should look elsewhere.
While the house was originally built in 1920, it's more reminiscent of the 1960s and ‘70s. This may be due to the 1968 and '77 additions. Originally constructed with terra cotta blocks, the nucleus of the place is an eat-in kitchen and small, warren-like bedrooms with carpeted floors. One narrow room has been turned into a bathroom approximately the size of a hallway. The three bedrooms in this area vary in size, but all are functional. One has a built-in vanity, another, built-in bookshelves.
At the back of the house is the 1968 addition including a master suite with a walk-in closet with built-in ironing board and sewing table. (It was another era.) Adjoining the bedroom is a family room with oak floors and a lipstick-red woodstove. A loft area upstairs has nice bookshelves. In both the family room and the master bedroom sliding glass doors lead to the back porch.
The family room back here mirrors the 1977 addition in front: a large living room with another woodstove, oak flooring, exposed beams, and windows facing the orchard. A double four-step staircase leads to the kitchen and the three center bedrooms.
These additions make the house more spacious, but it's a confusing layout that doesn't feel open, but is meandering instead. The two living areas bookending the house are beautiful rooms– and provide a buffer in case one family member likes to watch Sports Center at ungodly hours of the night– but they feel like afterthoughts.
Why are the foyer and the living room on a slightly different level from the rest of the house? If the floor plan was rethought and some walls knocked down, the additions would feel more integrated.
The horseshoe-shaped kitchen is also awkward and doesn't feel like the central gathering place most kitchens usually become. With linoleum floors, the kitchen and the bathrooms are both dated.
On the plus side, there's plenty of room for the ambitious owner to expand. The basement is unfinished, but it has natural light, and a patio could easily be created outside the sliding glass door. Likewise, the attic (where the original terra cotta blocks are still visible) could be insulated and turned into a fifth bedroom or a large office. You'd have to work around the brick chimney in the center, but the attic already has built-in shelves, skylights, and windows.
To the left of the house lie a detached one-car garage (with some extra room for storage) and a small garden shed with an overhang that the current owners are using to shelter their woodpile. The garage is painted the same dove grey as the main house, and nicely blends with the overall scheme.
With its babbling brook and a welcoming red door, this orchard cottage is charming and quirky. With a few renovations, it could move right up to storybook status.
PHOTOS BY STEVENS & COMPANY
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