Come by and get “A Bird’s Eye-View” at our tour

by Karen Malo and Mary Ann Griffith - Posted on Apr 13, 2011 - 04:38 PM

Photo: Classical themes, informed contemporary design, innovative materials, eco-technology and an extensive collection of global art all meet in Gum Thicket,the Gwynn’s Island home of Rob Quartel and Michela English.

Classical themes, informed contemporary design, innovative materials, eco-technology and an extensive collection of global art all meet in Gum Thicket,the Gwynn’s Island home of Rob Quartel and Michela English.

Photo: As visitors approach Clovelly down a winding drive through the trees, little do they realize the house commands a panoramic view from a 32-foot bluff overlooking the Piankatank River at Holland Point.

As visitors approach Clovelly down a winding drive through the trees, little do they realize the house commands a panoramic view from a 32-foot bluff overlooking the Piankatank River at Holland Point.

Visitors are cordially invited for "A Bird’s Eye View" of the Gloucester-Mathews Tour featuring four charming properties and a sampling of the beautiful waters that make the rivah country so special. It’s Springtime in Virginia, a wonderful time for strolling the grounds and touring the lovely residences opened by generous homeowners.

Clovelly, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Henry T. Pait, sits high on a bluff with a commanding view of the very wide Piankatank River. Its 10 acres, once owned by botanist John Clayton, include a garden featuring native plants, a gazebo, beach, guesthouse, pool, and two-story playhouse for the grandchildren. The property invites one to walk, look and enjoy. The one-story house has a most accommodating floor plan that separates the guest wing and master suite on opposite ends of the foyer. Living space is in the center. Newly remodeled, the kitchen is bright white and looks very user friendly. Furnishings are highlighted by family antiques and collections. French doors, a glassed-in porch, and lots of windows connect the interior with the landscape and its beautiful vistas.

Gum Thicket, owned by Rob Quartel and Michela English, offers a spectacular three-quarter view of the Chesapeake Bay from its location on Gwynn’s Island. Stone breakwaters mark the water side of the property, and the front of the house is accented by a grove of fruit trees and metal birds. Just completed in 2008, the landscape is well-cared for and beautifully designed. The house itself is an amazing combination of classical and contemporary style. On the first-floor glass panels capable of withstanding a Category 4 hurricane form the walls, but they do not interrupt the flow from inside to outside. Bright color and amazing art and artifacts reflect the eclectic interests of the owners. Their Italian-designed kitchen suggests hospitality. Green technology throughout the house impresses and inspires.