Extraordinary Seaside Treasure

Hidden Gem on Grapevine Cove

Writer: Vickie Milburn | Photographer: August Selckmann | Fall 2021
Luck was with Wayne Tabor while working on a customer’s house in Lusby. The owner of Absolute Quality Contractors noticed a house completely covered with trees and brush on a nearby piece of property. The hidden house was sitting on a beautiful wooded spot surrounded by many hardwood trees, old azaleas and dogwoods. It overlooked Grapevine Cove, a tributary off St. Leonard Creek. Wayne’s curiosity got the best of him, and he decided to take a closer look. As he explored the lot, Wayne knew he had found a hidden gem, and could visualize a new home on the picturesque property.
Wayne had no idea who owned it or if they would even sell it. His wife Karen Tabor, a real estate agent, did the research and they were able to track down the owner, who lived in Gibson Island and hadn’t been to the home for more than 14 years. It was meant to be because it wasn’t long after meeting the owner at the property that Wayne and Karen purchased the two acres.

Work in process
The first step was to make the old house livable. They would rent it out for a few years while preparing their future home. Since the Tabors were boaters, installing a pier on a protected body of water would be ideal while preparing the property and designing home plans.
Designing the home
Having been familiar with a plethora of home styles, the Tabors chose one with enough space for their children, grandchildren, pets, extended family and entertaining. They wanted a house that complemented the serene setting with expansive windows that took in the view of the water, and met the county requirements of staying on the original footprint.
Wayne planned a modified Victorian design with an open floor plan in the back of the house that included the kitchen, dining and living room area. There’s an overlook from the second level, a two-story stone fireplace, open foyer with a seating area, five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, a very functional butler’s pantry and a full basement. Much time was, spent on the interior details, using Craftsman trim, rain-glass transom windows above all the doors, hardwood floors throughout, a calming color scheme, quartz countertops, and marble for bath showers. The exterior design included the Victorian use of dormers, large porches and steep roof pitches. The plan also included a three-car garage complete with space for an office.
The Building Begins
Once the plans were ready, and the time was right, the old house had to be taken down. Then it took six months for Wayne and his crew to build the house. He spent any free time doing the work and personally custom built all the interior doors, laid the stonework on the fireplace and the exterior, and cut the custom moldings and trim.
Interior Decorating
While Wayne was busy getting the house built, Karen was working hard searching for furnishings and décor. She found pieces in yard sales and thrift stores; painting and restoring them. She searched Pinterest for design ideas, and many other stores for just the right furniture, lighting, linens and window treatments. Since very few of the items from their previous home were transferring to the new house, there was much work to do. Karen took her time, bought only what she loved and it worked wonderfully!
Seaside Treasure
Now that the house is complete and they have moved in, Wayne and Karen spend much of their time outside on the back porch enjoying the foliage, wildlife and views of the water. The cove is home to dozens of bird varieties including blue herons, eagles, osprey and songbirds. Deer can often be spotted from the porch as well as a few otters. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and being nourished and rejuvenated by Mother Nature.
Luck may have had a part in the discovery of the hidden house, but creativity, talent and hard work made this home an extraordinary seaside treasure. ▪

• Paint Agreeable – Gray by Sherwin Williams
• Floors – natural wide plant maple, wired brushed
• Exterior stone – cultured flagstone
• Kitchen counters – Calacatta Laza Quartz
• Bathroom counters – Calacatta Naples Quartz
• Siding color – Sandstone Beige