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As a native New Englander, I'm a sucker for anything Colonial. Symmetrical façades book-ended by chimneys, many-paned windows and red brick just tug at the Puritan part of my heart. So naturally, I couldn't help but ooh and aah (with restraint, of course) over this Federal mansion in Annapolis, Maryland.

Once a former Capuchin monastery, this is more of a complex than a house, complete with guest house, carriage house, staff quarters, nine-car garage and six-slip private dock on the Severn River. While the $32 million price tag is a bit ungodly, the place probably has excellent karma.

I wish my house had the bones to pull off the understated elegance of this living room. Sure, the satin drapes and upholstery and poufy pillows would start to feel stuffy soon enough, but the marble fireplace and honey-coloured floors would look just as fresh in 50 years.

In the kitchen, classic Windsor chairs nestle up to a vast stone counter. Even though the millwork is creamy, the expanse of patterned stone and light wood ceiling keep the room from being all white.

Though the house does have a clubby wine cellar and game room that are all decked out in dark wood, exposed brick and roaring fires, I'm really drawn to the huge island and banks upon banks of cabinets in this work room. How would you ever decide what project to do first?

If the stresses of running this seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion become too much, take a moment to yourself in the indoor pool and spa. There's also a separate outdoor pool with a 60-foot infinity edge and a spacious surrounding terrace.

For some relaxed Colonial inspiration, check out Kathryn Bala's post on Savannah style.

Photo credits:
1-5: Sotheby's International Realty

Author: 

Kristen Koch

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