CAPE ELIZABETH – Joy Wheeler Dow, the Kennebunkport architect whose early-20th-century reconstructions adorn this mid-19th-century Colonial gem, was also an accomplished author (e.g. “How To Make A Successful House” and “The Best House To Live In.”)

Among the homes Dow praised and photographed was George Washington’s Mount Vernon; and it is no coincidence that this historic property features a handsome, two-story veranda, topped by a deep balcony porch and opening to a broad terrace, that is modeled after the piazza at Mount Vernon.

In keeping with the architect’s aesthetic, estate-quality character and the true comforts of home life are combined here. These qualities are complemented by improvements to the grounds and the house (all systems included) carried out in the past few years.

The property’s 7.5 acres, primarily private and well-screened, sit on high ground in the desirable, oceanfront Shore Acres neighborhood. The former Apple Tree Hill Farm land is now beautifully hardscaped and landscaped. Highlights include an 80-tree orchard of heirloom apples; a huge, attached barn; a garden house with electricity; berry shrubs; flower and vegetable gardens, a greenhouse, a granite-slab fire pit set among tall pines, and outdoor lighting to enhance the magic of a summer night.

The 14-room, 6,119-square-foot, five-bedroom home has hosted not only large social events/charity benefits but also a number of catalog photo shoots, on behalf of L.L. Bean and Vera Bradley among others. Details are elegant –note the crown moldings, and the window seats, and the vintage light fixtures, such as the brass medallion whose little bulbs are sheathed in art-glass petals, at the rear of the reception hall.

Spaces may be relaxed, informal and contemporary, like the newer, deep, cathedral-ceilinged breakfast “nook” that opens off the granite-and-stainless gourmet’s kitchen; or the top-story recreation room that was once the maids’ quarters, and accesses the balcony; or the master suite’s daylight walk-in “closet” / dressing room (originally a bedroom) with lovely maple built-ins; or the upstairs, carpeted family / media room.

Or, rooms may be relatively formal – the wide-pine-floored dining room, the front-to-back living room with its brick, wood-burning fireplace. Or, just comfortably casual, as are the first-floor guest suite, and the paneled den / library, which also has a fireplace. The five fireplaces in total also include one in the master bedroom, one in the second living room, and a lovely, tile-surround, elevated gas fireplace introducing the breakfast nook.

“Successful House?” A grand success.

The home at 114 Old Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth, is listed for sale at $1,995,000 by David Banks of RE/MAX By The Bay in Portland. Please contact David at 773-2345 or at [email protected]