Home & Living

Fiber Artist Alison Maxwell’s Essex Home is an Ode to Nature and Art

Take a look inside Maxwell's home—a melding of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and Baltimore roots.

HOME SWEET HOME: My home style is very eclectic and somewhat naturalistic. I am a very tactile person, and texture is very important to me. I consider our home to be a melding of my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and my husband’s Baltimore roots. I wanted earthy colors and a relaxing atmosphere with natural woods, plants, well-loved vintage items, and local art. Our home is filled with things we love, and we want to be surrounded by family heirlooms, as well as new treasures.

ORIGINS: I have a long family history in the arts, stemming from two great grandfathers—both mechanical engineers—who drew and designed plans for local Pennsylvania factories. I was fortunate enough to inherit their German mechanical drawing tools. My paternal grandmother took painting lessons from a P.T. Barnum lion tamer and was so happy that I decided to become the first formally trained artist—my company is Felt Up Girl—in our family.

EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY: We first saw Sandtown Furniture Co. at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and fell in love with the living-edge dining table. We used this piece to build on our style—playing off the table’s natural, raw beauty.

ROPED OFF: The rope banister and cleats came about by my trying to incorporate our love of the Chesapeake Bay into the design. My husband and his dad spent several days rebuilding and restructuring the steps and banister. We enjoy living by the water and being surrounded by all the local wildlife.

ART LIVES HERE: The artwork in our stairway includes prints by local artists, like David Scheier’s Maryland crab, heron, and fish prints and Mary Elise Burns’ sleeping fox. We have two original paintings done by young and talented artists from Carroll Youth Competitive Art League, which I was honored to be a part of as a guest instructor. There are also various insect shadow boxes that my husband has gifted to me over the years.