There are five houses on the property, and they’re all occupied by family members. So, this is our forever home. Not having to think about resale, I just didn’t necessarily care about decorating rules and what’s supposed to go together. I have no interior design background, so I just picked what I liked. Some people say it kind of feels like a beach house, some say it’s a farmhouse, some say there’s a Moroccan vibe.
My style is not very farmhouse-like, but I needed for it to feel like it fit in, not like some New York City penthouse. The property around the house is beautiful. Being able to feel like we’re a part of the outdoors even though we’re inside is what we were going for. I really love hides, raw wood, and natural stones, but I also love metallics. That’s why it’s not true farmhouse style, because I’m like, “Give me some gold.”
I compare building a home to planning a wedding all of the time. Especially when it comes to the budget. Just like weddings, the things that are most important to you are what you can splurge on, and everything else you have to reel in. With building a home, some things were really important to me that I knew would be a splurge, but it would make the space.
Hearth and Home
We have the fireplace, which was one of the selling pieces when I saw the floor plans. I love that it’s a see-through fireplace. I wanted a brick wall and arches. The brick was the biggest splurge. But I’m so happy with the decision because with a lighter color brick, the room still ends up bright.
I really care about shopping local so—we don’t have much—but the art pieces we do have are from local artists. The one in the dining room is by Christie Olmstead, and the paintings [in the kitchen area] are by Chris Brandell.
Out of the Woods
The table in the dining room we had made by Shoemaker Country in Old Ellicott City. I had been planning to go to them to make the table, but then the first flood happened. I called them, and they were like, “The store is completely destroyed,” but I told them I still wanted them to make the table, so they told me to come by and they would show me the slabs they had. So, I go to their store, and there’s no electricity. Everything is still remnants of the flood—dry, but like a vacant warehouse. We were literally shining the flashlights from our cellphones looking at the wood slabs. But I found the perfect piece.
My parents are big antique collectors, and I grew up with that room you’re not allowed to sit in. I knew that wasn’t going to work for my family, but I liked the idea of incorporating some old pieces with the new. There are a lot of little collectibles on our bookshelf, like my dad’s old kiddush cup, my husband’s grandfather’s old cigarette box, and some old books, too.