Tight Spaces, Fabulous Places A Perfect Balance

October 07, 1990

When F. David Holloway's Easton-based financial plannin firm expanded to Timonium, it meant at least three days every week in Baltimore. He found the perfect two-bedroom pied-a-terre at the Towers at Harbor Court. He envisioned

stimulating evenings entertaining business associates in a sophisticated setting. His wife, Judy, had other ideas.

Delighted with the romance of a harbor view and a home away from home, she imagined candlelit dinners for two and a cozy New Year's Eve with their two young sons enjoying a front-row seat for the fireworks.

The Holloways prevented what might have been an impasse when they took their disparate visions to designer Tom Williams of Federal Hill Interiors.

Mr. Williams quickly realized that both husband and wife wanted the same thing: a balance, a relationship of masculine to feminine -- a highly sophisticated, romantic hideaway, where they could entertain business associates as well as their sons without concern for the furniture.

With help from his partner, designer Robert Hale, Mr. Williams began by first altering the floor plan. He removed a wall that defined the foyer but blocked views of the living room from the front door. Floor space in the foyer was enlarged, topped with marble, then redefined with a light-and-view admitting etched glass wall.

To provide a formal entertainment space as well as an early morning cartoon-viewing area for the two little boys, the L-shaped living/dining space was resectioned by furniture groupings into three distinct areas. The long living room area became a living/dining room with two very different moods. The dining area is dark and romantic, while the living area is centered around the view of the harbor and is light, airy and pastel. What had been designated the dining room by the developers became the den because of its close proximity to the kitchen. Children can snack and watch TV here. It was treated to a state-of-the-art entertainment system compactly stored within a custom unit fabricated by Chuck Stofko of Poplar Cabinetry.

Tom Williams balanced the moods of the interior design and pulled everything together by envisioning the rich, textured perfection of a man's suit. "I thought, Armani," he says, laughing at his own inspiration. "The fabrics he uses are superb and it's impeccably tailored. At the same time, the colors are for Judy."

This appreciation for the nuance of texture, form and color is first apparent in the selection of a man's suiting flannel for the living room sofa and armless chairs, juxtaposed against the ottoman in a rose silk/cotton fabric that mimics brocade. Draperies by Drapery Contractors are in the same silky weave, but overlayed with a pattern of colors including a spark of teal and yellow.

Slightly rounded furniture forms soften the entire design, producing a warm effect, yet spare and unprissy.

The dining room is an interesting blend of stylized deco/Oriental. A permanently pleated folded paper wall covering from Wall Designs, appropriately named Origami, wraps the room in texture. There's more than a wink toward whimsy in the glass-topped table base's sinuously waving black lacquer legs. One long black wall is interrupted by a large Oriental-style painting flanked by twin verdigris Frederick Cooper floor lamps. The other wall is relieved by a round mirror, which reflects the harbor view into the dining room and provides much needed negative space. Beneath the mirror, a custom-made altar table was created by Chuck Stofko, who covered the wood form with a granite-look wall covering, then topped it with five coats of polyurethane for a permanent finish.

The bedroom is the epitome of fantasy, furnished with a highly architectural four-poster bed from Spiegel. After the headboard was reupholstered, Drapery Contracters painstakingly draped the sheerest of fabrics around the four posters. The bedspread is a simple striped channel-quilted cotton in a deep wisteria color. On the night stand, the curved sculptural detail of a fired porcelain griffin lamp is a counterpoint to the strong lines of the bed. Unabashedly romantic, the bedroom achieves harmony by balancing the strength of architecture forms with the softness of billowing fabrics. Yin and yang. A successful juxtaposition.

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