The rented Fells Point apartment of newlyweds Stephen and Sara M. Pobanz boasts walls of rustic old brick and the city location they both appreciate. For Sara, the past is an important part of her decorating philosophy. "My childhood on a Virginia farm has left me with strong ideas about relaxed decorating and feeling truly at home," she says. "We inherited a number of family pieces, and for the sake of budget and sense of connection with our own history, we opted to collect old inexpensive items instead of buying a lot of new furniture."
Sara liked the drama of brick arches and the view of the courtyard garden, but she thought the windows needed softening and the apartment needed brightening. Also, the collection of bird cages, painted boxes and other items needed to be displayed properly.
As assistant to the designers at Papier Design Group, Sara was able to enlist the aid of head designer Joyce Griffith. First, windows were softly draped, not covered, allowing light to flood the apartment. Collectibles on the shelf above the window and a display of bird cages on an end table were incorporated into a series of still lifes that effectively contain them, but at the same time display them prominently.
A very few new pieces, such as the handcrafted trunk by Mark Deisher, and new sofas, complete the connection between present and past.