Expanded charm, country-style

DREAM HOME

October 30, 1994|By William C. Ward | William C. Ward,Contributing Writer

Joe and Suzanne Cline had always dreamed of a house in the country.

"I grew up in College Park, and when we bought the house, we were looking for a country house," said Mr. Cline, 37. The home they bought was a turn-of-the-century 1,100-square-foot, two-bedroom farmhand's house in Columbia, which they bought 1983 for $74,000. Since then, they have expanded the house to 2,830 square feet. It was recently appraised for $276,000.

The house sits atop a hill on a 3-acre lot crossed by a creek. A garage and barn are across a gravel driveway from the house, and a footbridge with a tin roof with the "Mail Pouch Tobacco" logo straddles the creek behind the house.

The location in southern Columbia, just off U.S. 29, is more private, quiet and open than you would expect in a growing area, and it's just what the couple say they were looking for.

Shortly after moving in, they added a small addition. When they started having children in the mid-1980s, they needed more room and set about expanding the house.

Mr. Cline, who owns a flooring business with his wife, finished building the addition to the rear of the house in 1991.

Last year, he completed the house's second basement, which was planned as an adult playroom, complete with antique bar stools, a large-screen television and a pool table.

The original basement has been renovated as a playroom for the children, ages 3, 5 and 7, and an additional playroom is located in the attic.

"There's plenty of room in the house, but with three kids, they always want to be where you are," said Mr. Cline.

Fond of older items and crafts, the Clines have filled their home with antiques from the early part of this century, including an old wooden walk-in freezer decorated with frosted glass, which they have turned into a half-bathroom off the living room.

An old post office window has been built into the wall of the hallway leading to the living room and serves as shelving for their more minute antique Americana items. Old signs, tools and crafts adorn the walls of the house.

"Everything here is from an auction or a yard sale. It's cheaper and quicker than a store," said Mrs. Cline, 33. "We started with little items and turned to larger items, and so on."

Most of the wood for rafters, pillars and decorative trim was also acquired with economy in mind.

"The wood came from old barns and old houses," Mr. Cline said.

The Clines have indulged themselves whenever possible in expanding and renovating their home. A large second-floor master bedroom and master bathroom is their proudest accomplishment.

Another indulgence is Mr. Cline's trophy room. A hunter, he hopes to finish the interior of the new addition soon.

When they bought the house, the Clines said, they were concerned that their children would not have friends to play with nearby. But Mrs. Cline said the move was worth it.

"Every night we go out in our golf cart looking for deer," she said. "Not every kid could say that."

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