Retiring to a villa in Baltimore Co.


November 13, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

From the ceramic "Mi Casa es Su Casa" sign at the front door to the friendly dapple-gray horse named Hank in the back pasture, Bernard and Florence Sachs' house is the result of at least a decade of planning, designing and perfecting.

The couple lives in a villa on 17 acres on Butler Road in Glyndon.

"If anything happens to me, I've got everything I wanted," says Mr. Sachs, 69, a retired grocery store manager known as Ben.

Six years ago, the Sachses moved into the 7,100-square-foot home and filled it with hand-carved mahogany furniture and wrought-iron wall chandeliers made for them at a shop in Tijuana, Mexico.

Mr. Sachs said he is enamored of Spanish architecture and furniture, possibly because his paternal grandparents were born Spain.

While living in a tri-level home in Randallstown, the Sachses planned for when they could buy property in the county and build a home that would be comfortable for their adult children, spacious for family parties, a showcase for the Spanish-style furniture they admired -- and have grazing room for horses.

Mr. Sachs grew up near Pimlico Race Course, where he said he developed a love for horses. He and his wife ride regularly.

Their retirement home could not be cramped in any way. "I wanted something open. It gives me a feeling of comfort and ease mentally," Mr. Sachs says.

Eight years ago, they found the right piece of land and bought it for $170,000. "If we drew a picture and said 'This is what we want,' this is it," Mr. Sachs says of the level property in the midst of cornfields, horse farms and sedate homes.

Mr. Sachs attended classes at a county high school to learn about electrical and plumbing work and how to frame a home and build a foundation. He was the general contractor for the $435,000 project.

He had planned to share the duties with his daughter, Tara, a civil engineer, but in 1985, at age 27, she was killed in an automobile accident. Her name and a bull, representing her zodiac sign of Taurus, are carved into the mahogany door of the home's library.

In addition to other carved doors, the Sachses asked the Mexican artisans to copy designs for tables, cabinets, other furniture and light fixtures from pictures the couple clipped from magazines.

When all 3,200 pounds of their decor was finished, the Sachses paid $1 per pound to have it shipped by van to Maryland.

They had help designing their one-story home from Mrs. Sachs' sister, Sylvia Winters, an interior designer and professional draftsman.

The white stucco house with a red tile roof is "H" shaped, with three bedrooms on one side, the kitchen and family room on the other and the living and dining room -- with a 20-foot ceiling and view of the outdoor pool -- in the middle.

Mrs. Sachs' mother, Bessie Goldstein, sleeps in one bedroom, and the couple's son, Randi, sleeps in another. Their other son, Stuart, lives in Columbia.

Behind the house, Hank and Honey, both Tennessee walking horses, graze in a pasture not far from a grove of trees that someday will bear apples, cherries, plums, almonds and walnuts.

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