Colonial style with a 1990s touch


March 26, 1995|By Beth Smith | Beth Smith,Special to The Sun

John and Judy Hasler's house would be perfectly at home in Colonial Williamsburg -- stained a traditional yellow with green shutters with a steeply pitched cedar roof and dormer windows.

But the owners are quick to dispel the notion that the house is 18th-century perfect.

"This is definitely not a reproduction of a Williamsburg home, but its style is greatly influenced by the 18th-century homes of Tidewater Virginia," says Mrs. Hasler, 57. "We adapted it for the way we wanted to live."

Working in close collaboration with Baltimore architect Wesley Burton, the Haslers helped create the ambience of a Colonial home while incorporating a floor plan that lends itself to a comfortable 1990s country lifestyle.

There is a well-equipped kitchen that overlooks a cozy family sitting area; a breakfast nook with a view of a pond; a master bath with a large soaking tub; two guest bedrooms with a nursery for visits by the Haslers' grown children and baby grandchildren; and a living room that has a special place for the family Christmas tree.

The original plan called for a wall to separate the entry hall from the living room. Mrs. Hasler, an interior designer, opted to eliminate the wall and to add two formal columns for structural support. The result is an open and airy space and a site for the holiday evergreen -- between the two columns.

Planning for the new home began in earnest when the Haslers decided to move from their small house in Lutherville to the country.

"Lutherville just got too crowded," says Mr. Hasler, 57, a dentist with the University of Maryland Dental School.

"When we started to look around, we were really looking for an old house to restore, but we couldn't find anything that was in our price range or one that wasn't falling down," Mr. Hasler says.

"We discovered we could build a small house for what it was going to cost us to update our old house," Mrs. Hasler says. After exploring options with their architect, they decided to build. Mr. Burton found the two-acre lot on a private lane in Sparks, which the Haslers especially liked because of the convenience of the North Central hiking and biking trail and the rural roads.

Besides running, the Haslers share a love of 18th-century furniture, and they wanted their new home to have space for their collection. Reviewing H. Chandlee Foreman's "Colonial Homes in America," they showed Mr. Burton several they liked. He then designed the 2,850-square-foot traditional home.

The Haslers worked with landscape architects to create flower beds and plantings. The couple planted more than 1,000 daffodil bulbs. Behind the garage is a perennial garden surrounded by a picket fence. In a corner is a water garden stocked with goldfish and koi.

Near the front walkway, a dry-stacked stone wall, built by Amish masons, meanders across the lawn. Although rooted to the past in design, the wall blends in beautifully with its immediate surroundings, much like the Haslers' country home.

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