A Sunny Sanctuary

June 11, 1995|By Beth Smith

When Patti Montgomery moved to a gambrel-roofed cottage in Roland Park, she immediately claimed a small, first-floor room as her own. "I am the mother of three boys and I wanted a place of my own to escape to for peace and quiet," she says with a tTC laugh.

She chose the room because it was the sunniest in the house, and painted it pinkish mauve, put up white eyelet curtains and furnished it with a few Victorian pieces from her former home in Jacksonville, Fla.

Although the room served her purpose of providing a sanctuary of sorts, she was not quite satisfied with the decor.

Enter Mary Jo Higinbotham, a friend from the neighborhood who was just about to launch her own business, Higinbotham Interiors. Ms. Higinbotham suggested painting the walls a mint green and planning a new design scheme around the color, which she calls "cool and relaxing."

"Mary Jo is just fabulous with colors," says Ms. Montgomery. "You can give her a paint swatch and she can visualize how the entire room will look."

Using the soft green as a jumping-off point for the redo of the room, the two women began working to create just the right style for what had once been a formal sitting area. Bookcases and a radiator cover, both built by the home's former owner, were spruced up with coats of white paint. A wicker flower basket was reassigned to the front porch, but an early-1900s sofa, with "spaghetti string" wicker, was allowed to stay, as was a wicker table.

A Victorian wicker rocker was brought down from a guest room to the new retreat and an old-fashioned wicker picnic basket, found in a consignment shop, was added to the room to serve as a side table to a new wicker lounge chair. Wicker footstools, placed side by side, became a coffee table.

The women's fabric choices were a Waverly floral called Peabody, in mint green, pink, white and blue, and a Schumacher companion fabric in pink and white check. The room's rug is a floral dhurrie from Senneh Knot Oriental Rug Imports in Towson.

Now that the room is finished, Patti Montgomery says she likes to "spend time there by myself to read the paper, read a book, perhaps even to have a glass of wine."

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