Ellicott City couple is driven to make changes New kitchen, family room among projects

Dream Home

September 15, 1996|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For the past 17 years, when Fred I. Henry was not driving a new-car carrier, he was likely to be building something at his home in Ellicott City.

Right after he and his wife, Ann, moved into the house, which had been built for them and was the first on their street, he remodeled half of the two-car garage to make a family room.

He hasn't stopped since.

In 1993, he tackled his biggest project -- a new kitchen across the back of the house, hiring outside contractors just for digging the foundation and for tasks requiring a licensed contractor.

At one end is a work area that includes a central cooking island and at the other end is a small windowed nook with built-in bench seats. In between is a floor-to-ceiling bay window. The shed roof over the kitchen is interrupted by a peaked roof over the area around the bay window.

The bay window gives light to the kitchen and a panoramic view of the back yard to those seated at a round table. It also gives a view of the yard to those entering the living room from the front door of the house.

The work area is connected to the dining room though an arch that formerly was a sliding door to the back yard.

The space where the old kitchen was located now contains a large pantry closet and a hallway that connects the dining room directly with the powder room and the family room. It also connects with a hallway that runs from the front door to the new kitchen.

Ann Henry, a part-time secretary at a doctor's office, decorated the hallway with a stenciled border of red hearts and green foliage on a white wall.

"He gave me a tool belt for Christmas that year," she said.

Other decorating touches in the first floor include Williamsburg trim in the dining room and blue drapes and a Pennsylvania Dutch ceiling border in the living room.

In 1986, Henry built a two-car garage, which houses a 1957 Ford convertible he has restored to running condition and a workshop. Three years later they had an in-ground swimming pool installed, but Henry built the wooden deck around it and the gazebo that sits next to it.

In the stairwell leading to the second floor is a wall of family pictures and an octagonal window that Henry installed.

The second floor contains two bathrooms and three bedrooms, two of them guest rooms. The couple, with nine grandchildren, has furnished one of the guest rooms with a crib and a child's bed and the other as a sitting room with a couch that converts into a bed.

A party room in the basement also sports Henry's handiwork -- he laid the bricks for a gas fireplace and also built a brick bar.

One cinder-block wall was given the appearance of an antique half timbered wall by coating it with a textured paint to simulate stucco and then nailing up dark stained strips of flat molding.

This summer, Henry began a new concrete front walk.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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