New start, new home Both were widowed, nearing retirement, when they married

Dream Home

December 08, 1996|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Barbara Jane and James Paul Wilson's home east of Bel Air represented a new start for both of them.

Both widowed, they married and moved into their new home in 1991.

"We decided to start all over and gave all our furniture to the children," James Wilson said -- except for the master bedroom furniture from an old house of his. That furniture wound up in a guest room of the new home.

When they met and married, he was a retired Navy commander who was working as maintenance superintendent at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, and his bride was a secretary at the state Department of Education in Baltimore.

They built the house about halfway between their jobs -- from which both have since retired.

He gives his wife credit for all of the decorating with contemporary furniture covered with upholstery in muted Southwestern colors, and light tan or green carpets. But part of ++ the home's layout was dictated by the frequent visits by six children and four grandchildren, and other relatives and friends.

They have frequent dinner parties, serving as many as 16 people.

A bay window in the dining room allows for an extra-long dining room table. The basement has multiple functions, as a party room with bar, as poolroom and playroom, as den and exercise room, and as an extra bedroom, with a full bath.

An archway was cut through the wall between the family room and a room designated in the developer's brochure as a library. The archway -- similar to one between the living and dining rooms -- turned the library into an annex of the family room.

The family room has a cathedral ceiling and fireplace, and is a step down from the kitchen and breakfast area.

Windows on the rear wall in the breakfast and family rooms look out on a deck that covers much of the back yard and affords a view of a wooded hillside planted with flowers of various seasons that is visited by wild birds -- and sometimes by deer.

The kitchen, with blond wood cabinets and flooring, contains two conventional ovens and a microwave, and a corner sink with windows.

The stairs to the second floor wrap around a gallery with a cathedral ceiling and lead to a sitting room that overlooks the family room. There is another cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom and a Jacuzzi under corner windows in the master bath.

The first floor and basement bathrooms are decorated with posters and programs that are souvenirs of plays the couple has attended.

Other posters and keepsakes attest to James Wilson's passion for sports -- such as the ball autographed by old-time baseball stars Bobby Thomson, Don Larsen and Johnny Vander Meer. The basement walls carry framed letters and certificates of appreciation awarded Mrs. Wilson at her retirement, and memorabilia of her husband's Navy years.

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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