The house next door was smaller and just right Roland Park woman 'didn't have to relocate'

Dream Home

March 02, 1997|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In 1989, when Karen Pearce-Howell needed a house that was smaller than her nine-bedroom home in Roland Park, she just moved next door.

She had lived in the large home near the Friends School since she moved to Baltimore from Boston in 1978.

When she needed a smaller home for herself and two children, she found it in the stone-fronted, 1 1/2 -story home just behind her.

"I didn't have to relocate," she said, noting that, in addition to other ties to the neighborhood, her children attended Friends.

She added that the house also had been recently refurbished so that she could move right in without doing work on it herself.

She had become familiar with the house and its history during visits to the former owners, Lella and Jack Clark.

She said the home was built in 1940 on ground that earlier had been part of the yard of the larger house.

A contractor who had done work in the big house, now more than 100 years old, had taken the ground as payment and built the smaller house.

He and the next two owners of the house were newlyweds, and neighbors christened it the Honeymoon House, she said.

Though a stone house in Cape Cod-style in the front, it is three stories of clapboard and glass in the rear, much of it the result of work done since Pearce-Howell bought the house.

She began a series of alterations shortly after she moved in. The new smaller house did not have a library, which had been one of the features of the larger house, and she had numerous books.

She got a cabinetmaker to build a bookcase with cupboards underneath across one wall of the living room.

The bookcase has a large plate-glass window in its center and is topped by dentil molding similar to that on the mantel over the gas-burning fireplace.

A year later, she had a porch at the rear of the center hall enclosed with floor-to-ceiling glass. It looks out on a rear garden.

The basement has been finished and includes a bedroom with a wood-burning fireplace, a full bath with a Jacuzzi, storage and other rooms.

The house was connected three years ago through another sun room with the garage, which was turned into a bedroom mainly because the alley next to the house was unpaved.

The sun room, which served as a family room, also looks out on the rear garden.

Across the center hall from the library are the dining room and kitchen, the latter decorated with her artwork. This includes a stained-glass window with a rainbow which she designed and a needlework picture she made of colorful hot air balloons under a rainbow.

A set of Corelle china with red hearts and green leaves echoes the colors of the window and needlework. The china also has blue squares similar to the design in the floor.

The living room also contains rainbows, from crystals at the windows, and watercolors of birds by Pearce-Howell.

Upstairs are two bedrooms, a bath and a room that houses the family computer.

The master bedroom includes two small closet spaces, one with a mirror and electrical lights for use as a vanity. A dormer between them has been converted for use as a third, larger closet.

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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