From out of the blue, into the woods Discovery: When Steve and Patricia Riggin decided to look at a house on Blackhole Creek in Pasadena, they didn't know they'd find everything they wanted.

Dream Home

November 02, 1997|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When you least expect it, your dream house may appear out of the blue.

Just ask Steve and Patricia Riggin. It all happened one weekend last February. Steve had heard about a house for sale on Blackhole Creek in Pasadena. And he told his wife it couldn't hurt to just go and have a look.

One look was all it took to convince the Riggins that the 4,200-square-foot, three-story house in a wooded cove just off the Magothy River was everything they'd ever wanted.

A section of what had been the original house is now a finished basement with bath. The spacious first floor includes a great room/kitchen, with 10-foot ceiling, a separate dining room and an office. There is a finished third floor for future use, and the second-floor bedrooms have terrific views of the water and surrounding woods.

"We weren't even looking. But, it must have been meant to be," Steve said, "because within four days we had sold our home."

The home has a facade of pale gray vinyl siding, and sits on a half-acre lot landscaped with gardens, a trellised arbor, five ponds and a waterfall. In the rear, beyond a wood-edged brick patio and pathways, the land dips to the water amid a bank of oaks, evergreens and flowers.

Three piers provide access to the deep water: a main pier, a finger pier for large boats and a floating dock for swimmers.

Arriving in their new community of Eagle Hill, the couple were warmly welcomed by their neighbors.

"They brought cakes and gifts, and told us where to find good doctors," Patricia said. "Within two days we had met everyone. This is a wonderful neighborhood."

"They also told us that we'd get sick of picking crabs, which we couldn't believe," Steve said with a laugh. "But we did."

Across the water from their house, the wooded setting provides tTC an ever-changing panorama of nature. While gazing at the serene setting that is their back yard, or the view to the south that reaches beyond their cove, across the Magothy to the shoreline of Arnold, the family is often treated to sightings of swans, turtles, eagles, deer and a variety of ducks and other water fowl.

Despite demanding jobs -- he's a business project manager for Intermetrics Inc of Greenbelt, she teaches second grade at Overlook Elementary School in Linthicum -- the couple's top priority is home and family, which includes 11-year-old daughter Erin.

They have decorated their home with antiques. Among the items are: a 19th-century engraving machine, a Gunther's beer keg housed in a handsome wooden cabinet, and a large wooden toolbox, complete with the original tools, which makes an impressive coffee table.

On the walls hang some of their favorite collections, including World War II matchbooks, an Orioles baseball and Coca-Cola memorabilia.

Each room bears her artistic flair, from the sunflower bathroom to the guest room filled with handmade dolls.

Upstairs, visitors are greeted by a tall bride doll.

The porcelain-face beauty wears a handmade dress, a copy of the gown Patricia's mother was married in 50 years ago.

Her sister, Jane Pluta, created the jewel-trimmed dress from their mother's actual wedding gown.

Patricia, who calls herself the "Stencil Lady," is ready to begin work on a design of grapes and wisteria in the great room and kitchen.

One of her favorite rooms is the second-floor laundry. "No laundry baskets here, because they're not necessary," she said. "The only room in the house we haven't changed so far is the office," Steve said.

Both their and their daughter's bedrooms overlook the water, each with its own balcony.

Erin has an adjoining sitting room. "She complains that her friends don't ask her to their houses because they always want to come here," Patricia said with a laugh.

At the water, the main pier offers telephone and cable TV lines that enable visitors to convert their boats into automatic guest quarters.

There is also an apartment for guests above the separate two-car garage. The garage currently houses a winter's supply of heat pellets. Two pellet stoves and a heat pump are used to warm the house.

But what gives them the most joy is being able to entertain, and they are in the midst of finishing their great room. They hope in time for their big annual holiday party. They want to make sure the room is ready for the 9-foot Christmas tree they've always dreamed of decorating.

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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