`Mr. Customize' does it well


Perfectionist: When Andy Evans needed lumber for an addition, he used 100-year-old pine planks from Boston.

August 22, 2004|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In 1995, Andy Evans purchased a home in the quiet Baltimore County neighborhood of Wiltondale near Towson University.

In this hidden, bucolic enclave off York Road, the late 1940s architecture of these single-family homes includes Colonials, Tudors and a smattering of bungalows. All rest on generous-size lots shaded by old trees. Some sit high on embankments, overlooking streets that gently curve like the bay windows that most possess.

Evans, a 44-year-old president and chief executive of a software company, and his wife, Brenda, paid $250,000 for their two-story, red-brick Colonial. To them, it was money well spent in a neighborhood they loved.

More importantly, it offered room to expand by way of renovation and additions to the existing structure. The couple estimate $300,000 has been spent over the past nine years.

"We bought the house from the original owner, a doctor," recalls Andy Evans. "And it was in pretty good shape. The three bedrooms upstairs were particularly large."

Still, they had renovation on their minds.

The first job on their list was to strip the home's interior wallpaper. After accomplishing that, they set about renovating the kitchen and adding to its size by redoing a knotty-pine paneled den, adjacent to the area.

A master bath was fashioned from the closet in their son's bedroom (they'd build him a new closet on the opposite side of his room). The construction of an outside stone patio, garden shed and two-car garage came next.

"Just call my husband `Mr. Customize,' " laughs Brenda Evans.

The centerpiece of the home's renovation was the addition of a 22-by-20-foot family room-office-entertainment center.

This room, with 12 multi-paned windows and a door to the side patio, extends from the living room. From street level, the addition softly breaks the sharp, symmetrical effect of the two stories.

Seated at their carved oak kitchen table, with a view of the stone garden and patio, the couple explain the inspiration behind their remodeled kitchen.

"We got the colors for our kitchen off of these place mats from the Napa Valley," Brenda Evans explains, gesturing to a set of six tapestry rectangles on the table. The mats' shades are the soft purple of grapes and various hues of green in tangled vines.

The walls of the kitchen are painted a soft, "sea mist" green and complement the terra cotta shades of the ceramic tile floor. Cherry cabinetry is accented by the placement of handmade tiles from Mexico along the wall underneath them and by the sink area. Black granite countertops, flecked with green and orange, tie together the room's color scheme.

"I've got a great relationship with my contractor," Andy Evans says. "I select all [of the materials] and we give him our design plans."

Included in his selection of materials is 100-year-old pine lumber he procured from torn-down warehouses in Boston. These planks now lord over the family room addition by way of a cathedral ceiling. Soft, mustard-colored walls in the room set the tone for a furniture grouping that includes a muted tapestry loveseat and a brown leather pub-like sofa.

Carved fruitwood tables sit upon an oriental carpet that contains shades of tan, olive, orange and red. Gray ceramic tiles cover the floor.

Matt Sturtz, the Evans' friend and neighbor, comments on the new addition, saying: "It really adds the space that Wiltondale homes lack."

The Evans' formal living room carries over the color scheme presented in the family room. White dentil molding along the ceiling matches the mantle of a fireplace that the couple converted to gas.

A barrel sofa with a tufted back sits in front of a window adorned with cream-colored lace curtains. Two occasional chairs covered in dark purple silk offer a view of the fireplace.

Breaking with earth tones, the formal dining room, which is southwest of the home's entrance hall, has deep red and purple-striped wallpaper on the upper half of the walls. A white chair rail and wainscoting cover the lower portion.

"We do love contrast," Brenda Evans says.

Wallpaper, in a Jacobean flower print, graces the staircase walls to the second level.

"I stole my son's closet," Andy Evans says, walking into a bedroom just off the landing.

Realizing that the clothes closet on the south wall of his son's bedroom could be taken out for a bath suite in the master bedroom, Andy Evans proceeded to do just that while adding a new closet in dead space on the opposite wall. Brenda Evans points out the view from her son's window of the formal garden, including a raised fountain of flagstone.

The couple have two children: Kelsey, 8, and Drew, 4.

The family has no immediate intention of renovating the main upstairs bath. The 1950s decor features white ceramic tiles on the walls and octagonal tiles on the floor. Brenda Evans painted the walls deep blue for striking contrast.

The full basement also will remain in its current state with its speckled tile and Formica-covered pediatrician's table left from the former owner. Andy Evans has added a wine cellar, however, using the leftover pine from the family room.

Standing on her manicured front lawn, Brenda Evans says she is pleased with what she calls her work in progress: "This is a wonderful home base for us."

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