Canoes, herons populate view from this condo


Waterview: A river runs through the development in Harford County where Marge Pearce has a spacious condo.

August 29, 2004|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Marge Pearce always wanted to live by the water.

In November 2002, the 60-year-old widow and mother of two grown daughters sold her large home in Fallston and bought a Harford County condominium at the community of Water's Edge.

This gated community, on the banks of the wide and serene Bush River, has been designed around a 30-acre private nature preserve.

The rich architectural details of the one-level homes and condominiums include coffered, domed, or tray ceilings, as well as finely turned interior columns and pilasters. Every window and sliding patio door faces the water.

Pearce paid $239,000 for her 2,000-square-foot, rectangular condo. She estimates that she spent another $10,000 on hardwood flooring in the living and dining rooms, a Corian countertop in the kitchen and ceiling fans with lights.

A locked entrance to the building features a marble foyer. Pearce's front door opens to an open space with an eastern exposure of the calm river. The condo's northern and southern wings each house a bedroom with full bath.

"There is no seat in the house without a water view, except the `throne rooms,' " Pearce says with a laugh.

The entrance foyer leads to a large living room, which has a walnut baby grand piano as a centerpiece. On it, Pearce has placed family photos as well as photos of productions of her Paint and Powder Club, the Baltimore theatrical charity that dates to 1893.

Past the piano, under a magnificent tray-molded ceiling, are two white satin wing chairs with perfect views of the river. Sliding glass doors open to a balcony that runs the length of the condo. The south wall of the living room is adorned with an electric fireplace, flanked by two built-in bookcases.

The north side of the living room contains a sofa covered with a fabric of blue and green paisley. The walls of both the living and dining rooms are painted in an eggshell shade and the ceiling is enhanced with carved, 4-inch molding.

A large dining room sits southwest of the living area. Here, Pearce has a dining room suite of mirrored glass. "This [suite] was custom-made for me," Pearce says, running her hand over the gleaming tabletop.

Six high-back mahogany Chippendale chairs flank the table. On the south wall, a matching mirror buffet sits in an alcove. Glass shelves tucked into the alcove display Pearce's Lalique figurine collection and a bevy of small, framed Impressionist prints.

West of the dining room, a Corian-topped counter, 12 feet in length, marks the entrance to a large kitchen with a coffered ceiling. Cherry cabinets enhance the gleam of a stainless-steel refrigerator and sink unit.

Pearce has placed a high, glass-topped wrought-iron table and four beige, leather-covered stools next to an antique, hand-painted hutch of Pennsylvania Dutch design.

The condo's north wing houses the master bedroom suite. Painted a pastel green, Pearce's furnishings complement the walls, eliciting a relaxed, tropical mood.

The walnut bedroom furniture includes an antique carved armoire with a television. A sliding glass door opens to the balcony. A Polynesian framed print hangs over the high-backed headboard. The bed is covered with a spread of green satin and cream-colored brocade.

West of the bedroom, a brightly lighted hall leads to twin walk-in closets and a master bath of cream-colored marble and ceramic tile. The room has a raised soaking tub and a separate shower unit. Wooden Doric columns separate the double sink vanity from the commode.

The south wing of the condo contains the guest quarters.

"I call this my `pink room,'" Pearce says of this bedroom decorated with white, French Provincial furniture.

The fabric motif of the bedspread and window treatment is a bright floral design enhancing the light pink colors of the walls. A sliding door leads to the balcony.

Framed artwork from Pearce's travels hang on the north wall, while the west wall boasts two large shadow box hangings containing preserved outfits Pearce wore as a child.

Kandi Slade, a longtime friend of Pearce, admits to being impressed by the spaciousness of the condo.

"You usually don't find detail work like this in a condo," Slade says.

Seated at a wrought-iron table on Pearce's patio on the eastern side of the house, a visitor can spot herons on the water and canoes gliding across the river.

"I come and go as I please," says Pearce, a counselor for the Open Doors Career Center, an employment agency in Bel Air. "I lock the door and don't worry about a thing."

Pearce says the $280-a-month condo fee covers ground maintenance, snow removal, trash pickup and amenities such as a pool, clubhouse and fitness center.

When asked about a dream fulfilled, there is no hesitation in her reply: "This is it - the realization of my wish to live by the water."

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