Home proves a perfect fit


Comfort: A couple finds a property tailored to the needs of their newly formed family.

December 19, 2004|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Sue Muth and her partner, Tom Lucas, decided to buy a home together, a major consideration for both was ample space for a combined family.

Each had children from previous marriages - a total of five teenagers - and neither of their houses at the time seemed appropriate for the newly formed family.

Muth, a 53-year-old Realtor with Long & Foster, had been on the lookout for a property where the children would feel comfortable coming together in new surroundings.

"I actually showed this house to a prospective client," she says of her red brick, Georgian-style home in the Waverly Woods development of Howard County.

When the client's transfer to the area fell through, Muth and Lucas took a second look at the open style of the 7,000-square-foot home. In addition to large rooms off a grand entrance hall and a finished basement, the home's six bedrooms and four full bathrooms were tailor-made for the family.

The couple purchased the home five years ago for $404,000. Eager to enhance the 7-year-old property, they spent an additional $150,000 on backyard landscaping, a deck and a built-in, kidney-shaped pool with a waterfall. They also remodeled the kitchen.

Muth set about decorating the large home herself.

"We sold a lot of old furniture, and then were able to purchase things together," she remembers. "I also get a lot of [accent] pieces from clients."

An example of one such piece hangs in the three-paneled window over her kitchen sink. A stained-glass crystal sun refracts light from the windows' eastern exposure, bouncing it onto the sage walls of the kitchen and breakfast room.

White plantation shutters on the windows coordinate with the 4-inch molding and chair rails, as well as with the 42-inch high, white laminate kitchen cabinets. Italian marble tiles in a natural hue are placed in diagonal fashion between the cabinets and the Corian countertops. A chintz window valance in a floral pattern incorporates shades of rose, gold and sage. This color combination sets the tone for the first level.

"[Sue's] decorating skills are spectacular," says Ona Beares, a Long & Foster vice president. "Her choice of colors creates a very calming effect. The kitchen and the family room provide such a comfort zone."

The family room, south of the kitchen, has a 20-foot ceiling. Seven large windows, 5-feet high off the floor, punctuate the south and east walls. Four additional windows on the second story wall assure plenty of natural light. A fireplace - also on the south wall - features a brick-raised hearth and chimney that rises to the ceiling.

A pair of club sofas in sage-colored chenille are placed at 45-degree angles in the room's center, while a coordinating, rose-colored club chair showcases a flowered print. Two hutches dominate the room - one houses the family entertainment center. Except for the light-colored carpeting here, the first level is graced with narrow-planked pine flooring.

From the home's front entrance, a 9-foot-by-18-foot grand hallway provides a view of the front half of the first level and culminates at a winding staircase to the second floor. South of the entrance, through French doors, the library is painted a rich taupe shade. White, built-in shelves to the ceiling display Lucas' collection of brightly-colored decoys. White carpeting contrasts with the walls. A large wing chair in a Jacobean floral print rests in front of two Palladian windows.

Across the hall from the library, the living room features a cathedral ceiling with dormer windows.

The dining room, east of the living area, showcases a knotted maple table that is 4-feet-wide-by-15-feet long. From the dining room's four-paneled, bay window, Muth's outdoor landscaping, as well as the pool, can be seen.

The lower level features a game room, pool and pingpong tables, an electric basketball hoop and workout equipment. This level also contains two bedrooms and a full bathroom.

The master suite occupies the rear section of the second level. The suite is highlighted by a canopy king bed, ornately fashioned in wrought iron.

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