Grandma's redone Colonial is home to a 3rd generation



When Rick and Shawna Mudd married five years ago, they built a custom home in Howard County. A year later, their son, Luke, was born, followed soon by daughter Sydney.

With every intention of cultivating roots in Howard County, the Mudds were content until they were presented with a chance to return to her grandmother's house in the Millersville area of Anne Arundel County.

The Colonial occupied a 3/4 -acre, tree-lined lot off Jumpers Hole Road. It was there that Shawna Mudd's grandparents, Don and Margaret Gardner, raised nine children.

The 34-year-old nurse practitioner had enjoyed a lifetime of warm family gatherings at the house with aunts, uncles and cousins, some of whom still live in the area. It was not hard for her to picture her mother growing up in the tiny, one-story house abutting a lovely park.

After her grandmother's death in 2003, the Mudds made a fast decision, the only right one, as far as they were concerned.

"We were given the opportunity to raise our kids in the house their grandmother grew up in," said Shawna Mudd, rocking the family's newest addition, 10-month-old daughter Lylah.

In June 2004, the couple purchased the early 1950s home for $215,000. They then embarked on an eight-month project to transform the 24-foot-square structure into a house comfortable for a growing family.

The Mudds hired custom homebuilder Mike Gardner to handle the $335,000 renovation, which included adding a garage to the home's east side, a second floor and a patio. They also re-dug the foundation and expanded and redid the kitchen.

"We gutted, renovated and added on to," said Rick Mudd. "[The house] is now 30 feet deep by 75 feet wide."

What a difference the space makes. The house has been completely redone in clay-toned vinyl siding. The front door opens onto a small foyer with an elegant staircase.

From the entrance, the eye is drawn the length of the house to the view beyond the dining room's two side-by-side sliding doors on the south wall. The southern exposure reveals a patio and large backyard, with tall oak, maple and sycamore trees.

"I always hoped for a nice piece of property," said Rick Mudd, pointing to his backyard and the wooded area beyond his chain-link fence.

There is pride, too, that the Gardners donated the land for a tree-lined entrance to the Elvaton Park, which has baseball fields, tennis courts and a playground.

The warmth of the dining room is enhanced not only by southern light and almond-colored walls, but also by oak flooring and a Mission-style table and ladder-back chairs of honey-colored maple.

The new kitchen's maple cabinetry carries over the Mission decor. Black-granite countertops offer contrast to stainless appliances. The vinyl flooring is in shades of gray, terracotta and green.

The living room is given over to the children. A comfortable, overstuffed sofa sits amid mounds of toys and children's furniture.

"One day it will be a living room again," Shawna Mudd said, laughing. "Right now we are merely guests in our children's house."

What used to be her grandparents' bedroom, just beyond the "play room," serves as an office for the couple. Decorated in the maple Mission style, it has an adjoining full bathroom.

The family room is a comfortable respite, with a maple entertainment center and overstuffed pub-style furniture in shades of green.

The Mudds' second story contains four bedrooms and two full baths. Luke, 4, loves his room, complete with a large framed poster from the Maryland Science Center. Sydney, age 2, has a crib and her big girl bed ready and waiting with a bright floral quilt. Baby Lylah has her nursery adjacent to the master suite of her parents.

Rick Mudd, 32, a Realtor with Prudential Carruthers, counts his blessings every day. "There is so much history to this house and so much family in the area. This is our last move."

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