`A feel for the beach'

Dream Home

Victorian-style home in Severn gives the sense of being in a quiet, seaside retreat

Dream Home

December 01, 2006|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,Special to The Sun

In 1989, contractor Roger Seitz sold his Baltimore-area condo and built a small house for himself on land he purchased in Severn. It was to be his bachelor pad. That is, until Jo Ann came into his life, and house plans, as well as personal plans, changed.

A year later, the couple married and moved into what is now a 2,400-square-foot Victorian-style home.

"I had so many people working on the job, and so many curious onlookers," Roger Seitz recalled of the year-long project. "We had to place a sign on the front door that read, `This house NOT for sale.'"

He paid a total of $108,000 for house construction and the six-tenths-of-an-acre lot. He soon found, however, that additions were necessary. Over the years the couple have built an enclosed back porch, two outdoor decks and a den off the club basement, and installed hardwood flooring on the first level - all for $15,000. That bargain price was possible because Seitz, a field manager for Wilhelm Commercial Building, paid only for materials; he and friends in the construction business handled the labor.

Seitz is the first to admit that his expertise was limited to the building, not the decorating.

"I care that the house is structurally sound," he said. "But if it were left to me, the walls would all have been white."

That's where Jo Ann Seitz took over. She used pastel colors, flowers and plants and family antiques to convey the feeling of a quiet, Victorian seaside retreat.

The kitchen, at the rear of the home, with its white laminate cabinets, black and white appliances and gray ceramic floor tiles, is the only deviation from a pastel color scheme.

French doors lead from the kitchen to a screened porch filled with hanging and potted plants. White wicker furniture adds a breezy look and offers comfortable rest after a session in the couple's hot tub.

Beyond the porch are two large decks, one a drop down from the other.

The more formal dining room is highlighted by a large beveled mirror in a gilt frame. A treasure handed down from Roger Seitz's grandmother, it hangs above a traditional mahogany buffet. The matching table and corner cabinet are Chippendale style. A large arrangement of silk roses in soft pink and a 5 1/2 -foot rubber plant add greenhouse appeal.

Cherry furniture dominates the living room by way of a three-section entertainment center and two end tables with cabriole legs. A love seat covered in pastel floral damask is garnished with pillows in soft pink and white.

Walls in the living room and dining room alternate between dusty rose and light gray, a complement to both furniture styles.

Jo Ann Seitz's love of color carries to the upstairs where a guest room is painted a bright turquoise. The color is offset by white wicker furniture, framed seascape prints, and bed linens with sea shell print.

The basement family room also has a seaside feel, furnished with a blue-striped club chair, a sea-blue faux-suede club sofa, and white wicker end tables. Nautical-themed throw pillows, potted palms, and walls painted blue gray complete the desired effect.

A satisfied Jo Ann Seitz says she would only move if she could have a house by the water.

"You have a feel for the beach, here," she said. "You could pick up this house and dump it in the sand."

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it. Write to Dream Home, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail us at real.estate@baltsun.com.

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