Content in Fells Point

Dream Home

Jeff Cahill was sold from the moment he saw the three-story brick rowhouse 7 years ago

August 03, 2007|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,Special to The Sun

For the past seven years, Jeff Cahill has basked in the deal he got on his Fells Point home, so sweet that he calls himself "blessed."

Cahill, 45, a waiter at Helen's Garden in Canton who also helps out in his sister's bakery and his brother's two bars, was renting an apartment on Fleet Street in June 2000 when he began looking around for a home in the area.

"I heard about this house sitting in a barber's chair," he said. "I stole it for $119,000. Even the inspector couldn't believe the price."

For that he got a three-story brick rowhouse just off Eastern Avenue. Though an inside unit, windows along a sally port, or walkway, along the home's south side provide additional interior light.

Cahill was hooked from the moment he stood at the front door and gazed the 80 feet down its length to the courtyard beyond.

"It was literally a blank canvas that needed my touches, [and] I imagined all of my things here," he said.

The home, which had undergone renovation, had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, four fireplaces and "one big room" on the third floor.

Cahill estimated that he has spent $50,000 to $75,000 over the past seven years, primarily on furnishings, slate flooring and granite countertops in the kitchen, faux-finish painting throughout the house and - perhaps the most rewarding of all - a delightfully landscaped outdoor courtyard.

It is here, in his green-filled and statue-studded oasis, that Cahill is most content. A bricked patio garden, about 15 feet square, has been transformed into a city garden complete with ivy clinging to 6-foot-high walls and hundreds of potted, brightly colored coleus plants.

A statue of St. Francis of Assisi, shovel in hand, rests amid ivy and ferns in one corner while on the opposite side a kneeling angel keeps vigil over a pond filled with goldfish. The garden furniture includes a wrought-iron table with a mosaic tile top.

Indoors is an eclectic mix of furnishings, mostly from Su Casa in Fells Point and Nouvelle Contemporary Goods in Baltimore.

In the kitchen, the honey of the oak cabinets provides a warm contrast to white appliances and dark slate flooring. Granite countertops are in a dark brown and honey tumble mix called "Baltic Rain." Multipane French doors open to the courtyard.

Cahill's dining room is dominated by a country oak corner cabinet set off by a contemporary table of aluminum base with a 6-foot oval glass top. A hand-woven carpet of black and white paisley design rests on the granite flooring carried over from the kitchen.

"If something speaks to me, I let the house tell me where to put it," Cahill said of the contemporary living room suite in olive-tone microfiber. One wall is exposed brick.

Cahill's second floor features a guest bedroom resplendent in tropical flair. Emerald- green organdy draperies hang on a canopy of aluminum over a queen bed dressed in linens of toile-like fabric depicting palm trees.

The rear room of the second level serves as an office/den, with walls painted cranberry. A white, microfiber chaise lounge and sofa accent the original pine flooring.

Cahill's third-floor personal space boasts a sleigh bed of wrought iron, boudoir furniture in cool olive tones and double doors opening to a roof-top deck.

"I'm very content here," Cahill said, overlooking Fells Point rooftops from the edge of his deck. "If I ever moved, I would wish to take this house with me."

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