Revamped house with office space

Desirable Spaces

Home features a refinished claw-foot tub, decorative molding, cathedral ceilings

August 10, 2008|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporter

When Jeanne and Sean St. Martin bought an old house on a hill above Historic Ellicott City's Main Street, they became the owners of a building that had been turned into three apartments and had been rented for decades. They could see the sky through numerous places in the roof.

That was 22 years and many improvements ago. The couple, both accountants, removed walls, created rooms, dumped three work kitchens in favor of one airy eat-in and stripped the black paint off the pine floors in a home that already had a few additions to the original house.

They exposed the ceiling beams of the original tiny house built in the 1800s and revealed its pegged construction. They turned the house into a home for their family of two children and a dog. And they put Jeanne St. Martin's home office on the first floor.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Sunday's Real Estate section identified the area behind an Ellicott City house as parkland. The land is privately owned and is not public property.
The Sun regrets the error.

The location is a brief walk to the business center of the historic district, where shops, restaurants and quaint architecture beckon the family and out-of-town guests.

Atop the detached two-car garage they added next to the house is a large studio-style room with a full bathroom.

"It's been a playroom. The kids have their friends over, and we have had after-prom parties here," she said.

With one child in college and another about to enter, it's time to move, she said.

About the house The white house with green shutters lies, with three other homes, on an access road uphill from Old Columbia Pike, which sets it away from the traffic. It backs up to parkland, and many windows take advantage of the view.

The home blends old and new, with the old incorporated into the new. The claw-foot tub the couple found in the house was refinished for the redone master bathroom. Decorative moldings grace many of the ceilings downstairs; upstairs, several rooms have airy cathedral ceilings.

The first floor's original living room has a window-seat bump-out that looks into the leafy backyard.

The house has two staircases, the main one in the center hall. Depending on the uses of the rooms, the house could have five bedrooms. The St. Martin family uses the downstairs bedroom as the office (zoning allows the business use). Of the four upper bedrooms, one is the upstairs of the original house, which the family uses as a library.

The property has four full baths, with laundry facilities on the first floor.

Address 3779 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City 21043

Asking price $775,000

Taxes $4,182

Size The home has 2,689 square feet of finished space and sits on a little more than one-fifth of an acre.

Features The kitchen has white cabinets, many with glass fronts, and brown granite countertops. A double-door pantry allows for additional storage. Two doorways that lead from the kitchen to the dining room flank the dining room's working, wood-burning fireplace.

Upstairs, a full bathroom by the children's rooms has a double vanity.

A slate mudroom with expansive storage space opens onto the side of the house, where there's a slate patio that wraps around to the rear of the home.

A breezeway tethers the 15-year-old garage to the house, which Jeanne St. Martin said has been a great convenience in bad weather.

The radiators are heated by oil.

Listing agent Kimberly Kepnes, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Ellicott City, 443-250-4241.

To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send photos and a description of the property to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Questions may be sent to


See more photos of this Ellicott City house at

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