Soothing a yearning for the South


dream home

November 08, 2008|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,Special to The Baltimore Sun

When Jamie and Fred Mansperger married in January 2002, she left her South Carolina roots - family, culture and customs - for the countryside of northern Baltimore County. He left Columbia for the same country feel. And then some.

"There were three things I wanted," said Fred, the former owner of a reprographics business. "This area, a house at the end of a road, [and] I wanted a pool."

Jamie wanted an interior decor that would be representative of the comfortable, easy Charleston way of life.

Their dream home, a 1979, two-story Colonial on 1.25 acres of land in Phoenix, presented only one problem.

"When we first walked in, it looked like The Brady Bunch [set]," Jamie remembered. "Everything was blue, blue and pearly blue."

The color palette was hardly an insurmountable problem in their eyes. They purchased the property for $332,000 and began work on its transformation.

Jamie set about painting every inch of the interior, a job that took a year and a half. She chose deep, rich colors for the walls and accented them with cream-colored chair rails and moldings.

The chosen furniture and accents, mainly from consignment shops, reflect Jamie's love of the Southern Colonial way of life. Brocaded draperies flow to the floors of new oak hardwood, while a Chippendale suite dominates a dining room splashed with oil paintings in gilt frames. The room also features an old silver serving set that's meant to show off its tarnish.

The built-in pool that Fred had wanted turned out to be impractical for their needs, and they transformed the area into a garden.

Though still a work in progress, their Colonial-style interior continually moves toward a warm, welcoming environment for family and friends.

"The first floor is a dream complete," Jamie said, the pride of accomplishment evident in her voice. "[On] the second floor, the dream is still a vision."

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it. Write to Dream Home, Home & Garden Editor, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail us at

making the house their own

* "Charleston" accents grace the Manspergers' home, including stenciling in a fern pattern on the sun porch, the carved-wood front door painted black and high-backed rocking chairs on the front porch.

* The couple's penchant for interior textural contrast is evident in an exposed brick wall/fireplace adorned with wrought-iron hangings, and a kitchen backsplash featuring copper discs in a mosaic style, set against the gleam of cherry wood cabinets.

* Fred Mansperger added clever touches to two tables: He gave a kitchen Mission-style table a new top of ceramic tiles set in a frame and he put a top of slate tiles placed in mosaic fashion on a coffee table.

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