Picture Perfect


Interior Decorator Brings Bold Colors, Art Lover's Eye To Perry Hall Townhouse

August 09, 2009|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Give an interior decorator the blank canvas of a suburban, two-story townhouse and anything is bound to happen. In Mary Yeager's case, the opportunities for creativity in her home of 18 years have been boundless.

"It is not a dream home because it is spacious, luxurious or Architectural Digest material," she said. "It is my dream home because it is filled with colors, furnishings and artwork that make me happy."

Mary Yeager's artistic mark on the little house is evident immediately inside the foyer, where a sitting Buddha statue welcomes guests to the tranquillity of the spaces she has created.

Her kitchen in the front of the house, for example, exudes summer coolness as easily as it speaks to winter warmth by the use of deep, hunter-green paint on the walls, wooden blinds at the window and a cherry wood table and chairs.

Further down the front hall, it is the dining room and sunken living room that draw the eye into the very heart and soul of Mary Yeager's world of comfort and grace. Here, dozens of oil paintings, mostly portraits, hang on walls painted burgundy. Hundreds of eyes look out of their frames; soft smiles seem to indicate approval of their space.

The furniture is traditional, antiques mixed with new pieces. A stained-glass panel in shades of green and rose hangs at the home's rear window.

"My favorite room is not even in the house," Yeager says, walking through the back door, past the covered porch and out into her garden.

It is here that she feels the most tranquil and at peace, among 2,000 square feet of landscaping that includes large evergreens, maples, blooming crape myrtle and wildflowers.

At the far end of the yard that banks upward, a wrought-iron swing for two sits among the ground cover.

"I have lived and loved my home for 18 years [and] it has evolved and been improved along the way as budget and time permitted," she said.

Seven years ago, Yeager married Darby Bowman, who happily shares her love of art, landscaping and cozy, intimate spaces.

"One of his most endearing traits is that he is happy to live in my home and encourages me to continue to make it whatever I want it to be," she said.

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it at homes@baltsun.com.

Making a dream home

Dream element:: The Perry Hall complex of Seven Courts, where Mary Yeager and Darby Bowman have a home, features two-story townhouses of Tudor-like construction. Each home boasts a 100-foot-deep backyard with several common areas for the residents to enjoy. The community is relatively quiet because its layout does not allow for through traffic.

Design inspiration:: An interior decorator, Mary Yeager has created a series of "spaces" built upon a theme as seen throughout the home's 1,800 square feet. "In this house, the art is the focus," she pointed out in reference to her copious collection of oil paintings. "The [traditional] furniture complements the artwork."

Surprise feature:: The home's first-floor powder room has been designed as a "Ladies Room." The walls of the small area are covered with paintings, lithographs and photographs of women. Most are portraits.

Personal touch:: Mary Yeager is a talented decorative and faux painter, and her stamp is found on walls and furniture pieces. The second-floor den/office, for example, hints of a Tuscan villa with a portico of plaster looking out onto a blue sky while a mural on a closet door depicts fields (perhaps a vineyard?) and trees beyond an iron gate.

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