Bette Eklof Chambers dies at age 82

Ellicott City interior designer had her own studio and worked on Howard County decorator show houses

April 15, 2010|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Bette Eklof Chambers, an interior designer, artist and gardener active in Ellicott City, died of cancer Saturday at St. Agnes Hospital. She was 82 and lived in Ellicott City.

Born Bette Lee Eklof in Ellicott City, she was a 1945 Western High School graduate and earned a degree in interior design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was an interior designer and decorated the Bellona Avenue home that was based on the 1948 film, "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House."

She then worked for the old Stewart & Co. department store at Howard and Lexington streets, where she set up an interior design department. After raising her family, she returned to design work at Hutzler's Westview and M. Shavitz on U.S. 40.

She established her own studio, Search Enclosed, named after the Columbia Pike home where she lived for nearly 50 years. Over the years, she designed interiors for hundreds of homes.

She was a master gardener and won awards for her floral arrangements. She contributed numerous works to "Arts in Bloom" at the Walters Art Museum. She opened her home for the Maryland House and Garden pilgrimage and was a founding member of the Cross Country Garden Club.

She was design chairwoman for the decorator showhouse sponsored by Historic Ellicott City. Mrs. Chambers was a member of the group since its 1973 founding and had several leadership roles. She helped raise funds for community restorations, including the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station in Ellicott City.

Mrs. Chambers also painted in watercolors, oils and pastels.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Lisbon United Methodist Church on Route 144 in Lisbon.

Survivors include two sons, Randall Lee Chambers of Niceville, Fla., and Geoffrey Gustav Chambers of Savage; a daughter, Alisa Carol Chambers Walterhoefer of Ellicott City; a sister, Jeanette Thornton of Richmond, Va.; her companion, Erwin L. Hubbard of Ellicott City; eight grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. Her husband of 38 years, Melvin Wilbur Chambers, a federal employee, died in 1989. A son, Christopher Key Chambers, died in 2007. Her youngest son, Dale Scott Strouse Chambers, died in 1997.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.