Dream home: Starting off with style

Newlyweds find domestic bliss in Ellicott City townhome

May 02, 2010|By Marie Gullard, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Last spring, Robert and Allison Ross charted a course for their future, signing a contract on a townhouse to be built in the Ellicott City community of Shipley's Grant. One year later, the couple has sailed smoothly from getting married to moving into their first home.

Both originally from Howard County, they purchased their townhouse from Bozzuto Homes in April 2009. Three months later, they married and spent the summer biking to and from the construction site of their new home, watching it materialize a bit each day. They moved into their three-story dream home in November, just in time for Allison Ross to settle in, decorate and serve Christmas dinner to her relatives.

The base price for the three-bedroom, 2½ -bath townhouse was $359,900. The couple, pleased with so many standard amenities, including 9-foot ceilings with elaborate molding and Corian countertops, still opted for upgrades such as granite countertops in the kitchen and master bathroom, cherry wood kitchen cabinets, recessed lighting and extended oak flooring into the living area. These upgrades brought the total cost to $375,500.

The front entrance of the 2,100-square-foot home opens onto a long hall, where a set of French doors leads to Robert Ross' office. The walls are painted a deep olive green and large framed photographs of airplanes reflect his interest in flying. A two-car garage is at the end of the hallway.

"We painted every room in the house," said 25-year-old Allison Ross, a first-grade teacher at Atholton Elementary School, pointing to the walls of the open, second-floor living area. "The color we chose here is called ‘vanilla brandy.' We like neutral tones."

This perference is show not only in the choice of paint, but also in choice of furniture. Hardwood pieces throughout are made of cherry wood, while comfortable upholstery on two side chairs and a grand living room sectional sofa are of a dark leather frame softened with tan microfiber.

"My favorite purchase is my dining room table with its marble top," Allison Ross said.

The table's clean elegant lines of cherry wood topped in marble are enhanced with six high-backed, leather-upholstered chairs. A sleek buffet completes the suite and stores a set of Mikasa china. A large, framed wedding portrait of the couple sits atop the buffet.

Unique to these townhouses are three large windows in the front living area that Allison Ross has adorned with silk draperies in a soft shade of gold.

Art throughout the home consists of canvas prints, mostly floral in nature, and tin art, wavy and geometric shapes found on the walls of the kitchen, among other areas.

The third floor consists of a master bedroom, a guest room and Allison Ross' office. The master bedroom has been painted in the same shade of "vanilla brandy" found in the living room. For contrast, the bedroom furniture is cherry wood and a wrought-iron sculpture is framed in cherry wood and used as wall decoration. Allison Ross softens the look with bed linens in aqua, beige and brown, her favorite colors, as seen in the other two upstairs rooms.

"We were here for the entire process of the home's construction, and we have made it our own," said 29-year-old Robert Ross, a marketing and sales representative for Milby Co., purveyor of pumps and filtration equipment.

"We live in every room in this house," his wife added. "And outside, this neighborhood has a good [feel] of community."

Making the dream
Dream element:
The Ross home in the community of Shipley's Grant in Ellicott City is a three-story, traditional-style townhouse built of composite material that looks like clapboard but does not requireall the maintenance. The front exterior is painted a deep red and looks much like the barn belonging to the Shipley family, who sold the land to Bozzuto builders. The Rosses have an unobstructed view of the barn across an open field that, when viewed from the second and third stories of the townhouse, lends a true country feel to the area.
Design inspiration:
The couple wanted an uncluttered, bright feel to the home's decor, which they chose to furnish in a casually elegant style. There is a minimal amount of furniture, allowing each piece — mostly cherry woods with microfiber upholstering — to stand out in its own area.
Surprise feature:
The cornices at every window have been covered in rich fabric, often coordinating with other fabrics or linens in the room. The cornices were constructed by Allison Ross from pieces of insulation foam that she cut into designs; fabrics and cording were attached with a glue gun.
Personal touch:
Allison Ross painted rectangles and squares in constrasting colors on the walls under the spot where she hangs artwork. Slightly larger than the hung pieces, these painted squares and rectangles produce a shadowbox effect.

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