Dream home: Beach villa vibe

Harford County couple's home in Bulle Rock is shore winner

  • Jane and Michael Fischbeck's Ryland-built villa home is in the Harford County development of Bulle Rock, which offers amenities such as golf, clubhouse, indoor and outdoor pool and fitness center.
Jane and Michael Fischbeck's Ryland-built villa home… (Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara…)
May 30, 2010|By Marie Marciano Gullard, Special to The Baltimore Sun

For Jane and Mike Fischbeck, building a spacious new villa in the Bulle Rock development of Harford County was like a day at the beach.

The couple, coming from a Ryland-built house in a waterfront community in Joppa, chose the same builder the second time around. Working with Ryland, they knew pretty much what to expect, including a focus on the details.

"The builder gave us evergreen, holly and perennials for the front walk," said 59-year-old Jane Fischbeck, an employee in the central office of Harford County's public schools.

Leading the way into her home, Jane Fischbeck points beyond the bright dining area, open kitchen and hall stairway to the rear of the of the first level, where a great room has a vaulted ceiling that reaches 18 feet at its highest point. In this room, the couple planned their beach-themed home.

The couple bought the two-level house in 2008 for $319,000. A builder's incentive allowed them to add upgrades that included oak flooring throughout the first level, an 18-by-10-foot outdoor deck and materials to enhance an existing fireplace in the great room.

"Getting fireplace molding was a three-hour trip to Home Depot," said Jane Fischbeck.

The fireplace provides the room's central attraction. In addition to an elaborately molded mantel, Mike Fischbeck continued the motif in bead board several feet up the wall, while painting all of the wood a cream color to match the floor molding.

The decorating theme throughout the first level revolves around the basic use of two paint colors: a warm shade of mocha called Cafe Latte against which all trim, kitchen cabinetry, furniture and draperies are done in neutral shades of beige. Framed prints, almost all beach scenes, as well as framed tin art, hang on the walls.

"We're the white Nantucket cabinet type," said Jane Fischbeck.

The couple's outdoor deck is covered with a retractable striped awning. In a creative touch, Mike Fischbeck took the spindles out of the deck's railing and inserted Plexiglas to ensure a completely unobstructed view of their property and the tall trees beyond that.

Between their patch of property and the tree line lies a common area.

"We asked if we could landscape the common area, and we love the way it turned out," Jane Fischbeck said.

A wooden footbridge traverses an area outlined in fieldstone and filled in with a variety of plants, larger rocks, driftwood and two bird houses high up on poles. The couple is pleased that neighbors are beginning to show an interest in landscaping other common areas.

Since their home was designed for one-level living, the master bedroom suite is on the first floor. An 18-foot vaulted ceiling and cream-colored furniture dominate the area. Above the bed's wood and wrought iron headboard, a verse painted in script reads "Together — a great place to be."

Mike Fischbeck, a 62-year-old auditor for Safeway Markets, transformed an unfinished basement into an extension of the great room above. Cream-colored bead board makes up the lower two-thirds of the walls; the upper portion painted a soft yellow. Painted wooden picnic tables and comfortable furniture complete the beach house effect.

A guestroom and a grandchild's bedroom, as well as a loft area turned into an office, make up the home's second story, with the office-loft overlooking the great room.

Jane Fishbeck mentions flags on streetlights throughout the Bulle Rock community that read, "Where life imitates vacation." She enjoys looking at them on the way in and out of the complex.

"We are infected with the beach," she said.

Making the dream

Dream element Michael and Jane Fischbeck's Ryland-built villa home is in the Harford County development of Bulle Rock, which offers amenities such as golf, clubhouse, indoor and outdoor pool and fitness center. Constructed of low-maintenance vinyl and stone, the rear of the home abuts an extensive wooded area.

Design inspiration Great fans of beach living, the couple have chosen traditional country-cottage decor throughout their home. Woods and upholstery are in neutral tones of beige, a decidedly soft contrast to walls painted a light mocha color. The walls feature extensive wainscoting, installed by Mike Fischbeck. "We are real do-it-yourself [people]," said Jane Fischbeck. "Mike is great with woodworking. We're bead board freaks."

Personal touch Jane Fischbeck notes that she is "real big on words." That is, she is keen on sentimental words or verses, whether on plaques or painted in script directly onto the walls. Examples of this include "Cottage" affixed to the fireplace mantel, and a verse in the dining area painted over the hutch that reads,"The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table."

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