A widow now for three years, Joanne Adleberg continues to find sanctuary in the Pikesville condominium she and her husband purchased in 2004.
When their house and three acres of land off Greenspring Avenue became too much to keep up, they were the first to move into the new condominium complex of Stevenson Commons, and as time went by, both found the building to be very people-friendly.
The couple purchased the building's largest unit — 2,750 square feet — at a cost of $475,000. In an open, circular layout, the residence has living and dining rooms, a spacious kitchen, family room, two bedrooms, music room and a laundry room.
Adleberg converted the dining room into an art studio.
"I needed a room to paint in," said Adleberg, a retired art teacher-turned-interior designer and now full-time painter.
While the watercolorist works in her studio, the walls throughout her home serve as her gallery. Visitors are drawn into a framed world of soft pastel flowers and still-life pieces of fruit, bottles and dolls, many of which are whimsical portrayals.
Adleberg notes that an additional $35,000 was spent on upgraded flooring and window treatments, including Venetian ceramic tiles placed at an angle in the kitchen and family room; carpeting for the music room and two bedrooms; cherry wood flooring laid in herringbone design with a walnut border; and Venetian blinds throughout the unit.
The condominium's interior, with all windows opening onto an eastern exposure, is laid out in a grand center section beyond the double-door entrance and the marble-floor foyer. Here, a combination living room and dining area segue into two wings. The kitchen, family room, music room and art studio are located in the east wing, while bathrooms, guestroom and master suite are found on the west wing.
The traditional decor of the formal living and dining rooms is enhanced by splashes of color against eggshell-white walls, white molding and tray ceilings. In addition to a hanging collection of Staffordshire china plates, Joanna Adleberg has used her skills as a designer, along with the help of fellow interior decorator Vivian Krawitz, to include touches such as green topiary, vases of brightly colored flowers and fabrics to match the flowers.
The kitchen has cabinets of glazed maple and countertops of dark granite contrasted against stainless-steel appliances.
A family room beyond the kitchen is a repository for personal collections. Framed antique maps hang on the east wall and include a John Speed 1626 map of the world. There are also antique town plans that include areas in Italy and Spain. A shelf displays old tin and wooden toys, such as a horse-drawn cart, tops and a pair of Amish dolls.
Of her home and its decor, Adleberg says, "You buy what fascinates and integrate [the items] into your decor. These things travel with you from home to home."
Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it at email@example.com.
Making the dream
Dream element Joanne Adleberg's 2,750-square-foot condominium is located in Stevenson Commons in the Pikesville area in Baltimore County. Spacious and open in design, her home has two bedrooms, a music room and an art studio. Tray ceilings are found throughout the home, as well as oversize molding on the floors, doors and ceilings.
Design inspiration Traditional furniture pieces such as a tone-on-tone, tuxedo-style sofa are featured in rooms that also contain antique pieces such as a French table and a Queen Anne-style chair. Adleberg has chosen to accessorize in jewel-tone colors, as seen in a collection of historic dark-blue Staffordshire plates depicting American scenes and hung on the living room walls. Touches of whimsy take over in groupings of antique toys such as old dolls and stuffed animals found atop furniture pieces and standing in corners.
Surprise touch The music room is a trip back in time, with an antique upright piano that takes center stage. Manufactured by Baltimore's Knabe & Co., the mahogany piece and its stool date to the mid-1800s. Hung in plastic on the wall above the piano are dozens of pieces of period sheet music, including such old-time hits as "Casey Jones," "In My Merry Oldsmobile" and "Over There."