Bachelor's delight

David Repko's Canton waterfront home is deco-inspired - and dreamy

  • The home features many Art Deco-inspired items as accents throughout.
The home features many Art Deco-inspired items as accents throughout. (Monica Lopossay, Special…)
December 05, 2010|By Marie Marciano Gullard, Special to The Baltimore Sun

David Repko's waterfront bachelor pad defies the stereotypical notion of dirty laundry on the floor, a crusty stovetop and dishes piled in the sink. With its casual but high-style decor, the four-story brick home in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood looks more suited to James Bond than Oscar Madison.

"When I got here, it was stressful to walk in and make design decisions," Repko said of the 3,200-square-foot home he bought in August 2003 for $610,000.

But choices he made while the home was still under construction proved to be important to the task. By making alterations to the floor plans and choosing open layouts that eliminated most hallways, Repko created the feel of semi-custom. But he had a harder time getting the feel for the furniture that he had purchased for his new home.

"I'm buying all this stuff and it's not fitting anywhere," said Repko, a 46-year-old financial adviser for Ameriprise. Tapping into elements of his job — listening to clients and providing a service to meet their needs — he decided to find an interior design consultant who would listen to his vision, and then carry it out.

He contacted Steve Appel, designer and co-owner of Baltimore's Noveau Contemporary Goods, for a consultation.

"I had all the main pieces," Repko said. "Steve looks at what you have and gets an idea of your style. He walks from room to room. The bones were done, the appliances, the fixtures. I just needed someone to pull it all together."

What evolved was a casually elegant decor with a suggestion of bachelor decadence. Repko said he could not have been more pleased with the result, adding that his input was always taken into consideration and, most times, followed to the smallest detail.

"I like to hear more about what a [client] likes — the lifestyle. And then I take that to another level of sophistication," said Appel about the design consultation, implementation and additional furniture and accessories, which cost about $250,000.

A long hall — the only one in the house — to a two-car garage and an office make up the first level, with jewel box wallpapering, the placement on the ceiling of a shade and pattern alternating those of the walls.

On the second level, the sophisticated design unfolds in a completely open layout featuring kitchen, breakfast area, dining area and formal living room.

The kitchen faces the front of the house with its harbor view. A wrought-iron bistro table and chairs sit in front of a multi-paned door leading to a balcony overlooking the water. Viking appliances, cherry cabinets and granite countertops complete the look of a sleek kitchen, with its sink built into a low counter facing the living and dining areas.

Copper and texture and art deco-inspired pieces define these areas. A beige micro-fiber sofa and a leather armchair are complemented by pieces that include a copper-mirrored credenza, a gold-and-copper-infused spiral wall sculpture and silver-leafed resin vases sitting on the floor. Offering contrast to the metals are alternating brown- and deep-gold-striped silk draperies, both elegant and masculine as they flow to the floor in a puddle-like flair. A "fan" of leaves from a silk palm plant placed behind the sofa reaches toward the ceiling in a chevron design.

Most dramatically deco-inspired is a Lempicka-reproduction oil painting of a woman at rest. Another deco-reproduction is the Lam Lee floor lamp, a 5-foot resin sculptured nude holding a glass shade high over her head.

The home's open third level, just beyond the staircase landing, is considered the den or TV room. Its furnishings include a glass-topped stainless bar and stools, soft leather furniture and a series of framed black-and-white photos depicting the likes of Lauren Bacall, James Dean and Jane Russell, all hanging on soft purple walls. A 60-inch flat-screen TV sits in the corner of the room opposite the bar.

A guest room with bath completes the third level.

A climb to the fourth level, offers yet another stunning room design — the master suite. Persimmon-colored walls set a warm, masculine tone for heavy mahogany furniture tempered by light, custom silk bed linens. Windows and a walk-out deck overlook the harbor. The back of the suite is devoted entirely to a large marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi and, among other interesting furnishings, a gold-colored, velour-tufted throne chair.

For Repko, the home goes beyond being just a bachelor pad. It's his refuge.

"It's satisfying to have all the hard work come together," he said. "It's relaxing to be here."

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Making the dream

Dream element: David Repko's four-story brick home fronts the water's edge of Inner Harbor East. From two decks, he enjoys a lovely water view with docked boats bobbing at several piers. He also has an unobstructed view of downtown buildings to the west.

Dream design: The design scheme was based on a very specific lifestyle — that of a successful bachelor with the desire to live in uptown, sophisticated ambience, which to Repko meant art deco-inspired furnishings.

Dream move: Repko says changes to the home during the construction phase — mainly open layouts throughout the second, third and fourth floors — made a huge difference, as did hiring a professional designer who would address his needs in the same way he himself guides his clients.

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