Southern comfort

Couple's riverfront home is antebellum in style and spirit

  • Homeowner Steve Goldberg, left, is pictured in the music room with his partner David Free, a professional musician.
Homeowner Steve Goldberg, left, is pictured in the music room… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
February 11, 2011|By Marie Marciano Gullard, Special to The Baltimore Sun

The serene beauty of the Magothy River can be seen in the spaces between the houses lining the road leading to Steve Goldberg's home.

A study in antebellum style, the new, custom-built home offers spectacular views of the river. A slate path leads to the large, columned front porch with wicker rockers. Visitors enter through a stained-glass front door that is more than 100 years old. Once inside, a foyer with a grand staircase is no match for the views that pop from a wall of windows at the rear of the home.

Goldberg, a 43-year-old senior vice president for SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., always wanted a home on the water in Anne Arundel County.

"I bought the [land] for $405,000 in 1997," he says. "It is a third of an acre, but back then it was all wooded."

For his dream home, he worked with a construction company to build from plans purchased from an architectural publication. Goldberg paid $705,000 to build the home and another $40,000 for the construction of a 60-foot pier.

"This is called Natchez style after the beautiful antebellum homes in Natchez, Mississippi," he says, describing the design elements, inside and out, that illustrate the style.

"All the rooms you're going to spend the most time in should face the water," Goldberg says.

The family room, with an 18-foot-high ceiling, features elaborate friezes — double- and triple-carved molding. Rich and ornately patterned wood paneling is constructed below a chair rail. With trim painted white and walls a light celery shade, the contrast is soft and warm. A 6-by-9-foot mirror hangs over the fireplace, breaking up the expanse of ceiling above. Arches from room to room expand on the theme of Southern elegance with homey charm.

Two formal rooms at the front of the home are furnished in traditional style.

The music room is reminiscent of an old Charleston parlor, with a black-lacquered grand piano, large potted palms, beige tone-on-tone wallpaper and Southern-style white wooden shutters. A collection of instruments is also on display in the room that caters to Steve Goldberg's partner of three years, David Free, a professional musician who plays oboe and clarinet.

The dining room across the hall features red wallpaper and a marbled glass chandelier hanging above a large mahogany table with wood inlay and ball-and-claw feet on the legs. Eight carved mahogany chairs with silk-covered seats grace the table.

The master bedroom, also on the first level, is painted a soft coffee color, which coordinates with the warmth of a mahogany, Henredon bed with carved canopy. The master bath is Old World elegant, with red marble tile, brass fixtures and a walk-in shower with seven water jets.

At the top of the grand staircase, a second-floor loft looks out over the family room and the hallway below.

In one of two guestrooms, Free has hung framed posters of several Broadway musicals, including "Les Miserables," "Beauty and the Beast," "Hairspray" and "Rent." The posters bear signatures of the pit musicians from each show. These are Free's professional colleagues, with whom he performed before moving to his other profession — nursing.

Back on the first floor, beyond the galley kitchen and breakfast room with bay windows looking out at the river, the couple's three dogs scurry through a breezeway to their beds in the laundry room.

In the great room, seated in arch-backed woven chairs that call to mind the arch shape of the doorways, Goldberg and Free both agree that life is good on the water. The two are comfortably at home in their "Southern" surroundings.

"This house was not only built for us," Goldberg says.

"But for the friends and family who visit us," adds Free, finishing the sentence.

Making the dream

Dream element The home of Steve Goldberg and David Free is on a cul-de-sac just off the Magothy River. From the rear of the home, a wall of windows opens onto the water and the docks, with views of houses in the distance on the other side of the river. "It's just how I want it to be," says Goldberg. "With all of my [daily] stress, I just want to come home to a retreat."

Dream design On a street where no two houses are constructed alike, the custom-designed home has all the characteristics of an antebellum style that can be traced to Natchez, Miss. Exterior features include a symmetrical facade, a steeply pitched gabled roof, porch columns and balconies.

Dream interior The interior boasts a formal music room and dining room off a central hall, a master suite on the first floor, bay windows in a cozy breakfast nook and a private patio and deck.

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.