French chateau, mini castle, fairytale cottage – when asked what the inspiration was for his custom-built home in Sparks, Mark Adams promptly replies, “Hogwarts.”

With its beamed cathedral ceiling, Mark’s portrait studio certainly calls to mind the Dining Hall in Harry Potter, a set that recreates nearly verbatim the great dining hall in Christ Church College.

Mark greets guests at the arched front door by opening a smaller door set at his height. It’s hard not to think of the gatekeeper from The Wizard of Oz, and when Mark’s twinkling eyes appear from behind the iron grillwork the illusion is complete.

There are dozens of other whimsical touches throughout the house that Mark and his wife Susan built.

A curved staircase inside a castle-like turret leads to the upper level, and an arched wooden door to the lower level has its own tiny floor-level hinged door to allow cat access below.

The eclectic home furnishings and abundant art collection all works together because of the Adams’ fine eye for detail. Everything in the house was carefully chosen – from a particular fabric on a bench in the guest suite, to the colors on the walls and woodwork of one of the secret rooms (yes there are two!).

“This isn’t the first house we designed and built,” explained Susan, “We took what we had learned from our last home in Reisterstown to make improvements on the layout for this one.”

Because they both like to cook, the kitchen was an important feature in the design. Because Susan is an avid birder, the wide picture window over the sink was a must. Centrally located, it is open to the family room across a wide island, and a hidden pocket door brings you behind the wonderful bar into Mark’s the studio.  Click to read full post and see more great pics.