Sponsored Post Staff

Sponsored post content is generated by our advertisers: local businesses, merchants, schools, and non-profits. All sponsored content is created in collaboration with the advertiser.

Cool and Collected Resort Wear at Liza Byrd Boutique


Spring Styles_January2014_2

And don’t forget the in store sale room is in full swing with 70% off all sale items at our store in The Shops at Stevenson Village.



The Shops at Stevenson Village 10435 Stevenson Rd. Stevenson, Md. 21153


Decoding Your Property – Some Advice from Maureen Lally of the Whit Harvey Group



According to landscape architects Mary Palmer Dargan and Hugh Graham Dargan, every property can be broken down into four basic parts: the Approach and Arrival, the Hub, the Perimeter and Passages to Destinations.

Last summer Whit Harvey Group team member, Maureen Lalley and her husband John, attended a workshop presented by the Dargans in Cashiers, North Carolina. An avid gardener with an interest in landscape design, Maureen wanted to find out more about this “Four Part Master Plan” directly from the source. She is using what she learned at her own home in Ruxton, and is eager to share her insights with her clients.

The Approach and Arrival Sequence

Everyone has heard the term “curb appeal” but decoding the approach to a home goes beyond mere aesthetics and gets into to the mechanics. The Approach and Arrival sequence, which begins at the street and ends at the front door, includes three parts:
• Drive portal
• Parking court
• Entry nodule

“For centuries, a long axial driveway leading up to the front of a building underscored the property’s significance and impressed visitors with a sense of dignity and grandeur.” Mary and Hugh Dargan

So you don’t live in a manor house with a long drive? Scaled down to smaller properties, a skillfully designed approach and arrival can still have intriguing and unforgettable results.

The Hub

Whatever its style or scale, the house is the centerpiece of the property. Architectural composure deals with the style, size and mass of your house and its relationship to the ground plane. Each style has building materials associated with it, such as brick, stone, stucco and wood, that can harmonize with freestanding walls and paved areas.

Scale is key when developing the appropriate landscaping for your home. If the house is a mansion, plant large-scale trees and shrubs. For little “architectural gems”, look to historic house museums and old photographs. For cottages, almost anything goes, as long as it is intimate and personal in scale.

Creating and improving vistas and captured views is the second design consideration. Vistas work both ways – from the house to the grounds, and the grounds to the house.

Captured views are created from windows and doors with focal-point gardens, or eye-catchers from the inside of the house looking out to build visual links between the interior rooms and the outdoors. Windows and doors are excellent framing devices and help create the dynamic connections between the two spaces. For a captured view to connect with the interior of the house, consider harmonizing the interior colors with the exterior views.

The Perimeter

The perimeter consists of the outdoor spaces immediately adjacent to the house and within easy reach of the interior. These include terraces, decks, porches and lawns. Places for dining, cooking, gardening and entertaining wrap around the house in one continuous picture as linked perimeter spaces. You might think of each area as a room without walls, but seamlessly connected.

Passages and Destinations

This part of the Master Plan is about design elements that invite exploration and enjoyment of garden environments set away from the house itself. A destination can be as simple as a wooden bench under a tree, or a unique birdhouse nestled in a corner, or as elaborate as a pavilion or secluded garden sanctuary. The journey there should be as enjoyable as the destination.

Whatever size home you have, decoding the areas of your property using the Four-Part Master Plan can work for you. Using harmonious materials creates a seamless flow, and adding planting for beauty and interest and can be used to shape spaces and solve visual problems. “Memorable moments” can occur at any point from the street to the front door.

Photo by Maureen Lalley.
 Maureen and her husband helped their friends create a more balanced foundation planting by moving existing boxwoods and replanting them according to size to form a pleasing “node” as a transition between walkway and front porch.

For more information and details on how to create the best plan your your home, read “Timeless Landscape Design: The Four-Part Master Plan, by Mary Palmer Dargan, ASLA and Hugh Graham Dargan, ASLA.

FEATURED HOT LISTING: Historic American Foursquare in Secret Cedmont


Featured Hot Listing:  5930 Greenhill Avenue  Baltimore, MD 21206

List Price: $183,900

3 BR, 2 BA


12:00-2:00 p.m.


This turn-of-the-century home blends the charms of yesterday with the modern features of today, all in the comforts of a welcoming community convenient to everything.

Background: A reaction to the architectural excesses of the Victorian era, the American Foursquare was a house style popular in this country from about 1890 to 1930. Homes built in this style quickly became loved for their open and sunny interior layouts, large and welcoming front porches, and handcrafted, “honest” workmanship.

Making the Best of Clearance Sales – Advice from Wee Chic Boutique


Some great advice submitted by Wee Chic owner Bridget Quinn Stickline

It’s that wonderful time of year  around town with great end of season sales popping up all over!  Twice a year, wee reduce prices on many of the season’s most popular styles at Wee Chic, so there is no better time than the present to grab some great deals.  In the world of all things mini clearance sales can spell big savings for moms. Let’s face it, these little buggers just keep on growing and it can get expensive to keep them looking their best. At Wee Chic, wee have  three good sales tips to make the best of clearance sales.

UYqJ0wW3XnaR0IdjkNuYkMw4NdcdF6xpj5GaUFUgE0k - Copy

First rule – buy to fill-in your current closet.  Any mom has been there, you wake up to find that every pair of pants you own are now flood waters on your mini-me. Now is a perfect opportunity to snatch up the next size to get you through at good discounts. Charm City stays plenty chilly all the way through May so you don’t want to wait until the stores are full of Spring goods and leave your kid with chilly ankles. Shop right after Christmas holidays and into January for good selections of pants, jackets, sweaters or hats and gloves that will carry your little one through the rest of this season.  Want more color, layer your sale buys with some fun new for Spring pieces and you will be even more prepared when the weather turns. **Tip: hold on to those too short leggings and dresses, they can be worn as crops and tunics when the weather warms up.

Second rule –Think ahead.  Winter sales are perfect time to grab pieces for next year.  The rule of thumb for most kids is size up one size per season so if you are buying 2T for this fall by 4T for next Fall winter. Stick with pieces with adjustable waists so you have some play if junior isn’t quite into the 4 next September. Grab pieces that you know you love and remember to buy outerwear one size up from what you will buy in clothing.

Third rule– Check your Basics. Check out snowsuits, boots, snow gloves and coats to see if they will make it through. And don’t forget undies and socks. If you are close to the end of the life on one of those only-important-when-it-snows-or-a-polar-vortex-hits pieces grab a new one 1-2 sizes up for next winter on clearance. You could fake your way through if we get a March blizzard (it happens!) and you will save paying a premium when you rediscover the capri length snow pants next December.

There is plenty of cold weather left this season, and likely plenty of snow, too, so visit Wee Chic today before all the great sale merchandise is gone! Green Spring Station’s bi-annual Sidewalk Sale starts 1/23/14.


You Ask, We Find: Week 2 of Our Holiday Shopping Helper

Welcome to our second edition of “You Ask, We Find” our special holiday series where we put it to local shops to help readers find that perfect gift for the person on their list who has them stumped!
The challenge:
“My best friend’s mother who has EVERYTHING (too much!)…oh, she likes to drink, but I always giver her wine.”
 A mango wood platter or serving bowl from Dutch Floral Garden or
mango wood serving platter

A custom-colored cashmere v-neck sweater, made in Italy, from J. Crew in Harbor East

jcrew cashmere sweaters

The next challenge:
“The UPS guy who always makes sure to conceal my packages.”
A Gordon Biersch Brewery Gift Card. (Get a free $5 gift card for every $25 of gift cards purchased.) Or…
gordon biersch

Lamill CoffeeA gift card to LAMILL in Harbor East  Coffee lovers can elevate their morning brew experience with LAMILL’s V60 Pour Over, pound of LAMILL COFFEE

“My hair dresser, who I see weekly.”
Texting or faux fur trimmed gloves from Matava or
winter gloves
A home fragrance in a natural scent either in candles, diffusers, and other from Dutch Floral Garden
home fragrance
Another toughie:
“My lawn guy.”
A 90-minute massage gift card from Respite Wellness 

Massage Therapy, Pregnancy Massage or Thai Yoga Bodywork / 60 min / $80 / 90 min / $100 @ Respite

whiskey stonesWhiskey Stones from Curiosity in Harbor East. Pair them with tumblers and a bottle of your favorite liquor.
“My 13 and nine year old nephews who love Legos and video games, but I’m under strict orders not to present those this year.”
Magnifying glasses by Two’s Company and assorted critters- tons of fun. Available at Papers Plus.
magnifying glass
A 4M Science and Engineering exploration kit.  From rockets to race cars, your nephews will love these building kits, and won’t even realize they’re learning physics in the process.  Available at Papers Plus.

Science Kit


‘Back to School’ Has Never Been More Popular – 101 Ellwood Reaches Leasing Milestone

from press release

101 Ellwood Modern Apartments & Lofts has quickly become one of downtown Baltimore’s hottest new addresses. Since the property began accepting applications, over 50 of the 140 luxury apartment homes have been spoken for at this community.

gI_66444_101 Ellwood Ext

Just steps away from 138-acre Patterson Park and within walking distance to Canton Square, location and value are generating high interest and a brisk leasing pace.

“People are moving here 100 percent because of the neighborhood,” says Shaffin Jetha, principal at Focus Development Group. “I think there are people who are picking this location with the park over places on the waterfront,” he says.

People are moving here 100 percent because of the neighborhood.

If the location were not incentive enough, the community boasts a list of amenities that are as unique as the building itself, including: a Zen courtyard, rooftop deck, a fitness center with yoga room, and a dog washing station. Many would argue the most attractive amenity is the attached parking garage with 146 spaces.

Original details were retained from the building’s history. There are hand-painted murals from the school’s library, classic wall-sized chalkboards, and solid oak book cases accenting various apartment homes. In contrast to, but surprisingly in harmony with the historical elements, upgraded finishes were chosen to please today’s discerning lifestyle renter including: wall-size windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, granite counters, solid wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and full-size washers/dryers in every apartment and loft home.

With a prime location and spectacular amenities you might expect lofty rents, but instead they are a surprising value. Rents begin at $1,200 for a 600-square-foot studio unit and go up to $2,300 for a 1,450-square-foot two-bedroom, two-story unit with a loft, a den and two bathrooms.

For more information about 101 Ellwood Modern Apartments & Lofts, visit the property’s website at http://www.101ellwood.com or contact the leasing office at 410.276.9090.

Tonight at the Ivy, Three Local Authors Discuss Three Aspects of What Makes Baltimore, Baltimore


baltorama hero

Join The Ivy Bookshop tonight, December 18 at 7 p.m., as three local authors celebrate three iconic aspects of Baltimore: painted screens, East Baltimore’s Polish community and Attman’s Deli.  Read more about the authors and their subjects below.

Elaine Eff: The Painted Screens of Baltimore:

Painted screens have long been synonymous in the popular imagination with the Baltimore row house. Picturesque, practical and quirky, window and door screens adorned wtih scenic views simultaneously offer privacy and ventilation in crowded neighborhoods. As an urban folk art, painted screens flourished in Baltimore, though they did not originate there – precursors date to early 18th-century London. They were a fixture on fine homes and businesses in Europe and America throughout the Victorian era. But as the handmade screen yielded to industrial production, the whimsical artifact of the elite classes was suddenly transformed into an item for mass consumption. Historic examples are now a rarity, but in Baltimore the folk art is still very much alive.

The Painted Screens of Baltimore takes a first look at this beloved icon of one major American city through the words and images of dozens of self-taught artists who trace their creations to the capable and unlikely brush of one Bohemian immigrant, William Oktavec. In 1913, this corner grocer began a family dynasty and inspired generations of artists who continue his craft to this day. The book examines the roots of painted wire cloth, the ethnic communities where painted screens have been at home for a century and the future of this art form.

The Gift of Flowers…That Last Forever. Perfect.


24 x 24
Oil, acrylic and and charcoal on wrapped canvas


Local artist Liza Matthews was one of our featured artists in 2012. The MICA-trained painter’s complex yet harmonizing works of art add visual interest to any interior.  See more of Liza’s work on her Facebook page, or read about the artist and her art here.