Real Estate & Home

It’s Summer! Imagine it On the Water in this Spectacular Spot

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HOT HOUSE: 435 Ginn Lane in Pasadena, Md.

At auction: a one-of-a kind modern glass house and 3.51 acres with total privacy and views of Magothy River near the Chesapeake Bay. Suggested opening price:  $3.5 million. Sold to the highest bidder. 

What:  A beautiful, custom-designed glass house, built in 1997 for the late Leroy Merritt, developer and founder of Merritt Athletic Clubs.  An initial listing price of $7.9 million attracted no offers, and the house is being auctioned off on June 3 by Merritt’s estate. With high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass, the river views are spectacular from every room. At the top on the house is an observatory with 225 degree views. Sleek design and multiple levels of open living offer modern aesthetic appeal in a four-story, four bedroom home with four full and two half baths. Sunken living room and marble floors.  The grounds include a lovely pool, putting green, volleyball court and caretaker’s cottage. Private, waterfront land has a deep water pier with multiple boat slips and your own beach. This house was recently a Wall Street Journal  “House of the Day.”   

Where: A small rise on a private peninsula overlooking the Magothy River, Broad Creek and Sillery Bay. Pasadena, pop. 12,000, is on the western shore of the Chesapeake, near both Annapolis and Severna Park, about forty minutes from Baltimore. 

Why: A good chance to redecorate–even your mother-in-law will realize that her Victorian sofa won’t work here. Seriously, stunning views of sky and water puts the world in a different perspective.

Why Not: Visitors will be almost pathologically unable to resist comic observations about people who live in glass houses…

Would suit:  Water-loving millionaire with no urge to throw stones.


Lauraville for Hipsters with a Heart

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Hot House: 6400 Old Harford Road, Baltimore 21214

Sweet farmhouse Victorian  in the young and trendy neighborhood of Lauraville/Hamilton: $225,000

What: Sunny, charming and recently updated, this three bedroom, two-bath Victorian was built in 1920, when Hamilton was a making the transition from farmland to suburbs.  After years of decline from its working class roots, Hamilton is now one of the city’s great comeback neighborhoods, ethnically diverse and authentically Baltimore. Restaurants, art galleries, yoga centers, natural food and nightlife abound (checkout the Hamilton/Lauraville Main Street blogspot).  And 6400 Old Harford Road is an easy walk to everything.  The house features 9 foot ceilings, big windows, crown moldings and a wraparound porch. At 2,902 square feet and .3 acres,  it’s one of the largest houses around–you’ll be the envy of the neighbors, always a plus, and the large attic gives you potential for an easy 6 bedrooms.  Updated kitchen with breakfast nook, modern baths, new siding in’06, new roof in ’08. 

Where: Hamilton/Lauraville  is in the northwest corner of Baltimore City, bisected by Harford Road, and west of Northern Parkway. 10 minutes to Herring Run Park .

Why: young community, a real house in an up-and -coming hood with fun shops and great restaurants–walk to Hamilton Street Tavern! 

Why not: Great public schools? Not so much. Young families will need to check it out.  

Would suit: yoga teacher, college professor, hipsters with a heart.

Jim Rouse’s Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits Market

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One Overlook Lane comes in the form of a well-designed time capsule (even the address sounds swell). It is very mid-century, very California-modern, and seemingly unaltered by passing fancies. What a tragedy it would have been had this gem fallen victim to an ’80s mauve moment. Check the built-in lounge/fireplace areas:  see yourself in repose, reading Tropic of Cancer, while twirling a cocktail from the Lucite bar cart. Originally designed and built for James Rouse in 1961, the home is still owned by his first wife Elizabeth who is selling. Is some of the furniture original and could it be part of the deal? (I call the blue chair in the living room!) Located just off Lake Avenue in Baltimore County it is currently listed at $1,550,000. For that price the 2.75 acres, 5 bedrooms, tennis court and pool are included. Sure, a mind-blowingly expensive period-faithful renovation is needed, but this place inspires you to make jello molds while smoking and what could be better than that?

Let’s Get it Arted

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Art at home inspires us.  It doesn’t have to be a Picasso or a Warhol. A well-framed child’s drawing or a memorable family photograph can be just as inspiring as those works deemed “correct” by art snobs. In our view, interior design should always start with art. It is so much easier to decorate a room around a bold, meaningful painting, than to find a matchy painting to respond to a carefully furnished room (cue the disappointing results).

Case in point: The contemporary painting above features large brush strokes of indigo and other striking colors. It feels modern. The rest of the room mixes mid-century furniture, a custom George Smith sofa and sporting paintings of foxes and horses. The furnishings are traditional, the art is not, but together they work it out. There is no algorithm to pairing art and interior design. The only equation is to make them a pair and make sure you personally care about the details, that you feel comforted or excited or challenged by them, whichever you’re going for.

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