Tile, wrought iron, beamed ceilings and stone inside this Woodbrook house evoke a Mediterranean feel, but with a distinctly Baltimore (the couple who own it grew up here) interpretation. The house was bought a few years back by one of the most laid-back and fun families I know.  The architect Donald Ratcliffe and his wife raised their six children in the house,  so it is big and roomy enough for the two adults, two teenagers and pre-teen who live here today.

Although he did not build the 1920’s house, Ratcliffe left his mark on it and many of the best design elements are attributed to him. In the front hall, wrought iron railing, tile floor, an antique drop leaf mahogany table and an antique rug combine for a stylish mix. The owner used seagrass on the staircase, which looks fresh and modern.

The living room is light-filled and open, with wall-to-wall seagrass.  Love the copper fireplace hood!

The living room sits opposite a wall of windows that looks out on a lovely, lush yard.

The sliding glass doors open onto a slate patio, perfect for entertaining in the summer. For a winter party, the owner tented the patio to accommodate a large crowd for a sit-down dinner.  It was stunning.

One of the projects the new owners took on was transforming the former office into a family room.  The bones were there — the built-ins, the paneled walls, the size — but they limed the wood, moved in a big comfy sectional, added a flat screen TV and a bar, and now it’s the family — and guest — hang out spot.

Look at all those built-in bookshelves!

Opposite the sitting area is a slate wall with the flat screen TV and a fireplace.  The fireplace was already there when they bought the house.

The dining room is cozy, perfect for intimate dinners.

Tile is used again here, this time in a beautiful emerald green that is evocative of malachite.

Her interior design taste captures the best of the old and the new.  She has many lovely antiques, but never uses them in a stuffy way. She works in the latest styles, but the house is never “trendy.”

The Capiz shell chandelier — a New York find — is a show stopper hanging above the staircase on the second floor landing.

One of my favorite antiques in her house — a secretary from the 1800s that the couple found at an antiques store in New York.

The family renovated all the bathrooms in the house.  The luxurious new bathtub is a favorite.

Outside, the guest house is getting a facelift, thanks to Mother Nature! It took a beating in last summer’s hurricane.

When they get tired of the indoors — and why would they? — they can head outdoors and look at this: Baltimore at its best. The best is inside too!

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Susan Dunn

Susan Gerardo Dunn is the founding editor and publisher of Baltimore Fishbowl.