The owners of this mid-century Pikesville ranch house (designed in 1959 by Jordan Sugarman) liked their home’s modern architecture and they loved their Stevenson neighborhood. But recently, they had found that their needs had changed since they first moved into the home in 2000. With their children getting older, the owners craved more living space and more privacy. They knew that meant only one thing: an addition. But they wanted an addition that blended perfectly with the original house and neighborhood, and that wouldn’t yell “look at me.”

With that goal in mind, they enlisted architect Joe Brandli of Joe Architect Inc., and Dan Proctor, principal of Kirk Designs, to add a master bedroom suite including his/her walk-in closets, a sumptuous master bath and an office, to transform their house into a 4,000-square-foot haven that suits all of their needs.

From the home’s expansive living/dining area, the vestibule leading back to the master suite seems like it was there all along. It was natural to place the addition behind the garage, and by using matching materials, they were able to create a seamless look.

“One of the things we talked about was not being so abrupt with the transition from the original house to the addition,” says Proctor. Pointing to the new vestibule that leads to the master suite, he adds, “This extra space allows your eyes to visually travel on and to say, ‘there’s more room back here,’ but it’s still semi-public. Hopefully, had I not mentioned this opening as the addition, you wouldn’t know that it was an addition.”

All materials used in the addition echo the look of the original house, most notably the wood beams and large expanses of glass. “The owners were concerned about making sure any changes were in keeping with the style and feel of the period of the house, but they also wanted comfortable and aesthetically pleasing changes,” says Proctor. “That was a goal: to warm this living space up, since there’s so much glass here and it’s a big space.”

Maple wood framing was used to trim the existing floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area as well as the addition. Silver travertine tile was laid on the living and dining area floors, as well as the entire new addition, and helped create continuity.

In the master suite, the eyes are drawn to the interior wood beams that seem to connect with the trees outside, and to the matching wood beams of the pool house. The light, golden-beige walls echo the neutral tones in the Tibetan carpet and Donghia linens. They also complement the custom-built, black laminate and cherry wood shelving built by Sensenig Woodworking, which displays a collection of glass vases.

The windows allow a maximum amount of sunlight and nature to spill into the room. “I enjoy reading in all this light, and looking outside and feeling that connection,” says the owner. Between the bed and the shelves is a black and white original le Coubersier cowhide chaise lounge. As an added bonus, what used to be the outside wall of the house is now an interior (and very soundproof) wall. “If we close the door, we don’t have to listen to the loud music of our kids,” says the owner.           

The master bedroom leads into a small office, which resembles a romantic vanity, with a mirror in front of a built-in desk, and a mid-century Mercury Sputnik chandelier hanging above. Beyond this is an area where the owners’ personalities shine through the most— their personal walk-in closets. Hers contains custom- built cherry shelving, with a closet island and walls painted in the same shade as the bedroom. It’s large enough to hold two black-and-white paintings of horses that she’s owned since she was single.

His walk-in closet— with the same cherry shelves and paint color as hers — is reminiscent of the dressing room at Barneys New York, and the owner has plenty of room in front of the large mirror for trying on clothes. His suits hang perfectly on either side. 

The closets segue into a master bath, where the silver travertine continues from the floors to the walls. The Kohler “Bird Bath” double sinks combine simple form with practical function. The large windows have black-out cloth provided by Proctor and his team to offer privacy, but still allow plenty of sunlight if one wants to read a book in the Jacuzzi.

In addition to increased living space in the house, the owners needed more wall space to showcase the extensive art collection— original prints from artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miró and Marc Chagall. Even with all the art on the walls, the owners didn’t want to feel as if they were living in a museum.

The interior design of the home also reflects the couple’s architectural leanings. The furniture contains many classic examples of mid-century modern design. Signature pieces include furniture designed by Mies van der Rohe— the Barcelona Collection distributed by Knoll Furniture— and a classic leather chair and ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames.

The house is a testimonial to the importance of detail. No surface is overlooked. The owners didn’t want a “McMansion” nor did they get one after this extensive and well thought-out renovation, addition and upgrade of the existing space.


Architect: Joe Architect Inc.; 7311 York Road, Towson; 410-821-5230; http://www.joearchitect.biz
Interior design: Kirk Designs; 6 E. Eager St.;  410-468-0798; http://www.kirk-designs.com
Artwork: Renaissance Fine Arts; 1848 Reisterstown Road; 410-484-8900
Woodwork: Geoffrey Sensenig Woodworking; 126 W. Millport Road, Lititz, Pa.; 717-627-7798; http://www.sensenigwoodworking.com

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