From Margaret Everton on June 29, 2010 in Baltimore
After running across a shingle-style house that sat perched on a Ruxton hilltop in Baltimore, Bruce and Polly Behrens knew they had found their dream home. Unfortunately, there was a large group of potential buyers, so it took the couple a bit of schmoozing to claim it as their own. But after years of waiting and a few more years in renovations, the couple has finally settled into the home theyll “have to be carried out of.” Architect and designer Patrick Sutton helped the couple bring their dream into reality through a series of well thought out plans. He began by getting rid of the 10-foot hill that blocked the front of the home and subsequently the view. The pool was then relocated to the back yard and the area replaced with a curving driveway and putting green. After giving the go-ahead for a new two-story addition, the Behrens acquired enough bedrooms to comfortably sleep 14 people. The second-floor expansion is rounded out by a laundry room, office, painting studio, playroom, plethora of bathrooms and an elevator. In order to keep the addition in line with the original style of the home, gray shingles were brought in. This also helped highlight the spectacular architecture already present. The existing library was revamped with black walnut paneling, created from two trees that had to be removed from the property during the remodel. Dark furniture and accents lend a classic feel to the room. A new, massive kitchen with two center islands allowed the couple ample space for gathering, cooking and enjoying a meal with their growing family. Besides offering designated spaces for prep and clean up, the kitchen also houses a wine refrigerator. Just as much care and consideration were used in creating the outside porch. The couple wanted an area where visitors could enjoy each others company as well as the scenery, and thats precisely what they received. Most homeowners would have crumbled under the pressure of undergoing years of renovations. But not the Behrens; they loved it. To them this was all a labor of love- one that paid off considerably.