From Margaret Everton on February 25, 2010 in Baltimore
You may not realize how close you are to Paris. You are, in fact, only as a far away as a modest cottage in Homeland. Well, modest isnt really the right word, because from the moment you set foot in the black and white diamond-pattern tile foyer, youll understand that this home is anything but modest.
Dan Proctor and Jeffrey Hess purchased the home, their third purchase together, in pursuit of a design style that they had never tried before. Both designers by trade, they knew what they wanted, and were intent on achieving it. Here is their finished product.
A staircase sets the stage for a house like nothing else can. What better way than this French-inspired, sweeping, curving staircase, with white trim, white balusters, tongue-oiled banister, and oak-shined steps? The staircase is not alone it its Parisian grandeur. It is complemented by a Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann-esque boudoir chair in a tingling red-velvet hue. Chair plus staircase would be enough, but the walls of this ceramic-tiled foyer add the final flair of French glory. They are a stunning blue, Jackie O Blue, according to Proctor, but whatever color, it certainly makes an appropriate entré to the remainder of the house.
Farther inside, a sitting room provides a second gasp of amazement. Part of the astonishment is probably due to the sheer luxury of the place, a stark contrast to the clean, sweeping lines of modern design.
This vintage Paris powder room boasts majestic mahogany paneling, heavy beveled mirrors, and rich black marble plumbing fixtures.
The rich darkness makes another appearance in the dining room. It is decorated the way a billionaire might dress. Imagine a very dark Chanel suit with white cuffs, Proctor says to describe the walls. And the draperies? Like a divine hostess gown, perhaps like something Gloria Vanderbilt might wear at the Biltmore he muses. Whatever they were trying to achieve, they accomplished something noteworthy. The dining room has a story to tellwith themes from La Dame aux Camelias.
Throughout the house is a recurring colorred. I love a little bit of red in any room, Proctor confesses. It occurs in bits of cushions, painting accents, and table art in the great room. We see it again in the foyer chair. It even creeps out onto the back patio in the form of a flower vase. But there is nothing ostentatious about the subtle red thread that runs throughout the house. Theyre welcoming. They make people smile a little bit. They make me happy.
Happy is what this house is all about. And if you happen to drop in for a visit, dont be surprised if you walk out of the house with some high school French vocabulary floating around in your head.