From Margaret Everton on September 6, 2010 in Baltimore
When it comes to house-hunting, most people aren’t perusing warehouses for a place to call home. But John Mariani is an exception to the rule. After coming across a building in 1997 that used to house the Baltimore Telephone Co., he knew he had found what he was looking for. Amazingly, it went on the market just one month later. The kitchen, situated at the back of the home, takes a break from the open feel and tall ceilings of a traditionally commercial space. Durable concrete countertops are juxtaposed against maple cabinets, and topped off with stainless steel shelving. Blue linoleum was chosen for the flooring to add an extra dose of color. Part of the warehouses charm was its original features, including white-limestone keystones and massive arched windows. Unfortunately, the 1,600-square-foot space had been reduced to one large, open area without a second floor to make the building feel more like home. But despite these challenges, Mariani was committed to keeping the urban commercial vibe firmly intact. At the entrance, Mariani created a casual living space just a few steps above the front door. With so much open room, he didnt try to fill the place with an excessive amount of furniture. Instead, he kept the design simple, clean and free from clutter, allowing texture to take center stage. Intersecting the ceiling and rough brick wall is a wooden beam. The smooth texture reappears again on the floor with end-grain wood flooring. An obvious highlight is this bathroom. The focal point of the room is an antique clawfoot tub set against a backdrop of exposed brick. Dark blue tile was installed in the shower, creating a dim, relaxing lighting scheme. With the house finished down to the smallest touches, its hard to believe that it used to be a cold, commercial space. Clearly the right design can make any type of building feel like home.