Dana Barish, a homeowner in the Arnold community of Twin Harbors said, "When I moved here, I wanted waterfront. I wanted beach."
From her rear screened in porch, one can gaze down a woodland hill carpeted with Virginia Creeper to a bucolic cove on Mill Creek dotted with piers. Mill Creek and its sister, Dividing Creek, flow into the upper Magothy River.
Twin Harbors community, containing nearly 140 residences, is located on the south side of the Magothy. In addition to a community marina, boat ramp and swimming pier, Twin Harbors boasts a beach area with a pavilion and children's playground. The combined acreage of Twin Harbors Community, along with that of Campus Green, an adjacent community; and the Magothy and Severn River Middle schools were once part of a 180-acre tract known as Brushy Neck Farm, owned in the late 1880s by James Lark.
Barish, a young divorced mom, lives in Twin Harbors with her daughter Teegan Barish, 15, a rising junior at Broadneck High; and Tameron Barish, 13, a rising freshman; plus their tiny pooches, Winky a Maltese, and Yoshi, a Malti-Poo.
Since January, Barish has worked as a National director for the Ohio based firm Pure Romance LLC, the number one romance company worldwide. Through a network of consultants, Pure Romance specializes in in-home parties held exclusively for women, where women can shop in private for adult products and learn the latest information on women's sexual health issues.
For 13 years prior to January, Barish was a sales rep with Slumber Parties Inc. Within two years of joining the company, she became its leading saleswoman. Barish eventually directed a sales force she developed of approximately 1,000 sales reps. Since the company's acquisition by Pure Romance in January, the number of consultants Barish oversees has doubled.
Her website is http://www.pureromance.com/Dana .
An Ohio native, Barish graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She managed the Drafting Table, a local restaurant and pub, before moving to Maryland as a newlywed to begin her family.
The crown jewel
Shortly after Barish bought the two-story waterfront house in 2010, its transformation began. Though built in 1996, the residence needed a major upgrade.
John Riley of Riley Custom Homes (www.rileycustom.com) worked with Barish on redoing the exterior which featured white vinyl siding and plastic hunter green window shutters. On the main level facing the street were a couple of bumped out, three-sided garden windows lined with dust.
It was all removed, replaced with a warm taupe Hardie fiber cement lap siding and vertical siding panels. The trim around the new windows and doors is white. A new garage door was installed. A water table stone trim was wrapped around the front and sides of the house. The base of the new columns, which support the portico shading the front door, were enveloped with the stone.
The front stoop and walkway were torn out and replaced with stone slab steps accented with the rock, leading to a taupe paver walkway.
More water table stone was used to construct a mailbox column by the road. Barish hailed the neighborhood postal carrier one morning and asked her what her ideal mailbox would look like. The carrier happily outlined the most accessible height and dimensions. And, it was built to her specifications.
The rear porch, painted hunter green, was refinished and painted taupe.
The home's landscaping was redone by Riley Custom Homes, too. The landscapers incorporated river rock in the design. A new hedge is rising along one shared fence, accented with bright, flowering annuals.
"I love the outside of our home," said Barish. "It's my crown jewel."
Inside, artist Wendy Alders, has put her magical painted handiwork on nearly every surface. Walls, moulding and wooden furniture display her brushwork. Even window crank hardware.
Barish dislikes brass and brass finishes. Her home had been filled with it from the window sills to the flue screen in the living room fireplace, and from door handles to floor registers. Alden's artistry transformed them into other tones.
Ceilings in several rooms were painted with a pale metallic paint, applied in circular strokes. Some walls and the trim around doors and windows and the banister and spindles in the stairwell handrail were given a faux antique finish. A dark paint was layered over a pale undercoat, then wiped away, leaving subtle remnants of the darker color.
In the living room, the fireplace, framed with green marble tiles and the brass screen, were painted over, as was the mantel. Now, the green marble tiles and brass screen have the look of slate. The cream wooden mantel and frame have been antiqued.
Elsewhere in the house, brass doorknobs have been replaced with octagonal clear glass door knobs; brass registers have been overpainted to resemble aged steel.
In a main floor room, just off the main hall, Alders painted broad but subtle bands of metallic paint on the walls. "She 'sheened' it!" Barish said.
Upstairs, there are fun, buoyant murals in the kids' bedrooms.
Even the dining room table got the treatment: it's been repainted with a cream base, then antiqued. Its legs, which resemble stacked balls and urns, have been painted in several shades of cream and taupe, accented with gold.
The overall effect inside is what Barish wanted, a casual beach house atmosphere.
"I want people to feel comfortable," she said. "I pretend it's a beach house. We're very casual here."
The atmosphere begins at the door. Visitors are greeted by a wreath of dried reeds and magnolia leaves interspersed with conch and sea shells and starfish. Beneath the wreath is a silvery metal Blue Crab that doubles as a door knocker.
A sign above the front door, flanked by twin starfish, declares: "Barefeet Welcome."
"You can leave your shoes on if you like," Barish suggested as we entered. "We're not fussy."
She points out the front hallway and kitchen floor were retiled by the Annapolis Tile Company. The walls of the hallway - and throughout the home - carry the beach theme. Dancing star fish. A mirror framed by a wide band of cockleshells. In their own frames, sailboats unfurl their sails in striking watercolor and acrylic paintings.
Almost as if we were aboard a vessel, we sail into the living room. Here, and in the dining room, kitchen, porch or deck that extends across the rear of the house, the focus is The View.
Day or night, the view of the cove is an idyllic sight.
In the living room, one doesn't sit primly on the furniture, you melt into it. The seats of the leather couch, and the metal frame loveseat and pair of matching chairs are soft invitations to relax.
Barish purchased most of her living room furniture, including the stone slab coffee table and pillows, from Gardiners Furniture. More items, including the wicker furniture and swings on the rear porch, were found at Pier 1 Imports.
In the kitchen, the countertops and island are topped with a shimmering black and gray granite sprinkled with sparkling slivers of iridescence. Behind the stainless steel range hood, the granite, used as the backsplash has a raw, jagged edge, a deliberate design decision which lends an unexpected dimension to the wall.
Beneath the island, behind cherry wood framed doors, Barish displays her collection of hand-painted wine goblets and other fine stemware and decorative party platters.
In the dining room, a pair of slim vertical paintings depicting ships with silvery sails establish the waterfront mood. Diners linger over their meal below a chandelier with crystal droplets suggesting fat, juicy bunches of grapes.
Let's nip down the staircase for a quick look at the basement.
The main room has been left open, spare and tidy. It's the kids' room, where they play, study and entertain. The youngsters have brought in a couch and an entertainment center. Along one wall, a desk and study area is set up with computer stations and rolling office chairs.
Several cords of wood neatly stacked just outside the sliding door provide handy fuel for the room's fireplace. In cold weather months, rather than turning up the thermostat, they keep feeding the fire in the hearth.
An adjacent room is Barish's office, her command central.
Its walls are bold broad stripes of matte and shimmering scarlet, contrasted with the all-black office furniture, the cream wall-to-wall carpet and the zebra print throw rug. The double sliding door in this room is bracketed by the full-length, white-and-black print curtains.
At either end of her L-shaped desk is a winking, girly touch: a matching pair of small black lamps with black satin lamp shades trimmed with a ring of marabou feathers.
Tie dye to die for
Circle back and clamber up two flights of stairs to the second floor.
Tameron Barish's room is every skateboarder's dreamland. Here, Alder has hand-painted a turquoise, green and white tie-dye motif on all the walls.
A pair of white wooden twin beds with navy blue covers are tucked into corners of the room. The walls above Tameron's bed, the one with the peace symbol stitched onto the spread, are papered with posters of his skateboarding heroes. Awesome, dude!
The furniture in Teegan's room, as in Tameron's, is all-white.
As the two teens have accompanied their mom on the numerous cruises and dreamland destination vacations Barish has earned as a top saleswoman, it's no surprise Teegan and Alden recreated some of the teen's best memories on the walls of Teegan's room.
In shades of Shocking Schiaparelli Pink.
"Hula Moon Beach," says one mural. "Endless Summer," proclaims another. "Surfer X-ing," "Surfer Girl" and "Surf's Up" says yet another, festooned with pink surfboards and curling fuchsia ocean waves. A flamingo, sporting glitter-dazzled sunglasses and a Hawaiian-print beach shirt, lolls beneath a sign advertising "Teegan's Tee-Shirts."
All this beneath a ceiling festooned with glow-in-the-dark stars. Even the paddles of the ceiling fan have gotten the Alder treatment: the center of the fan has been painted with strokes of fuchsia.
Against the white furniture, the teen's collection of nail polish, potions and accessories are a colorful accent. Similar to the lamps in her mother's office, Teegan's marabou-trimmed lamps are a bright fuchsia.
Barish's room is pale, elegant, beach-y and casual. The cream walls subtly gilded, an understated contrast to the all-white quilted comforter.
A small pillow nestled among bigger pillows is stitched with the word "RELAX."
And, Barish does, while gazing out the window and beyond the upstairs porch.
High above the entrance to her room a large envelope has been tacked. Someone used a marker to color it red, then took a pen to write several Chinese characters.
"It's a Chinese money envelope," explained Barish. "It's supposed to bring good luck - and some unexpected money. When I've received other Chinese money envelopes, I've gotten tax rebates I hadn't anticipated or refunds. This one Teegan made for me. And, yes, a cash windfall followed.
"I'm keeping it up there!" she smiled.
Behind the bed is a doorway to her U-shaped dressing area and closet. Another entry is in the hallway. Barish thinks a previous owner reconfigured a bedroom to create the closet.
A beauty shop vanity with a mirror rimmed by lightbulbs is set up among shelves and racks of neatly arranged clothing, shoes and accessories. One section of the space is devoted to the washer, dryer and laundry storage. Nirvana.
"This sold me the house!" said Barish.