The No. 1 one amenity the Ritz-Carlton Residences offers its condo owners is fabulous views of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
For resident Haley Adams, the water is the star, the leading lady in her created environment, where all the furnishings surrounding her are simply supporting players.
"The movement of the water is constantly captivating; the way it reflects lights and colors draws you in," she said. "There is a new view every day. On some nights, the water is so still, it looks like glass, reflecting the buildings around it like a mirror.
"It is so peaceful and serene. On other days, the hustle and bustle of the harbor is exciting."
It was a year ago this summer that real estate broker and a friend, John Unitas Jr. of Unitas Realty, introduced one of the Ritz- Carlton's end units to the 39-year-old stay-at-home mother of two and her physician husband, Neal Adams.
"I've known the Adams [family] for over seven years now — great family," said Unitas. "After they moved back to Baltimore from El Paso they called to let me know that they wanted to live in the city. Knowing about their living standards, I showed them [multiple] properties, and the Ritz fit their needs."
Unitas pointed out that Adams was able to "pick out what she wanted in every detail" for the condo.
The couple paid $1.4 million for their three-bedroom residence. After the move, Adams began to fashion a minimalistic, neutral decor where every window serves as a picture frame with a waterscape or cityscape.
"My goal was to create a clean look with a mix of contemporary and traditional elements," she said. "I used neutral colors with accents. Small details make all the difference."
The home's open floor plan allows focus on choice elegant pieces, such as a magnificent Otto Altenburg grand piano sitting on the home's teak flooring between the kitchen and living room.
Other furnishings, set against a canvas of ivory painted walls, include an 8-foot-long pine dining room table and beige upholstered chairs. Crystal chandeliers, hanging in swag fashion, project a soft glow onto the silk draperies in the living room. An outdoor deck accessed by sliders from the living room features slatted furniture.
"I love the deck," Adams said. "It feels like you're sitting in a boat in the middle of the harbor."
The open kitchen showcases the Ritz-Carlton's signature Viking stainless-steel appliances with a large island topped in Uba Tuba granite.
"I enjoy cooking, and having the right equipment makes a huge difference. I love my steam oven because it is so healthy," she said.
At the entrance hall leading to the bedrooms of her children, Joseph, 15, and Danya, 14, sits an heirloom antique clock bathed in gilt, and on an opposite wall hangs a silk tapestry representing the "Tree of Life."
Life for the Adamses is a fulfilled dream centering on the gentle flow of the harbor and the exciting allure of the bustling city.
"I always wanted to live on the water," Adams said. "Living at the Ritz is like being at a vacation resort every day."
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