Dream home: After 20 years, couple remakes their 'old shore home'
Waterfront home on Middle River was redesigned and built from scratch on same land
Roy and Mary Jones stand on the second-floor landing overlooking the great room in their dream home on Middle River. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun / March 27, 2012)
In 1991, Roy and Mary Jones purchased property in eastern Baltimore County on Middle River, one of the busiest tributaries on the Chesapeake Bay. They paid $235,000, and their intentions were a little different.
They lived in the house instead of tearing it down. But after 20 years raising a family in the home, the couple decided it was time to start over.
"We finally tore down the old home in December 2010," said Mary Jones, a 52-year-old PNC Bank manager. "We donated much of the house to Second Chance Inc. [which recycles building materials], and we put the rest of our belongings in storage and moved in with my mother."
Meanwhile, her husband went to work. Roy Jones, 53, is a remodeler and owns his own company, RJ Remodeling. He designated himself the supervisor at the worksite, along with builders from Shoreline Construction Enterprises, whose president lived next door to the Joneses at the time. The crew broke ground in March 2011, and eight months later, the couple moved into their waterfront dream home.
"Ours was just an old shore home with porches added on and then porches enclosed to make additional rooms," she said. "When we tore down the house, we realized why [it] was always so cold in the winter — no insulation and old wood-frame windows!"
With a budget of $575,000, Roy Jones was able to indulge in amenities and features such as exterior vinyl, dry-stack siding, interior floors of ceramic tile and wide plank red oak, Anderson windows, a whirlpool tub in the master bathroom, brushed-nickel fixtures on bathroom sinks and custom cherry wood kitchen cabinets crafted by the Pennsylvania Amish.
She describes her home as traditional, nautical-shore style, with the added advantage of 5,000 square feet of interior living space, a sprawling front lawn and a 150-foot pier where a 27-foot Sea Ray motor boat bobs on the incoming tide.
Roy Jones' attention to interior detail offers pleasant surprises at every turn.
A slate front porch on the street side of the home welcomes visitors to a double-door entrance with etched glass that opens onto a foyer, where Calvert Hall College photos of the two Jones boys hang on the wall. Beyond that is the home's great room. Roy Jones points out that the front door is perfectly aligned to the center of the house, down the lawn right through the middle of the pier more than 200 feet away.
Under 9-foot ceilings, the home's two interior levels feature a circular, open flow that culminates in a 20-foot-high great room with a bowed front wall painted Nantucket red. Here, two sets of bay windows rise to the top of the second story. The effect, especially from the second floor open hallway, is magnificent.
Wooden decoys, ship models and miniature lighthouses are decorating accessories found throughout the home. The clipper ships, with sails to the wind, appear especially impressive in the great room's two-story window sills.
"It's hard to find [decoy] ducks and ships," Mary Jones noted, adding. "One thing you won't find in this house is a white wall."
True to her word, the home's walls are a delightful potpourri of pastel and darker shades of paint. In the dining room, for example, walls painted dark olive are dramatically contrasted with cream color window trim and mahogany furniture, making this room stand out as the most formal in the home.
The couple's master suite is also located on the first floor and furnished with Henredon pieces. The wall colors here are apricot and cinnamon, which were taken from the colors of a rug at the foot of the bed. Double doors open onto a large deck that runs along the width of the house.
After a climb up the great room winding staircase, a lovely sitting area awaits, along with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a room over the garage. Mary Jones has treated the walls on this level to shades of lilac in the sitting room, cream in the open hall and periwinkle blue in a guest bedroom decorated in white, cottage-style furniture.
Seated in the open kitchen, the couple recall with a laugh how they went through the neighborhood, taking a bit of a design from one house and a bit from another, until they had a plan for the architect of their dream home. The Joneses note that they have every intention of staying put as long as possible.
Roy Jones adds, "Once you've lived on the water, you don't want to be anywhere else."
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Another feature saves the couple money on a monthly basis. "The new home has a geothermal water furnace, which has cut our electric bill by 75 percent," Mary Jones said.
Making the dream
Dream realized: "Our home is truly our dream home because we planned and designed [it] to take every advantage of the best feature of our location — the magnificent water views, the planes taking off and landing at Martin Airport, everything from the blue herons, ospreys and even a bald eagle soaring overhead, to the power boats and sailboats travelling by," Mary Jones said.
Dream team: Mary Jones speaks of her shore home as a job well done by a talented group of professionals. "Our builder was Jon Skarda, Shoreline Construction. The contracting was done by Roy Jones, RJ Remodeling, and the architect was Greg Little, GBL Custom Home Design.