What would compel a person to buy the same house twice? For Reggie Sajauskas, the answer can be found in her 1918 traditional clapboard home in Catonsville, one she would not walk away from a second time.
Sajauskas and her then-husband bought the house in 2001 for $225,000, and with it got a corner property on .75 acres with an amazing oak tree on the expansive front lawn. After the couple divorced, Sajauskas moved to Ellicott City. When her ex-husband decided he no longer wanted the Catonsville house, she bought it back from him in 2012 for $425,000
"Kirk fixed it up," Sajauskas said of her longtime significant other, Kirk Bauer, 66, executive director of Disabled Sports USA. "He remodeled a 1960s kitchen by tearing out a wall that separated it from a servant's pantry. He painted, put in new cabinets and appliances and installed custom windows."
Because Sajauskas and Bauer crave abundant natural light, they installed six 8-foot-tall windows on two corner walls in the kitchen. The multiple-paned windows in the living room and dining room served as a template.
"People think that this house is huge, but it only feels big with its soaring, 10-foot ceilings," Sajauskas said of the 2,600-square-foot interior.
That spacious feel begins outdoors with a stone pathway leading to the white Doric columns of the porch. Just inside the front door, a wide hallway separates a large living room and dining room, with a winding staircase to the second and third levels at the back of the hall.
"I have always loved houses with wrap-around porches," Sajauskas said. "I love the elegance of the high ceilings and the hard wood floors and the staircase. I even like the sound of the screen door when it slams."
Throughout this first level, the home's original rich white oak floors look as good as new. The walls in the hallway are painted a shade of sage to serve as a backdrop for several old period prints of women posing or relaxing.
"Objects Found," Sajauskas said of the prints' origin. The Catonsville consignment shop of this name is the source of many pieces in her home, an obvious choice because Sajauskas is its owner and CEO.
"When I am ready to make a change in my home, I always look [there] first," she said. "Occasionally, something comes into the shop that drives me. Over the years, a rug, a chandelier and a painting have moved me to decorate rooms."
An example is her 30-by-20-foot formal living room, which revolves around a large Karastan carpet with a variety of muted floral shades against a black background and border. The rug sits in front of a berry-red, damask-covered camelback sofa. The sofa provides a dramatic contrast to the champagne-colored walls. A massive white brick fireplace with a molded wood frame and a 5-foot mantel sits opposite the sofa.
"Little vignettes," as Sajauskas calls them, are placed around the room: a pair of wing chairs on either side of a hexagonal occasional table, a bronze cupid resting on a pedestal, a Victorianfloor lamp with tassel shade. The entire front-facing wall of the living room consists of built-in bookcases and cabinets displaying a plethora of family photos.
The dining room is one of Sajauskas' favorites "for a variety of reasons," she said.
"Primarily it is the light coming from the large windows. I also love it because we gather around the table when we are celebrating with family and friends. This dining room, with the hardwood floors, high ceilings and beautiful [crystal] chandelier is especially elegant, gracious and romantic."
The room is painted in taupe and features an 8-foot double-pedestal dining table in the center, as well as built-in corner cabinets and a glass-bowed mahogany cabinet filled with Noritake china and crystal stemware. The dining room flows into the kitchen, with toffee-colored walls, ceramic tiling, black granite countertops and stainless appliances.
Three bathrooms and seven bedrooms are found on the second and third levels of the home. Sajauskas and Bauer each have an office on the second floor; a master suite and guest bedroom complete this level. A boarder lives on the third floor.
The large front porch with the wooden columns and white railings is Sajauskas' other favorite space.
"This house reminds me of simpler times, when people sat on porches and relaxed and large families came together often," she said.
"My grandmother owned a resort hotel … and this house feels a lot like it [with] porch rockers, a large dining hall and comfortable sofas. I am able to have a houseful of guests on the Fourth of July every year to watch the [Catonsville] parade because we live on Main Street."
Sajauskas has also hosted garden parties and family celebrations on her lawn and by her English garden on the side of the home.
"This house was meant for entertaining," she said. "Love and laughter lives here."
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