No one who walks into Jeri and Jesse Hannon's townhouse in Mays Chapel North is likely to forget the dining room chandelier.
Hanging from a 10-foot-high carved ceiling medallion, this magnificent fixture, fashioned of cut crystal and looking much like a carved ice sculpture, commands the space around it. The elegance of the chandelier almost solely defines Jeri Hannon's decorating scheme in the home she and her husband have occupied for the past seven years.
"I like shiny things," says the 46-year-old Realtor, who together with her husband, is one-half of Homes by Hannon, a team of Re/Max executive brokers. "This house is filled with glass-topped tables, mirrors, chandeliers and crystal."
"And lot of art," added her husband of 19 years. The two met via the Baltimore County school system, where they both taught before their foray into real estate.
Since it's difficult to decide which interior element to focus on first — paintings or radiant furnishings — it's best to absorb the entire design picture as it has been artfully laid out, room by room.
Walking past the living and dining rooms to the back of the home, the open kitchen and adjacent family room give the impression of an interior wider than the actual 25 feet. Both rooms look out on a deck with a western exposure and beyond that, wooded acreage reminiscent of the home they previously owned in Sparks, which, Jesse Hannon said, "became too much to take care of" for a busy couple with no children and always on the go.
And so, the two chose to live in nearby Lutherville, in the townhome community developed and built by the Keelty Company.
The Hannons paid $472,000 for their brick-fronted home. An additional $80,000 went into upgrades and changes, including high-quality paint for every room, porcelain flooring in the kitchen and family room, thin-planked oak flooring throughout the rest of the home, ceiling moldings and, finally, new furniture.
"We changed the whole interior of the house," Jeri Hannon said. "l took a lamp from the Sparks home, but most of the furniture is new and I still have more coming."
Furniture and interior design accents were bought from a number of stores including Ethan Allen, Nouveau Contemporary Goods in Baltimore and Leesha Lee, Ltd.
"The floor plans in these houses may all look the same, but the interiors are distinctive, some formally decorated," she says. "When I changed out furniture, I was going for glam, elegance, Manhattan chic. You know when the elements come together."
And even casually observing the whole picture, room to room, it certainly does come together.
The kitchen area's glass table top takes the form of a large quatrefoil set on a massive piece of carved walnut. The kitchen boasts maple cabinets and shiny stainless appliances from Kitchen Aid.
The leather furniture in the family room is smartly elegant, especially paired with mirror-front end tables and an oversized microfiber ottoman. The focal point is a framed painting of a cityscape hanging over a gas fireplace.
The wall color in the back of the home is a soft sand shade that segues to an elegant gray in the dining and living rooms, accented by columns and ceiling molding.
The couple is proud of their extensive collection of paintings, etchings and watercolors, all framed in gleaming gilt. The wall of the stairway to the second level features a pair of Shaefer-Miles landscape paintings. Upstairs, a modern Picasso-like painting of musicians by the artist Alfred Gockel is on display. A lovely oil painting of the Amalfi Coast by Alex Perez graces a wall in the couple's bedroom.
A crystal chandelier hangs above a French-designed, kidney-shaped vanity in Jeri Hannon's bedroom-turned-dressing room. Its crystal drops are magnified in a mirrored door.
The home's finished lower level, decorated in office-modern, serves as the workplace for the couple. Contemporary walnut pieces, including a conference table, contrast with the light microfiber upholstery of the chairs and sofa. Two desks are separated by a center counter with, what Jeri Hannon calls, "the dueling printers" facing back-to-back.
"This house really fits our needs," she says. And of the beautiful living room that is always used and the crystal glasses that are always served to guests, she adds, "These things are meant to be enjoyed; life is not a dress rehearsal!"
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Making the dream
Dream element: The Hannons' townhouse in Mays Chapel North is located in a bucolic setting that is less than a mile from the Interstate 83. "We can be downtown at Vaccaro's [Italian pastry] in Little Italy for dessert in 20 minutes," boasts Jesse Hannon. In addition to the proximity to Baltimore's bustle, the couple can sit on their back deck and enjoy the wooded area beyond their property. "We have a herd of deer, a family of foxes, cardinals, blue jays and hummingbirds," said Jesse Hannon. "This place is a haven for wildlife."
Dream design: The townhome's steep roof, with a front gable over a garage door that is barn-like in appearance, suggests a cottage ambience. And while the townhouses on the street are all architecturally alike, many options for landscaping personalize each exterior.
Dream interior: "Being a Realtor, I show a lot of houses with many different tastes," said Jeri Hannon. "You don't buy the house to fit the furniture; you buy the furniture to fit the house." The couple's tastes lean toward contemporary, with neutral colors in cleanly designed upholstered pieces, some with metal studding, fine wood pieces that include cabinets of tiger maple, walnut, rosewood and burl wood. Accent pieces comply with Jeri Hannon's love of shiny metals, such as her tin counter chairs, large mirrors in cut mirrored frames, glass lamp bases, crystal chandeliers and copious pieces of fine cut crystal displayed under the soft lights of a birds-eye maple wood hutch.