Dream home

After rebuilding from a fire, Balto. Co. home has same roots, different look

For The Baltimore Sun
After her Baltimore County home burned to the ground, Lisa Lockwood was determined to build new memories.

Lisa Lockwood used to think that house fires happened to other people. That was before Jan. 25, 2013.

On that day, a wood fireplace insert installed the year before shot flames up the flue, catching the attic on fire. It spread quickly to the rest of her northern Baltimore County home, leaving only a burning pile of rubble.

Lockwood's daughter, Erin, who was alone in the house when the fire happened, was unharmed. She ran into the street, and once at a safe distance, watched every possession the Lockwood family owned consumed by the flames. Physically, she was fine. Emotionally, she was traumatized.

Lisa Lockwood knew what had to be done, and as soon as possible. The spacious house, into which the family moved in 2000, would have to be rebuilt — this time, however, with changes.

"It was so devastating for [Erin, and her brother, Neil] that I had to make the house look different," she said. "Even though we essentially built the same house with the same footings, we rearranged the upstairs bedrooms and changed the colors. It totally looks different now."

Lockwood settled with the insurance company for rebuilding in September 2013 (the settlement for the home's content was finished the following September.)

"Lawrence Goodman of Goodman-Gable-Gould [Adjusters International] settled the loss for me," she said. "I could not have built this house without him. Dealing with the insurance company is not easy, and you can't do it alone."

Lockwood then hired Kim Cavanaugh of Cavanaugh Homes Inc. to rebuild her home, and by May 2014, the 3,100-square-foot house was ready.

During the building, Cavanaugh and Lockwood created the second floor's three new bedrooms with connecting bathrooms. They also turned the first-level walnut staircase with gracefully executed spindles and rails to face the back of the house, as opposed to its previous location at the front entrance. They added a sunroom along with the kitchen and family room.

Nine-foot ceilings and a skylight ensure plenty of natural light. Walnut flooring was laid throughout the home.

Lockwood's taste in interior decor has remained the same as in the former house. She is influenced by the Colonial style, and her furniture pieces are either cherry wood or mahogany. The look is solidly traditional. The majority of Lockwood's furniture, she said, was bought at Cornerstone in Timonium, which deals in antiques, consignments and new furniture.

Fond of Henkel Harris furniture, she purchased from the brand a sleigh-style bed, two dressers and a mirror for her bedroom. Lockwood's formal living room features a Henkel Harris coffee table and a lowboy, while a drop-down desk and coffee table are found in the adjacent family room.

The formal dining room, across the main hall from the living room, is a study in Georgian furniture design. Again, it features a Henkel Harris mahogany suite, this one including a 10-foot long, double-pedestal table that dominates the room. White wood paneling below a chair rail meets walls above painted blue-gray.

A pewter, candle-style chandelier hangs over the table from a ceiling medallion. A buffet and folding side piece sit at the head of the dining table and beside it, respectively, while a lighted china closet commands its own wall space. Inside, Limoges china is displayed alongside gleaming Waterford crystal. Formal drapes with lush swags and full panels are a Calico Corners design, as are many of the upholstered chairs.

A grandfather clock in the hall, a Charles Sligh creation, announces the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour with calming assurance to the tune of "Westminster Chimes."

Framed photographs of Erin, now 28, and Neil, 24, at various stages of their lives are found on the walls and tables throughout the home. The originals, taken before the invention of digital photography, were lost in the fire, but Lockwood's mother provided her with several that were taken over the years. Lockwood's mother also gave back the blue quilt now displayed in the master bedroom. It was gift from Lockwood, an avid quilter, many years ago. But because all of her quilts were destroyed, Lockwood's mother wanted her to have at least one of her original works.

As experience has taught her, Lockwood encourages escape ladders in all bedrooms and strongly recommends that people "have all important documents and their pictures scanned and backed up on a thumb drive in a fireproof safe."

But even with those items gone, she still enjoys her re-created home and is pleased with how things turned out.

From the open kitchen with cherry cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, Lockwood can gaze out at her new Trex composite wood deck and 2 acres of property. Outside on the deck, she can look down and enjoy her oval-shaped koi pond below.

"This house has everything I could ever want or imagine; it is energy-efficient and beautiful," Lockwood said. "So many people helped me with the design — friends and family all had an input."

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