When William and Freddi Vaughn tied the knot seven years ago, they desired a home that would merge their lives as two mature adults finding love anew.
"We'd both lived on our own for quite awhile," says Freddi Vaughn, who is in her late 50s; her husband is 66. "But after coming together, we wanted a house that was ours."
Today, the couple has happily settled into married life in their three-level villa in Pikesville.
With a manicured lawn and pretty landscaping, the Vaughns' end-of-group home appears deceptively compact from the outside. The 5,000-square-foot interior, however, is dramatic, featuring 30-foot vaulted ceilings and 10 sun-drenched rooms.
The spacious layout consists of three bedrooms, three and a half baths, formal living and dining rooms, a gourmet kitchen with an adjoining sunroom, a loft-style library, office, and a sprawling family/game room complete with a full wet bar.
Architectural and design features include crown molding, built-in bookcases, recessed lighting, plantation style shutters, and a mix of hardwood and other flooring.
"This was the builders' model, so we were the first occupants," explains Freddi Vaughn. "It was almost completely decorated — I don't know the interior designer, but they were wonderful — it suited my style and tastes. I made very few changes."
Thanks to an earthy color palette, classic furnishings, window treatments, and personal touches such as global art, the airy villa, purchased in 2004 for $445,000, manages to feel cozy.
That sense of home-grown comfort is important to the couple, who have long had demanding careers: she's an executive at Xerox, and he is a longtime educator in the public school system.
"We've always worked hard," says Freddi Vaughn. "At the end of the day we want to relax and enjoy our home and each other."
Each room of the villa seems to have a personality, and rich hues appear throughout the house — shades of burgundy, olive green, and taupe.
The living room, which has gleaming hardwood floors and walls painted mustard-gold with cream-colored accents, is sophisticated with abundant light.
"I read the morning newspaper here each day," Freddi Vaughn says.
A camelback-style sofa in a tan chenille fabric is the centerpiece of the room, along with two matching olive chairs covered in crushed velvet. A Queen Anne's chair is upholstered in tapestry, while a multicolored area rug complements the furniture. An Asian chest, rich mahogany coffee and accent tables, and a gas fireplace lend warmth.
Nearby, some of Freddi Vaughn's collections — crystal and blue-and-white porcelain — provide accents.
The dining room, where the hardwood floors seamlessly meld, has an area rug in bold red, a china cabinet filled with patterns in green, white and gold, and a mahogany table. A low-hanging gold chandelier offsets the room, along with framed art.
"We're the kind of people who use our dining room," says Freddi Vaughn. "I'll do special place settings, especially around the holidays."
Also on the first level, a few paces from the dining area, is the master suite. The serene space has plush French vanilla-colored carpeting, a king-size bed with a leather headboard, a mahogany chest of drawers, and an inlaid green fresco design on the ceiling.
The bed — covered with a cream satin comforter and piled high with plump pillows and shams — resembles that of a four-star hotel. "My husband often makes up the bed, and he now knows how to fix all the pillows," Freddi Vaughn jokes.
A sleek design is revealed in the kitchen, with its ceramic tiled floors, a black granite island and countertops, pecan wood cabinets, two ovens, and stainless steel appliances. A cafe-style table is offset by framed French posters nearby.
"We both love to cook," says William Vaughn. "My specialty is collard greens, and my wife makes great corn bread."
Indeed, the couple relish entertaining. And with a blended family of four adult children from their previous marriages, six grandchildren, plus a large circle of friends, there's ample opportunity.
"Sometimes it's a football party, or in the warmer months it's a barbecue," says William Vaughn. "We're always hosting some type of gathering."
That said, moments of solitude are cherished, too. When the couple wants to kick back, they often head to the sunroom and its comfy distressed leather couch that's perfect for watching a flat-screen TV on the wall. A white fleur de lis clock, ceramic roosters, and sculpture of jazz musicians give the room whimsical charm.
"It's a very cheery room, and it gets great light," says Freddi Vaughn. "I'd call it one of my favorite rooms in the house."
While the couple spends plenty of time on the first level, they also use the second floor where there are two beautiful guest bedrooms. Nearby is a loft-style library that doubles as an office for Freddi Vaughn, with built-in bookshelves and African artifacts, some collected during her travels to Kenya.
The couple also takes full advantage of a game/family room downstairs, where William Vaughn has his office. The tidy space is decorated in crimson and cream with art. A lighted bookcase holds special keepsakes such as baseball cards and sports memorabilia.
"I call this my husband's man cave," says Freddi Vaughn, with a chuckle.
"We each have a place to work, and we're not on top of each other," her husband adds.
Just off the game room, the backyard has a brick patio, deck, a flowing pond filled with koi and a grill the couple uses often for festive cook-outs.
Beyond their own space, the couple can partake in such community amenities as a swimming pool, fitness center and miniature golf.
"Sometimes it feels like we're living at a resort," says Freddi Vaughn. "We're at the stage of our lives where we don't want to worry about much maintenance. All those things are taken care of here."
Not having to deal with those tasks frees the twosome to partake of the activity they seem to enjoy the most — being with each other.
"We got our beginnings in this house, and started here together," says Freddi Vaughn, smiling at her husband, who returns the favor. "It's a good reflection of us."
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Making the dream
Dream elements: William and Freddi Vaughn reside in a three-level villa, located in a gated, adults-only development in Pikesville. The house was purchased in 2004 for $445,000.
Dream design: With a manicured lawn, pretty landscaping and backyard with a koi pond, the Vaughns' home has 5,000 square feet of space with architectural and design features that include crown molding, built-in bookcases, recessed lighting and plantation-style shutters.
Dream interior: The villa, a builders' model, has an earthy color palette, classic furnishings in leather and textured fabrics such as velvet and chenille, elegant window treatments, wallpaper, and personal touches such as global art.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun