Lynn and Scott Wegner are used to people telling them theirs is the most unusual home in the Towson neighborhood of Chartleigh. They agree wholeheartedly, even as they enjoy the multiple renovations they have made since purchasing 1950s split-level back in 1993.
On a street lined with old trees, rancher-style homes and more split-levels, the Wegners have completely changed their home's exterior with the addition of another level, dark tan HardiePlank lap siding and, most dramatically — a wrap-around, covered porch, its roof supported by white columns.
"We talked about this addition for 10 years," said Lynn Wegner, a 48-year-old retired nurse. "We had a clear vision of what we wanted and we wanted the house to be traditional."
"We live in this room," said Scott Wegner, speaking of the large and airy great room in the back of the home, a space that was once a patio. As a partner at the Loewen Window Center of Maryland, he knew exactly how he wanted to convert the room. His construction staff framed the area with multi-paned and transom windows around three sides, adding multi-paned sliders that open onto the back yard, in-ground pool and outdoor bar and kitchen.
The decor in the great room is geared to an informal family lifestyle that manages to retain a sense of traditional charm and polish.
"My favorite colors are the ones that are not bright, but fresh-looking," said the couple's 15-year-old daughter, Catie.
A U-shaped, overstuffed sofa upholstered in coral duck cloth with beige piping commands the central spot in the room while a long, rectangular distressed-wood table sidles up to built-in window benches with striped cushions. Colorful flowered pillows are sprinkled on the benches, with the ledges above them filled with family photographs.
The couple's 8-year-old son, Alex, enjoys relaxing on the sofa as the family dogs Zack and Zoey, a pair of schnoodles, sleep on the pine floor.
Back in the original part of the home, the Wegners removed the original wall separating the kitchen and small dining room, creating one large area for an eat-in kitchen painted geranium red with white trim. A completely updated kitchen includes white laminate cabinets, stainless appliances and black granite countertops.
"I'm a contractor's wife," quipped Lynn Wegner, leading the way into the traditionally casual living room. "We're never without a project!"
Here, built-in bookcases, painted white and spanning an entire wall, accent a room that has been treated to walls painted a shade of tan at the upper half with white paneling below. A grouping of four large occasional chairs, also upholstered in coral-colored heavy duck fabric, sits in the center of the room.
"This house really does go on and on," Lynn Wegner said. "We have five levels."
The steps from the living room to the fourth level lead to a hall off of which there are a guest room and the children's bedrooms. A climb to the fifth level leads to another addition that serves as the master suite. Under a vaulted ceiling, the room's heavy mahogany furniture contrasts with walls painted a medium shade of powder blue. A large bathroom features twin sinks in cabinets of glazed maple, a ceramic tiled and heated floor, a sunken corner tub and a marble and glass shower.
Down a staircase off of the kitchen, an office occupies a large area with a guest bathroom. Finally, below ground, a finished recreation room is filled with musical instruments and toys.
In a home that initially cost the couple $200,000 — with at least that much again put into the renovation — the Wegners are pleased that they have paid off the mortgage. They have no intention of leaving what Lynn Wegner calls "our lifetime home in a settled neighborhood."
And as for the many rooms and extra space created by the renovations, she adds, "Our favorite room is wherever our family is!"
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