Anthony and Maura Iacoboni in front of their dream home in Timonium.
Anthony and Maura Iacoboni in front of their dream home in Timonium. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun)

Maura Iacoboni always admired her friend's home, a two-story Colonial-style structure in Timonium in Baltimore County. Little wonder, then, that when the home was put on the market earlier this year, she jumped on it.

"It always looked happy to me; it feels like home," she said, having moved in with her husband, three of her four sons and two dogs this past April. "It is a great family house. I think the boys and their friends always knew this, that they can always come here to hang out."

Indeed there is hangout room and much more in the 3,500-square-foot home built in 1978 on a hilly half-acre lot with a backyard full of crape myrtles.

And because the house was remarkably cared for by its previous owners, she and her husband, Tony Iacoboni, a 50-year-old executive with a global security corporation, found very little they wanted to redo.

"We changed paint colors on the first floor, added more chandeliers, and light fixtures [since] I have a thing for lighting," Maura Iacoboni, 49, said. "I had more draperies made, [and] that is about it; our friends did a phenomenal job on this home."

The kitchen's backsplash was brightened with white paint over gray slate, and the couple's friend, artist Mary Veiga, will do a faux painting on it as it curves gracefully above flecked brown granite countertops and under cherry cabinets. Other rooms were brightened up as well with warm cream tones in the family room and living room walls highlighted with white trim. The formal dining room wall has been done in a warm shade of old gold.

"I decorated the back of the house in contemporary [furnishings], while the front of the house is traditional Tuscan," Maura Iacoboni said.

The dining room, formerly used as an office, boasts a Queen Anne-style dining room suite, its double-pedestal table resting on an Oriental carpet in neutral shades of beige and brown. Floors here and throughout the house are light oak. The room's glass-topped, double-tiered hutch holds pieces of Waterford crystal and bisque angels, which are family heirlooms. On the opposite wall hangs a large painting of the Amalfi coast. A crystal chandelier with pleated satin shades hangs from the ceiling, while formal draperies, silk and tonal beige, billow to the floor. The drapes were custom-made by Eileen Zimmerman of the Linen Loft, who also designed draperies for other rooms in the house.

White multipaned French doors open out to the living room, where, as in the rest of the home, neutral colors dominate, with a traditional, overstuffed sofa in beige and brown paisley and a Queen Anne-style occasional chair in a plaid cover of muted beige, green and orange.

"She's the queen of accents," Tony Iacoboni quipped, directing attention to a brass chandelier hanging in the center of the room, corner topiary decorated in twinkle lights and a life-size sculpture of a cat sitting under a cherry console table.

"We love all the rooms in the house and use them all," Maura Iacoboni said. "But ... the great room is our favorite. We sit in there at night with a glass of wine and feel like we are away on vacation. We love all the windows; it is an amazing view."

The great room, located in the rear of the home adjacent to the kitchen and family room, is the home's most stunning living area. Part of an addition placed on the home by the former residents, it features a cathedral ceiling rising almost 20 feet at its apex. The room is a study in the warmth of walnut contrasted against the great outdoors as seen through multiple groupings of curtainless windows. Walnut built-ins include a large entertainment unit with cabinets flanking a fireplace with ceramic hearth, as well as a built-in bar with granite counter sitting beneath a large framed mirror. A neutral-colored microfiber L-shaped sofa in the center of the room welcomes visitors in warm, almost lodge-like surroundings.

"I can't wait to see [it] at Christmastime," said Maura Iacoboni, executive director with a health company and part-time nurse at a surgical center in Towson. "When I saw this room the first time, it took my breath away. The wood is gorgeous; you don't see this too often, and I absolutely love it."

It is not only the interior wood that takes the breath away but the wooded property just beyond the windows.

"The backyard is so private and calming. After a busy day, we have dinner out there; it is a great place to unwind," she said. "The dogs love the yard and love playing catch. We have groundhogs, a red fox, lots of chipmunks, rabbits and many deer. I love all the wildlife here."

Three of the Iacoboni boys live in the four-bedroom home – Brian, 23; Kevin, 20; and Jack, 16.

"My boys … are great to have around," Maura Iacoboni said. "They help take care of the house — it's great. I really appreciate all their help [and] I am very blessed; they are wonderful.

"One of my friends said, 'Since you will be 50, you might as well get your dream home,'" she said. "I am not 50 yet — just wanted to clarify that one — [but] every year counts, you know!"

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Making the dream

Dream realized: "To me, a dream home doesn't have to be a mansion. It should be a place where you feel comfortable and at peace, where you make happy memories." said Maura Iacoboni. "I must say, this home works for us. I love to see family and friends together having fun because that is what it's all about. I tell my husband [that] now we will have room for lots of grandkids (someday) to stay with us."

Personal touches: "In the living room the clock on the credenza is from my great-grandmother, a wonderful family heirloom," Maura Iacoboni noted. "Mary Veiga [local artist and creator of trompe l'oeil] painted me the 'Amalfi Coast' which is simply beautiful. She is so talented and a great friend to have."