When Dale and Christi Schmidt moved to Baltimore from Columbus, Ohio, in 2013, they knew city living was the only way to go. All of the other details, such as the neighborhood and furniture, would eventually fall into place. .

"We always wanted to live in an urban setting and walk or use mass transit to get around, but didn't think we would get the chance until we had the opportunity to come to Baltimore," said Dale Schmidt, 55, whose new job as chief operations officer at the National Aquarium spurred the move. "It's a great city, and we found the best location on the border of Fells Point and Harbor East."


The Schmidts purchased a modern, third-floor walk-up built in 2004 by Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse. Their unit, for which they paid $364,900, consisted of two levels with a rooftop deck.

Before the move, the couple decided to leave all of their old furniture behind (except for a deck suite) and begin again with pieces befitting an urban lifestyle.

"We bought all the living room furniture, [and the] dining room table from Su Casa [where] Nick, the owner, was wonderful to varnish it for us to make it darker," said Christi Schmidt, a 45-year-old human resources professional. "[We bought] the master bedroom furniture from Bova [and] the second bedroom furniture from West Elm."

With all of the furniture in place, it was time to call on the services of Jeanine Turner, principal of the Turner Design Firm.

"My duties included designing and selections for the master bath complete [rehabilitation], kitchen rehab, flooring, the [brick] living room wall, stair rails, deck planting and pottery," she said. "My design scheme implemented the good taste of the owners while updating the condo's hardscape, keeping budget and resale in mind."

Turner said the home is an "excellent example of organic contemporary design." A walk through its 1,900 square feet delivers that message.

"Organic contemporary mixes clean lines with organic materials, creating a modern, yet comfortable environment," she said.

The open space that constitutes the living area is a blend of warmth and functionality, with just the right amount of furnishings to avoid clutter. Each "room" has a visible, yet subtle distinction from the others — without the use of walls.

The living area at the far end of the condo features beige leather furniture. Comfortable and contemporary, the chairs and love seat — placed at a 90-degree angle around a cowhide rug — create a boundary between that space and the kitchen-dining room area. A 60-inch TV sits against the brick wall for optimal viewing from the welcoming leather. On the opposite wall sits a pair of tall shelving units, which display cherished items such as a plate from a German exchange student who lived with the couple many years ago, and a hand-blown glass bowl bought from an artist in Berlin, Md.

Every painting — many abstracts and a few landscapes in predominant shades of blue — is precisely hung for maximum effect.

"My favorite painting in the house is one that hangs on our brick wall in the stairway that is the first thing I see every day when I come through the front door," Christi Schmidt said. "It was done by a friend of ours from Columbus, Monique Vendetti, and the colors are rich and vibrant and go beautifully against the brick. We have four other paintings by her and just love her style."

Dale Schmidt said his favorite piece of art is a lighted red arrow sculpture that the couple commissioned from an artist in Columbus to be hung against the brick wall.

The placement of the brick along the north wall pays homage to Baltimore rowhouses, and a 40-foot post and cable railing recalls an industrial past. But the organic flow is never abandoned.

"In the Schmidts' home we chose materials that echo the beauty and colors of nature," Turner said. "Using honed granite on the countertops instead of polished gives a more natural look and hides fingerprints. [The] natural stone backsplash, real [oak] floors, real brick wall ... all contribute to the style."


The kitchen also features cherry cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. An island provides the visual separation between the eating area and the more formal dining area, where a 31/2-by-7-foot table has been fashioned from Indonesian boat wood. Five Edison bulb lamps with jars for shades hang over the table.

Each of the two upstairs bedrooms has a particular style. The master bedroom's walnut furniture is a natural-looking contrast to an accent wall painted a muted lime shade and a live palm tree in a far corner. Another natural rug, this one made of cowhide blocks, sits at the foot of the bed.

The master bathroom, which was recently redone, is resplendent in its use of stone flooring and ceramic tile on the walls of the glassed-in shower.

The second bedroom — which belongs to the couple's 18-year-old daughter, Taylor, who is away at college — exhibits sharper contrast in color. A berry red bedspread dramatically highlights the dark wood headboard and nightstand. Punching the juxtaposition of the two shades, a large canvas print on the wall opposite the bed depicts a Parisian street scene in black and white, except for a bright red tree between two beaux-arts buildings.

The bathroom off this bedroom awaits Turner's assistance with a redesign.

The Inner Harbor activity, Domino Sugars sign and Harbor Point construction can be taken in from the rooftop deck.

"It's a magical place where [guests from] every party we host end up," said Dale Schmidt. "And, like me, no one wants to leave."

"I can't imagine finding a better home," his wife added.

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it. Send an email to homes@baltsun.com.