It is not uncommon for people's taste in housing and lifestyle to change over the years. Cindi and Chad Seitz, however, took it to the extreme.

In 2009, they exchanged bustling city life in a three-story brick rowhouse for the peace and quiet of 2 acres in the country that can be seen from the balcony of their Midcentury Modern-style home.

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Custom built in 1990, their two-level home is in the Hereford area of northern Baltimore County. There is plenty of room for the Seitzes' daughters (Scarlett, 8, and Juliet, 5) to run and play in the great outdoors. Inside the 5,000-square-foot home, which the Seitzes bought for $540,000, huge windows allow the family to appreciate the site year-round.

But country contentment didn't happen overnight.

"This was an extremely difficult adjustment," said Cindi Seitz, 40, a physical therapist for Baltimore County public schools. "I am a city girl at heart. I love the energy, the people and the culture. It took me a few years to adjust to rural living."

She and her husband, Chad, 42, who works for the chemical company W.R. Grace, grew used to the large home and its bucolic surroundings. And just as their architectural taste changed from a three-story rowhouse to a one-story stucco rancher that drops to two stories in the back, their style of interior decor shifted, too.

"I am a big fan of minimalism," Cindi said, in the dramatic dark-gray foyer with white trim and a blue slate floor. Matching walnut end tables sit on either side of the entry to the living room, with beveled mirrors hung on the walls above them. These are the foyer's only furnishings and set the tone for the rest of the decor.

The first floor's layout is open and flowing. From the foyer, one can continue straight ahead to the living room or make a sharp turn toward the kitchen. Bright natural light floods the two rooms from the expanse of glass.

The kitchen is a contrast of light and dark. Dark cherry cabinets and granite countertops balance the shine of stainless-steel appliances. A center island, also of cherry, measures 80 inches by 45 inches.

A standout in the large kitchen is a wall of stucco with a raised fireplace. Black-and-white pictures of the family are displayed on the mantel.

A walnut Parsons table is placed in front of a wall of windows that looks out on a meadow and trees. Six white leather and chrome chairs surround the table. Above it, a horizontal strip of crystal prisms hangs from the ceiling.

"I love our chandelier," Cindi said. "In the evening, the room glows."

A large framed poster — an original lithograph called "Bally Man" made by Bernard Villemot for the Bally shoe company — is the sole piece hung on the kitchen walls. Red, black and white are the dominant colors in this stylized piece depicting a dapper young man modeling shoes. The couple recently bought the mate for it, "Bally Woman."

The "colors and the simplicity fit our modern aesthetic," Cindi said. "I do not like clutter or a lot of decor, and I think [the poster] adds the right amount of color to our neutral palette. It is also of large scale and balances out the number of windows and the size of the dining table."

Careful attention to scale is also found in the living room, which features a wall of windows and a door that opens to a wraparound concrete-and-steel balcony. This time, the windows share the spotlight with a stunning stacked Butler stone fireplace that forms an entire wall. Two white sofas are placed perpendicular to the fireplace. A low walnut coffee table sits on a shag rug between them. The only other pieces in the room are a Mission-style armchair in front of a corner window and a modern walnut credenza opposite the fireplace.

Across from the living room's wall of windows is another set of windows; this time opening onto a courtyard formed by the outer walls of the bedrooms and the free-standing garage.

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"Our plan [for the courtyard] is to build a patio of blue stone that coordinates with our foyer floor," Cindi said. "As money permits [we will] build ... a sitting area, a built-in grill and even a fire pit. An outdoor room is the vision."

The master bedroom (one of four bedrooms in the home, which also features five bathrooms) has been painted a medium shade of gray, a pleasing contrast with the blond wood bedroom suite.

The girls' bedrooms are also on the main level, while the lower level, still unfinished, has been earmarked for a future playroom and exercise room.

No longer lured by the city lights, the Seitz family has made a new home for themselves, along with new neighbors and friends.

"The night sky is beautiful here," Cindi said. "I love having space and fresh air and so much green. It is very soothing."

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

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