Zachary Lingeman has always been a fan of traditional furniture, antiques and antique reproductions.
It was with that fondness in mind that in June 2014 he purchased his circa 1923 two-story rowhouse in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill — a historic neighborhood burgeoning in restored turn-of-the-century homes and buildings.
His find was a lucky one, as well. The previous owners had renovated the 2,700-square-foot interior with much care and precision.
"This house had everything I wanted," said Lingeman, a 26-year-old information technology operations specialist for Deloitte. "I wanted three to four bedrooms, a basement and three bathrooms."
He got all of that — and more. Lingeman was pleased with the interior flow of the house — which he bought for $205,000 — along with its 10-foot ceilings and an unusually wide foyer leading from the front door to the formal dining room at the rear. As it turned out, all he needed to do was paint the walls light beige and ivory to complement his design scheme of a neutral decor with pops of color and texture.
For help in furnishing his dream home, Lingeman turned to his weekend job at Objects Found, an antiques emporium in Catonsville. Within the large warehouse, a wide range of household goods, accessories, furniture, clothing and jewelry can be found. Most merchandise is at least 50 years old; many pieces are much older. Lingeman spotted and purchased traditional furniture there, including armoires, end tables and occasional chairs.
On a recent day, Lingeman sat at his dining room table and poured tea from a silver service set into antique chinaware. He was joined by his partner, Corey Wright, a 30-year-old paramedic in Charles County.
"We always use our formal living room," Lingeman said, nodding in the direction of the front of the house. "And we always eat at this table."
This is understandable, because the open kitchen and dining room comprise the entire back of the 30-foot-wide home. From the vantage point of the table (a Stanley mahogany, double-pedestal piece with paddle-back chairs), one can easily take in the rich cherry wood floors; the Oriental rugs atop them; the floor, ceiling and chair rail molding painted a crisp white; and the reflection of a portion of the living room as seen from a hall mirror.
The updated kitchen boasts cherry wood cabinetry with a tobacco stain, their deep color contrasting with the half-inch tile backsplash in colors of beige, tan, light brown and dark brown. Granite countertops complement stainless-steel appliances. It is not hard to imagine the space being a galley kitchen at one time, with the appliances and cabinets aligned as if there were a wall separating the kitchen and dining room. Now, however, the joining of the two rooms offers a spaciousness that allows for easy entertaining.
A Hooker credenza in mahogany and a circa 1800 8-foot-high armoire with double doors are placed in the foyer, adding to the openness of the large space.
"The living room is my favorite in the house," Lingeman said, leading the way into the open room that is accessible from the foyer, as well as from a back hall where a curved stairway leads to the second floor.
"I'm not into [matching] the furniture; I like to integrate different woods," he said.
That includes the living room mantel (without the chimney and hearth) that is carved and painted white in the Neoclassical style of the 1800s. A stunning pair of framed and matted peacock prints are placed on either side of the mantel; their colors of yellow, bronze, blue and teal became the palette for the room's decor. A gold throw and burgundy pillows sit on a Federal-style bench between two front windows, which have deep blue silk and taffeta drapes with voile sheers.
The focal point of the room is a 9-by-13-foot Oriental silk carpet in beige, teal and soft bronze — unusual in that there are no shades of red usually found in carpets of this style. A pair of mahogany drum tables and an occasional chair of carved wood and silk upholstery place a neoclassical stamp on the formal, but comfortable room.
A bedroom and bathroom are found in the lower level, currently occupied by a roommate. The same is true of a second-floor bedroom and hall bath.
The master bedroom is done in a more transitional, almost contemporary style.
"I wanted this room to look like a hotel suite," Lingeman said.
He achieved that by creating a room of dramatic contrasts. White silk draperies on two large windows (one a three-bay) produce a striking effect against dark gray walls. A black lacquer-finished wood dresser serves as a stand for a wide-screen television, while gray and red satin sheets, spread and pillows top a black-framed bed with an attractive fabric headboard. A sitting area features two velour-like easy chairs in light gray on either side of a black lacquer chest.
The master bathroom is done in ceramic tile with a separate shower and bath. Four prints by Alphonse Mucha hang on the walls here. Known as the four muses, they represent poetry, music, painting and dance.
A third upstairs bedroom serves as storage for furniture and other household items that will be incorporated into the home at a later time.
"This house is the accumulation of many years' hard work," said Lingeman, who has been both working and collecting pieces since he was a teenager. I'm very particular and I take a lot of pride in it. I enjoy coming home to it every day."
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