Two years ago, Stephanie Bradshaw and her partner, Brett Bernard, were ready to pack up and move to Colorado to be closer to hiking and the great outdoors.
Then the couple discovered an acre of land in picturesque Sparks Glencoe in northern Baltimore County. The ponds, forests and rolling terrain peppered with farms were too good to pass up.
That’s where they decided to build Wild Pines, their 4,500-square-foot house plus an additional 1,000 square feet above the garage for SBHQ (Stephanie Bradshaw Head Quarters), her in-home design studio. Bernard’s construction company, ProCor, is run out of their 800-square-foot finished basement.
“We were able to build our Colorado dream home in Maryland,” said Bradshaw, 45. The quality of schools in the area was the deciding factor of moving there.
“I have always loved the outdoors, and knew I wanted to either be on a lake or in the mountains,” said Bradshaw, who met Bernard, 43, nine years ago on a job site. The two became a couple a year later.
“We decided to build our dream home near Baltimore — a city we both love — and here is where we will raise our son, Dallas, and continue operating both of our businesses.”
Building and decorating their home
The couple built their “modern mountain” home after five months of design — they sketched the plans on a napkin in January 2019 — and permitting with their architect, Chester Bartels. The home was erected after an additional 11 months of construction by Bernard’s company. They moved in two weeks before COVID-19 shut down things in March.
“There was always this connection with nature that was a constant in my mind throughout the process,” Bradshaw said. “I chose a few words at the beginning of the project, as we do with all projects, that I wanted this house to embody. Those words were: natural, modern, collected, chic, sophisticated, approachable. All the finishes, furniture, fabric selections and art, traffic patterns, were curated with those words in mind.”
She said she chose greens and rusty hues — the color of pine needles once they have fallen to the ground — tan, bark and pops of blue.
“I really wanted the entire palette of the home to flow and took a few color risks in a few of the spaces too,” she said, pointing to the dark studio green in the breakfast nook and almost all black in the basement’s media room.
“It goes without saying that this was an extremely intimate design project and sometimes a bit overwhelming because in addition to the interiors we were also the builders,” said Bradshaw. She has won a number of interior design awards through the years, including Best Interior Design by Baltimore Magazine in 2019 and Best of Houzz in design in 2019 and 2020.
“I also knew that the decisions I made were going to be an investment and ones I would live with for years to come, so I tried to keep with a clean, modern aesthetic, but also infuse some color that highlighted the land it was built upon,” she said.
Immediately upon entering Wild Pines, a striking dark structure, you can see the seamless finished product that she describes.
The floors — white oak with a light lime wash — lead you from room to room as you discover all of Bradshaw’s touches before ultimately arriving in the home’s heart, its living room with 25-foot ceilings.
“There’s always something new to discover in each space,” Bradshaw said.
The dozen pieces of hanging art — except for a few pieces by her 4-year-old son, Dallas — are mostly created by women.
“I’m a huge proponent of supporting women,” said Bradshaw, who hosts Cake & Whiskey, a reccurring networking event for professional Baltimore-area women. “I did intentionally choose to support women in the arts with my selections.”
One piece not created by a woman is a custom-made deep brown guitar hanging in the living room. It was made by Bradshaw’s brother, Drew. His company, Bradshaw Guitars, also made the beams and the mantel in the living room.
Bradshaw calls her home her “greenhouse”: It is filled with lush greenery at every turn.
“I love my plants,” she said of the more than 50 plants, which include a large fan palm and Monstera, both in the living room, and a Ficus alii in the foyer. “I mist them twice a day. If you were to take the green out [of the home] it wouldn’t feel as beautiful.”
Off the master bedroom is their his-and-hers walk-in closet. His side is more understated with an assortment of darker-colored button-down shirts and checkered tops. Her side is a colorful assortment of dresses and heels highlighted by various studded Valentino pumps.
With its glass shower, oversize wall mirrors and and white marble floors, their bathroom has a bright, ethereal feel.
A blended approach
The home is the ultimate balance of contemporary trends and classic elements.
For instance, a glass and hand-rubbed antique brass chandelier by Aerin Lauder hangs in the kitchen, while an aged iron Sputnik-like lighting fixture by Kelly Wearstler graces the dining room. Both are from the Houston-based Visual Comfort, a lighting retailer.
A perfectly stacked pile of firewood sits next to a cozy fireplace in the living room. And a mounted head of a female eland antelope, which Bradshaw purchased from Wishbone Reserve in Hampden, adds a sophisticated ruggedness to the living room.
On most mornings, you can find the couple in the living room relaxing in custom reupholstered animal print chairs by Lee Industries of Conover, North Carolina, as they look out onto the half-acre of forest that frames the home.
“I really wanted the house to feel grounded,” Bradshaw said. “I wanted it to feel outside but inside.”
And even though the home looks like an advertisement from an upscale glossy home magazine, Bradshaw said that it is very much lived-in.
“I didn’t want people to come over and think they could not sit down,” said Bradshaw, as her 9-year-old Maltipoo, Brooks, scurries by. “I wanted to create intimacy.”
And with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, Bradshaw insists that they built a multilevel home that is just enough for them.