A funny thing happened to Lynn Ridgely several years ago when she decided to make a few changes to her two-bedroom condominium in a Towson high-rise.

It began with a mattress and snowballed from there.


"I bought a new mattress and decided to change the second bedroom into an actual guest room instead of a den," she said. "In moving the TV from that room to the living room, it fell and cracked the frame, necessitating the purchase of a new television."

This time, she chose a much larger, flat-screen TV — a 45-inch Samsung — but found she now needed to buy a new entertainment center to place it on.

"Once I had the new entertainment center, the existing furniture did not work, so I ended up with all-new furniture in the living room," said Ridgely, a 66-year-old retired application analyst at MedStar.

It was time for making some changes in the $125,900 condo she moved into in 2001, she felt. While picking new furnishings from Nouveau Contemporary Goods in Baltimore, she discovered some art there as well as a few exotic pieces, such as a 300-year-old Chinese-influenced cabinet she recently acquired for her dining room.

Today, Ridgely loves everything about her 1,450-square foot unit — the natural light, the size of the rooms, the covered parking and the convenience of being able to walk everywhere in downtown Towson. It has been perfect for her, especially after her kitchen, hall and bathroom were remodeled by ADR Builders of Timonium.

Urban contemporary best describes Ridgely's decorating style amid the open layout defined by sharp color contrasts. In the living and dining areas, walls are painted light gray with an accent wall of deep paprika. The color was suggested to Ridgely by one of the workers who renovated the kitchen, and he painted the walls there in the same shade. The kitchen's slate flooring, laid at a diagonal, offers dramatic contrast to her white appliances. The cabinets are painted a matte gray, giving the appearance of metal, and her countertops are granite flecked with gray, brown and black. Track lighting forms a rectangle on the ceiling.

"I am as happy today with the kitchen as the day" it was renovated, Ridgely said.

A clever use of carpeting visually separates living room and dining room. A black-stained trestle table and dark wood-framed chairs provide a formal look against bright red carpeting that stops at the living room. A corner cabinet of glass and mirrors displays beautiful crystalware, their reflections lighting up the entire area.

A tall, dark mahogany-stained TV stand with shelves sets the tone for the living room, where sophistication is the operative word. A beige microfiber sectional sofa is strategically placed so the back forms a divider between the hall and open area. A few pieces of Ridgely's wall art are reflected in the glass-topped metal coffee table, including three brushed metal panels that form a triptych-inspired piece in shades of yellow, orange and red concentric circles.

"The movement in this work matches the movement of two girls, who are the [subject of the] painting hanging beside them," Ridgely said.

Placed throughout the living room are family heirlooms that include a Queen Anne chest and ruby-colored glass lamps.

Heading in the direction of the bedrooms, a carved, three-shelf wall-hanging displays crystal decanters, silver goblets and bisque figurines.

Ridgely displays her style in the master bedroom, where she has chosen lilac walls to accompany a Shaker-style bedroom suite. The room also includes a mahogany secretary and cane rocking chair. The guest room features pastel watercolors, with a block flower quilt, done by Ridgely's sister, over a bed with a brass headboard. A watercolor print of wildflowers hangs over the bed. Light floods through the window, presenting a country-like feel even though the view beyond is distinctly urban, and on a clear day offers views for 10 miles or more.

Ridgely's use of color throughout the condo has been carefully selected to maximize the effect of eclectic furniture, accessories and artwork.


"[My home] has some beautifu, old classic pieces and some modern and contemporary [furnishings], and it all works well together," she said. "My home is not to everyone's taste, but it fits me perfectly."

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