When Barbara Lombard purchased her first home, a narrow Federal Hill row house, she faced a triple-threat problem: a tight budget, long bowling-alley rooms and little square footage. Her ambition was to update and renovate the entire house for less than $10,000.

She asked designer Susan Palmer of Louis Mazor Inc. for help with space planning and overall interior design. With Ms. Palmer's advice in hand, Ms. Lombard acted as her own general contractor to save money. In this capacity, she hired and coordinated subcontractors for a myriad of jobs that included deck-building, installing Sheetrock and updating the home's mechanical systems.

Once construction was completed and the structure's problems of scale and space were solved, the interior design was accomplished easily. Walls now glow with warm hues, and cotton chintz upholstery brightens furniture. A hand-painted screen in an architectural motif divides the long living room into conversation areas. Family memorabilia is displayed atop antique cabinets and dressers.

Ms. Lombard accomplished all of her goals, and for her efforts she now has a 1910 row house with an updated but understated look.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad