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Walls become canvas for creativity Owings Mills home is painter's project


It would only be a slight exaggeration to say Jill Goodman never met a wall she didn't paint.

Stencils, murals, faux finishes -- her creative touches are everywhere in the Owings Mills home she shares with her husband, Miles, and their daughters, Abby, 6, and Becca, 3.

Three years ago, when the couple purchased the $178,000 traditional New England-style house off Owings Mills Boulevard in Worthington Glen, walls were empty, waiting for a stroke of color. A homemaker and amateur artist, Mrs. Goodman chose paint as the decorating medium.

"I would start painting and then decide to change something," Mrs. Goodman says. "The fun of painting is that you can get rid of something easily if you don't like it."

Mr. Goodman, an administrator with Jiffy Lube franchisees, lends his wholehearted support -- if not his talent -- to his wife's efforts.

The couple, who would only reveal their ages as 30ish, enjoy bold colors. In the dining room, watered yellow paint was washed over the walls, preserving the color's radiance while creating an aged look.

This same style repeats with sea-foam green on one wall in the kitchen and along the base of the counter. Tropical colors brighten the window treatments, accented by a trio of exotic fish that swim over a doorway.

More fish swim in the first-floor powder room, where a mural offers a glimpse of the bottom of the sea. Small fish dangle from the ceiling, creating a three-dimensional look.

This life-size "aquarium" is one example of Mrs. Goodman's humor; another example is the oversized coffee table in the family room.

Mr. Goodman replaced the legs of the original folding table with sturdy

braces. Mrs. Goodman used their daughters as models for the cherubs serenely floating across the top.

Floating on air? Not quite. Closer scrutiny reveals diving masks on each angel.

Paint serves a more practical purpose in the girls' lower-level playroom. Geometric shapes in primary colors painted on the floor complement the occasional splash of finger paints by budding artists.

"If they make a mess when they're playing, it doesn't matter. We can always carpet the floor later," Mr. Goodman says.

More traditional touches are found throughout the house. Gold leafing produces the illusion of crown molding in the living room. Flowering plants stenciled along the steps lead to the second floor.

Then there's the master bedroom.

A photo taken on a romantic trip to the Italian isle of Capri has been used to create a panoramic seascape covering three walls. Ivy, winding through Doric columns, trails into an adjoining bath.

"We took the picture sitting in a restaurant overlooking the water," reminisces Mrs. Goodman. "I used my imagination and extended it around the room."

Decorating is a continuing project for the Goodmans. New furniture may prompt a color change in the living room. Perhaps eggplant. An interrupted trail of wisteria stenciled in Becca's room may be completed or painted over.

And if it doesn't turn out quite the way the Goodmans anticipated?

There is always another color, style or texture waiting to be discovered in the wave of a brush.

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