Little did Tudie Scarborough realize when she was growing up on her parents' dairy farm in Harford County that one day she and her husband, Dick Scarborough, who grew up down the road on his parents' dairy farm, would one day transform her childhood residence into their dream home.
Her grandparents, Hamilton and Lida Amoss, bought the 135-acre property at auction in 1929 standing outside the Harford County Courthouse. They renamed the place Del Mar Farm. Years later, it was bought by her parents, Hamilton and Evelyn Amoss.
Mrs. Scarborough helped her dad with his cattle business for five years, driving back and forth from her house to the farm.
When her parents died and her husband retired, it seemed only natural for the couple to sell their home and move to Del Mar Farm.
"I'm really at home here," she said, affectionately surveying the circa 1880 three-story home, the sturdy outbuildings and farmland beyond. Today, part of the farm is leased and planted in soybeans and corn. The Scarboroughs raise beef cattle and keep horses, she riding to the hounds, he having traded his horse for a Harley.
Shortly after moving in, the Scarboroughs contacted architect Paul Thompson of Architectural Design Works and contractor Randy Trivette of Trivette Builders Inc. to discuss restoration work and perhaps an addition to the house. Their eight-month project began in October and the more than 2,000-square-foot addition was completed in June.
The new facade retains its original look with white vinyl siding and soft gray shutters under a black mansard roof. Bracketed trim along the roofline and old fieldstone from the foundation were reused in the new design, making the transition from old to new so seamless that it's nearly impossible to differentiate between the two. The Scarboroughs estimate the renovation has cost about $350,000.
Since the major work was mostly hidden from the street, passers-by wondered just what all those trucks and men were up to. The original house -- the foyer and staircase to the second floor and attic, a bathroom, living room, study, dining room and kitchen -- formed an "L."
The addition changed the shape to a rectangle that contains a family room, a wine room (or bistro), a bathroom and a new back stairway. The house now includes three staircases, two working fireplaces, four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.
"The renovated kitchen was designed around my old family table," Mrs. Scarborough said. "All my life, all the farm business was conducted at this table," she said, pointing to a shelf between the table legs where she propped her feet as a girl.
Floors in the wine room, entry and adjoining bathroom are covered in foot-square Italian tiles in tan and blue; the kitchen floor is tan tile alone. The cabinets of wormy chestnut were salvaged from an old barn and were recrafted by Baldwin Mill Cabinetry. Solid-surface kitchen counters are a rose/brown stone finish called Vesuvius. Like the rest of the house, the kitchen is furnished with family antiques.
The original rooms retain their period flavor. The new family room was furnished with the decorative philosophy of its owners -- bold, yet comfortable -- with leather and strong-patterned upholstery and generous doses of warm colors.
Here the floor is heart pine, duplicating the floors throughout the house, the old pine refinished to a burnished glow, the old and new floors surprisingly alike in color.
The home has elegant 10-foot-high ceilings throughout, and one of its loveliest features are the tall windows. The old windows retain the original handmade panes.
On the second floor, the addition includes a spacious master suite and a master bath with his-and-her closets. The rooms have deep red carpeting and white tile, with black and white toile de Jouy at the windows and on the walls.
Three large guest bedrooms are furnished with poster beds that trace their heritage as far back as their great, great grandparents. The rooms retain their authenticity with lace curtains at the windows and open crocheted work on the canopy beds.
Her grandmother's nightgown hangs in one corner. Her father's flat-top wagon -- which he hitched to the family dog when he was a child -- stands beneath a photo of the wagon. An old footed bathtub she painted with bunnies and filled with pillows stands ready to be the "reading tub."
The business of farming is run from the computer in Mr. Scarborough's study just off the front entry. The study, with its walls painted deep blue, once served as the center of cattle dealings for her father and also as kitchen for the original house. During construction, the study became the couple's only livable space, the study's bar sink and a microwave serving as a makeshift kitchen.
"All the furniture from our house and my parents' was stacked and covered in the other rooms. We had to make paths to get through," she recalled. Despite this, the couple entertained while construction was going on. "Our friends couldn't believe how we coped."