STEVE AND KELLY Crum searched many small historic towns before they found the right house to accommodate their plans for a bed-and-breakfast and a home.
In Sykesville, the couple found a Colonial-revival house built in 1906 by architect J.H. Fowble, who also built other buildings in town.
The couple initially passed on the house because it was divided into five apartments. Then a surprise birthday present for Kelly - a stay at a New Jersey bed-and-breakfast - persuaded the couple to reconsider.
"Without the birthday surprise, this house never would have happened," Kelly said.
The inn was similar in style to the Sykesville house. After the weekend trip to New Jersey, the couple returned to Sykesville and bought the home at 7514 Norwood Ave.
They immediately went to work, renovating and restoring the home to its original charm. Looking back on the experience, the Crums are amazed at what they've accomplished with the help of family members.
Steve's parents, Bernie and Marlene Crum, assisted in decorating, hand-painting furniture and wallpapering. Steve's sister, Kimberly Derr, hand-painted the claw tub in one of the suites. Her sketch of the inn was used on brochures and other materials.
Kelly's mother, Eva Contino, took on the task of stripping and refinishing the woodwork, including the showpiece staircase. She also assisted with decorating.
The Crums spent many hours searching antique shops and estate sales for the furnishings.
The result is the Inn at Norwood, which features four suites with private baths. The inn's theme is "Reflections of Maryland's Colorful Seasons," and each suite depicts a different season.
Kelly's mother lives in one of the other two buildings on the property and assists in the day-to-day operations, including baking and meal preparation.
To mark the inn's official opening, the Crums will hold an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Refreshments will be served.
Liberty High School will hold its first Jazz Showcase concert at 7 p.m. today in the school auditorium.
The concert will feature the Liberty High School Jazz Band and the North Carroll Jazz Ensemble.
Information: Joe Fischer, Liberty High's director of instrumental music, 410-751-3560.
Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.