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'A most perfect house'

The Baltimore Sun

Shari Grue glides from room to room in her Columbia townhouse. She is very much at ease in this environment of her own creation.

"Color me happy," she said. It is a phrase she uses often, one that is backed up by the colorful world she calls home.

Grue, a kindergarten teacher and drama instructor, along with her husband Ed Myers, a teacher and jazz pianist, purchased the home in the spring of 2001.

"It was a most perfect house," Grue said. And in reference to their recent marriage and prior marriages for both, she added, "A 'yours and mine' place."

The couple paid $156,000 for the two-story, Howard County home with walk-out basement. It was built in 1988 and was in excellent condition. With the addition of color and furniture, they spent an additional $10,000.

The end-of-group home is roomy at 25 feet wide and 35 feet in length. With a western exposure, the house faces the setting sun.

"Initially the house was all beige," Grue recalled, "and then I found red dining room chairs. That was when it all came together - from a [few] pieces of furniture."

For Grue and Meyers, "coming together" begins with the initial view from the front door. The couple has chosen a light gray paint for the western and southern walls. The east and north walls, as well as a living room ceiling beam and post, are painted what Shari Grue calls "Mickey Mouse red." The open flow of the living and dining rooms allows for an eye-pleasing transition from gray to red.

Modern furniture of chrome and glass has been chosen for both rooms. Living room standouts are a white leather, barrel chair and a camel back sofa upholstered in black microfiber. End tables and coffee table feature smoked-glass tops. The working fireplace on the south wall is of sleek, black slate framed in walnut molding. Front and side windows are covered in vertical blinds to let in the light that the couple so loves.

In the dining room, side-by-side narrow wave-shaped mirrors approximately 6 feet high hang vertically against the bold red wall. Long narrow buffets of wood painted soft silver also hug the wall behind a glass-top dining table with a black base. A clear glass vase with red, pink and yellow gerbera daisies adds additional splashes of color, contrasting with the chrome, high-backed chairs with red seat cushions.

"It's important to get your own spirit into the house," Grue commented from her crayon-box kitchen with its lime green, bright yellow and red walls.

There's a high glass-topped table with chrome base and matching chrome chairs, framed posters and greeting cards of predominantly primary colors and red and white flowered valances on the window.

"The house is very much like the both of us," Grue continued. "We both work in the arts, we're both a little bold, and my husband, especially, is joyous."

The home's basement has been designed as a guest suite, complete with treadmill and a walk-out entrance to the back yard. The suite features a day and queen bed, along with white tables and dressers. Wall colors here are light blue and lime green.

The home's second level consists of a master bedroom and an office for each.

"The upstairs is where we work," said Grue, who refers to her bright yellow-green office with its flowing white draperies and colorful flowers placed on lamp shades and desktop as the "Tinker Bell" room.

"We are true Columbians and we love being here," said Shari Grue. "Our spirits are here."

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