Jane McCarthy calls her new home in the Villages of Woodholme "a joint experience," one she shares with her husband, Kevin.
"I thought I was finished with homes," she said while sipping coffee at her dining room table. "It's a second life for me, a reflection of the gratitude and joy I feel having Kevin in my life."
Jane and Kevin McCarthy married last September after purchasing their Pikesville home in July. The design is known as a "cluster home," connected homes with layouts that can differ substantially from one to the other.
The couple paid $540,000 plus $90,000 on upgrades that include granite countertops in their kitchen, maple flooring throughout the first level, maple kitchen cabinets, cherry cabinets in the master bathroom and specialty moldings.
With its front entrance set at an angle, the foyer opens to an open layout with one room flowing into another. The back two-thirds of the main level rises to a 25-foot-high cathedral ceiling. Squares and rectangles of picture-frame molding decorate yellow-beige walls throughout the entire level. The overall effect, together with warm-tone furniture, artwork and a variety of floor plants, is one of quiet elegance.
"My decorating inspiration came from the art and rugs," says Jane McCarthy, 58, who is a professional astrologer. Kevin McCarthy is an attorney.
Nine Persian rugs are splashed in bronze, reds and yellows and depict stylized lions. Paintings, predominantly impressionistic-style oils, are the work of her parents and a favorite New York artist, David Peikon.
Immediately inside the entrance behind multipane, transom-topped French doors is her office. Walls are a berry red with cream-colored molding and chair rail. Wing chairs upholstered in vivid blue damask, along with a hanging stained glass lamp and a walnut breakfront filled with books, lend an Old World feel.
A bright combined sitting room and kitchen is reminiscent of French country cheeriness. The kitchen's maple cabinets and granite countertops contrast with stainless appliances. A mirrored backsplash bounces light from a window on the opposite side of the open space.
"The mirror also expands the sight lines," Jane McCarthy said. "From any location [here], you can see multiple rooms."
Mirrors are abundant throughout the 5,000-square-foot home. On every floor, in every room, they exaggerate the open feel while adding angular interest to colors and decor, much like looking through a kaleidoscope.
The Westminster chimes of a wall clock herald a walk from the kitchen area to the great room that is at once dining room, formal living room and finally, sunroom at the far end of the level.
A mahogany grand piano resting in one corner anchors the living room, while a white-on-white damask sofa and side-chair suite dominate the center of the room. A 10-foot-high mirror of inlaid ebony on walnut, dating to the late 1800s, sits at the foot of an open, winding staircase to the second floor.
Two guest rooms make up the second level, but the loft, with its view of the downstairs, commands notice. Here, a grandfather clock stands in a corner, a 50th birthday gift from Jane McCarthy to herself. A mahogany secretary is opposite the clock, while two blue damask wing chairs beckon rest and reflection.
"We create our space to reflect who we are," she said. "We paint ourselves outside of ourselves."
The couple have "painted" a relaxing lower level, complete with wet bar, game room and family room centered on a slate fireplace.
"I feel very blessed to spend my life surrounded by beauty and goodness," Jane McCarthy said.