The five O'Ferrall boys and their friends played lacrosse and football on the so-called fields around the family's cottage in Catonsville. The driveway? The basketball court.
"All the kids were in our yard, always. My kids would be at a scouts meeting and practice - and the games were still going on," said Anne O'Ferrall.
The original kitchen gave way to a larger one with a family room to accommodate friends and family - but the old one has served as a well-used mudroom, a second sink and buffet for gatherings and as an indoor potting area.
With the boys grown and on their own, the twice-expanded cottage that they filled is a tamer place, and their mother is looking to downsize.
"It's just too much now," O'Ferrall said.
About the house --From the street, the 1939 stone cottage - with its address in stained glass and a flagstone porch in the front - appears small. But as the O'Ferrall family, which arrived there in 1967, expanded in the 1970s, so did the house - toward the back, below and with attic space. It has six bedrooms, including a first-floor master suite, three full bathrooms and one partial bath. The original part of the house has thick plaster walls and oak floors. Its living room, with a wood-burning stone fireplace, has a timbered cathedral ceiling, and the second-floor balcony overlooks the room.
Light pours into the middle of the first floor of the house from a skylight behind the dining room.
Address --233 Ridgeway Road, Catonsville 21228
Asking price --$599,900
Size --2,403 square feet on .60 acre.
Features --Ceiling-high built-in bookcases in the den, walls of closets in the bedrooms and cupboards in the mudroom/pantry and kitchen provide ample storage. The basement features a knotty-pine paneled rec room with a gas fireplace and laundry facilities. The former garage has been turned into a workshop.
An extensive unfinished area beneath the additions has been used for storage, but could be turned into a garage or living space.
The home has been updated, so that the eat-in kitchen includes an electric cooktop and two full-size ovens. Adjacent to the kitchen is the family room, which looks onto the backyard and its towering pecan tree that provides shade as well as a buffet for wildlife. Ornamental cherry trees burst into pink flowers in the spring. Other landscaping includes heather, forsythia, birch and a small stone pond. The house has oil-fired baseboard heating and is air-conditioned; several rooms also have ceiling fans.
Listing agent --Brent Johnson, Re/Max Advantage Realty, Columbia, 443-277-1929.
To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send photos and a description of the property to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.