Among the terra cotta tiles on the kitchen floor of Barbara and Joe Bradshaw's custom-built Marriottsville house are two with unusual designs on the surface: paw prints.
The tiles, handmade in Mexico, were laid outdoors to dry. "At night, animals run over the fields, and if the tiles aren't dry, they leave paw prints," Barbara Bradshaw said.
When she told the workman that she thought a tile with a small paw impression had charm, he added a second one with an even larger paw imprint.
"People usually ask about the paw prints - did your dog do that?" she said.
There is no family dog.
Barbara Bradshaw, a decorator, has no idea what creatures stepped on the soft tiles, but noted that the prints add to the look of the Colonial-style house designed and built to include traditional features and handcrafted work. Wavy glass, reminiscent of Colonial days, is in the living room built-in cabinetry; cherry planks make up much of the flooring; and hand-painted tiles form the surface of the kitchen island.
About the house : The Howard County house, built in 1996 as an EnergyWise Certified Home, has built-in energy efficiencies that include geothermal zoned heating and cooling, and 2-by-6 framing that allows for more wall insulation.
Nestled on a wooded lot on a cul-de-sac, the house has a deep mahogany-floor front porch that wraps halfway around the sides of the southern Colonial.
"We could sit on the front porch and watch the kids play," Barbara Bradshaw recalled, adding that their three boys are college-age and beyond, making this a good time to downsize.
The house has six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two powder rooms. Large windows with southern exposure let sunlight stream in while providing views of a yard that includes two intersecting streams.
On the main floor, rooms have 9-foot ceilings and extensive moldings. The eat-in kitchen has maple cabinets and upgraded appliances. The room opens onto a family room with a stone wood-burning fireplace and wall of built-in cabinets and shelves, as well as onto a formal dining room. The divided mudroom, with its own powder room, is accessible from both a rear potting deck and the front porch.
Address: 1310 Cedarberry Court, Marriottsville, 21104
Asking price : $1,295,000 Taxes: $10,223
Size: The house is 5,027 square feet, not including the basement, on 5.45 acres.
Features: The second floor has laundry facilities, four carpeted bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a master suite with two walk-in closets, and a divided bathroom with a whirlpool tub and separate double-size shower with a bench.
The third floor is home to two bedrooms, plus an area outfitted as a gym. The basement includes a media room, a game room that opens onto a stone patio, and a stone-tile full bathroom with a sauna.
The backyard near the house features a pergola, two koi ponds, a fire pit and extensive landscaping.
Listing agent : Pamela Bianco, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Ellicott City, 410-852-8662
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.