At 6 o'clock every evening, the Dandie Dinmont terriers are let out of the back room, Greg Sullivan turns the key to close up his antique shop, and - that quickly - he's home.
Situated on the corner of Baltimore and High streets in Funkstown, Washington County, the stately Colonial is both home and place of business for Sullivan and his wife, Vicki.
The mansion dates from the 1770s. Two wings were added in 1835, and another in 1960. A solarium was built in the 1920s.
The Sullivans, looking for a larger property to accommodate their expanding business, bought the 7,800-square-foot mansion in 1982. They replaced the wiring, installed central air conditioning and refinished the hardwood floors. The renovation totaled more than $500,000.
Nine large rooms off a center hall are on the first floor, and eight rooms off a center hall are on the second. While the first floor of the home is open to the customers of Hudson House Galleries, the second is the private refuge of the Sullivans and their two dogs.
"Everything is for sale in this house," said Vicki Sullivan, who decorated the home with their stock merchandise of both authentic antiques and museum and historic-house reproductions. "The decor is constantly changing."
A modern, downstairs kitchen with stainless-steel appliances is used to prepare light fare when the Sullivans are entertaining customers, who sit in beautifully re-created Colonial-style rooms. Looking at the furniture and accent pieces - leather chairs, tiger-maple tables and cupboards, chintz-covered sofas, paintings, fire screens of needlepoint, and brocaded bed linens - it is almost impossible to tell the real from the "repro." However, all furnishings have labels indicating the appropriate provenance.
Outstanding architectural features of the home include a central hall arch topped with a slag glass window, an exterior portico with two semicircular marble steps leading to the side entrance and a glass-enclosed front porch that wraps around the home's west side.
The Sullivans' second-story living and dining area, including a sitting room, guest room and master suite, has Colonial furnishings that include four-poster mahogany beds, antique grandfather clocks and authentic Hepplewhite chairs.
The Sullivans have no intention of giving up their home or business in the foreseeable future. As Vicki Sullivan says, "Houses tend to wrap themselves around you, and this one certainly does."
making the house their own
* Coloring their world. The Sullivans painted every room in Colonial colors. For example, the hallways are painted an exact replica of the sunshine yellow in Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the living areas are cadet blue and the guest room is a soothing olive tone.
* Touting his talent. Vicki Sullivan has hung a number of her husband's paintings alongside the antique works.
* A bit of the modern . The master bathroom recalls the art deco era with a black-and-gold painting, as well as a matching black- and-gold sculpture of a 1930s debutante. The sitting room features a rug in a contemporary geometric design.