Francina & Joe’s Idyllic Townhouse

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Name: Francina and Joe Baldi
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 34 years; Owned

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Built around 1900, Francina and Joe Baldi’s townhouse has no doubt been through many transformations over the years. The couple have been through a few renovations themselves, but they have been careful to preserve as many of the original features of the house as they could, from the second stair in the kitchen to the thoughtfully embellished door hardware.

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(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Just as important as the interior space, the backyard is the couple’s weather permitting, go-to gathering space. Ornamental trees, stone statues, and repurposed ironwork fill the fenced backyard, enticing passersby to take a peek over the fence. Usually, they get an invitation in for a visit. The Baldis have created an interactive outdoor lounge, engaging not only their guests but also, to a small extent, the city itself.

The property’s downtown location in the historic arts town of Frederick, Maryland imbues the house with some of the city’s own constitution. After 34 years living and raising a family in their house, the Baldis have cultivated a home which feels distinctly linked to the city, it has an energy; it’s earthy, attentive and confident. It’s easy to feel at home here.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic Vernacular

Inspiration: Nature — we lean towards greens and browns and the more natural colors, they’re very soothing. I’ve always loved rocks, so we have them throughout our spaces as well, especially the backyard.

Favorite Element: The original architectural features of the house have so much character, so we’ve kept as many as possible: moldings, light fixtures, pocket doors and hardware, fireplaces, and flooring.

Biggest Challenge: The upstairs hallway. We still haven’t decided how we’re going to do something different and still keep the crack from the Frederick earthquake.

What Friends Say: The house is welcoming and friendly. They take off their shoes, get comfortable, and head to the kitchen.

Biggest Embarrassment: The way we let an electrician pull wire up through the closed-off fireplace in the dining room. It’s now hidden behind a mirror and some candles.

Proudest DIY: The exposed brick in the kitchen and the landscaping in the back yard.

Biggest Indulgence: Remodeling the kitchen. It took one painful year, but was worth the effort. When we moved in, there were no cabinets at all, just a large, white sink bolted through the exterior wall and a small International Harvester refrigerator. Most of the walls are original horsehair plaster, so during renovation there was constantly grit everywhere no matter what. A few nights, we took the dog and checked into a hotel just to sleep on comfortable sheets.

Best Advice: Figure out what your must-haves are and be prepared to compromise (work!) for the rest.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Resources of Note:

Paint – Behr

Painting and Prints – various by artists Charlie Shobe, Barry Richardson, and P. Buckley Moss

Architectural Hardware – many of the non-original features of the house have been repurposed from the ReStore in Frederick, MD.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Thanks, Francina and Joe!

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