Janine’s Beautiful Baltimore Home
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Location: Lauraville, Baltimore, Maryland
I live with my boyfriend, Michael, in a three story 2200 sq ft 1914 colonial located in the historic Lauraville neighborhood of northeast Baltimore. Though I’d been house hunting for years, I discovered our house by accident when I went to the previous owners’ estate sale, sourcing items for my online shop Guermantes Vintage. Right away I fell in love with all the historic details. The house was to be sold at an absolute auction, and, amazingly, on auction day this past October we were the only bidders in attendance and won the house at base price.
We like to joke that it’s is our pretending-to-be-rich house. Everything seems fancy but in actuality it’s all either hand-me downs or cheaply obtained (including the house itself!). Most of our furniture belonged to my grandparents or great grandparents. Everything else came mostly from thrift stores and craigslist. The piano in the foyer and a few other things were left behind by the previous owners (along with about two dumpsters worth of junk that we had to have hauled away….).
One indulgence is the art deco newel lamp on the staircase in the foyer. I found it on eBay and bought it as a housewarming gift to myself. I had wanted one like it for years, and as our staircase was already wired it seemed meant to be. I could even see the ring on the post where a similar lamp would have once stood. It rests between two of my favorite features of the home: the pressed tin wainscoting in the stairwell, and the four large stained glass windows that line the front of the house. Other details I love are the ionic columns, the ornate radiators, the (two!) clawfoot tubs, the push-button light switches, and the high ceilings. There is also a wrap-around porch complete with breakfast area and swing.
Though I use almost entirely antique and vintage items in my decorating, I like to keep things a bit more sparse and modern than the eras I draw from. I want to emphasize the architectural details of the house and like clean, plain walls and bare windows.
The living room on the second floor is my favorite room to spend time in. It has beautiful light and holds most of our books. My father made us the window boxes filled with cacti and succulents, and the blue settee was my grandmothers. She needle-pointed the pillows on it herself. Michael found the mirror in the trash years and years ago, and I’ve always loved it.
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