The first time the buyers of a Spa Creek home visited the property, their response was a resounding “no.” The home was dated and the couple is drawn to New York- and Paris-inspired glamour. According to architect Scarlett Breeding, who they consulted when making their decision, “We had to think beyond what it was and focus on what it could become—how we could transport New York high style to Spa Creek and combine it with the laidback Annapolitan lifestyle.”
The owners, with three college-age children, frequently entertain guests, many of whom arrive by boat. They could see that the abode could easily transform into a family house when the children visit and a party house when friends stop by, while not overwhelming the couple when they were home alone. Breeding pointed out the high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and a site with spectacular views of Spa Creek. Says the husband, “We bought into a vision.”
Breeding had worked on a previous home for the owners in partnership with Bret Anderson of Pyramid Builders. That successful collaboration was put into play again and elevated the process of renovating the Spa Creek home. While the exterior remained intact, “We reproportioned the rooms and opened up the floor plan,” Breeding explains. Most notably, a second level was added to the two-story living room to create a kids’ rec room.
The next step was to apply a modern palette to the redesigned rooms. “We have a formula: white and black, lots of mirrors and crystal lighting, velvet and animal prints.” says the wife. “We also love to mix old and new, so you’ll see shiny, lacquered trim paired with vintage pieces we’ve collected over the years.”
White and black are the home’s dominant colors. “This house is the epitome of glamour,” says Richard Anuszkiewicz, director of architectural casework and interiors at Alt Breeding Associates, who worked with former colleague Catherine Lowe on the interiors. “You can’t get much more classic than black and white accented with beautiful lighting and furnishings.”
To anchor the design and add drama, the oak floors have been lacquered black. There are pops of the owners’ favorite colors, like the “Carolina Blue” velvet sofas in the living room and a raspberry toile in the master suite. The mix of vintage and contemporary is apparent: New casework by Premier Custom Built in the bedroom features a silver-leaf garland, while a marble bust of Marie Antoinette keeps company with an acrylic coffee table in the living room. Niermann Weeks chandeliers provide a touch of bling.
In contrast to the rest of the crisp, pristine interiors, the club lounge—formerly a TV room—is richly appointed, with black walls and cognac-colored leather. Breeding’s team inserted a custom bar that takes in water views, then added an antiqued-mirror wall opposite to further capitalize on the views.
Designed by Anuszkiewicz, the kitchen takes chic to a whole new level. Previously encompassing the original kitchen, powder room and closet, it has been completely refitted and is now separated into a front kitchen—featuring a seating area and a bespoke, pagoda-style range hood over a white-enamel range—and a more private rear kitchen and pantry, where the mechanics of the kitchen are concealed behind walls of custom cabinetry.
A luxurious banquette and two club chairs overlook the water, completing the lounge effect. “The final element was the Gracie wallpaper custom-designed for the space,” says the wife. “We’ve had more than one guest not even realize that this is the kitchen.”
The floor boasts a white-diamond pattern on high-gloss black. “I love a white kitchen because it is as classic as a perfectly pressed white shirt,” says Anuszkiewicz. “But we wanted to make this kitchen more special and create an impact, which is why we painted the floor.” He adds, “Just because a room is functional doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant.”
Both Campion Hruby Landscape Architects and Walnut Hill Landscape Company contributed to the home’s exterior spaces. According to Kevin Campion, the existing pool was reconfigured. “We extended its usefulness and drama by making it perpendicular rather than parallel to the house,” he states, “which created more room for a deck and furniture areas for entertaining.”
Plantings were selected from the owners’ playlist of favorites—boxwood, hydrangea, roses, crape myrtle—and arranged in sweeping curves that separate the lawn and deck. “We needed to create shade at the back of the house,” says Michael Prokopchak of Walnut Hill, “so we planted a large red maple as well as Sweet Bay magnolia.”
Despite its pristine elegance, the owners say the house is durable, comfortable and functional—and has fulfilled its mandate to blend bling, classic European design and New York City style. “We live in a home where we can have Champagne or pizza in every room and where every room is used, every day,” the husband avers. “You walk in the front door and it’s like you’re in a New York loft looking over our version of Central Park: Spa Creek.”
Renovation Architecture: Scarlett Breeding, AIA, Alt Breeding Associates Architecture, Annapolis, Maryland. Interior Design: Richard Anuszkiewicz, Alt Breeding Associates. Renovation Contractor: Bret Anderson, Pyramid Builders, Annapolis, Maryland. Landscape Architecture: Kevin Campion, ASLA, Campion Hruby Landscape Architects, Annapolis, Maryland; Michael Prokopchak, ASLA, Walnut Hill Landscape Company, Annapolis, Maryland. Home Automation: Electronic Home Environments, Annapolis, Maryland.