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Made to order

Parkville residents add personal touches to their new homes

Created date

November 23rd, 2010

When Barbara Zorn sold her Harford County townhouse and reserved a one-bedroom apartment at Oak Crest, an Erickson Living community located in Parkville, she knew she wanted to add her own personal touches to her new home. Having a large kitchen was very important to me, says Zorn. That s why I chose my apartment; it had the largest kitchen of all the one-bedroom apartments I looked at. I wanted someplace I could cook and entertain and also enough storage room for my cookbooks and things like my huge cake plates and salad containers things I use all the time.

By design

So before a single piece of furniture was moved, Zorn was busy redesigning her new residence. One of the features she had her heart set on was a kitchen pantry. To help her with her vision, Zorn contacted Oak Crest Custom Interiors Coordinator Holly Dennis. After Mrs. Zorn chose her apartment, I met with her to discuss some of the personal touches and changes she was interested in, says Dennis. One of the things at the top of her list was a pantry in the kitchen. Fortunately, there was a short wall to the right of the entrance to her kitchen that allowed us to incorporate a nice-sized pantry. Zorn says she s thrilled at how much she s been able to store in her kitchen thanks to the pantry. I was able to bring everything I had in my pantry in my old home with me. I really didn t have to get rid of anything, she says.

Ordinary to ' extraordinary

To complement the maple cabinetry in her kitchen, Zorn chose striking black countertops with burnt orange accents to tie in the oil rubbed bronze hardware she selected. It s just gorgeous! says Zorn. I get so many compliments on my kitchen and the countertops. According to Dennis, Oak Crest residents can take advantage of a wide variety of upgrades through the Custom Interiors department. In addition to custom carpentry work such as built-in bookcases, shelving, crown molding, and custom closets, upgrades include lighting, upgraded carpet, tile or hardwood flooring, tile backsplashes, upgraded countertops, custom paint, and window treatments. We perform the majority of work ourselves, says Dennis. We have our very own painting and carpentry department who meet with you one-on-one to discuss your options. But we also have a reputable list of vendors and craftsmen we trust and frequently work with on projects such as blinds, window treatments, and flooring options. Zorn s main living area was custom painted in a warm neutral taupe. Sunshine yellow brightens the walls of her bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. She also had ceramic tile installed in her foyer. The Custom Interiors staff helped me choose the colors, says Zorn. It s just so pretty. I love it, love it, love it! Incidentally, the staff liked the taupe color so much I understand they ve now made it their standard color in all new apartments.

Custom built

One of John and Mary Orth s favorite features of their former Harford County home was the breakfast bar in their kitchen. We ate at the bar almost every day, says Mr. Orth. So we thought it would be nice to have something similar in our new apartment here at Oak Crest. To achieve the look they wanted, the Orths worked with Dennis to have one wall of their kitchen partially removed, creating the perfect space for their breakfast bar. We have stools where you can sit and eat or read the paper, says Mr. Orth. It really opened up the kitchen and made the whole apartment look different. Oak hardwood floors were also installed before the Orths moved into their two-bedroom, two-bath apartment home. We had the hardwood floors installed in the whole apartment, except for the bedrooms where we went with an upgraded carpet, says Mr. Orth. We re so pleased; it just looks wonderful. A private recessed balcony helps bring the outdoors in and adds to the spacious feel of the Orth s home. Aside from the bar, the balcony is one of my favorite features, says Mr. Orth. It was one of the options that was important to us when we were deciding which apartment style suited our needs. As much as they loved their home in Harford County, the Orths say they couldn t be happier with their move to Oak Crest. We lived in our house for 42 years, says Mr. Orth. Although leaving it was very hard and emotional, I can honestly say that it was the best thing we ever did. We just love our new apartment. We re delighted and thankful to be here.