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A designer’s dream

Custom home exceeds expectations

Created date

June 25th, 2013

Five years ago, when Wilmington, Del., resident Marlene Kane reserved a terrace-level, Oxford-style home at Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County, Pa., the community was in a construction phase. Because the apartment home was still unfinished, Marlene had ample options for its d cor. She knew exactly what she wanted and consulted with Gayle Chissus, Maris Grove s custom interiors coordinator, to turn her wishes into reality. All Maris Grove residents can customize their home s interior in whatever way they d like, says Chissus.

Priorities met

The Oxford has two bedrooms and baths, an eat-in kitchen, a walk-in storage closet in the foyer, and a great room, and Marlene has a courtyard view of flowering trees. It only lacked Marlene s hoped-for bay window, but she was able to reserve an Oxford with a patio because of her status on Maris Grove s priority list. The patio has become her favorite spot, and unless the weather is bitter cold, she enjoys her coffee there every morning. Marlene also filled her home with additional features, including ceramic tile bathroom floors and light oak flooring instead of carpeting throughout. Even more important, I needed a pantry and broom closet, she says. So she had Chissus reconfigure the deep foyer closet with custom cupboards, shelving, and hanging rods. Everything was completed before move-in day.

Freshening up made easy

Last year, when Marlene decided to freshen up, she contacted Chissus and selected new paint colors for some of her rooms. Her great room walls are now lively Crisp Linen, her master bedroom is Joyful Lilac, and her guest room, where three of her grandchildren bunk when they visit from Virginia, is a cheerful pale turquoise. A different shower door could be next on Marlene s list, but her kitchen will likely remain unchanged because she rarely cooks for herself. Like most residents, she joins her neighbors every night for chef-prepared meals and camaraderie in one of Maris Grove s three restaurants. And she s not at home that much anyway. Marlene logs time at the campus fitness and aquatics center nearly every day, takes trips with Maris Grove s travel club, plays bridge, and belongs to the indoor garden club and the campus lunch bunch. She s also a docent at the Wilmington Art Museum.

Customization for all

Although Maris Grove isn t currently in a building phase, people who reserve one of its previously occupied apartment homes have the same options that Marlene did for customizing their new address. The most frequent request is for custom window coverings, says Chissus, but upgrading to granite countertops or wood floors is also common. Because Maris Grove is 98% sold out, the key to reserving a home and moving to the community in a timely fashion is to join its priority list. Joining the list establishes your place in line for an available home based on the date you joined. It also provides complimentary access to the services of Suzanne McAllister, the community s personal moving consultant.