Thursday, August 4, 2011


You can imagine how surprised I was when my son Matt and his wife Marylee invited me to come today to the office of the Keelty Company, a home builder in Maryland. They wanted me to "advise" them on their choices of finishes for a home they're going to build just a few miles away from their current house.

I say surprised because adult offspring rarely want or need their old man's advice. Naturally, Matt and Marylee knew about my impeccable sense of style, unerring good taste, and incredible sensitivity for color and texture. That all goes without saying. Could that really be why they invited me?

I asked the Box that very question as we crossed the Susquehanna River and began our trek south on I-83 to Padonia Road in Timonium. It was a nice, trouble-free drive, and the office of the builder was easy to find. Just as the Box rolled into its parking space, M&M drove up in their own car and parked beside us.

We met the builder's representative, a lovely young lady bearing a pile of paperwork -- lists of options, some choices already made, and samples of carpets, cabinets, stone facing, and so forth.

The office was in a condominium building, and the model condo was just across the hall. We walked over there to see the granite countertops M&M had chosen earlier and the kitchen island with its raised dining section. It was a very beautiful color to match the cabinets they had chosen earlier. We also looked at plumbing fixtures for kitchen and baths and tried out the sample shower. Matt was sure to point out that the shower head had to be six inches higher than normal in order to accommodate his height.

This lead to a discussion of other options where height was a concern, such as vanities and even toilets. Thank heaven builders and manufacturers are responding and providing building materials for taller people. Now if they took a look at doorway and closet height, we'd feel even more comfortable. Oh yeah, and hanging light fixtures!

It turns out that M&M had made and continued to be making excellent choices in what promises to be a beautiful home for themselves and one their son Ian will remember growing up in. They chose a well-located lot in a development that backs up onto a state park, insuring that it will not be further developed. You can see the floorplan here. They chose a warm looking stone façade, beautiful dark wood floors, soft neutral carpeting, and gleaming metal plumbing fixtures.

Still to come are lighting fixtures, including one to hang in the two-story foyer. My suggestion that they abandon the two-story aspect and join the two bedrooms on either side of the air space in the upper part of the foyer was rejected. A shame. I had my eye on that "suite" for my old age! Check out the floor plan, and you will see what I mean.

After the orgy of choices, we headed for a nearby restaurant, where I treated the soon-to-be-brand-new-house-owners to some drinks, appetizers, and entrées. It was a lot of fun, and I was grateful to have been invited to participate in this ritual.

Keelty is the name of the builder. Forge Meadows
is the name of the development in Perry Hall.

Here is the site plan. Matt and Marylee chose a lot
near to but not in the cul-de-sac.

This is a model of their home that is located in another
development by the same builder.

Checking the wooden floor M&M chose against carpet samples.

Sign, sign, sign!

The granite for the kitchen counters and the island
looks beautiful with the gleaming stainless steel sink.

Here's how the kitchen island will look from the cook's side!

M&M chose these elegantly simple polished nickel knobs
for their cabinetry.

Taking a closer look at options for bathroom vanity tops.

This is faux stone for the façade of the new house.

M&M discuss their choice of homesite with a salesperson.

Looking over the details is something at which
Marylee excels. Matt seems to be saying, 
"Point that thing somewhere else, dad!"

Sign some more!

Looking satisfied, Matt enjoys his brew at a nearby restaurant.

Marylee chose a nice red wine to celebrate.

I ordered this sizzling burger and crisp fries. Dee-lish!

Matt ordered this doohickey filled with shrimp (I think).

Always wiser than the boys, Marylee chose this tasty
yet healthier salad with round brown things in it.

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