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Dream home: Creative use of space

Danielle LeClair in her living room. (Colby Ware, Baltimore Sun / June 26, 2012)

Danielle LeClair in her living room. (Colby Ware, Baltimore Sun / June 26, 2012)

Among all the lovely, quirky, industrial, upscale, up-and-coming and historic Baltimore neighborhoods, Danielle LeClair chose Highlandtown for the nearby park — and the parking.

A Massachusetts native and nurse practitioner in geriatric dermatology, LeClair moved from Federal Hill four years ago to a relatively quiet street off Patterson Park in East Baltimore.

"My highest priority was parking," LeClair said. "It wasn't so bad then, but it's getting worse."

Her real estate agent, Cara Fabian, an associate broker with Cummings and Co. Realtors, found her a completely renovated property, circa 1920, at a cost of $280,000. The two-story brick rowhouse joins a long line of others, some embellished with stained-glass transoms and Formstone facades, some with painted screens, and most — like LeClair's — with marble front steps.

Her solution for parking, that all-too-common city reality, was to create a parking pad over the small backyard. And because she likes flowers and plants and chooses to grow her own herbs for cooking, she gardens on her rooftop deck.

LeClair's focus in a home that is 12 feet wide and 50 feet long: a place for everything and everything in its place.

Additionally, and perhaps most crucially, is the question of scale; as she notes, "You can't just throw a large, pub-style sofa in the living room."


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