A Symphony of Design

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Celebrating the Annapolis Symphony

By Jessica Shelton  |  Photography by Geoffrey Hodgdon
Styling by Richard Anuszkiewicz  |  Produced by Robert Haywood




Symphony9If this residence, in the Wardour neighborhood of Annapolis, were a symphony, it would be Mozart’s 39th in E flat major, known for both its grandeur and symmetry. According to a concertgoer in 1792, the opening movement was “so majestic that it surprised even the most insensitive listener and non-expert.” So too, this Annapolis home, once called “Main Stay.” Local lore has it that this home served as Woodrow Wilson’s offices from 1913 to 1921; Its architecture, in the Colonial Revival style, hearkens back to an even earlier time—Annapolis’ founding.

But age is a double-edged sword for a historic masterpiece, bestowing both splendor and vulnerability, and so, after acquiring the 1.7-acre waterfront property, homeowners Michelle LaRose and Nathan Sowden hired Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects to transform the property’s old, detached guest house into an elegant swimming pool complex and rebuild the house’s stately, yet neglected, western wing.

As with our great composer, the firm’s marching orders were clear: to create something of beauty and balance that complemented the original home but also accommodated the needs of a young family.

One of the first additions was a voluptuous library, lined with custom rosewood shelving and emerald draperies. Like the symphony’s first movement, flush with fanfares, the room makes a statement, but it also has complexity as discreet panels lead to hidden function—a mudroom, a coat closet, a powder room and a hallway.

Critics praise No. 39 for its seamless melodies, in which apparent contradictions play out with unexpected ease. Similarly, the dark and dramatic library transitions to a sunny open kitchen reflecting Alt Breeding Schwarz’s integrated approach, which balances architectural design with interior design, ensuring cohesion. “All of the moldings throughout the space and the proportions of the glass cabinets in the library and the kitchen are the same dimensions,” Richard Anuszkiewicz, the firm’s Executive Director of the Kitchen and Bath/Casework Division, explains.

Symphony5Despite swoon-worthy details like a royal blue La Cornue range; antique, beveled mirrors that obscure two refrigerators; and a Calacatta Marble backsplash, the real soloist in the kitchen is the grand island, made from two imported woods: amboyna burl and anigre. The piece, created by Premier Custom Cabinetry, was inspired by fine furniture. In another life, it could have adorned Woodrow Wilson’s smoking room—supposedly located on the second floor. But even in its attention to luxury, the Alt Breeding Schwarz team did not neglect utility, with the countertop coated for maximum durability.

You can add any number of chandeliers—two, in this case—but without high ceilings, a large space will flounder. In order to circumvent the limitations of the structure, the architects lowered the floor level when they rebuilt the foundation. “All of a sudden, it gave us a height in proportion to the width of the room,” says Scarlett Breeding, Principal Architect at Alt Breeding Schwarz. “This was one of the most successful aspects of the house.”

Upstairs, the family gained a master suite, with his and her bathrooms, and a Palladian window that echoes the front entry, like an ostinato, or repeated melody.

Although the original house didn’t need any major tuning architecturally, it did benefit from design enhancements. In the living room, Breeding added double Baccarat chandeliers and replastered the ceiling to highlight detailed moldings. A connector room off the kitchen acquired garden tones and a deep window seat, perfect for stowing backpacks. The front entry, previously spoiled by an awning, won back its authenticity and character with Bevolo gas lanterns and a pineapple yellow door, long a symbol of hospitality. Inside, Breeding juxtaposed neutral pieces from the homeowner’s preexisting collection with a vivid landscape, for presence. “We really prefer for our spaces to look like they’ve traveled through time, that it’s not all new, but developed.”

And, just like that, we’re back in the world of music, with a composition that reflects the values of an epoch even as it embraces novelty.




ClarinetRobert DiLutis teaches clarinet at the UMD School of Music, where he also directs the Community Engagement Office. He is a strong supporter of the arts and has created programs at Collington retirement community, Riverdale Mansion, William Wirt Middle School, and the concert series at Riverdale Town Center Market. Mr. DiLutis is also the creator of the Reed Machine, a reed-making device used by professionals around the world. When not performing, he likes playing golf and doing home improvements.





ViolinistViolinist Netanel Draiblate has collaborated with such luminaries as Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Ltzhak Perlman, Jaime Laredo, and Cho-Liang Lin. He is a member of the Washington, DC-based PostClassical Ensemble and plays in the duo “Times Two” with pianist Lura Johnson. Draiblate’s recent highlights include concerto appearances with the Brasilia Concert Society Orchestra, the Mediterranean Symphony Orchestras, the Tel-Aviv Soloists and the Lancaster and Annapolis Symphonies.





FlutistKimberly Valerio has been principal flutist with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra since 1998. A Chicago native, she met her husband at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where they were both attending school. The couple resides with their son in the Arnold, MD area, where they spend summers sailing the Chesapeake and winters wishing they were sailing to warmer climates.






OboistFatma Daglar is the principal oboist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. She is also the oboist of the acclaimed chamber ensemble, Zéphyros Winds, and the principal oboist of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and PostClassical Ensemble. She teaches at UMBC, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Towson University. She makes her own reeds while listening to podcasts.






TubaEd Goldstein joined the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra at the age of 20. He is about to start his 44th season with the Orchestra. Equally at home playing jazz or classical tuba, he is a founding member and director of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble and the Baltimore Jazz Orchestra. He is the recipient of the first Alumni Achievement Award given by the Peabody Institute Alumni Association and is a frequent guest on WBJC’s program “Face the Music.”







The Annapolis Symphony opening night concerts for the 2017-18 season is October 6 and 7, 2017.  For tickets to the opening night concert and the entire Masterworks Series, visit annapolissymphony.org.





ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN & KITCHEN DESIGN: Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects (Scarlett Breeding AIA, Richard Anuszkiewicz), absarchitects.com, Annapolis, Maryland | INTERIOR DESIGN OF DINING ROOM, FOYER & CONSERVATORY: Lucy Reithlingshoefer, Reithlingshoefer Design Studio, rdsdesignstudio.com, Annapolis Maryland | BUILDER: Pyramid Builders, pyramid-builders.com, Annapolis, Maryland | LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Campion Hruby Landscape Architects, campionhruby.com, Annapolis, Maryland | LANDSCAPE INSTALLATION: Walnut Hill Landscape Company, walnuthilllandscape.com, Annapolis, Maryland

Special thanks to Scarlett Breeding, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Patrick Nugent, Marshall Mentz and homeowners Michelle LaRose and Nathan Sowden (and their patient children) for their support in making this story possible.


Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 8, No. 5 2017