What’s Old Is New in Roland Park

A Timeless Transformation in roland Park 

Kendall and Corey had embarked on a journey of transformation in the heart of Keswick, near the picturesque Roland Park. They purchased their home with dreams of raising their family in this timeless Baltimore neighborhood.  But, this historic home, built in 1929, would need to be transformed.  It was a house brimming with character, whispering stories of the past, with decades of history. Together with Parker Design Build Remodel, they aimed to marry the old-world charm of their abode with modern functionality.  Here’s their renovation story.

The Story Behind The Transitional Renovation

The Client Experience

The Vision

Their vision, to breathe new life into their home, led them to Parker Design Build Remodel.  They researched heavily and discovered a trove of authentic reviews about Parker’s past clients and work. Parker stood out, not just for their glowing testimonials, but also for the detailed explanations behind those positive experiences.

Kendall recounted her initial thoughts when the couple first set eyes on their beloved home. “The primary bedroom was small,” she began, “and the bathroom was barely large enough to be a closet, let alone a bathroom. The bedroom itself had a dire shortage of closet space, and it had this sense of old and dinginess that just never seemed to fade.  Their initial scope was to tackle the primary bedroom and bathroom. 

Scope of Work

The project scope initially revolved around the primary bedroom.  They planned to do other renovations, in the home, as a second phase of the renovation.  When they met with Chris, President of Parker Design Build Remodel, he explained the efficiencies of tackling both the first and second floors simultaneously.  

The couple decided to embark on one large project and decided to get a construction loan, to supplement their budget, without placing a lien on their home.  They also decided they would move out during the whole house renovation, rather than live through it.  So, it was very important that the project adhered to a rigid schedule to stay on time and on budget.  They also would need to move back into the home within a short time frame.

Selecting a Remodeling Contractor

Kendall, drawing on her background in product development, was able to draw on her professional experience with contractors. “Our biggest challenge, with other contractors we interviewed, was the lack of transparency in the cost breakdown,” she explained. There were a lot of unknowns.  “Chris, on the other hand, has a process that is very transparent.  He’s upfront about the expenses and variables.  He offered insight, options, and helped manage our expectations, based on his experience.  He explained the contingencies he had incorporated into his pricing to allow for what was discovered behind the walls.” 

In addition, Chris explained that he consistently worked with a reliable group of subcontractors, which was an important consideration.  This team approach, with Chris serving as the couple’s primary point of contact, gave them a lot of confidence.    Most people believe that every contractor will go over budget and take longer than expected – this was not at all the case with Parker.  Kendall notes, “Chris’s foresight allowed us to finish on time, despite us adding extra elements to the project.  Chris truly understood our priorities, timeframes, and deadlines.”

Tackling The Budget

When tackling the renovation budget, on an older home, there are always variables that can impact your budget.  Kendall recalled, “We wanted a budget that allowed us to get what we truly desired. We knew that in an older home, there would be hidden surprises lurking behind the walls. Chris was exceptionally helpful, providing a transparent cost breakdown and including contingencies for the unknowns.  This proved especially helpful, since the entire second-floor bathroom had to be reframed due to the house’s aging plumbing and mechanicals. We also decided to redo the ceilings on the first floor, which was not part of our original scope, but an important area to address while we had everything torn apart.”

As changes arose during the project, Parker offered a menu of options, allowing Kendall and Corey to choose and prioritize based on recommendations, cosmetic enhancements, or necessary updates. Chris noted, “When you open up the walls in an older home, you have to be prepared to address deficiencies.  We are able to capably address these issues, with consideration for the client’s budget.” Chris’s transparency and conservative approach empowered them to make informed decisions along the way.

The Design

Kendall noted that a piece of artwork in the living room was the inspiration for their entire home’s color palette.  “[The artwork] was a feature we both agreed on and a starting point for the entire design. It was moody and relaxing, and we wanted to incorporate this atmosphere into the overall design of our home.” Thus, the artwork inspired living room textures and selections along with blue cabinetry and paint throughout the home.  Recessed lighting was added with spotlights that focus on the artwork that inspired the entire décor. 

Parker’s Design/Build process was the perfect way to tackle this complex renovation project.  The design process is very comprehensive and allowed the couple to review and discuss design issues and selections before the remodeling work began.   This approach was very thorough.


With the logistical aspects in place, Kendall and Corey’s remodeling journey began with a thoughtful design process to expand their kitchen. The old kitchen was a real challenge for the couple’s desired lifestyle. There was barely any counter space, and it was impossible to use the dishwasher and cabinets simultaneously.  Kendall recalls using the baby’s highchair as a prep area when cooking.  She says, “The layout was inefficient, to say the least. Hosting events or dinners was a real challenge, and I often found myself stressing over people congregating in the kitchen, which was frustrating. But now, the kitchen has become a space for prepping and entertaining guests, which is a complete turnaround from how it used to be.”

During the design process, Parker suggested enlarging the small kitchen with some innovative ideas.  In the corner of the former kitchen was a portico that provided access to the basement, which the couple did not use often. “The headroom was minimal,” he explained, “and this bulky structure took up a lot of space in the corner of the kitchen. Parker and his team removed the portico from the kitchen area and repositioned the basement entrance outside, opening up a significant area of the kitchen, where the stove now sits.”  This was an innovative way to pick up space in the kitchen without expanding the home’s overall footprint.

Moving into the dining room, Kendall shared their desire to transform it into a more functional space for hosting events. “Before, we had a console furniture cabinet in the dining room which was often used for serving hot food.  However, it wasn’t ideal because of the space and electric required for warming plates or crockpots,” she explained. “We wanted the dining room to have a staging area for serving food, crockpots, and even drinks.”  The new built-in cabinetry provides a countertop, additional storage, electric, and an extra refrigerator.  “When we have large gatherings, it’s a full-service area that allows us to create flow.  For smaller gatherings or everyday use, it serves as a bar.  The bar fridge even allows us to free up space in our main refrigerator. The shelves add a cozy and homey touch to the room, and the blue cabinets provide a stylish contrast.”

Preserving Design Elements

Kendall and Corey wanted to save as much of the original trim as possible when rooms and doorways were demolished.  This would help foster the old is new approach too!  Parker took the extra time to preserve door casings and millwork, where possible.  His in-house wood shop utilized a combination of new and reclaimed trim, to match the style throughout the home.  Trim, crown molding, and built-ins were thoughtfully created to look as though they had always been there.  For example, the bookshelves surrounding the fireplace are new, but the trim complements the old charm of the home while looking as though it had always been there.  The new crown molding was designed to match the existing trim in the dining room.

Throughout the renovation, Kendall and Corey were steadfast in their commitment to preserving the home’s original elements. Kendall explained, “The original solid wood doors and brass hardware were timeless but had been buried under layers of paint and dirt, over the years.  With the help of Baltimore Finish Works and Baltimore Brass Works, they were able to restore these design elements to their original charm.   They turned out beautifully!”

The couple’s enthusiasm for preserving the home’s original elements, is also described by Kendall when thinking about the unique front door. “The front door had a rustic, timeless look that truly stood out. It was a true representation of the French/Tudor aesthetic of our house. It’s an original element, and we were thrilled to retain it.” The warm and cozy wood color, along with the decorative bracket at the top of the door, adds to the storybook charm. It’s a focal point of the curb appeal and welcomes guests with its unique charm.

How Design/Build Enhances The Renovation

The design/build process allowed the couple to think through the design methodically.  The renovations upstairs, where the primary bedroom and bathroom are located, underwent a dramatic transformation to better suit the couple’s lifestyle. A notably small closet, dingy bathroom, and lack of natural light were the challenges faced in this room of the home.  Kendall explained, “The bathroom’s window had beautiful natural light, but the window and light were completely obstructed from the bedroom, by two doors and a closet.

Parker’s design approach allowed us to remove both doors and the closet, while centering the new bathroom door on the window.  This one innovative idea made the window a focal point of both rooms.  “That window became the design inspiration for the entire space with a goal to allow natural light to flow into the bathroom and primary suite. The area was also brightened with light tiles, flooring, and paint. The blue cabinets provide a wonderful contrast. “Now, I don’t have to turn on any lights during the day, and the tub is finally something we can use and enjoy. Before, the bathroom was a place I dreaded.  Now, it is a beautiful space.  It feels like this is the way the house would have originally been designed too, which adds to the timeless redesign of the space.”

Addressing another challenge, Kendall added, “We loved the idea of radiant heat but wanted to minimize the visibility of the radiators. Radiators aren’t usually pretty, and these were no exception.” Parker recommended incorporating decorative screens for the radiators that would allow the heat to flow in each room, while also upgrading the design into functional elements.

For example, in the primary bath, a custom cabinet was designed around the radiator.  Decorative radiator screens were incorporated into the cabinet to provide functional and aesthetic design elements.  In the kitchen, Parker built a cabinet with a lower countertop, at Kendall’s request, to serve as a food prep area.  The cabinet and decorative screens seamlessly integrate with the kitchen design while allowing the heat to flow through.  Kendall says this nook is now one of her favorite places in the home.  She preps food in full view of a window that now allows a plethora of natural light into the new kitchen.  The design in each room, with the radiators completely hidden, is now cohesive and complements the overall design.

One of the most transformational aspects of the renovation was the conversion of a back porch into a mudroom, a perfect addition for their growing family.  By enclosing the old porch, they were able to pick up the square footage needed to hang coats, kick off shoes, and confine outdoor mud and dirt to a small area.   This area is a cute and practical nook that is utilized nearly every day.

The entire renovation project with Parker stood as a testament to the power of transformation and preservation. Their home, once tinged with the weariness of age, had been lovingly revived, balancing the charm of yesteryears with the modern amenities needed for their growing family.

Reflecting on the overall renovation, Kendall and Corey had discovered not just a house, but a home filled with character and history.  She says that her “experience with Parker was a 6 out of 5 star experience. He was so patient with us.  When I was overwhelmed, he was so good at communicating and giving us a menu of options to make the most informed decision.  He helped keep me organized.  I’m analytical – and he made sense of the chaos that is a renovation.” 

Today, the home is everything they envisioned.  In retrospect, the general inconvenience of a major renovation project was well worth it! 

Reflecting on the overall renovation, Kendall and Corey had discovered not just a house, but a home filled with character and history. She says that her “experience with Parker was a 6 out of 5 star experience. He was so patient with us. When I was overwhelmed, he was so good at communicating and giving us a menu of options to make the most informed decision. He helped keep me organized. I’m analytical – and he made sense of the chaos that is a renovation.”

major kitchen renovation roland park
complete bathroom renovation roland park
gutted porch becomes remodeled mud room with cubbies
Parker Design Build Remodel Logo

Parker Design Build Remodel is a family-owned business that has been serving the Baltimore metropolitan area for over 15 years and has received multiple awards.


2506 Caves Road
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117


parker design build remodel footer

Parker Design Build Remodel is a family-owned business that has been serving the Baltimore metropolitan area for over 15 years and has received multiple awards.  

Get In Touch

Copyright © 2023 Parker Design Build Remodel – All Rights Reserved. MHIC License #100001