David and Bella Carter found their escape from suburbia in a custom-built island retreat in Ocean Pines’ Terns Landing
With their vivacious brown dachshund Brookie greeting you at the leaded glass door, a step into David and Bella Carter’s Tern’s Landing home in Ocean Pines greets you with the smell of warmed cinnamon and the comfort and style of an upscale island resort. The radiation of color and texture from all around makes one feel immediately at ease. That is exactly what the Carter’s intended. Now they find themselves at ease in their custom designed and built masterpiece.
Their intentions from the start were to create a beach escape from their busy life in the D.C. Metro area where they have owned and operated Carter’s Carpets and Flooring, Inc. in Gaithersburg for over 26 years. They have been working on projects on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for almost 15 years. Years of time under his belt as an expert in the flooring field, their success has afforded them the ability to enjoy life on both the Eastern and Western shores. “We absolutely attribute our successes to the wonderful current and previous employees we’ve had over the years,” Bella said with pride. “Of course you can have $5 million worth of work but you don’t have anything if you don’t have the dedicated staff behind you making it come together,” Dave added.
The house had to begin as a set of plans which were carefully developed by Dave himself. “We looked for months and months at models. We knew what we liked and didn’t like and slowly it came together.”
Bella agreed. “We knew we wanted an open floor plan. But I wanted a one-story, and Dave wanted a two-story. We compromised. Dave got his second story, and we installed an elevator.” In working down here for so long on work assignments, the decision was an easy one when it came to choosing a builder to bring their dream home to life. Since Dave had worked with Piney Island Builders on projects through his own company, and knew the quality they could provide, one call to its president, Duane Maddy, was all it took to set the wheels in motion.
The Carters’ provided the plans for the 4500 square foot home while Maddy and his associates at Piney Island saw the vision through to the end. In business for nearly two decades, Piney Island has successfully built over 400 homes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. In their waiting room, two binders of thank you notes and recommendations bear witness not only to the quality of the homes built by Piney Island but to the quality of service from their dedicated staff.
“I grew up in the business and we strive for 100% satisfaction from our customers,” Duane said as he leaned back in his chair at their Berlin headquarters. Maddy, Jeff Montgomery, vice president, and the Piney Island team completed the four bedroom, two full bath and two half bath residence in seven months.
The free flowing floor plan puts a charming study to the left when coming through the front door where Brookie sits dutifully on guard atop a comfy white couch. To the right is the first floor master suite with a jetted shower that would make a waterfall envious. In the master bedroom, the tray ceiling boasts a magnificent custom painted sky scene by local artist Debbie Rolig, who also did the rest of the faux painting throughout the house.
From the master, the plan flows effortlessly into a quiet sitting room, and then a four seasons room. With a pair of heavy double door sliders open, the four seasons room joins with the well planned kitchen and cozy dining room. The whole first floor streams seamlessly into the colorful and inviting first floor living room. Flanked with built in book shelves and colorful effects, a prominent feature is, without a doubt, the breathtaking 20 foot, two story stacked stone gas fireplace which towers proudly above the warm and comforting first floor. Small changes were made in the plans along the way with the help of Piney Island to maintain the open feel while maximizing the space and creating a picture perfect home.
No doubt one of the highlights of the home are the stunning BR 111 Tigerwood floors which were chosen at the mill in Florida by Dave himself and skillfully finished in Taneytown, Maryland which cover nearly the entire house with its rich tanned hue. Not only did Dave locate these floors himself, but he also oversaw all the flooring in their home including the kitchen tiles, carpet and the bathroom tiles and eye catching inlays in all the bathrooms. Never to be overlooked, the over 700 lb iron chandelier in the cupola, chosen by Bella and Dave, is an eye-catching piece that is so large, it was put on a lift for ease of access.
When it came to decorating, Bella knew she wanted something different. “I didn’t want it to be an incredibly formal house. We wanted it to look and feel livable,” Bella said looking at her husband. “Well,” Dave said with a laugh, “when I saw it, I thought it looked like a model. I was thinking, I can’t believe we live here.” The home was not just a labor of love for the Carter’s and Piney Island.
The unique and colorful theme of the house was brought to fruition by the brilliant design eye of Tiffanie Adkins of Tiffanie Adkins Interiors and the beautiful draperies and textiles from Judy Vogel from A Thread of Elegance whose offices, along with Piney Island Builders and Carter’s Carpets and Flooring reside collectively at 29 Broad Street in the downtown shopping center in Berlin.
The bright and unique furniture thoughtfully placed throughout the house, as well as the ingenious use of colors and textures might be described as Caribbean upscale shabby chic. That is just perfect for the couple whose primary residence in Gaithersburg reflects their more standard tastes. “Dave and I are typically plain people. Beiges, standard blues and mauve’s are what you will find in our primary home.” As she looks around in her eclectic, island themed great room she smiled, “We wanted this home to be fun. I think it is!”
Vogel, who masterfully stitched, covered and draped nearly everything in the Carter home with colorful and vibrant fabrics, said that the Carter’s gave them pretty much free reign in the house because they knew that she and Adkins were more than capable.
“Decorating should be fun,” Vogel said, “and the owners expressed an interest in going bolder for this house.” The unique and beautiful furniture and accessories that fill the house came from a variety of places but J. Conn Scott in Selbyville proves to be a constant go-to for Adkins and her furniture finds for its variety and great service.
During the decoration process, Bella and Dave were hesitant about some of the colors, furniture and fabrics that were being chosen for their Caribbean themed second home, but soon relinquished control to Adkins and Vogel to develop something more than magical in the end.
“I walked in for the first time it was done,” Bella recalled, “and it was like Christmas discovering all the fabrics and colors and little pieces. And then I would walk through again and see things I didn’t see the first time. The entire group did an amazing job on our home.”
CARTER'S CARPET & FLOORING
Offices in Gaithersburg and Berlin, MD
TIFFANIE ADKINS INTERIORS
29 Broad Street, Suite 105, Berlin, MD 21811
A THREAD OF ELEGANCE
29 Broad Street, Suite 105, Berlin, MD 21811
410-430-1115 or 410-703-3086
PINEY ISLAND BUILDERS
29 Broad Street, Berlin, MD 21811
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