Mill Creek, Annapolis

A Waterfront "Forever" Home

After completing initial design concepts with Cathy Purple Cherry, Rob and Tammy began interview builders.  The couple explain their process.  “We really liked Paul Mueller, Jr.  the President of Mueller Homes, fondly called PJ. 

Assembling the Team

Mueller Homes collaborated with Purple Cherry Architects on this Forever Home concept located on Mill Creek in Annapolis, MD for a retired couple from New York City.  

The Client’s Vision 

After a considerable search, Rob and Tammy found the perfect location to build their Forever Home.  Rob describes their vision, “We wanted to incorporate three themes into the design of the home – destination, sanctuary, fortress.  The destination element was important because we wanted family and friends to feel like this was a destination and visit often.  The sanctuary element was important because we wanted the home to feel like a place to get away and have a spa-like, Zen feel.  The fortress element incorporated substantial construction considerations and smart home automation for convenience, safety, and durability.  We plan to be here forever, so this home is built to sustain many years of wear and tear.”  

“The collaboration between our builder and architect was absolutely seamless.  This type of collaboration elevated our entire building experience.”

Rob & Tammy

Choosing A Builder

After completing initial design concepts with Cathy Purple Cherry, Rob and Tammy began interview builders.  The couple explain their process.  “We really liked Paul Mueller, Jr.  the President of Mueller Homes, fondly called PJ.  He was eager to work with us, and you could tell this was really his passion.  Second, we loved Mueller Homes concierge concept, in which a person is assigned to your project to assist you throughout the entire building process.  Since we were still living in New York, this greatly enhanced the communication and overall experience.  We had a pretty good idea of the types of selections we wanted to make, and we thought the concierge would be tremendously helpful during this process.  Third, Mueller’s commitment to quality and detail was apparent in every home we toured.  They weren’t the lowest price, but they were definitely the best choice for us!”

Collaboration & Client Concierge

As the design and construction process began, Rob and Tammy had a great deal of comfort, despite living four hours away in New York.  Even during the middle of the Covid crisis, with travel somewhat limited, they could rely on the builder and architect at every turn.  They noted that the collaboration between the builder and architect was absolutely seamless, especially as design concepts were finalized and construction began.  This type of collaboration eliminated a lot of potential back and forth and allowed Rob and Tammy to make informed decisions that kept them aligned with their goals and budget.

Tammy reflects on the value of having a Client Concierge, “Kalyn, Mueller’s client concierge, provided us with continuous communication and guidance throughout the entire process.  She sent us progress photography, samples for selections, coordinated showroom appointments when we were in town, and even assisted with sourcing and suggesting many of the selections we utilized in our home.  This made the entire experience so much more pleasant and enjoyable.  Most of the selections were made with Kalyn’s input and she was immensely helpful in helping us stay true to our transitional selections too.”

Design Features

The couple affectionately call this home their “forever home” because they plan to live here for the rest of their lives.  Design elements throughout the home utilized Aging In Place, for future use.   Rob reflects, “We incorporated specific design elements that will allow us to enjoy this home, as time goes on.  Mueller was able to pre-fabricate the home for a future elevator which will allow us to easily add that, at a later date, if/when it becomes necessary.

The couple was very intentional on every interior design element of the home.  Specifically, they wanted to steer clear of traditional design and incorporate more transitional design elements that would embrace their ‘forever home’ concept, without being too modern.  They utilized Luxe magazine and websites to hone in on their transitional design choices.  For example, the original coffered ceiling in the great room was redesigned, with Mueller’s guidance, to incorporate wood beams.  A French Oak wood floor, throughout the home, leans toward transitional while a horizontal fireplace and ring chandelier nod to modern design.  Bar stools in the kitchen have square backs, versus round backs, with silver nail head trim versus traditional brass.

Paul Mueller, Jr, President of Mueller Homes, reflects on some of the unique transitional design considerations the couple explored.  “Most people just don’t realize the level of detail and craftsmanship that go into creating a luxury custom home.  Rob and Tammy wanted to stay true to the transitional design so the trim on the doors and windows was a huge part of their design considerations.  They wanted to steer clear of traditional crown molding and also minimize curves.   We were able to custom mill all of the trim, which includes seven different pieces of wood on each window.  That’s part of what makes this home uniquely theirs!  I think they will remember and reflect fondly on that process for years to come.”

With one of their initial goals to be a destination house, they wanted to add extra space for their adult children to bring friends to the home for vacations or long weekends.  The bonus room was subsequently added during construction, to provide additional space for just such occasions.  Rob and Tammy had fond memories of summers spent in the Adirondacks, so they asked Mueller to incorporate a rustic style design into the new bonus room.  Mueller incorporated reclaimed barn wood for the bunks and the door to the privy, along with additional HVAC considerations to ensure comfort.  A portion of the tin roof from the original boathouse was repurposed to serve as an extra design element that adds a special touch.   The privy door is interesting because few people realize that the lazy moon hides a full rustic bathroom beyond.  The Adirondacks theme is incorporated beautifully into the overall transitional design of the home with several family heirlooms they brought from their lake house.   “It seemed so easy for Mueller to accommodate this after-thought, but it really is one of our favorite rooms in the home and Mueller was able to bring it together beautifully.”

Another addition to the original design concepts was to add a sizeable studio for Rob to explore his passion for art, which had long been postponed for career and family.  In this space, Tammy would also have room and storage for her crafting and sewing hobbies.  An adjoining sitting room leads to an elevated rooftop deck, perfect for an afternoon break, lazy cocktails, and entertaining.  Mueller was able to take these concepts a step further with built-in bookcases, custom cabinets, a wet bar, and a custom barn door for these rooms.  A reading nook was also added in the upstairs hallway, complete with a custom built-in bookcase and window seat.  Coincidentally, one of Tammy’s first projects was to create a custom window seat cover and matching pillows, which quickly made their new house feel like a home.

A Waterfront Lifestyle

The rooftop deck, boat house, and of course the 180 degree views of the Mill Creek waterfront are captured from virtually every room of the home.  The infinity edge design of the living area provides the illusion that the home is literally overlooking the water while the screened porch provides a bug-free place to enjoy the outdoors, as an intimate part of the living area.  

The Overall Experience

The couple began this journey during Covid, which presented a number of challenges with travel, design selections, and the ability to visit the home during construction. However, Mueller’s team made it easier with on-line technology, daily progress photos, and a construction platform that  allowed them to interact with the team at a moment’s notice.  The couple are looking forward to many years ahead, entertaining and enjoying their forever home.


Share Article