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Hamilton Avenue home is foursquare for value

January 18, 2007|by HARRY NOGLE

As warm and gracious as its owners, Ronald and Norma Colunga, the four-square colonial brick home at 1102 Hamilton Blvd. will be a treasure for its new owner.

Built in 1922 and situated on land that was formerly part of the estate farm of Maryland Gov. William T. Hamilton (1879-1883), this "brick on brick" home (brick on the outside and inside of the framing) with a full front porch is warm and solid.

The front door opens to chestnut and oak hardwood floors and a parlor that is light and cozy. Stairs in back of the parlor pause at a landing, then continue to the second floor.

To the right of the parlor is the living room with a gas fireplace on the south side and French doors to the back, opening into the formal dining room.

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Norma Colunga discovered the 1920s period antique lamps that hang from the living room ceiling in an antique shop and knew she had to have.

"People don't realize that things inspire them," Norma said.

The pine-floored kitchen is situated behind the parlor on the north side of the house. Soft black wallpaper with an aged fruit design and cherry cabinets provide an irresistible warmth and coziness to the kitchen. The old butler's pantry has been removed from its original location, rebuilt and refinished, and is now situated along the wall of the kitchen.

To the right of the kitchen the formal dining room is papered in a burgundy that Norma selected to match the leather sofas in the living room, visible through the French doors.

The old back porch has been transferred into a warm and cozy breakfast room. This room looks out onto the garden and gets glorious morning sun. A gas fireplace with a sturdy and solid natural oak frame and mantle is located on the south wall.

Off the breakfast room is a bath that was formerly referred to as the "outdoor bath," since a previous owner had built a working garage complete with running water and heat behind the house. It is believed that the former "outdoor bath" was entered from the outside so the owner could clean up after working in the garage. An original half-bath is now a coat closet.

Four bedrooms and two full bathscomprise the upstairs of the house.

Norma Colunga says the guest rooms "take on the whimsical personalities of she and her husband's parents and their parents."

Norma says that while both sets of parents are native Texans, each have different backgrounds.

A room featuring bold eggplant color with sea foam room is dedicated to the Mexican heritage of the Colunga family, while the cottage-style room reflects the German heritage of her family (the Wagners).

One room is now an office and is decorated to reflect Ronald Colunga's career in the United States Air Force. A frame is filled with medals, unit and rank insignia.

The original upstairs bathroom has been fully restored, yet retains the original soaking bathtub and wainscoting.

A doll sits on a shelf, a reminder of the "fun times" the original owners had in the 1920s, and the fun times the present owners enjoyed during a trip to Paris. This bath has almost a spa atmosphere.

The master suite is bold with color and contains a wonderful dressing room with large double closets and a handsome bath with double vanities.

This home may be nearly 85 years old, but unlike many older homes, Norma Colunga's home has plenty of closet and linen space since all the closets have been remodeled.

The laundry room has been moved to the first floor and is conveniently located off the kitchen.

The basement, with a painted concrete floor, is accessible from an outside entrance as well as inside stairs. One basement room is considered the "mechanical room," and the other is used as a well-stocked wine cellar. Most homeowners would envy such a clean and organized basement.

The house and garage electrical systems have been completely replaced and upgraded as well as the main service entrance. Each room has been fitted with circuits for energy-efficient air conditioning units.

Radiator steam heat and a gas furnace provide constant and reliable warmth.

A privacy fence surrounds the property and a 20-by-25-foot pet area has been provided.

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