Sam and Desaray Conaway are inveterate travelers who have stayed in some of the world's finest hotels, from the Hotel Arts Barcelona to the Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas. A love of luxury hotels helps explain the aesthetic in the Canton town home they share with Sam's sons, Austin, 16, and Aaron, 18, and designed by Steven Appel, President of Nouveau Contemporary Goods.
"I told Steve I wanted it to look like the W Hotel," explains Sam, vice president of sales for Abbott Vascular, a medical devices business. "I wanted a great place to lounge and watch TV with my family. I'm visual. I can really see things, but Steve took my vision and turned it into reality."
Though the four-story brick home appears traditional from the street, inside, the 2,800 square foot urban oasis positively oozes hip—with sleek black leather ottomans, ultra suede sofas and chaises, six-foot silver leaf bamboo-filled vases, and a low-slung orange-silk ceiling lamp.
As fate would have it, this isn't the first time Sam has lived in this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath space. He actually owned the same townhouse from 2001 through 2005, before he was forced to relocate to California for work. (He also purchased a second home in Columbia to be closer to his sons.) As his kids got older, Sam decided to buy the property back.
"I wanted something different for my boys," explains the Randallstown native. "I wanted to expose them to a more urban way of life. I was impressed with what the city had to offer in terms of restaurants and nightlife, and I loved the idea of being able to walk everywhere."
The home also represented a chance for Sam—an avid fan of architecture magazines—to "impose my style and taste on a home," he says.
In addition to adding heavy crown moldings, faux leather wallpaper in the living room, and unique architectural details such as a stunning jewel-tone glass mosaic backsplash in the kitchen, Sam was inspired to create his own room with a view on the top floor of the home. "When the house was first built and I came up to the top floor, I was like, 'Man, I'm on an end unit, but I can't see any of the city.' So I made them take a piece of the wall out and put a window there so you could see the Baltimore skyline."
For her part, Desaray, a business development manager at Columbia-based Ross Technologies who married Sam last July, couldn't have been happier with the space. As a California native, she has always embraced contemporary design. "I loved it from the first time I saw it," she says. "I moved in, and it was done."
Despite an upcoming trip to stay at the Four Seasons in Costa Rica, the peripatetic couple has found that there's no place like home.
"When we first moved in, we didn't go anywhere," says Desaray with a laugh. "We stayed right here on the couch. We opened up wine and just stayed and had people come over and hang out with us here. We had no need to go anywhere. Living here makes us happy and relaxed to be home."