Tony and Dan turn 'god-awful' decorating into their colorful, new Prince George's home

by Chord Bezerra
Photographed by Todd Franson
Published on July 29, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

You won't have to wallpaper over any problems with this 5 BR, 3 1/2 BA single-family home in southern Prince George's County. With color, color everywhere you'll have some time to think, "What a fabulous place this is!"

Real estate's like a box of chocolates -- you never know when you're going to get a garishly pink filling inside. But Tony Curtis and Dan Dycus bought their Prince George's County home "as is" and turned it into "as it should be."

Tony: This area is considered Southern Prince George County, very close to the Charles County line. It's very residential.

Dan: We were really looking more in the Fort Washington area. But our real estate agent brought us here and we really liked the house. Then we realized just how far south we really were.

Tony: When we first looked at the house we had to look beyond the previous owner's decorating [style] to envision what we could do with it.

Dan: The realtor told us, "If you can't get past what they have in there, then there is no sense even walking in the house. Some people have walked in the foyer and just turned around and left." We had no clue what we were up against.

Tony: They had spent a great deal of time and money on wallpaper in practically every room in this house. On the main floor the powder room, the family room, the living room, and the two story foyer all had wallpaper. And we had to remove it one room at a time. It was very costly and time consuming.

[In the foyer] As you can see, we are definitely into color. Hopefully we know when to not go too far. Even in our previous townhouse we had a lot of different colors, which we got a lot of positive feedback on -- at least to our face. I think colors really set the tone for a room, sometimes more so than the furniture does.

Dan: If you go to someone's house you don't often remember the furniture that much. But we had a red kitchen in our old house and people always remembered the red kitchen. There is no room in this house that is the same color as another room. That makes you think about each room a little more.

Tony: [In the master bedroom] The previous owners really did a number on this room. You can see the chair rail -- below that they had painted a Pepto-Bismol shade of pink. Then above the chair rail was yet another shade of pink that carried on to the ceiling.

Dan: That one was kind of a light Barbie color pink. When I walked into this room I was like, "Oh my god." I couldn't see past it. I mean, I could see that it was a large room, but I could not see past the god-awful burgundy carpet and god-awful pink walls.

Tony: When we first moved in we were living in one of the guest rooms, waiting until the bedroom furniture came. During that time Dan painted this room all by his lonesome.

Dan: I took two days off of work. I could not physically look at this room. The pink was a big issue with me. This room probably scared me the most.

Tony: [In the kitchen] We didn't want to repeat the red from the last house. We thought about cobalt blue and we talked to a lot of people about it because we had always been told that a dark color makes a room look small. Most people thought the kitchen was large enough that it could stand a dark color. What sealed the deal was finding the light fixture that's over the table. We loved the color of it. Another thing that was appealing about the kitchen was the center counter and having a lot more counter space.

Dan: We also liked the stainless appliances.

Tony: That was part of year-and-half-old upgrade that the previous owners did to the kitchen.

Dan: They seemed to have good taste with structural elements like the recessed lighting, stainless steel appliances, tile floors, and counter tops. But when they got to the walls they were clueless. So many things that they did were so well-chosen that it's interesting how they screwed up every wall in the house.

Tony: We've gotten a lot of positive feedback since we've added the color in the kitchen.

Dan: A lot of our friends are like, "I can't wait to come see what room you've done next." They look forward to [seeing what we have done] because they know it's going to be a change from some god-awful wallpaper to a new bold color.

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