"We had to do something because I was also tired of commuting to a studio in Philadelphia several times a week to do my work," she says.
What they did, ultimately, was change their house instead of their address.
Carla originally is from Florence, Italy, and studied there in her early years. She then attended Cambridge University in England, where she met Tony, a British science student from Manchester.
After the couple married, Tony accepted a job with Squibb, the pharmaceutical company assigned him to their offices in Delaware, and the Healds eventually came to Glen Mills to buy their split-level, four-bedroom house on a two-acre site that was part of an upscale development.
"I thought split-levels were a good use of space at the time," Carla says. "Our house had five floors on a tilted lot."
But that admiration ebbed after awhile, when the couple realized that their house had insufficient insulation, did not have enough room for a kiln, and lacked a view of much of their woods from inside.
Through the years, as her husband worked and her son and daughter were in school, Carla studied at Temple University's Tyler School of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and sold and displayed her sculpted figures, which largely depict women. They were too busy to do anything about the house.
Then Tony retired, and while they were on a vacation, the Healds saw the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house Kentuck Knob, in which the site features prominently. They gained new appreciation for their own home, largely because of its site.
"We decided to keep our house and add on to it because we would never find another site like we have," Carla says. "I looked on the Internet for architects who specialize in design that is good for the environment."
They found architect Paul Macht, who says the Heald house began as a typical split-level building that was "a bad cross" between Colonial and modern. The design was so insensitive, he says, that even though it is oriented toward the woods, beyond the living room the house offered no view of the panorama of trees and the lovely valley to the southwest.
"It was sort of a house with blinders," he says.
Macht added 800 square feet to the 2,000-square-foot dwelling and wrapped the house with rigid insulation to increase energy efficiency and lower utility bills.
"This was important because we added lot of glass," he says.
After the new insulation was applied, the sides of the house were covered with a tan stucco. A wooden first-floor and lower-level porch, both 10 feet tall, were added at the far end of the glass-walled extensions.
After a year's work, the house now relates to its surroundings.
Tony describes the changes vividly in his English accent: "It is almost like being in a tree fort in the winter - you have a view for miles - and in the summer, you feel more nestled."
Oh, yes, he says, the utility bills are much lower, too.
Entering through the front door now leads a visitor to a vision of woods on the other side of the three large windows in the first-floor great-room area. An arts-and-crafts-style gas fireplace marks the point, about halfway from the entrance to the great room, where the house once ended.
On the walls are a few mounted pieces of Carla's work. A Pennsylvania Dutch-pattern skirt wraps around a bench next to the fireplace. But those are among the few embellishments.
"We think the trees and outdoor view are our main decoration," Tony says.
The Healds like Scandinavian furniture, and in the space between the dining area and the kitchen a long teak table stretches out. Their curved green sofa, which seats five, spreads out on a shining oak floor.
A powder-green spiral staircase leads downstairs to the basement from a corner of the dining room, open to view from the living room.
Once one descends, Carla's 400-square-foot studio, lined with shelves of her artwork, comes into focus. Long, chalky tables hold soon-to-be figures. Adjacent is her 200-square-foot kiln room.
Outside is the sylvan vista. Inside, a happy couple that found the perfect house already in their own backyard.