December 1, 2013
The Gertrude Smith House, one of eight structures on this year’s Mount Airy Restoration Foundation’s Annual Christmas Holiday House Tour, has been on the tour many times.
Still, organizers say there’s always something new to see each year.
This year is no exception. Cindy Puckett, Brenda Golding, and Cecil Fulp have been busy decorating and preparing the house for visitors. Decorations for the front porch and exterior of the house were inspired by fruit decorations used in Williamsburg. Even before decorating began, the house had recent updates for the tour. The entire house will be open for the 2013 tour.
“People are going to love that none of the rooms are roped off — the entire house is open for viewing,” Puckett said. Based on photos and fabric swatches found in the home recently, Gertrude Smith’s bedroom on the second floor has been restored to look as it did years ago.
Decorations for the tour include 29 handmade arrangements displayed throughout the house, 10 wreaths, four swags and numerous feet of garland. Retired teacher and local volunteer Melvin Miles recently donated many new and complimentary decorations that are used throughout the house.
As Golding said, “We’d open a box donated by Melvin Miles, and we’d find just the things we needed to finish decorating — everything matched perfectly.”
The home will be on tour Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for the tour are available at the Chamber of Commerce, 336-786-6116.
Another home on the tour is that of Gordon and Lesa Reeves, at 311 Cherry Street.
“It is a true showcase of a home lovingly and painstakingly renovated,” the foundation said.
The Reeves’ spent more than two years researching and restoring the former home of Dr. Campbell Baird. Enlisting the talents of many local businesses and craftsman, the home has been renovated and updated, keeping as many period-appropriate features as possible.
The entry staircase and front foyer feature many original materials. The wainscot and trim throughout the home is original with a few necessary repairs when the original was beyond salvation. The fireplace and chimney between the front parlor and the formal dining room have been appropriately updated, yet retain the feel of the early 1900’s.
Lesa Reeves sourced period-appropriate doors, hardware and lighting for each room. The Reeves’ have decorated the home with numerous antiques — a restored and functional radio from the 1930s, a telephone used by Gordon’s father pre-1960s , and lamps and clocks that are family heirlooms.
In preparing for the Christmas Holiday House Tour, Christmas decorations were designed by Lesa’s cousin, Denise Payne, of The Leopard Lady design studio of Pilot Mountain. Garland, decorated urns, and a big wreath on the door greet visitors at the entrance. Complimentary garland runs up the foyer staircase, and showcase a table decorated with antiques and Christmas decor.
A large live tree located in the front parlor is decorated with ornaments that provide a nod to antiques and Christmases of times gone by. The two mantels downstairs, original to the home, are decorated with garland and family touches, with antiques resting on the mantels.
John Kidwell, local restoration expert and a board member of the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation, completed many of the renovations on the home. Kidwell estimates that the home is nearly 90 percent original, and that as much as possible was saved and retained. Lesa Reeves said she had a vision for each room, and she and Kidwell “just hit if off, and he made the vision become real.”
The Reeves’ home, along with the Gertrude Smith House and the other buildings on the tour will be open on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Dec. 8, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation’s 28th annual Christmas Holiday House Tour.
The full tour will include the William Alfred Moore house, the Gertrude Smith house, the Reeves’ home, the home of Tyler Payne at 528 Country Club Road, the home of Mark and Lesa Hensley, the home of Brad and Shannon Putnam at 371 Redbrush Road, Oak Grove United Methodist Church at 2148 Westfield Road, the Uptown Gallery, and the Robert Smith House at 615 N Main Street.
Tickets are available in advance at the local Chamber of Commerce (336-786-6116).