Mount Airy Restoration Foundation presents the 31st edition of its Christmas Holiday House Tour on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3. Three homes of the 10 stops on the tour are profiled today. All represent new beginnings of one kind or another. One house is the home of newlyweds, another is the home of a couple with a new baby, and the third is an old home given a new life after being saved from the wrecking ball.
Deyton and Chase Gough
Newlyweds at 136 Valleydale Drive
Deyton and Chase Gough, newlweds just married in August of this year, are opening their home for the 31st Mount Airy Restoration Foundation Christmas Holiday Tour of Homes. Deyton and Chase are both Mount Airy natives who definitely wanted to stay in Mount Airy. Deyton works at Renfro and Chase works for his family business, New River Paving.
Their split-level home at 136 Valleydale Drive was built in the 1960s, and has been lovingly updated and redecorated. Deyton grew up in the neighborhood, and just happened to attend an open house there where she fell in love with the layout of the house. She wasn’t in the market for a house, but as the saying goes, the house found her. It’s worked out well as Chase’s family also lives in the neighborhood.
The Goughs describe their holiday decorating style as traditional. Since they are newlyweds, they will be decorating using many of the wedding gifts received, and with assistance from their friend Karen Gillespie and her colleagues at Welcome Home Décor & Gifts. The new will be mixed with the old in that Deyton has a china pattern given to her by her grandmother and a collection of cut glassware from her grandfather.
Family and community are important to this young family. They are active in their church, Dobson Church of Christ, their schedules are full of family gatherings, and they will be visiting folks as well as hosting family this season.
When asked how they became involved with the Tour of Homes – well, it was family. Chase’s aunt recommended they open their home, and then Deyton’s grandfather encouraged them to support the cause.
Nicole and Skyler Harrison
A new baby at 218 N. Park Ave.
Nicole and Skyler Harrison are excited to open their home for the Christmas Tour of Homes. Nicole said while it has been a bit of work, she wants to give back to the community, plus this was a way to get so many things finished at their new home.
Mount Airy is unique in that a few homes are constructed of local granite, and each of those homes has its own special features. This Tudor-style granite home at 218 N. Park Ave. was built in the late 1930s by Jack Springthorpe, and is distinctive in that it has a turret overlooking the expansive front yard. The shrub-lined enclosed back yard and detached garage face Grace Street. Some locals may not realize that Grace Street is not the front entrance.
Nicole is a native of Mount Airy, and Sklyer is a native of Salisbury. The Harrisons felt this was a nice town to start a family, that they both could work and start businesses here, and that they wanted to be involved in the community in some way. Nicole is vice president at Moody Funeral Services, where she is the third generation of Moodys to operate the business. Skyler is owner of Turret Investment Management, named after the turret in their home.
Nicole and Skyler are very active in the community. Nicole is an elder at First Presbyterian Church, and holds board positions with The Salvation Army, Reeves Community Center Foundation, and the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. Skyler is on the Building and Grounds Committee at First Presbyterian Church and is a very active member of the Mount Airy Downtown organization.
When asked how the Harrisons came to live in their home, Nicole recalled that her grandparents lived on Marion Street, so she always loved this neighborhood. Skyler loved this particular house and yards the minute he saw it. So the Harrisons purchased their home in 2014 and remodeled a bit, primarily the kitchen and main floor bathroom.
A few of the family traditions that the Harrisons will be following are to go cut down a tree, to give and receive a new pair of PJs and attend as many church services as they possibly can. The Harrisons love to decorate and describe their decorating style as primarily traditional, with special attention to things their baby daughter will enjoy. They will have two fully decorated trees and Nicole has a collection of carolers that she will display.
An exciting Christmas for the Harrisons, with a baby daughter and family from near and far, they are also taking time to support the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation.
Elizabeth and Griff Gatewood
145 Orchard Street gets a new life
Elizabeth and Griff Gatewood moved to Mount Airy in 2015, and in just a few months, they started new jobs and started their family. If that wasn’t enough, they soon bought and began restoring a historic home on Orchard Street.
Griff is the pastor at First Presbyterian Church, which brought the Gatewoods to Mount Airy. Elizabeth stays at home with their two small children who are both under the age of three, is an accomplished violinist and teaches others the violin.
They are active in the community, through First Presbyterian Church, Surry Medical Ministries, musical engagements, children’s events and various volunteer opportunities.
The Craftsman style home at 145 Orchard Street was built in the early 1900s and was about to be torn down when the Gatewoods discovered it. Just days before the wrecking ball arrived, they were able to secure the house and begin their plans for saving and renovating the house and yards. To say they saw the diamond in the rough is an understatement.
Griff had prior experience in the construction industry and Elizabeth is open to new challenges, so they took on the renovations. Together, over more than a year’s time, and with support from their family and friends, they have restored this jewel to its rightful beauty.
In addition to renovating the house, they undertook restoring the grounds. The back yard is much larger than it appears from the front of the house. They maintain an extensive vegetable and flower garden in the back yard. For the small front yard, a small grass area is maintained for the children to play, and the rest is planted in native plants that do not require mowing, conserve water, and are absolutely striking as the foreground for this home.
The Gatewoods incorporated found, salvaged and reclaimed materials in their renovations. Being good stewards of the planet, they repurposed as much as they could. For new materials necessary for the renovation, they shopped local as much as possible including local granite and glasswork from Andrew Pearson Designs.
Elizabeth describes their decorating style as eclectic with classical touches. With their open floorplan, with both casual and formal rooms, and with two small children, decorations will be kept simple and heartfelt. Some of their family traditions include making Christmas decorations and singing carols.
A highlight of this particular home is that during the tour, Elizabeth will have information about the renovations and how the layout of the house was rearranged to better suit their lifestyle and to take advantage of the natural sunlight and landscaping.
Mount Airy Restoration Foundation’s 31st Christmas Holiday House Tour will be Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and will be $20 on the days of the event. Advance tickets may be purchased at Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, 200 N. Main St, Mount Airy, and at J’s Office Supply, 208 Moore Avenue, Mount Airy.
Tickets are good for both days. Present the ticket at each house. Tours are self-guided, and the homes may be seen in any order. Wear comfortable shoes, and not wearing high heels is appreciated.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.