Lapato Home on This Year's Kitchens ... and Moore Tour
The home the two engineers have built for entertaining with style and verve will be shown on the 13th Annual Kitchens and Moore House Tour on Thursday, Sept. 7.
Five additional homes will display their individually winning personalities on the tour as well.
The Lapatos moved here a year ago from Canfield, Ohio, where they lived for 27 years. They were accompanied by Lacie, a diminutive three and one-half pound toy poodle. Susan, who is also a designer and interior decorator, owned a full-service design shop there and has established a similar business, LAPATO id, in Aberdeen, where she supplies furniture, flooring, lighting, window treatments, unique accessories and much more. Richard retired as a director of manufacturing for YSD Industries. They enjoy collaborating on special effects for their own home.
This new 5,600-square foot home, the third Susan has designed for Richard and herself, is of cream-colored stucco with gray Belgian stone.
The entrance has a wide, fan-shaped arrangement of curved slate steps reaching up to the heavy glass front door. A continuously flowing fountain, planned by the couple, will soon fill its special niche here.
Designed with a curved frame, the double front door opens into a foyer with a highly polished floor of black porcelain outlined to resemble an area carpet. Faux-painted walls, in soft shades of gray, stretch up to the 22-foot high ceiling.
An imposing chandelier of sterling silver and lead crystal tear drop prisms rains down a shower of light.
The intimate dining room, open on the right, has curved walls encircling hand-painted and rubbed furniture of a warm ivory color decorated with Greek Key symbols. A Tuscan-type chandelier is painted to match the furniture. Carpeting and drapery are a rich gray. A glass fronted breakfront is lighted to show colorful objets d'art. Two black porcelain Oriental figurines on the buffet were created especially for Susan by an artist friend who then destroyed the mold.
This contemporary, open style home is filled with furnishings designed by Susan, with many "one-of-a-kind" accessories. Guests, who can number from 16 to 45 or more, are able to move easily through the inviting space.
Molded columns halved length-wise, have been placed with flat sides against an entry wall, thus exposing long open slits on the outer column sides.
These openings are covered with warmly-colored Plexiglas panels, curved to preserve the integrity of the shape. Light from within the columns is produced by braided ropes of tiny white lights cascading from top to bottom.
Opening to the left from the entranceway is a guest suite including sitting room, bedroom and bath. Walls of dove gray reflect a lavender shade from natural window light. The furniture is black, the carpeting gray. Focal point of the sitting room is the framed Obi above the sofa. A Japanese artist arranged the piece, cleverly securing it with countless stickpins.
In the breakfast area is a Susan-designed table of black Corian lit from above by an exquisite smaller chandelier of silver featuring three lead crystal peacocks.
The kitchen, open to the large entranceway and breakfast area, cleverly hides its many conveniences and sleek appliances behind surfaces of polished black granite, chrome, frosted glass and mirrors.
The Thermador glass-topped stove has no control knobs. Its heating elements automatically sense the size needed to fit any cooking utensil.
Two full-sized Magic Chef ovens have a pan attached to the underside of a shelf so that the food is placed directly on the shelf with the pan catching any liquid. When the perfectly timed probe has begun and finished cooking the entre, the entire unit can be removed from the oven.
Meanwhile, other dishes are staying table-ready in an over-sized warming drawer that the hostess says she uses every day. Two large sinks and a prep sink are available to the lucky cook. Smaller appliances are hidden behind the shutters of two roomy tambour cabinets.
A partial kitchen wall has a large arched opening into the radius or family/sun room. A massive curved wall composed of eight, 18-foot-high three-sectioned windows outlines the radius room, affording a spectacular view of the golf course. Every room in the house boasts a golf course view.
Centering this area is an unusual four-sided fireplace chosen by the homeowners to warm all the receiving rooms at once, with its remote-controlled propane gas logs. The fireplace is topped with two layers of granite studded with glowing flecks of color.
Mounted high on a two-story center wall is a metal sculpture suggesting birds in flight. Opposite the radius room, a cozy "winter" living room houses glossy black furniture by Susan, including a special entertainment center surrounded by comfortable seating.
Included on the first floor is a master bedroom suite. Susan designed the black furniture and two large back-lighted cabinets, adding color and artistry with a selection of crystal and ceramic objets d'art. Gray carpeting and recessed lighting in the tray ceiling adds softness.
Special features of the bath are a spa shower with surround wall of ceramic tile and basins of black mosaic tile and silver which float above his- and hers- vanities. A corner nook holds an array of family pictures. Dressing rooms are found behind pocket doors, and an additional door provides convenient access to the laundry room.
Other bath features include an MTI whirlpool bath, a floating vanity, and unique basins with eye-catching waterfall faucets. Two large mobile mirrors in dressing areas have flexible oval, hinged mirror inserts which may be pulled forward and positioned to afford a view of one's coiffure from the back.
The unusual Susan-designed black staircase has ropes of tiny sparkling lights embedded in the banister, drawing the eye up the gray carpeted stairs to the large loft area above which is outlined with the same lighted banister railing. Instead of the usual turned balusters, both places have glass panes in the space from banister to step level.
The loft serves as a gathering place for guests as well as a link to additional guest quarters. Susan's collection of antique and several one-of-a-kind Royal Doulton figurines fills a large mirrored and lighted glass front curio cabinet, and unusual art graces the wall.
Another spacious room has its own stairway leading to the outside of the house and amazingly deep closets that store needs for additional overnight guests. This room will display Richard's extensive collection of model trains.
Sponsored by the Moore County Extension and Community Association, Inc., the proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., 4-H Clubs and other local youth programs. Carolyn Register serves as Event Chairman.
Volunteer hostess Jan Menges of Pinehurst will welcome guests to this house on the day of the tour and Mark Elliott of Elliott's on Linden restaurant will greet them with a taste treat in the kitchen.
Tours may begin at the Village Chapel at 10 a.m. where brochures, maps and refreshments will be available.
Tickets for $20 may be purchased at each house the day of the tour or in advance for $15 at The Faded Rose, Pinehurst; The Cook's Choice and Gap Creek Candle Company, Southern Pines; or the Extension office, Carthage. Call 910-947-3188 for further information.
More like this story