House Tour: Ely Cottage Shares Big Ideas
A unique cottage built between Pinehurst ponds No. 1 and No. 2, will share big ideas with visitors on the Kitchens and Moore House Tour on Thursday, Sept. 7.
Jean Ely, interior decorator, painter and sculptor and Edmund Ely, retired landscape architect, are the owners of this little gem.
Edmund had always been attracted to this tract of land lying adjacent to their home site because of its beautiful stand of trees and undulating formation. Envisioning a move from their 4,000-square-foot home into a smaller, retirement home, the Elys purchased the cottage when it became available in 2001. They faced an awesome challenge to transform the 1,000 square-foot brick-and-siding cottage into the stunning 2,300-square-foot home it is today. Completely renovating, they added space by enclosing the carport and screened-in porch; texture, interest and color by changing flooring, walls, windows; redoing the kitchen and redecorating from stem to stern.
Well-qualified by training and experience, the Elys were right for the job. Canadian Jean and Edmund, a native of the Washington, D.C.-Maryland area, met and married in Louisville, Ky., where they operated a successful mini-merchandise mart in a 50,000-square-foot warehouse. All home improvement trades were represented, and high-end furniture, Oriental carpets and interior design needs were included.
Later, Jean became vice-president of a design firm in Louisville for the four years preceding their move to Pinehurst in 1994.
Edmund, a graduate of N.C. State University, told Jean that when they retired it would be to the closest thing to heaven on earth -- Pinehurst. After settling here, Jean established her own firm, Ely Associates.
The cottage is wonderfully arranged to serve many purposes. First of all, it provides a great guest quarters for family, four children and nine grandchildren, currently located in Dallas, Chicago and Ann Arbor. In between visits from family and friends, Jean and Edmund host parties and use the cottage for many different charitable projects.
Stepping from the deck into the receiving room, which was once the carport, is like stepping into sunshine. The historical colors used throughout the home, yellows, greens, blues, reds and creams, are all represented in an antique Oriental rug. Yellow walls above dark walnut flooring are highlighted by white crown molding, and recessed lighting in a high ceiling where original beams are painted white. A French Bergere chair and seating upholstered in white sailcloth brighten the picture. Draperies are a soft yellow linen with a white toile-like print.
A handsomely proportioned bay window frames a scenic view of Pond No. 1 and attracts guests to its pillowed window seat. A white brick wall serves as background for a versatile antique carved oak drop leaf table with green wicker chairs. A large, colorful painting repeats the basic color palette.
A small table near the entry wears a blue and white toile skirt and is capped with lacy "tattered" crochet edging. A large green and white porcelain lamp and green wicker chairs echo an accent color. An English chest has an unusual lamp and Oriental bookends. The Spanish mirror above is framed in leather with decorative nail heads. A painted white armoire houses the TV and touches of red are found in apples, an umbrella and rooster figurine.
Stepping down into the sunroom, guests can really enjoy "bringing the outside inside" as they relax facing a versatile wall of sliding glass doors with a broad view of Pond No. 1. Further enhancing the scene is a small pond with waterfall and child-sized sculptures of children at play. The walls are of bluish green with creamy Berber carpeting. Of note is an unusual chair and hassock woven of water hyacinth.
At the far end of the long sunroom is a glass-topped table designed to hold a basket of silk flowers in its pedestal. Black lacquered chairs are trimmed with gold and are upholstered in a fresh green-and-white-striped fabric. Casual diners may enjoy the water view or move their matching chairs into the formal dining room.
The flooring on the dining room/living room level is of the rich, dark hardwood. Beneath the cast-iron, glass-topped dining table is a soft beige Iranian wool rug with silhouette characters woven into it. A server is of black lacquered wicker. A cranberry lamp is an appropriate accent.
The living room is dominated by a large working white brick fireplace with a generous mantel displaying a child's rocking horse and two hand-painted black metal tole planters filled with green palm fronds and sprays of red berries.
The reds are repeated in a handwoven Kelim rug; a red lacquered trunk doing double duty for storage and as a coffee table; and a child's red rocker. A tall, imported wicker cabinet is an unusual entertainment center. White silk draperies are puddled behind two cream-colored leather chairs with pleasing contrast found in the sofa that is covered in an eggplant fabric.
The kitchen shines in all its efficiency. It is attractive with its soft yellow beadboard cabinetry, its folksy wallpaper border placed between the granite counter top and cabinets and its ceramic-tiled floor. It boasts versatile, environmental lighting, a room-sized pantry, the latest appliances and storage space galore for several sets of coordinating dishes, flatware and cooking utensils at the ready for any event. The double stainless sink is placed beneath an enlarged pass-through window to the sunroom that allows the chef a view of Pond No. 1.
Guest bedrooms have walk-in closets, ample drawer space, and complete baths, one with a Jacuzzi. A studio suite has a private French door entrance to the outside, lime green sofa which hides a bed, practical but pretty, leaf-patterned carpet, walls in the historical yellow, drapes in white-on-white and an accent chair in a monkey-patterned fabric. It affords a working space for computer, for painting or other creative endeavors. Window views from each of the three rooms offer arresting scenes of Pond No. 2.
The master bedroom, with its soft blush moire washable paper, is the background for a golden pine pencil-post bed and several companion pieces. Jean designed window cornices with crisp, flat fronts and draped the ends with fabric jabots that may be removed for cleaning. Plantation shades are functional. The Euro-look bed has a matelasse cover, and the Ralph Lauren quilt carries blue, green, white, blush and cranberry accents.
The master bath has a pine vanity with double basins in the cultured marble counter, Euro-style chrome and brass hardware, a Jacuzzi and separate enclosed shower. Walls papered in a blue and white toile pattern are delineated by the white woodwork, crown molding and ceramic tile floor. An entry from the hall allows this bath to double as a powder room. The hall is brightened by a colorful, signed Peter Max painting shown against a cream-on-cream background. A convenient laundry room earns well-deserved attention with its yellow, textured "elephant striping" paper.
The twin bedroom shows off headboards made by dividing and attaching sections of a decorative wrought iron screen to the wall. Duvet covers are in spice, cranberry and cream with plumped pillows coordinating with the creamy shade of wool Berber carpeting. Jean created a cornice featuring an arched top to give elevation to the window dressed in lined sheers.
Interesting furnishings are an antique dresser with Queen Anne stool, French desk by Marie France with an antique French mirror, antique chest inherited by Edmund and an antique chicken coop painted black to serve as a nightstand. Unique wall decorations include two antique Vanity Fair prints and four paintings on glass of vintage golfers from Holland, France, Scotland and England.
A small bath connecting the twin bedroom and the studio features a white oval basin set in a custom-made, antiqued chest and lighted with a custom hand-painted lamp combining all the house colors. Exquisite wallpaper pictures pomegranate colored berries on a yellow green background. Walls near the shower with its white, diagonally placed tile are of a French brushed pattern in a delicious raspberry color.
Other homes to be included on the tour will be: Susan and Richard Lapato and Emily and Don Hamilton of Pinehurst; Bud and Sande McCaffery and James and Sally Thomas of Southern Pines; Jean and Edmund Ely and Leann Parker and James Heustess of Pinehurst.
The 13th Annual Kitchens and Moore house tour is sponsored by the Moore County Extension and Community Association, Inc. Proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., 4-H Clubs and other local youth programs, according to Carolyn Register, event chairman.
Volunteer hostess chairman for this cottage will be Meredith Silhol of Pinehurst. Charles Toomer, new owner of the Camilla Coffee House, will be the guest chef in the new kitchen.
Advance tickets, which are $15, may be purchased at Cook's Choice or Gap Creek Candle Company in Southern Pines, or at the Faded Rose in Pinehurst.
Tours may begin at the Village Chapel on Thursday, Sept. 7, where same-day tickets ($20), brochures, maps and refreshments will be available.
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