Carter Home Is Showcase of Candlelight Tour
The 32nd annual Episcopal Day School Candlelight Tour of Homes will be held Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m. This year's tour features homes in Pinehurst and Southern Pines, each uniquely decorated for the holiday season. Talented local musicians will be entertaining in the residences. Ticket sales from the Candlelight Tour directly fund the technology and media needs, educational materials and supplemental programs for the EDS students and teachers.
The Southern Pines home of Donna and Al Carter is one of the five homes on the Candlelight Tour this year. Their Bethesda Road estate, called the "Star of Texas," is tucked away into over five acres bordering Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve.
The home, a Southern Living design, was built by Allen Walters in 1997. The Carters have blended Southern, traditional design with their love of the American Southwest.
The two-story home, with a stucco and stone faade, metal roofing and cedar-beamed front entry, could belong equally well in Scottsdale or Santa Fe. Copper sconces from Texas light up the front porch. A cactus garden in the front yard shares the landscape with crape myrtles and dogwoods.
The home has the ambience of an upscale, Southwestern resort lodge. Artwork and accessories, collected by Donna and Al during their travels, adorn the great room. Cordovan leather chairs, an ivory couch and Navajo and Zapotec rugs from Santa Fe anchor the living area.
The great room has a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows and a fireplace made from limestone from Texas. Cedar beams give the room an airy expanse. For Christmas, the Carters put up a 12-foot live tree surrounded in red poinsettias in the great room.
Avid outdoor adventurists, the Carters have traveled extensively and collected unique artifacts along the way. They've biked, hiked and climbed their way through Europe and the United States. In their home, tapestries, art, pottery from the Southwest and even five-foot-tall carved tiki heads are displayed.
A potted ceiling-height cactus might be considered unusual in the Sandhills, but it is one of the unexpected delights in this home. The kitchen is painted with a rustic faux-painting technique and accented with chili pepper red. The warm wood cabinetry, earthy colors and Mexican-tiled backsplash creates a feeling of hominess and festivity.
Directly off the kitchen, a small sitting area offers the family a comfortable place to rest. A large arch with built-in nooks and benches lends interest to the space. A built-in banquet in a light-filled corner is the perfect place to read the paper or play cards.
In the master bedroom, cinnamon-colored walls with light blue bedding, a walnut sleigh bed and bold Southwestern art add to the casual elegance of the Carter home. Sliding glass doors lead to a sunny deck.
A second bedroom downstairs has been turned into a working office. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases display many family photos as well as artifacts collected from traveling. The homeowners converted an unused closet into a large wine closet.
Upstairs are two more bedrooms, including a charming bedroom for the Carters' granddaughter. Decorated in whimsical murals and shades of pink, it is a room any little girl would dream of. An American Girl Doll collection of the Christmas dolls will be on display in this room.
With their love of gardening, the Carter home has been featured in past garden tours. A new free-form pool, built to look like a natural pond, features a waterfall and rocks. Various types of ornamental plantings give the landscape texture and color. Rose of Sharon, weeping cherry, hibiscus, hosta and a pergola draped in grapes add to the beauty of the landscape. Off the pool area is a large fire pit that is the center of gatherings on chilly evenings. Just past this area are herb and rose gardens, and, of course, more of the Carters' beloved cactuses.
Other homes on the Candlelight Tour are located in Pinewild Country Club, Country Club of North Carolina, National Golf Club and the Village of Pinehurst. Tickets for the Candlelight Tour cost $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event. They can be purchased from any Episcopal Day School student, the school office and at the following stores: The Country Bookshop, Natures Own/195 and Gulley's Garden Center in Southern Pines; One Eleven Main in Aberdeen; and Lady Bedford's Tea Parlour and Gift Shoppe and Cool Sweats in Pinehurst.
For more information, call EDS at (910) 692-3492.
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