Lapato Home on Annual Candlelight Tour
The 2009 Episcopal Day School Candlelight Tour of Homes will be held Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m.
The annual event features five homes from the Southern Pines and Pinehurst area decorated for the holidays. Local musicians, singers and chefs will showcase their talents at several of the residences. This event serves as a major fundraiser for Episcopal Day School.
The Pinewild home of Susan and Richard Lapato is an expression of their collective talents and love of entertaining. After nearly 30 years in Ohio, the couple and their beloved toy poodle, Lacie, relocated to the Sandhills four years ago to enjoy a warmer climate.
Equipped with a combined training in engineering and Susan's experience in design and interior decorating, the couple set out to design a home that would meet all their needs. This new construction has a contemporary, open style and is filled with architectural and design details specified by Susan.
The impressive entrance has a wide, fan-shaped arrangement of curved slate steps reaching up to the front door. Immediately, attention is drawn to the double front door with unique curves, designed by the owner. Lighted columns in the entry accent the beautiful floors, high ceilings and imposing silver and crystal chandelier. The columns became a special project for Susan, as she was integral to implementing their design and construction.
Opening to the left from the entranceway is a guest suite, which includes a sitting room, bedroom and bath, designed specifically for "Uncle Pete." The elongated doorways and Asian-deco style provide an elegant environment for a wheelchair accessible space. Hand-painted walls and accents complement the dcor, which includes a personalized framed obi that Susan had custom-made by a Japanese artist.
Just across from the guest suite is the warm and inviting dining room. Curved walls and hand-finished furniture contribute to the indulgent, yet intimate, dining experience. Glass artwork and a teacup collection are on display in breakfront.
Adjacent to the dining room is the sleek and well-designed kitchen and informal dining area. Above the black tabletop is a captivating chandelier of silver and lead crystal peacocks. Perfectly situated for entertaining and professional-grade food preparation, the kitchen boasts highly polished black granite and rich, custom-designed cabinetry. Stylized features such as triangular drawer pulls, fan-shaped island sink and architectural exhaust fan make this kitchen unique and beautifully functional.
The open entertaining design continues into the great room, with 22-foot ceilings and massive curved windows, providing a spectacular view of the Magnolia golf course. In fact, every room in the house is afforded a golf course view, but none are as dramatic. However, the heart of the room would have to be the unusual four-sided fireplace, chosen by the owners to bring warmth to the entire entertainment area.
Another special feature during the tour will be two 12-foot black trees decorated for the holidays. The first is decorated exclusively with crystal ornaments by famous makers such as Swarovski, Waterford and Baccarat.
The second tree will be adorned with the entire collection of First Ladies' ornaments. Initially started in 1981 by the White House Historical Association, the current First Lady designs an ornament for the holiday season. Susan began collecting the more recent ornaments, but the early ornaments were originally only available by invitation. A few years ago, Uncle Pete gave Susan the original, early ornaments and now the Lapatos have the entire collection.
Included on the first floor is a luxurious master bedroom suite. Soft periwinkle color and tray ceilings complement the black furniture and large back lighted cabinets, designed by Susan. Beautiful art glass, both new and antique, are the focal point of the room. An attached bathroom features a custom-designed spa shower, vanities and glass mosaic basins. Pocket doors connect the suite to dressing rooms and convenient access to a laundry room.
A fabulous staircase designed by Susan leads to the second floor loft area. The remarkable black staircase has glass panes instead of balusters and is embedded with ropes of light to draw the eye upstairs. The sitting area at the top of the stairs overlooks the great room and adds yet another entertaining space.
Susan's beautiful collection of Royal Doulton figurines are prominently displayed in a lighted curio cabinet. A guest room and bathroom are in this section of the house and notable for unique artwork and "torn paper" wall coverings.
The final stop of the tour is a large bonus room that was originally designed to function as a home office before Susan moved to her Aberdeen office. The large open room affords multiple areas of storage and access to the attic as well as stairs leading to the outside of the house. The house was designed to be completely wheelchair accessible and even has space for an elevator.
Tickets for the Candlelight Tour of Homes are available for $15 in advance and may be obtained through several local businesses or through EDS. Tickets will also be available for $20 at each of the homes featured on the day of the tour.
Call EDS at (910) 692-3492 for any questions or for advance tickets.
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