Holiday Houses Tour two Lexington homes at charity league's annual event
By Susan Shinn
LEXINGTON — Visitors to the Charity League of Lexington’s 47th annual holiday house tour will get to view not one but two homes this year.
The tour is set for 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the homes of Myra and Ed Bullington, 321 W. Second St., and Foy Phillips, 18 Williams Circle.
The Bullingtons are opening the first floor of their Colonial Revival Home, while Phillips’ two-bedroom cottage just around the corner will be open.
Tickets for the event are $5 per person, and are available from league members, Chelsea’s Manor, Lanier Hardware, the Lexington Book Shoppe, the Vineyard and at the door. Er, doors.
Holiday house proceeds benefit league projects including annual vision and hearing screenings in Lexington City Schools, a theater performance for schoolchildren, a child-abuse prevention puppet show and emergency medical, dental and utility expenses.
Here’s a look at what tour-goers can expect to see at each home.
The home of Myra and Ed Bullington was built in 1935 for Margaret and Don Walser. The home’s ivy-covered brick facade is enchanting — although Ed admits it’s quite a task to keep it neatly trimmed.
Myra, owner of Chelsea’s manor, has chosen vibrant colors for each downstairs room to match her vibrant personality
The hunter green foyer welcomes guests, and you’ll see a neat cobalt blue powder room tucked beneath the steps.
The living room is Myra’s favorite room, with yellow walls and a pale pink ceiling. The eye-catching color in this room comes in the form of the window treatments — a hot pink silk taffeta.
“I’m kinda out there,” Myra admits.
French furniture fills this room, including a console with marble top which displays Mrya’s collection of Limoges boxes.
Off the living room is the library, Ed’s favorite room, which serves as a cozy gentleman’s retreat. This wood-paneled room has the second wet bar built in Davidson County — it was hidden as the house was built during prohibition.
The house next door had the other bar, Ed says. “There used to be parties going on at the two houses, and there’s a fish pond out there. Numerous people have fallen in due to libations.”
Leading off the library is the sunroom, added to the home in the 1940s.
Myra has appointed the dining room with warm red walls and silk plaid draperies. Although she says that the kitchen is a “work in progress,” it will soon have a Country French atmosphere. Ed added the adjoining mudroom as a surprise when Myra was at work one day. It features slate floors and textured walls. You’ll find Ed’s collection of walking sticks here, along with several rooster oil paintings.
Myra will use a lot of greenery for her decorations, and wreaths in the windows. She’ll put up two family Christmas trees, one in the library and another in the sunroom.
Ed and Myra have lived in their home since 1992. It was also home for their daughter, Brooke Wilson. She and her husband, Aaron, live in Raleigh. They had their first child, Nathan Edward, in September.
Myra had her eye on the house before she moved in. She loved its European feel. She told a Realtor friend to let her know if it ever became available.
A month later, the house came on the market.
“And here we are, 15 years later,” Myra says.
The Bullingtons’ seven dogs also call this house home — although they’ll be elsewhere on tour day.
You could say that Foy Phillips definitely feels a sense of belonging at her home.
The cottage-style Tutor revival home was built for her grandparents, Rheba and Leon Rains, by her great-uncle, Newt Sink. Foy is the third generation of her family, to live in the home, having moved in about nine years ago.
“I’ve haven’t changed a lot,” says Foy a first-grade teacher at Reeds Elementary School.
The home retains its original fireplaces and hardwood floors, as well as its original layout. Visitors enter into the living room, with a mosaic-faced fireplace that looks brand-new.
“My grandmother was immaculate,” Foy admits.
The living room leads into the dining room, which still has its original large mirror on the wall. Family furniture graces this room, and includes a corner cabinet built by John Ford.
Foy’s kitchen has its own sitting area and fireplace.
“This is where I live,” Foy says.
Many a night finds Foy by the fire, with Hunter, her yellow Lab, stretched out close by.
Her bathroom still has its original prink and green tile.
“I didn’t change it,” Foy says, cringing just a little. But colors of the room blend well with the rest of the house.
Foy has appointed the home in inviting colors of reds, pinks, greens, yellows and creams.
One bedroom has a bed with a beautifully upholstered headboard. The second bedroom has furniture all made in Davidson County and the surrounding area — although the plants are no longer in business.
“I just thought that was interesting — and sad,” Foy says.
The home’s parlor still has its original coal-burning fireplace.
“I remember my parents using it all the time,” says Foy’s mom, Nancy Phillips.
Foy enjoys using her sunroom in spring and summer. Her grandparents’ original white wicker furniture is still there.
Be sure to look for a quilt made by Foy’s class last year.
“It’s precious,” Foy says.
Foy will be decorating with lots of greenery, garlands and swags. Her paper whites will bloom just in time for the tour. She’ll have her Christmas tree in the living room and the kitchen will have a candy counter.
“It will be whimsical and child friendly,” Foy says.
She’ll use her Christmas china for the dining room table and place Christmas pottery in the kitchen.
The home’s basement will be stocked with cookbooks, along with the traditional baked cooks and casseroles prepared by league members.
When league members were considering not having a holiday house this year, Foy spoke up.
After all, her paternal grandmother, Mary Phillips, was a charter member of the group. Myra agreed to open her home, and asked Foy to do the same.
“I thought I’d better follow through,” Foy says.
For more information about the Lexington Charity League Holiday House, contact Samantha Gardner at sam gardner@ triad.rr.com.
Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.