Blowing Rock Tour of Homes to visit Dr. Cynthia Payne’s house
Tickets for the tour are $25 and will be available at the sponsoring church, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal, by calling (828) 295-7323, or from the Blowing Rock Visitor’s Center at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce on Park Avenue by calling (828) 295-7851 during the week prior to the tour.
They may also be purchased at the church on the day of the tour.
Located at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, the church will serve as the central location for the tour, with transportation being provided to the five homes. The first car will leave at 9 a.m. and the last at 3 p.m.
The houses will close at 5 p.m.
All proceeds from the tour and the patrons party will go to support community projects and organizations such as the Hospitality House, hospice, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue and the Blowing Rock Community Library.
House of Payne
Dr. Cynthia Payne has named her Blowing Rock home “Conscious Sedation.”
As an interventional radiologist, she said, “That is the state we put people in where they are conscious, but feel no pain or anxiety.”
This is a perfect description of this charming, inviting and carefree home. It has been Payne’s since 2002, when on a weekend visit with friends she fell in love with the area, and on impulse, saw and bought the house .
Originally built in 1952, the house is nestled into a crook-of-the-road, with the road wrapping around the house where Meadow Lane runs into Laurel Lane. It also is built into the hillside, giving it, on the front and on the back, two levels of outside access.
From the entrance drive, you will enter the house by going up the newly built stone stairway. A large deck, which wraps around the house, greets you and offers comfortable settings of furniture for relaxing and entertaining.
Inside the “front” door, and stretching across the front of the house, is the great room. Warm pine paneling covers the walls, as well as the beamed cathedral ceiling, and sets the tone of the decor for this relaxed mountain home.
Centered between the stone fireplace, and an inviting, cushioned window seat, is a large Ushak Oriental rug. It anchors the comfortable upholstery setting, that consists of a luxurious saddle-tan leather sofa and two lounge chairs. Holding a place of honor over the fireplace is a prized Philip Moose painting of Grandfather Mountain. Payne jokes, “that is the view that my house does not have,” but no one misses the view in this beautiful wooded site.
At the other end of the great room is the dining setting. Surrounded by windows on three sides, it includes a unique trestle dining table that was designed by Payne. It is made of elm and has a wormy chestnut inset top, and it was custom made for her by Tommy Klutz of The Restoration House.
The previous owner had done extensive renovations with architect Sammy Greeson of Blowing Rock and Charlotte. But four years ago, needing a little more luxurious space for herself, as well as her weekend guests, and wanting to make the house her own, Payne added on a new master bedroom, master bath, screened in porch and a heated garage.
Working with Paul Convery of Appalachian Building Services, the new master bedroom, like the great room, also has a paneled cathedral ceiling. The spacious new master bath is pretty and feminine and features a luxurious footed bathtub in addition to the large shower.
The most used space in the house is the new rear screened-in porch, with its views of the hillside and with its stone wood-burning fireplace for cool evenings. Also on this floor is a guest bedroom, called the “The Sisters’ Bedroom,” as it is the favorite for Payne’s sisters.
A compact and efficient galley kitchen and an adjoining breakfast room, with a new built-in wet bar, completes the main floor of the house.
Downstairs, there is another guest room and bath and an “all-purpose” room, or second living room, which also opens to the outside.
Visitors will not want to miss what is just part of Payne’s collection of North Carolina art pottery. More of her collection is currently featured in the BRHAM “Curious Collections” exhibition. A part of the collection is displayed in specially built shelves that are over the staircase, and can be enjoyed as you descend down to the lower level.
Also showing Payne’s love of North Carolina is her collection of N.C. artists work and paintings. Be sure to see in the upstairs small den the painting by Jim Chapman. It is titled “ Milepost 294,” and shows the hillside pasture on the Cone Estate, as seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a favorite hiking trail of Payne’s.
The annual Patron’s Party, which traditionally precedes the tour, will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on July 12 at Gloden Hill, the home of tour chairman Bo Henderson and Ed Springs. The black tie optional event will feature food provided by Gideon Ridge Inn and Bistro Roca.
Tickets for the event will be $150 per person, and will be available at the church office.