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July 23, 2014

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Originally published: 2012-07-05 08:40:00
Last modified: 2012-07-05 08:40:00

Malloys will showcase ‘St. Michael’s Keep’

The 54th annual Tour of Homes will be held on Friday, July 27, and will include five distinctive Blowing Rock Homes.  

Tickets for the tour are $25, and will be available at the sponsoring church, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, by calling (828) 295-7323, or from the Blowing Rock Visitor’s Center at the 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 Hospitality House, hospice, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue and the Blowing Rock Community Library.

‘St. Michael’s Keep’

Within the last year, Carrie and Richard Malloy have totally renovated their historic Blowing Rock home and have added to it a seamless addition, which gives them the best of the old and the new. The addition is so seamless that it is hard to imagine the house without it, and visitors are hard put to tell what is old and what is new. 

This addition has been made possible with the expert and sympathetic work of Banner Elk architect Dawn Sellers of Aurora Design and with the fine workmanship of contractor Ed Spivey. 

The real credit goes to Carrie Malloy, who doggedly insisted that every board of the paneled walls, every beam of the beamed ceilings, every unique piece of trim and every interior door be exactly like the old ones. 

This persistence and determination was worth the effort, because this was not just any old house. It was originally built in the mid-1930s by M.G. Crouch as his family’s mountain summer home. Crouch was a master builder from Hickory and was known in that town as being the very best. He and his company were responsible for many, if not all of, that city’s finest homes. Everyone wanted to have a “Crouch-built” home. 

Although the house does not have the ultra-fine detailing and trim that Crouch was known for, because, after all, this was a mountain and vacation house. But the quality of materials and workmanship are evident and obvious. Every detail was worth restoring and reproducing. 

Another person worth mentioning is Flanders Holland, an interior designer who evidently owned the house in the 1960s and 1970s. Three unusual and distinctive items that had evidently been made by Holland were left in the house for Malloys by the previous owners. 

On the wall of the new addition’s dining room, and seemingly guarding the entry to the new kitchen, is a life-size needlepoint tapestry of the house’s namesake, St. Michael. On a background of wildflowers, he stands erect in his bright red robes and holds a scale with a heart on one side and a representation of the house on the other. It is signed on the lower left corner, “F.H. 1972.”

The second item is large and imposing in its living room home. Looking like an antique German or Dutch kas, it is a painted and decorated armoire. For all of its antique look, with its paneled and floral decoration in tomato reds and soft blues, it serves a very 21st century need as an entertainment center. On its crowning cornice is the inscription, “St. Michael’s Keep Ano 1969.”

The third item is not a thing, but an entire room. A second floor guest bedroom has the walls stenciled. It is in an early American design, perhaps Pennsylvania Dutch, and is on a soft butter yellow background. With her attention to detail and preservation, Carrie has seen to it that the walls have been restored and preserved and has decorated around them. The walls are not signed, but the obvious creator, Holland, needs to be honored for his many and various talents. 

The new main floor addition includes the large dining room, as well as the beautiful new kitchen, where the custom cabinetry was created by Larry Ollis of Newland, who used 150-year-old wood from an old barn. The copper pots that hang over the island were brought back by Carrie from Italy, where she lived as a small child. 

Down a level, in the location of the original kitchen, the Malloys have created their own master suite. The stone walls of this lower floor have been preserved and restored and then space for the luxurious master bath was dug out to create what is a totally 21st century bath. 

Screened in porches on two levels and a charming walled patio add to the living areas of the house and are attractively furnished with wicker and other weather resistant furniture and fabrics. 

The entire house is beautifully furnished and decorated. Comfortable upholstery has been colorfully covered and mixed with antiques and family heirloom pieces, some of which were made of wood from Carrie’s grandfather’s lumber company in Rutherfordton. 

Attractive and colorful draperies throughout the house are in designer fabrics and contribute color and pattern to each room. They include some very up-to-date looking, but vintage, ikat-patterned draperies in the lower master suite sitting room that were used by Holland. They look as fresh and up-to-date as yesterday. 

We wouldn’t want to overlook Richard Malloy’s contributions to the house, and we need to look no further than his own paintings and artwork. As a lifelong amateur artist, he has painted a picture of two pears in the dining room and a New England autumn scene is in the study. But don’t miss the humorous pencil drawing of ladies looking into an aquarium, done when he was only 14, and on the wall of the Malloys’ son, Ben’s, room. This is definitely a very talented artist.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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