Sherrills Ford is a quiet slice of the Lake Norman community, especially after the summer hubbub ends.
It’s a great place to explore, and experience the lake in winter. And here’s a great opportunity to visit: The Lake Norman Garden Club will host a Christmas Tour of Homes on Dec. 5, featuring four waterfront homes decorated for the season.
Sherrills Ford is on the west side of the lake, just north of the N.C. 150 bridge. The featured homes are in the NorthView Harbour neighborhood. There’s a wine tasting, too. It will be at the NorthView Harbour clubhouse, hosted by Hanover Park Vineyard of Yadkinville. Wine will be on sale, but the tasting is included in the price of the tour ticket. Other light refreshments also will be served at the clubhouse, says Connie Pratt, one of the tour organizers and owner of a featured home.
The clubhouse also offers a chance to get directions. The homes are close by, but getting to one of them can be tricky. NorthView Harbor has three entrances – and the different sections aren’t connected by interior streets. The clubhouse is on Northview Harbour Drive, the third entrance. The homes – all on the water – offer distinctive architectural looks: cottage, lodge, traditional and Tuscan. The homes will be decorated in themes that complement their styles, say Pratt and JoAnn Deal, another organizer.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley, which is building a new branch in Sherrills Ford. The garden club will design and help fund a serenity garden for the new hospice. “The garden will be an important part of the facility, a retreat for the families,” Pratt says.
Indeed, gardens help ease grief, agrees David Clarke, executive director of the hospice organization. “When you can provide a peaceful setting for folks facing the dilemma of losing a loved one, it helps ease the angst and the fear.”
The main 21-bed hospice facility is in Newton, just off N.C. 10. The new six-bed branch on Sherrills Ford Road will serve eastern Catawba County and parts of Lincoln County, as well as Denver and Mooresville. The organization broke ground in August, and expects completion to take about a year.
The Lake Norman Garden Club was organized back in the 1960s, not long after the lake was created. It has long been important to the fabric of the community.
For instance, the club maintains the memorial garden at the Sherrills Ford branch library, just south of the new hospice on Sherrills Ford Road. The garden, named for Civil War literary figure W.A. “Uncle Billy” Day, was created by the club and county agencies. Day moved to Sherrills Ford in 1870 and died in 1937. He’s buried at Rehobeth United Methodist Church, on Sherrills Ford Road still farther south.
You can get a peek at how Day lived on your way to the holiday tour.
There’s a replica of Uncle Billy’s home – a birdhouse, rendered in amazing detail – mounted in the library’s memorial garden.
Want to go? What: Christmas Tour of Homes. When: The tour will be 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5. Where: To reach Sherrills Ford, take I-77 north to N.C. 150 or the new section of N.C. 16 to Denver. Take Sherrills Ford Road north from N.C. 150. Turn north between the Terrell Bait Shop and Terrell Country Store. At Sherrills Ford Elementary School, turn right on Island Point Road. The NorthView Harbour neighborhood is on the left. Northview Harbour Drive is the third entrance. Admission: Tickets are $25. Tickets are available, but you won’t be able to buy them at the door. More info: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-478-9177
Here’s a quick look at the waterfront homes that will be on the holiday tour:
Jane and Eric Sowder 9224 Fair Oak Drive. Jane Sowder is a master gardener, and the home is set amid a diverse array of native and specimen plants. The exterior of the lodge-style house is shingle with fieldstone accents. Highlights inside include exposed framing of peeled pine logs, a stacked stone fireplace and wide plank flooring. The interior is furnished with antiques and vintage collectibles. There are two gourmet kitchens: One indoors, of course, and another outdoors to make the most of lakeside entertaining.
Cindi and Bill Lush 8803 Ashby Pointe Court. Tour organizers call this an eclectic cottage. The exterior is light mossy green of clapboard and shingle. Inside it’s a friendly blend of light colors and comfortable fabrics, highlighted by an extensive collection of art and whimsical treasures. The broad front porch – topped by a metal roof – invites visitors into the open floor plan, which features a gourmet eat-in kitchen.
Betty and Bill Fox 9210 Fair Oak Drive. This European style home features Tuscan touches, including Italian marble, vibrant color and warm wood. The exterior is stucco, with exposed beams and accents of stone and brick. Entering the foyer, visitors will be greeted by a 5-foot-high niche bearing the Fox family crest. There’s a large wine cellar, a home theater with copper ceiling and fabric-covered walls, and a second kitchen on the enclosed porch.
Connie and Bob Pratt 2220 Longcove Court. The driveway of this traditional brick home is lined with Tennessee crab orchard limestone. There are keystones above the windows of the house, and brick quoins at the corners. Two imposing square columns flank the double front doors. Inside, soft neutral colors, floral wallpaper and wide moldings add to the traditional appeal. Furniture is plush, and sits on large area rugs on hardwood floors. A coffered ceiling with dark stained beadboard highlights the family room.
Holiday decorating tips Home tours are always a great place for inspiration to get into the mood for holiday decorating. If you need a few more tips, here’s some advice from some top local florists and interior designers, shared over the years: Don’t hide those family treasures that you enjoy the rest of the year – enhance them for the holidays. Bring out your favorite china and silver. Work collectibles into your mantel or tabletop setting – or hang them on the tree. What better time to enjoy something you love? Think beyond red and green. There are umpteen other festive color combinations: coral and cobalt blue, silver and white. If you have a favorite color, work some version of it into your holiday decor. Green is nature’s neutral. Bright colors work well against a backdrop of evergreen boughs. But the greenery doesn’t have to be the standard pine or cedar. Rosemary, for instance, adds a similar look – and fills the house with its special fragrance. As an alternative to the ubiquitous poinsettia, consider florals that you can enjoy into the new year: begonias, calla lilies, white hydrangea, even orchids. Metallics always add sparkle. Should you choose gold or silver? Look around for clues: What color are most picture frames and drawer pulls? Don’t throw out all the rules. Choose decorations that complement your existing decor. For ribbons, try an intense, vivid version of the existing wall color. Use informal treasures such as the kids’ handiwork in the family room, and more formal items in the dining room. Mix things up. Don’t just open the storage box, grab a bangle and place it exactly where it was last year. Approach holiday decorating as if you were hanging a wall of pictures. Spread things out on the floor, and see what new arrangement works best. –A.N.