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Hidden farmhouse on Mulberry

May 16, 2023

The Ware family painted the house white to brighten up the space.

Lora Ware refinished the dining room table and china cabinet.

Lora Ware said this swing is one of her favorite elements of the home.

A newly renovated farmhouse-style home tucked away up a private driveway off Mulberry Road will be open to the public for the first time on the Historic Garden Week tour this April.

Lora and Mark Ware and their three sons, Ethan, 22, Luke, 17, and Dylan, 14, moved into the home at 917 Mulberry Road three years ago and since then have transformed the house and surrounding property to their liking.

"When we found this house we were obsessed," Ware said. "We’ve enjoyed it here."

The Ware family used to live in Bassett. Mark Ware owns Ware Plumbing LLC, and Lora Ware owns Chic Nail Spa.

The Ware house is at 917 Mulberry Rd. and used to be owned by George and Pat Wallace.

They kept elements of the original house, which was owned by George and Pat Wallace, including the wooden floors, windows, doors and hardware on both. However, they removed more than 200 trees that had come up to the home to make a yard.

All of the wooden walls in the house are made of Douglas fir.

Renovations began in the kitchen, which they completely "gutted it to the studs" and started from scratch. "Everything in here's new," Lora Ware said. They finished the work by themselves with the exception of the wallpaper in the kitchen, which was hung by Patti Wyatt.

Almost all of the work done to the house was completed by Lora Ware and her husband Mark Ware.

The wallpaper is from Thibaut and spans two of the walls in the kitchen, one of which has a seating nook, storage and a large sink, and the other a coffee bar and more storage.

Ware chose Shaker-style cabinets, which are characterized by flat, recessed center panels with square edges and straight lines. The cabinets are painted a light gray-green; some of them have glass panels to showcase their contents.

In contract to the cabinets, the island is white, and it has a sink. All countertops are of black granite and the backsplash is white tile arranged into patterns.

Ware has her antique silver collection is displayed on the countertop. The floor is ceramic but mimics marble with its color patterns and glossy finish.

The kitchen has a door to a deck outside. Ware has decorated it with dark colored wicker seats with light colored cushions, an outdoor heater and plenty of storage. The couple plan to replace the screens, she said.

The outside deck connects to both the kitchen and a sitting room through two separate doors.

A second door on the deck leads back into the house to a sitting room. Ware painted the walls, which are made up mostly of shelving, a dark matte blue and painted one contrast wall white. She has a mixture of different art pieces arranged around the room along with books and other decorative items.

The Wares removed shelving from the bookcases on the walls to make space for a television and additional decorative items.

They removed some shelving where the walls used to be all bookcases to make room for a television and the rest of the decorations.

A light brown leather couch spans the whole length of one of the walls and half of the other and additional seating with two arm chairs is available as well. A circular coffee table sits in the middle of all the room.

The doors to the room are original to the house and open accordion style. The only thing left to do in this room is paint the doors. Out these doors is a hallway with white wood walls and to the left is a stair case to the rooms upstairs.

The wooden walls of the house are all made from Douglas fir wood.

Just past the stairs is a bathroom with a honeycomb-patterned white tile, a blue vanity that Ware refinished, a rug that ties in the blue vanity, wooden walls painted white and a mirror with beveled edges.

Many elements of the house, like the bathroom vanity, have been modified or refinished by Lora Ware.

Walking straight from the sitting room leads to a different hallway, which will go past the kitchen again followed by the formal dining room. The dining room is through the next doorway and features a sprawling dining room table with eight seats and a china cabinet. Ware refinished both items.

After walking past the front door, which still has the original hardware on it, at the end of the hallway is the living room.

The living room features exposed wooden beam accents on at the ceiling that are original to the house, which Ware cleans by standing on a ladder. The furniture—mostly in browns, whites and grays—either comes from Uttermost Company out of Rocky Mount or Bassett Furniture. Some Hooker furniture pieces are scattered in as well.

The wooden beams in the living room are original to the house, and the furniture is from Uttermost Company of Rocky Mount, Bassett Furniture and Hooker Furniture.

Two large square mirrors with detailing that mimics window casing span the left wall of the living room. The lamps are from Bassett Mirror Company. There is a gas fire place on the right wall that Ware painted white.

The porch out front used to be just an L-shape but is now expanded to hold a lounge swing, two rocking chairs and a table and an extended walkway to the driveway. The swing, chairs and table, along with T-shaped accents on the front of the house, were made from the wood of the trees that were cut down around the house.

Elements on the outside of the house, like the rocking chairs, tables and swing, are made from trees that were cut down around the house.

The master bedroom will be on the tour but still needs some finishing touches with painting, added light fixtures and light detailing like bedding and pillows, Ware said.

The Historic Garden Week Tour will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 19 with homes at 1114 Sam Lions Trail, 200 Westover Lane and 1001 Cherokee Trail on display.

Monique Holland is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 276-734-9603.

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