NEIGHBORS>> Idea House
By Sara Greene
Leader staff writer
Years ago at church, Rhonda House, of Uniquely Southern Homes Inc. of Cabot, asked a group of children if they had a prayer request. A little girl asked for prayers for one of her friends but told House she couldn’t tell the group her friend’s name. When House asked the little girl why not, the answer moved her.
“She said, ‘Because her daddy’s been sexually abusing her and her mommy does drugs so the Department of Human Services is going to take her to a safe house shelter and she doesn’t want anybody to know,’” House said.
Since then, House said she’s felt God calling her to work with Open Arms Shelter for abused and neglected children in Lonoke County. Opened in 1986, the shelter has provided safe housing to over 1,400 children. As House found out more about the organization, she realized the group had a need for more room. She organized efforts and materials that resulted in a building for the shelter to store clothing for the children in racks and closets. Previously, shelter workers dug through garbage bags full of wrinkled clothes to find appropriate sized clothes for the children at the shelter.
Last year, House became part of the fundraising committee for Open Arms and began planning the first-ever Cabot’s Avenue of Dreams Home Spectac-ular to be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9 and from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, July 10 to benefit Open Arms Shelter.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or at the Cabot Chamber of Commerce, Community Bank locations, First Security Bank locations, Dillard’s in McCain Mall and David Claiborne Ltd. in Sherwood. All proceeds from ticket sales goes to Open Arms Shelter for Children. Maps for the Avenue of Dreams are available at ticket locations and at www.cabotavenueofdreams.com. Information on all the participating businesses will be available during the event.
The 26 homes in the Avenue of Dreams are scattered throughout Cabot in The Park on Mountain Springs Road, West Oaks, North Magness Creek, The Berry Patch, Krooked Kreek, Silver Streak and Greystone. In Greystone, the homes are in neighborhoods such as Wellington Place, Valhalla, Cobble-stone, Water’s Edge and Georgetown. The homes on display range in size from 1,800 square feet to over 2,900.
“This gives people a chance to see the latest trends in building, and home decor and shows off some of Cabot’s neighborhoods,” said House.
Uniquely Southern Homes Inc. built The Idea House at 21 Cossatot Circle and another home at 20 Blanchard Drive.
The Idea House is 3,164 square feet, furnished by Dillard’s of McCain Mall, decorated by Nina Butler Interiors of Cabot and features state of the art amenities such as a Sharp drawer microwave and ODL Tubular Skylights.
“When I found out it was benefiting Open Arms Shelter, I was on board,” said Butler. Her décor color-scheme was inspired by the subtle hues in the stucco back splash in the kitchen.
“Nothing went inside this house without meeting Nina Butler’s approval,” House added.
House says her favorite room in The Idea House is the theater room.
The room boasts twin rows of leather reclining seats, a 130-inch projection screen and sound system from Sound Ideaz in Cabot as well as a mini-bar complete with refrigerator, microwave and sink. It also has a retro ticket booth equipped with a telephone.
“Not only is it fun, but if you get a phone call while watching a movie, you can step inside the booth and close the door for privacy,” House said.
Artwork from Cynthia Delahunt of CD Creative Studio in Cabot is displayed in the theater. The paintings depict scenes from classic movies such as Rhett Butler embracing Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” and Fred Astaire dancing with a lightpost in “Singing in the Rain.”
The outside of the home is landscaped and the porch features a phantom screen. A remote control lowers a screen wall around the porch to provide a bug-free environment for evening enjoyment.
House credits Butler and designer Katie Pierson, of KDS Interiors of Sherwood, for their support in the Cabot Avenue of Dreams Home Spectacular.
Pierson is the designer of Uniquely Southern’s second home on the tour, 20 Blanchard Drive, just around the corner from The Idea House.
She’s been involved in Arkansas Symphony Designer House, a benefit open house for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
“I worked on the Symphony House in Little Rock,” Pierson said.
“Each designer had to design a room and it has been a fun challenge to do an entire home for the Avenue of Dreams.”
Visitors who visit at least ten homes of the homes featured during the Avenue of Dreams will be eligible to win prizes during the estate sale. The grand prize is a $2,500 Hearth Falls fireplace, a combination gas fireplace and fountain.
The Sumner Design Group decorated the interior of builder Joe Cunningham’s showcase home located at 11 Cossatot Circle.
“The designers have furnished this incredible interior with gorgeous furniture pieces from around the world, one of a kind accessories, and custom floral arrangements,” said Heather McCarty, senior interior designer.
The Sumner Design Group will host a lecture series at 11 Cossatot Circle beginning Tuesday, July 5 with “Color Psychology: How To Make Your Interior Space Work for You,” by Tracy L. Sumner. “Understanding and Learning How to Implement the Principles and Elements of Design,” will be presented Thursday, July 6 by Heather McCarty followed by “Children, Pets and Indestructible Fabrics: How to Live in Your Luxury Home” by Lesley Haugha-boo on Friday, July 8.
The lectures are from 6 until 8 p.m. each night.
Tickets are $20 per night or $50 for all three nights. Seating is limited and food and drink are included.
Additionally, Sumner Design Group will throw an “End of the Show” party at the home at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9.
Party tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance by Friday, July 8. Food and drink is included in the ticket prices and a silent auction will be featured during this event.
For more information or tickets for the Sumner Design Group events please call (501) 690-3037 or (501) 351-1101.