The Dalton-Bell-Cameron house, built in 1914, was one of the most unique homes in High Point, North Carolina. Built in the Craftsman style, the house was quite different from its more traditional Victorian and Colonial neighbors. But the pioneering structure was stricken by two major fires—one in 1997 and the other in 2012—and by 2017 it was in such a forlorn state that the city ordered it be to be either repaired or demolished.
At that point, the High Point Preservation Society stepped in to save it, just prior to it being sold to Rick Lewis and his wife Margaret Bell Lewis, who had once lived there as a child. Following the purchase, the Society and the Junior League of High Point moved quickly to help with the goal of restoring the home. To assist the new owners with some of the restoration costs, they decided to raise funds by creating a showhouse in the historic home, enlisting a diverse group of 21 extraordinary designers to bring the interiors back to life.
Inside the Showhouse with Leslie Moore
aspire design and home: How much time did you have to complete this room, start to finish?
Leslie Moore: I only had three months time because another design group dropped out late in the game.
aspire: What was your biggest challenge? Did you have a eureka moment during the process?
Leslie: I felt that because I had so little time, I couldn’t perseverate over decisions. The room itself offered little in the way of challenges (like so many other showcase houses can). My biggest challenge was being able to get the furnishings in time, but my vendors really came through for me. Those vendor relationships mean EVERYTHING when it comes to these types of projects. The other, bigger issue was how delayed it was for the entire house to be finished (from the aspect of the contractor), but it got done as they always do.
aspire: What did you and your team accomplish that you thought would not happen in time?
Leslie: Window treatments, but, again, my local workroom came through for us!
Seeking Inspiration and Finding Cohesiveness
aspire: What was your inspiration for this room?
Leslie: A needed respite for the family – to either escape individually or enjoy together and have it be a “NO technology zone.” In light of 2020, we all need this type of refuge space in our home settings.
aspire: Did you step out of your comfort zone for this project, and if so, why?
Leslie: I will say I pushed a little more “modern edge” feel in the space, which is how I have been leaning the last few years, but really got to put it on full display here.
aspire: Despite the fact that there were so many designers involved, there is an inherent cohesiveness to the home. Did you all converse/collaborate? Or was this a completely individual process?
Leslie: There was no collaboration with the other designers, but I felt like the cohesiveness came from the fact that—while yes we all have very different design points of view—we are all being influenced by similar factors happening in the design world and in society. And the elements of our design concepts reflect that knowledge.
aspire: Is your preference for a showhouse a small space or a large space? Does one or the other provide a better opportunity to stretch your creativity?
Leslie: I prefer a large space because it gives me more of an opportunity to work with my preferred manufacturers and showcase their products.
aspire: Describe the town of Turlock in one sentence.
Leslie: A kind and giving community that greatly values the relationship with the Furnishings & Design Industry that it hosts each Market.
“This or That?” with Leslie Moore
A Note from Leslie: Any of these answers, I could have answered BOTH!!!
aspire: Paint or wallpaper?
aspire: Hardwood or rug?
aspire: Beach or Mountains?
aspire: Saturated color or black and white?
Leslie: Black & White.
aspire: Brunch or Dinner?
aspire: Mid-Century or 18th Century?
aspire: Draperies, shades, or nothing?
aspire: 2001: A Space Odyssey or The English Patient?
Leslie: English Patient
aspire: Week at the spa or week of Broadway shows?
Leslie: Week at the spa.
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Photography by Dustin Peck.
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