A Good Fit for the Goodmans

A Pinehurst family grows into well-planned home

By Deborah Salomon     Photographs by John Gessner

On the border dividing Generation Xers from millennials sits a beautiful house occupied by a matching family: young(ish), sociable, fit, bright, busy.  The house is stylish yet comfy, practical and pretty — an heirloom-free zone in Pinehurst, better known for senior(ish) CEOs, globetrotters and generals, now attracting this new demographic that enjoys walking or jogging to the village after shooting hoops in the driveway.

Meet the Goodmans: Laura, from New England-prim Wellesley, Massachusetts; Kenny, whose roots extend deep into Tar Heel textile and furniture industries; Cate, 15, an avid participant in Odyssey of the Mind; and sports enthusiast Matthew, 12.

Golden retriever Ruby, and Ollie, a sweet Corgi-blend rescue, complete the portrait.

Kenny (N.C. State) and Laura (Vanderbilt) met in Raleigh. They decided on Pinehurst when Kenny returned to the family business, located in Ellerbe. Laura found the public schools fine and the village friendly: “Here, you walk into a store and everybody says hello, knows your name. That wouldn’t happen in Wellesley.”

They built an 1,800-square-foot house with white vinyl siding, green shutters and a front porch overlooking Pinehurst No. 6, where they were bombarded with stray golf balls. This didn’t work with a new baby. Time to build a forever house, designed to their specifications by Pinehurst architects Stagaard & Chao, known for parabolas and arches, niches, vaulted ceilings and the Fair Barn renovation.

But, Laura maintains, with off-white shingles, and paneled front door flanked by benches, the look combines New England with Old Town cottages commissioned by the Bostonian Tufts family.  Yet those very cottages, many enlarged and restored beyond their original glory, were oblong or square. The Goodmans chose an L-wing, which creates a front courtyard, giving the house on a corner lot facing a well-traveled street more of a manor appearance. Multiple high roof pitches impart the illusion of a second story when there is none, except for an attic playroom.

* * * * * *

Whatever generational banner they hoist, the Goodmans were forward-thinkers when laying this footprint during the great Great Room Era. “I wanted three separate living spaces,” Laura says, “so when the kids want to watch TV we can close the door.” True prescience, considering the house was built in 2002, when Cate was a toddler and Matthew not yet born. Ditto placing the children’s quarters in the L-wing (with its own entrance), the master suite at the opposite end.

The smiling Goodmans welcome friends through a wide front door, into a wider foyer, then straight into the living room overlooking terrace and garden, where father and son throw a baseball. Even the living room is divided by furniture placement into two conversation areas. Architectural niches show off a pair of small antique chests, while the peaked ceiling is softly illuminated by rope lighting tucked into a cornice molding.

Opposite the living room, sunlight streams through bare windows in the dining area, where a wall indentation frames a tall red-lacquered Chinese armoire topped with oversized black ginger jars. Unobstructed access between the two rooms allows setting up long tables for holiday gatherings

Many furnishings came from a family-owned business that closed, other pieces from Pinehurst village boutiques. A velvet slipper chair in the master bedroom originated with Laura’s grandparents. Laura cannot find a word that encompasses their decor style, from a massive drum coffee table to Asian bamboo, sleigh beds and carved French provincial settees, only that the pieces relate beautifully.

“We like clean lines, no clutter,” Kenny adds.

* * * * * *

A guest bedroom in the master suite wing — now Kenny’s home office — highlights a recent palette reversal. Its unusual teal walls set off the white sleep sofa (just in case), a set of Chinese prints illustrating silk-making, bamboo blinds, a retro leather club chair, and a framed newspaper story about his grandfather, who served as Richmond County sheriff for 44 years.

“We never used this room; now we use it every day,” Kenny says.

In a daring move, they painted the wall of wood cabinetry in the master bathroom, also the dark kitchen cabinets, an unusual and soothing dove gray, adding a granite countertop pattern that swirls rather than spatters. Kitchen layout and size is a paradigm of restraint. The island expands counter space, nothing else. “I’m an electric girl,” Laura says, explaining her choice of a smooth cooktop and built-in ovens instead of an industrial gas range. She has a coffee nook and wine rack but no pastry area, refrigerated drawers or wine cellar. The chrome yellow Dualit toaster — a British award-winner used by fine restaurants — stands, statuesque, against the white ceramic tile backsplash.

On one side of the kitchen is a “sitting room” similar to one Laura remembers from an aunt’s house. Upholstery fabric there and elsewhere comes from Goodman textile manufacturing. On the other side of the kitchen, a charming corner breakfast nook with upholstered banquettes and beyond that, the TV room. With door. Family dinner is obligatory, with no electronic distractions. Off to one side, a screened gazebo awaits fine-weather dining.

Whimsy trumps classic in the guest powder room, wallpapered in ragged blue spots on white, straight off a Dalmatian.

In the teens’ wing, a long wall of built-in bookshelves serves Cate’s passion for reading. Matthew likes his room, “because I have a basketball hoop on the wall.” Cate selected colors for her sitting-bedroom, a bright turquoise that compliments her long red hair.

By sizing rooms moderately, the 4,000-square-foot total does not overwhelm, as it might if allocated to a cavernous great room or huge master suite.

“I just like how inviting and warm and light and well-laid-out my house is,” says Cate.  Indeed, gleaming hardwood floors, Persian runners and area rugs, interesting architectural details, fresh colors, a convenient location with other millennials nearby,  backdrops the lifestyle and leisure of a new Pinehurst demographic exemplified by the Goodmans, for whom life certainly seems good.  PS

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