Brown Home will be colorfully decorated for tour

Published 10:03 am Friday, December 2, 2016

by Mary Woodruff

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, Virginia, is delighted to add the Dunlow’s beautiful home in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, to its 15th Christmas Home Tour. Stephanie Dunlow loves Christmas and it will be evident in the decorations from the moment you approach the home.

The Brown Home is owned by Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow. He owns his own contracting business in Roanoke Rapids. She is a former Emporia resident graduating from Greensville High School and is a nurse practitioner at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center. They have two children Hayley, 19, and Holden, 13.

The Brown home was built in 1920 and was completed in 1922. Among the residents of this home were Sen. Julian Allsbrook and his wife, Frances Brown-Allsbrook, and later their daughter, Mary Frances Allsbrook-Fisher.

The home was then sold and fell into disarray until it was purchased by the current owners in 2010. They have since been renovating it room by room to reveal its splendor.

This home is a beautiful two-story house with the original sunroom on the left and a large enclosed porch on the right. The front of the home has a covered front porch expanding across the center with a sun terrace on the roof. The lawn expands over one acre with many mature trees shading the property making for a park like setting.

Upon walking through the original solid front door surrounded by evergreen swags, and which hangs a huge Christmas wreath, is a spacious foyer with oak floors. The foyer consists of a large banister staircase, which is wrapped in evergreen garland all the way to the second floor during the Christmas season, and opens up into the family den on the second floor.

To the left of the foyer is the formal dining room with white woodwork throughout and a large white mantle surrounding a huge wood-burning fireplace, which beautifully offsets the black walls. There are three large front windows which allows for the sunlight to stream in making for a very bright room.  The mantle is covered in garland come Christmas with a color theme of green, white and silver.

On each side of the fireplace are two French doors with the original glass window panes and crystal knobs, which lead out into a tiled sunroom. This home was the first in this area to lay this type of tiling and it remains intact to this day. The windows surrounding the sunroom are all original with the original hardware with the crank knobs to open and close the windows.

To the right of the foyer is the family room. This room also features a huge fireplace and is decorated with a candy cane theme in mind, and is one of the owner’s favorite rooms to decorate. It is a very spacious room expanding from the front of the home to the back of the home with the furniture placed to make for a cozy setting. Leading off the family room is the side porch which at one time was an open porch with pillars, but has since been enclosed by a previous owner.

Slightly to the right of the foyer and toward the back of the home is a temporary kitchen, which was installed in what was a den and will be converted back into the den once the renovation of the kitchen is completed.  At the time the home was purchased the original kitchen was in very rough shape with broken water pipes, which had ruined the foundation and walls which has resulted in massive construction that is still underway. The kitchen/den features the original hardwood floor and a large fireplace, which is garnished in garland and snowmen for the holidays.

This is the owners’ favorite time of year and the decorations will indicate their excitement; a must-see home.

The tour will be today, Dec. 2, from 4:30 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two-year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family.

The tour will also include the homes of David and Rosemarie Bland, Mike and Dawn Veliky, Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Drewryville) and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt, and also the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia.