At home with interior designer Lucy Matthews Patton | Winston Salem Monthly

by koi archer

When the Junior League Winston-Salem relaunched its annual Tour of the Beautiful Spaces last year after the 2020 COVID cancellation, they welcomed back tour fans — albeit in virtual form — with the luxury home of interior designer Lucy Matthews Patton.

An ideal ‘come back’ stay for Junior League fans and virtual tour attendees, the Patton Residence on Country Club Road checks out several notable chests and serves as one of the city’s rich architectural heritage. Described as a “curated classic” on the video, Patton’s narration begins:

“Hello and welcome to our home. Let me tell you a little bit about the history of this house. Built 1936…… The architect was William Roy Wallace. Join the Charles Barton Kane Company of Reynolda’s house of fame.”

Even the Flemish brickwork of the Georgian-style exterior of Patton House gets a shout-out—each colonial-style brick is handcrafted by pioneer brick maker George Henry Black who is said to have laid the foundation for the city we know today.

People also read…

When the camera moves from room to room, it focuses on a set of charts on the dining room table. Patton notes that the original plans indicated that the house was built for Frank Dalton Esquire “near” Winston-Salem.

“We were abroad at the time,” she says.

When Lucy and her husband, Chuck, bought the house in 1996, the 60-year-old had a few major updates and renovations.

The kitchen was destroyed, and the butler’s pantry was wiped out in favor of more spacious dining in the kitchen. With two energetic, growing boys – Charles and Baker – a laundry room was set up at the back of the house in a modest protrusion from the kitchen.

The original maid’s quarters and garage at the back of the house were converted into a guest suite, easily accessible from the kitchen via a now closed corridor.

The less-than-modest former bathroom used by the aid was expanded by incorporating an adjacent space identified in the original plans as “Lawn Closet”.

Today, Baton’s beautifully appointed Buena Vista manse is no longer “in the country” and exists both physically and figuratively in the heart of the city. However, the talented Patton admits that despite the location of her home, most of her work takes place outside of Winston-Salem.

Shortly after Patton received her degree in Interior Design from Florida State University, she was immediately hired by Drexel Heritage at Morganton. There the young designer cut her teeth by organizing galleries and galleries before concentrating on furniture design—a talent that she transferred to the Biltmore House, where she worked on a number of the home’s historic collections, designing dozens of pieces of furniture.

With a resume and reputation like that, Patton has become a hot commodity in her field.

When Patton starts working with a new client, she usually asks them three words that best describe what they want their home to be.

Outside on Figure Eight Island, her clients demanded “organic, unexpected, and liberating” when it came to their new contemporary beach house (Southern Home, July/August 2021). The results were amazing.

Patton was local restaurant designer Lynette Matthews Murphy when owner of Springhouse Kitchen and Quanto Basta decided to open a second Italian restaurant in Wilmington.

Famous for blending old with present – past with present – Patton has transformed one of Wilmington’s historical hidden gems into an airy, open mix of formal dining, a charming courtyard and an intimate private grotto adorned with clamshell chandeliers. Quanto Pasta, Wilmington has become an instant favorite with locals.

Back in Winston Salem, my favorite example of Patton’s talent for giving each space its own character is in the dining room where she upholstered the walls in velvet blue, a degree of luxury that must be touched. Where else does one feel obligated to caress a wall?

As Lucy Matthews bid farewell Patton at the front door, a Madame de Pompadour quote emblazoned over a hallway sums up this talented designer’s motto: “Every day, I wish to make the world more beautiful than I found it.”

In fact, I’ve done that and more.

%d bloggers like this: