News Coverage of Rooms to View home
'Project Runway' finalist renovates Bethlehem's Laros estate
See Laura Shelton's new home, built by her late husband's family, on Rooms to View Tour
"Project Runway" Season 3 finalist, world-class archer, architect and mother of six are a few of the accomplishments of Laura Shelton.
Now, Shelton can add home decorator and participant in Saturday's Historic Bethlehem Rooms to View house tour to that list.
A year ago, Shelton moved into the 14,000 square-foot Laros estate at 2512 Center St.. The home was built during the Great Depression from 1928 to 1932 by R.K. Laros, the owner of the Laros textile factory in Bethlehem, and the grandfather of Shelton's late-husband, Peter.
"[R.K. Laros] took cash out of the banks and kept all of his employees at the silk factory employed — he didn't let anyone go during the Depression. By the time it was all over, he was broke and had to start all over," Shelton says. "He was determined to do everything he could for the people that worked for him. He was a really well-liked man."
The home remained in the family until Peter's grandmother, Helen, passed away in the 1960s. It was sold twice before Shelton purchased it from Richard Groman two years ago and drastically changed the look.
"[The previous owners] really liked color. They had a much more vibrant palette and the former owner was a collector and had Victorian furniture," Shelton says. Now, she says "Everything is white and light or pale gray and a really light palette on the walls and minimal furniture."
The home blends the Laros family history with Shelton's unique style.
It has a minimalist feel, with crisp, white walls, accented by pops of color and pop art.
The white kitchen has a Warhol-esque feel, with Campbell's soup cans and Brillo boxes decorating the upper shelves of the glass-paned cabinets, and a print of Warhol's Green Pea Campbell's soup painting hanging in the corner.
Mark Rothko-esque paintings, created by her children using paint rollers, hang in the black and white tiled foyer.
Shelton's study, off of the foyer on the first floor, is a complete contrast to the rest of the house. The room has a darker, more rustic appearance, with taxidermy lined in front of the window, including two ducklings, a fox, an owl, and more, and shelves that are cluttered with everything from books expressing Shelton's various interests from guns to fashion, photographs and artwork.
Furniture is basic, some purchased from IKEA.
"It's just not time for me to own a lot of valuable furnishings — with the kids and the dogs, I would be worried all of the time," Shelton says. "We use the whole house, which is great and is what this house needs."
The home still maintains its rich history.
A portrait of Peggy Laros, the mother of her late husband, who grew up in the home, hangs in the living room. A portrait of R.K. Laros hangs in her study. Family heirlooms remain, such as the 17th century French armoire in the living room.
"This house is very traditional. If you furnish it with a lot of traditional furniture, it gets heavy really fast so I try to keep it light and airy and modern and easy because I have five boys," Shelton says. "So the minimal furniture is also to make it easy to clean because it's a big house and a lot to take care of."
While Shelton has personalized the estate, she has changed very little of the home's structure.
She left alone the bathrooms and kept the original wallpapering on the third floor. Built-in cabinets in many of the small rooms, a grand foyer entryway and a butler's pantry are just some of the charming original details.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/tv/mc-rooms-to-view-laura-shelton-20140606,0,2212178.story#ixzz349qrvUWf
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