When Carmen Quartararo decided to move from California to western Pennsylvania in 2020, she ended up buying a home in Ligonier without anyone seeing it.
“The house was built in the 1950s by a local family for their two unmarried sisters,” Quartararo said. “They were seamstresses. They lived very modestly on the top two floors and had their shop on the ground floor.”
Nothing had been done to the house since it was built, so it needed more than a little maintenance – it needed a major makeover.
She moved in and went to work.
The results will feature as one of five stations on the 16th edition “Inside Ligonier: A Journey Home”, hosted on June 25 by the Ligonier Valley Historical Society and the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.
“Not a single room was left untouched,” said Quartararo, who lived in the home during the renovations. “I had crews working all around me. Now I know what I did to my clients.”
The only thing Quartararo kept was a custom wrought iron stair railing with a mid-century modern vibe. The surprisingly stylish feature influenced her design choices in the surrounding areas, she said.
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune Review
Homeowner Carmen Quartararo retained the original wrought iron banisters during the renovation of her home in Ligonier, which will be a stop on June 25th on Inside Ligonier: A Home Tour.
“I wanted to play into the architectural integrity of the house and Ligonier itself with some of the historical references,” Quartararo said. “My choices were informed by an eclectic mix of my world travels, the places I’ve lived and my life experiences.”
The end result is a 1,300-square-foot space (about a tenth the size of her California digs) that reflects the designer’s talent for combining color, pattern, and different styles of furniture and decorative items—along with her art and book collection amassed during world trips and numerous Chinese ceramics and other items collected by her late mother.
“Color lives in this house,” said Julie Donovan, a member of the tour committee.
Quartararo also created a series of outdoor spaces at the back of the property where she can relax, entertain or pursue her interest in the vegetable and flower garden. A raised back porch holds a large, enclosed “catio” where her five cats and dog can also get some fresh air.
Shirley McMarlin | Tribune review
General contractor and interior designer Carmen Quartararo’s home above her Ligonier store, The Pink Pagoda, will be featured on June 25 in the Inside Ligonier: A Home Tour, hosted by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor and the Ligonier Valley Historical Society.
Eclectic and inspirational
“Eclectic” is a good word to describe the homes featured on the tour, which were chosen to showcase a variety of design styles, Donovan said.
“That’s what’s special about this tour,” she said. “It is inspiring for the participants. They can’t necessarily replicate what they see, but there are takeaways.”
Participants will also gain insight into these characteristics:
• Minutes from The Diamond, a newly constructed craftsman style home full of old world charm. The owners enjoy entertaining, which is evident in their attention to detail to ensure the comfort of family and friends.
• A terraced home with easy access to area amenities, with a spacious interior, abundant natural sunlight, exquisite furnishings and stunning views of the Ligonier Valley.
• With horses grazing nearby, a Cape Cod style hunting cottage reflecting the owners’ equine and sporting interests. A tranquil garden and skeet shooting range reflect the other interests of the homeowners.
• A secluded wood and stone home just minutes from Ligonier at the foot of Laurel Mountain, with a huge front porch and spectacular windows that overlook the wooded surroundings and native wildlife. A man cave enhances this mountain getaway for owners and visitors alike.
Tour times are from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Participants must check in under the Janney Montgomery Scott portico at 121 East Main St., Ligonier between 10:00am and 12:30pm to pick up the tour booklet with locations and descriptions and shoe covers to wear inside the houses.
As private residences, the presented residences do not have to meet any accessibility requirements. Some require going up and down levels. Photography, pets or children are not allowed on the tour.
A self-drive tour ticket costs $45. A limited number of tickets are available at check-in on the day of the tour.
Tickets are available from the Ligonier Valley Historical Society at 724-238-6818, Lincoln Highway Experience at 724-879-4241, or online at ligonierhometour.org.