The UPHA December Home of the Month is Edmonson House at 2508 Stafford Avenue
Sue and Root Edmondson’s home on Stafford Avenue is decorated for Christmas 2013. Because they have lived there for thirty-eight years, their holiday decorations have gradually evolved, so that this year the décor has reached perfection. In the late 1970s, recalls Sue, the other residents of Stafford Avenue put up modest traditional decorations, usually just a wreath on the front door, sometimes enhanced with white electric candles in the windows. Sue laughs when she recalls her own revolutionary décor. She was the first homeowner on the block to drape lights on her shrubbery—colored lights at that! Not until she switched to white shrubbery lights did she receive any compliments from her neighbors. Colored lights were simply not “traditional.” About ten years ago, when they added a big front porch, their decorations became more elaborate. Now white lights outline the porch railings and the central porch entrance, accented by a red bow. The porch, furnished like an outdoor living room, has many chairs decorated with “Holiday” pillows and textiles. Crystal angels sit on the living room window sills. Because Sue’s birthday is December 26, Christmas is an even bigger holiday for her than for most of us. As a child, her grandmother and mother made a Christmas tree cake for her birthday by baking four or five layers tapering from large to small, decorated with white icing and red hots.
The Edmondsons have been involved in University Park for many years. Root, an attorney, wrote the first set of bylaws for the University Park Homeowners Association. Sue tended the rose garden for six years in the 1980s. Their children Ashley and Justin, now grown, often played in the Rose Garden as children. As the children grew, so did the house, a small one built in the late 1940s. The Edmonsons added a large rear addition, and placed the kitchen in the center of the house, illuminated by skylights, because it was the space where everyone always gathered. Since 2011 Sue has been one of the artists in the Roundabout Art Collective at 305 Oberlin Road. Her painting of an old garden trowel won first prize in a show at the Visual Art Exchange in downtown Raleigh this year. We salute the Edmonson family and their beautiful Christmas décor for their longtime contribution to the character and vitality of University Park.