Ligonier home tour gives look inside 5 eclectic area properties

When Carmen Quartararo decided to relocate from California to Western Pennsylvania in 2020, she ended up buying a house in Ligonier, sight unseen.

“The house was built in the 1950s by a local family for their two spinster sisters,” Quartararo said. “They were seamstresses. They lived very modestly on the top two floors and had their shop downstairs. ”

Nothing had been done to the house since it was built, so it needed more than just a little TLC – it needed a major renovation.

Luckily, Quartararo is a licensed contractor and interior designer and founder of BPL Design Group, a full-service firm specializing in residential home remodeling.

She moved in and went to work.

The results will be on display as one of five stops on the 16th annual “Inside Ligonier: A Home Tour,” hosted June 25 by the Ligonier Valley Historical Society and Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.

“There wasn’t one room untouched,” said Quartararo, who lived in the home during the renovations. “I had crews working all around me. Now I know what I put my clients through. ”

The only thing Quartararo kept was a custom-made, wrought-iron staircase railing with a mid-century modern vibe. The surprisingly stylish feature informed her design choices in the surrounding areas, she said.

Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review

Homeowner Carmen Quartararo kept the original wrought-iron stair railing when renovating her Ligonier home, which will be a stop on the June 25 “Inside Ligonier: A Home Tour.”

“I wanted to play into the architectural integrity of the home and into Ligonier itself with some of the historical references,” Quartararo said. “My choices were driven 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 one-10th of the size of her California digs) that reflects the designer’s talent for combining colors, patterns and various styles of furniture and decorative items – along with her art and book collections amassed during world travels and numerous Chinese ceramics and other items collected by her late mother.

“This house is where color lives,” said tour committee member Julie Donovan.

Quartararo also created a series of outdoor spaces to the rear of the property where she can relax, entertain or indulge her interest in both vegetable and flower gardening. A raised back porch holds a large, enclosed “catio” where her five felines and dogs can also get a bit of fresh air.

In the former ground-floor tailor shop, Quartararo operates the Pink Pagoda, a boutique with its own eclectic, colorful mix of clothing, giftwares, trinkets and home and garden items.


Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review

The home of general contractor and interior designer Carmen Quartararo, above her Ligonier shop, The Pink Pagoda, will be featured in the June 25 “Inside Ligonier: A Home Tour,” hosted by Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor and Ligonier Valley Historical Society.

Eclectic and inspirational

“Eclectic” is a good word to describe the tour’s featured homes, which are chosen to showcase a variety of design styles, Donovan said.

“That’s what’s so special about this tour,” she said. “It’s inspirational for the attendees. They can’t necessarily replicate what they see, but there are takeaways. ”

Attendees will also get a look inside these properties:

Located minutes from the Diamond, a newly built, craftsman-style home filled with old-world charm. The owners enjoy entertaining, as evidenced in their attention to detail to ensure the comfort of family and friends.

A patio home with easy access to the borough’s amenities, boasting a spacious interior, abundant natural sunlight, exquisite furnishings and sweeping views of the Ligonier Valley.

With horses grazing nearby, a Cape Cod-style, hunt-country home that reflects the owners’ equine and sporting interests. A quiet garden and skeet-shooting range reflect the homeowners’ other interests.

A secluded wood-and-stone home minutes from Ligonier at the base of Laurel Mountain, with a huge porch and spectacular windows offering views of the wooded setting and resident wildlife. A man cave enhances this mountain getaway for the owners and visitors alike.

Tour hours will be 10 am-4pm Participants must check in between 10am and 12:30 pm under Janney Montgomery Scott’s porch at 121 East Main St., Ligonier, to pick up the tour booklet with locations and descriptions and shoe covers to wear inside the homes.

As private residences, the featured homes are not required to meet accessibility requirements. Some require walking up and down steps. No photography, pets or children will be permitted on the tour.

A ticket for the self-driving, self-paced tour is $ 45. A limited number of tickets will be available at check-in on tour day.

Tickets are available from Ligonier Valley Historical Society at 724-238-6818, Lincoln Highway Experience at 724-879-4241 or online at

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, or via Twitter .

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