Abode | February_March 2021

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Rad rugs from Holding Forth stir up a new vibe

A revamped gathering place in Belvedere

Potter’s cider house embraces its past

FEB / MARCH 2021

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A WW II-era home—and its modern-day kitchen redo

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Looking ahead 18


Though this Southern Living spec house had its challenges, Texas transplants Kelley and Steve Sobell fell in love with the site. They took the leap, and with the help of Green Mountain Construction, transformed their Bundoran property into their dream home—for now and later.

ABODE, a supplement to C-VILLE Weekly, is distributed in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the Shenandoah Valley. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Abode Editor Caite Hamilton. Copy Editor Susan Sorensen.

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The art of craft

The new Potter’s Craft Cider tasting room honors its layered past in Neve Hall.

Change your vibe 12

With Holding Forth, rug retailer Tracey Love aims to shake the jitters from rug shopping.

Just finished 13

Not without its controversy, luxury townhome complex C&O Row is finally complete.

For the ages 15

With its senior demographic in mind, The Center at Belvedere puts community first. FEATURE 26

Blending in

Combining World War II-era charm with major modern updates was the task of Karen Turner in this young family’s new (old) home. HOME SWEET HOME 30

Past is present A family of six adds to the story of their historic Greenwood estate.

Cover photo by Virginia Hamrick. Comments? E-mail us at editor@c-ville.com.


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The art of subtraction


Potter’s tasting room honors the past in southern Albemarle 9


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By Erika Howsare


he new tasting room and event space of Potter’s Craft Cider is not “new” at all; it’s a building layered with history and memory. When Jeannette Andamasaris, of Studio Figure, first began work on renovation for Potter’s, she actually encountered a moment from her own past. “I had been there before when it was a home,” she says. “A friend of mine rented a house on the property and took me on a tour through the main house.” She remembered an artistic, even eccentric atmosphere: a large koi pond, and Gaudiesque forms made of plaster inside the main house. These were marks of the decades when Jim Hagan, the sculptor who made the black silhouette figures installed on the Downtown Mall, had lived there with his family, making loads of art and nurturing a vibrant social scene. The 1920s stone building, known as Neve Hall, had previously served as a church, and the story of the property is connected with a number of notable figures of Albemarle history. “There was this palimpsest of paint and plaster, religions, and of course an artist and all of his works,” says Nick Brinen, co-founder of Studio Figure. “We were talking about it as if it was this living thing.” C-VILLE ABODE

Brinen calls this “empathy for the object”— almost as though the building were a kind of being. The team embarked on a slow process of careful dismantling, and observation of the building itself, as the basis of the design process. “What’s interesting about this project versus many of the others we do, where we’re trying to add in and build it up,” says Andamasaris, “on this one we were slowly peeling away the layers.” The granite building had a plaster interior in need of repair, but the idea of re-plastering the entire interior seemed heavy-handed given that the exposed stone, too, had an intrinsic beauty. Instead, the team began to think about allowing an imperfect, layered look to take shape organically. “We would walk around and stare, and put tape on weird rough edges we wanted to keep,” says Brinen, adding that architectural software, as powerful as it is, “could never catch these moments.” In form, the structure comprises two wings, which Potter’s owners Dan Potter and Tim Edmond wanted to use as a public tasting room and an event space. “Between the two wings was a bearing wall of granite, with some rough openings,” Brinen explains. Expanding those openings made for a functionality in which private events can be seen, but not intruded on, by members of the public who have dropped in for

a tasting. “When it is open to the public, people just flow through,” he says. The largest space—the “south hall”—had previously been divided into two stories. Removing the second floor revealed the two-story fireplace flue and inspired Andamasaris and Brinen to add timber trusses for structural support. “It was exposing something magnificent that was already there,” Andamasaris says. Bringing in light was a major goal. There was one existing skylight—inviting a dramatic sunbeam into the large space of the hall—and it inspired a whole series of skylights, one in every structural bay, based on the proportions of the original. The interior design developed organically too: It started with a vision on the part of Potter and Edmond of a French country vineyard. Through time and conversation, that idea evolved to an aesthetic based on Parisian cafés and natural materials. Completed in 2019, the project won Studio Figure an AIA Virginia Merit Award for Interior Design. Jurors seem to have sensed Andamasaris’ and Brinen’s thoughtful, patient approach. “Instead of tearing things down,” the award citation reads, “the designers showed a balanced restraint.” 11



The carpet queen

An online rug shop demystifies the buying process By Caite Hamilton


racey Love has always had an affinity for vintage rugs. But when she started collecting them to cover the wood floors in the Greenwood farmhouse she shares with her husband, Bridge Cox, and two kids—even after she’d run out of floor space—Cox suggested she take a different tack. “He said, ‘Babe, you are not allowed to bring another rug home until you sell some of these,’” 12

Love, by day the sales/marketing and events person for Blenheim Vineyards, says. So she did. She opened a booth at Greenwood Antiques & Uniques under the name Holding Forth, then gained a following on Instagram. Soon, she had a website, which is where she does the most business these days, though you can also find her in Richmond at 68 Home and through Flourish Spaces. We asked Love to tell us more about her rug obsession and her business.

Abode: Why rugs? Tracey Love: I love all handmade textiles, but rugs are special because they change the whole vibe of a room. It is also an art form and craft I will never attempt to create, and I appreciate the time, material, creativity, and patience each rug takes to make. Plus, nobody likes going “rug shopping”­—there are so many to choose from and it’s difficult to know what to look for. I started this business to help narrow the options by focusing on natural handwoven textiles made C-VILLE ABODE

BLUEPRINT mostly by women. My style is definitely more specific than most rug shops, but I only buy rugs I would keep in my own house.

Tell us a little more about the rugs in your collection. I only sell handwoven and hand-knotted rugs that are made mostly of wool, but are only woven with organic materials. Because of this, the size of the loom dictates the sizes of the rugs I bring in. Most are smaller than 8'x10' because they are handwoven, and also, because I store them in my house, I don’t want a big inventory of large rugs that take up a lot of space. Many of them are vegetable-dyed, and most are vintage or antique rugs that have been professionally cleaned.

It’s taken some time to create these relationships, but now I source most of them directly from weavers and exporters in Turkey and Morocco. Some are estate sale finds, online these days, which is not as fun. But I love recycling rugs and giving them new life.

How many do you have on offer at one time? How often do you restock? I post them to the site when I get them in, usually in lots depending on where they are coming from. I restock as needed, but usually have between 12 and 30 rugs on hand at any given time. I only buy rugs when I am inspired by them so it does ebb and flow throughout the year.


Where do you source them?

Homes in a row Homebuilder Evergreen Construction completes multi-phase C&O Row project By Shea Gibbs

You currently run the business out of your home, but do you have plans to open a brick-and-mortar Holding Forth? I often have a trunk full of rugs these days because I never know where I’m going to photograph them or when someone will ask to see one. It’s fun to roll up somewhere and have a trunk show of rugs when someone randomly asks about Holding Forth. I like the freedom to take the show on the road and with a full-time job and two kids, a brick-and-mortar doesn’t make sense for now.

Do you have a “bestseller”? Everyone wants an 8'x10' rug, which is the biggest challenge. Most large rugs are commercially woven and it is a desirable size for most rooms, so that is difficult for me. Stylistically, I find Moroccan Boujaad rugs to be the most unique and intriguing because they are all SO wild and different. They’re not for everyone, but those who follow them and appreciate them are hooked for life. I go through phases of styles and types of rugs I obsess over, but try to make sure they are practical for daily life and are unique for some reason. C-VILLE ABODE


he third and final construction phase for the swanky C&O Row townhomes is complete, bringing to an end a several-year housing project that was not without its controversy. “We are completely sold out, occupied, and moved in,” says Tom Ridley, vice president of sales for homebuilder Evergreen Construction. “We are done and closed out on C&O Row.” Some questioned the decision to put luxury housing next to a defunct downtown coal tower from the beginning. The site, abandoned since 1986, had been host to a double homicide and apparent suicide in the early 2000s. During home construction in October 2017, a worker fell to his death down a C&O Row elevator shaft. Still, developers believed demand would emerge and vowed to clean up the abandoned industrial portions of the site and create a private park alongside the high-end housing stock. Evergreen and co-builder Martin Horn launched C&O Row phase one in early 2017,

developing the first 12 of 23 planned units along East Water Street. The first phase featured detached, freestanding residences starting at just under $1 million. Phase two, which included another five detached townhomes, launched the next year. Evergreen began construction on phase three’s six houses—this time an attached group—last year. The sixth and final tenants moved into the residences in October 2020, Ridley said. The 3,000-plus-square-foot phase three luxury residences, featuring amenities like Sub-Zero refrigerators, Wolf ranges, elevators to rooftop terraces, and two-car garages, each fetch north of $1 million. Ridley describes the homes as open-concept, with tall ceilings, modern lines, and simple color palettes. Each buyer was able to customize the space to some degree, he says. “Our company concept is to be a semicustom and full-custom builder, so we started everyone with high-level finishes and allowed them to stick with those or have latitude to make changes,” Ridley says. “Some people made fairly extensive changes.” 13


Aging gracefully

The Center at Belvedere aims high for senior community service By Shea Gibbs




hen they set out to reimagine the Senior Center facility more than 10 years ago, the architects at local firm Bushman Dreyfus knew they could be part of something special. The Center had grown into a nationally acclaimed senior community organization under the leadership of executive director Peter Thompson. First accredited in 2002, it went on to win the 2008 Commonwealth Council on Aging Best Practices Award and the national 2009 NuStep Pinnacle of Excellence Award. But space limitations began to take their toll. So Thompson and his team of architects launched a feasibility study in 2009 to explore a new facility and put the Center at Belvedere—as it would be known in its new location—back on top. “Our vision was continuing our focus on holistic wellness and healthy aging programs,” Thompson says. “What we know is, by segregating people by age...it is not healthy for the individual or community. We need places for people to come together and create the magic of community.” Construction on the new center, situated between Pen Park and U.S. 29, began in late 2018 and was completed in early 2020. The result is an open-concept space in the demographically diverse Belvedere neighborhood anchored by a Greenberry’s coffee shop and medical clinic, and gleaming with modern materials and glass for maximum natural lighting. Thompson says the goal was to create a space welcoming to folks of all ages. “It’s more like a hotel lobby in the atrium,” he says. Still, Thompson recognizes some seniors don’t want to interact with others at all times, so the space is dotted with art studios and exercise rooms to create separation. “All the program areas have glass to the corridors and atrium—it’s about connecting people,” Thompson says. “You are never disconnected from the rest of the building. That is a critical, huge piece.” According to Tim Tessier, who along with Jeff Dreyfus, Kevin Cwalina, and Dhara Goradia led the project from an architectural perspective, at least two goals drove most design decisions. First

“We need places for people to come together and create the magic of community.” PETER T H O M P S O N

was wayfinding. The Center at Belvedere is laid out along two main wings running off the lobby. The idea is to make it easy for seniors to enter the building, find their way to classrooms and other amenities, and return to the entrance. Second was a blending of indoor and outdoor spaces—what Thompson describes as a campuslike effect.

“It started with this idea of a big, gracious, open space across two stories,” Tessier says. “It also opens to a pond on the back of the building... and encourages people to flow to the outdoors and enjoy those spaces.” Bushman Dreyfus leaned on Lifespan Design Studio of Ohio to assist on quality of life design elements, and selected a modern senior center in Utah as its inspiration for the new Center at Belvedere. “The building they were in before was not a modern building,” Tessier says. “They were willing to try something new. It was not this idea of grandma sitting in a parlor, or whatever antiquated views people might have.” 15

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A Bundoran home embraces the view By Erika Howsare | Photos by Virginia Hamrick


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The homeowners' first priority for their renovation was taking better advantage of the view. In the main living space, a slider door opens up the whole wall to the vista.


hen Kelley and Steve Sobell bought their house at Bundoran Farm in 2017, they took on a project that was somewhere between new construction and renovation. Situated south of town off Route 29, Bundoran, first developed by Qroe in 2006, is made up of high-end houses on large lots, most with big views of rolling farmland and mountains. The Sobells’ home is no exception, but it had a somewhat different history. Begun as a spec house based on Southern Living plans, the house had only been partially C-VILLE ABODE

constructed when the housing market crashed in 2008. For years, it sat unfinished. The Sobells, who’d first gotten to know the Charlottesville area during Steve’s college years, were living in eastern Texas when their oldest son entered UVA in 2015. Within a couple of years, they’d made the decision to relocate to Virginia, and had visited the Bundoran house, still an incomplete shell, while viewing properties. They loved the site, but were unsure about the house. “There were things about the house that didn’t fit our lifestyle,” says Kelley. Steve puts it

like this: “The shell of the house was 80 percent the way we would like it. There were some things where you had to have some vision.” Still, on a turbulent August day when Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on Houston, the Sobells decided to put in a bid. “The view is amazing,” says Kelley. Everything else, they figured, could be customized. Working with contractor Rob Johnson and his company, Green Mountain Construction, the Sobells embarked on a collaborative reimagining CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 3





of the unfinished plans. Priority one: Take better advantage of those views. Along the back of the house, for example, there were small windows and a standard door. “Now we have a huge slider in the back, which opens up the whole wall to the view,” says Kelley. The team, which also included Charlottesville builder Jeff Easter, improved flow through the house by reallocating some of the spaces from their original locations in the Southern Living

plans. “It was a very collaborative process,” says Johnson. “Kelley and Steve were heavily involved. They had a clear vision as to spaces they wanted, and Jeff helped to provide that overall concept.” Interior designer Wendi Smith and landscape architect Anne Pray were also part of the ongoing back-and-forth as the house took shape. The kitchen moved to an entirely new spot, and a pantry gained enough functionality to serve as a “secondary kitchen”—big enough for CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

“The shell of the house was 80 percent the way we would like it. There were some things where you had to have some vision.” STEVE SOBELL C-VILLE ABODE



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caterers to work from during a party, leaving the main kitchen open to guests. This auxiliary kitchen contains a small sink, coffee station, and two drink drawers to keep things less cluttered elsewhere, and it closes off with sliding reclaimed-wood doors. In the main kitchen, aiming for a clean, farmhouse-influenced look, the Sobells chose quartz countertops, white cabinets, and a wood accent on the vent hood. The new plans also called for a larger master suite, beefing up the closets in particular. A luxurious marble-tiled master bathroom with a huge window offers beautiful views from the shower and soaking tub. In the bedroom itself is one of the Sobells’ and Johnson’s favorite touches: a tray ceiling faced in reclaimed oak. “It just gives the whole bedroom a feel like you’re in the woods,” says Kelley. Similar wood frames a TV niche and is used in select spots throughout the property, providing continuity. While the Sobells designed their new home for aging in place—keeping the master suite, kitchen, and main living areas all close together on one floor—they also thought ahead to the needs of their two young adult sons, as well as their sons’ friends and future families. Two upstairs bedrooms are arranged as suites, with their own bathrooms for maximum privacy. “We wanted everybody to come and gather at our house, and just have this level of comfort and privacy in your own little suite,” says Kelley. A separate suite over the garage, referred to as the “bunk room,” offers large built-in bunk beds, a lounge area and bathroom. “We wanted our son’s friends to fill that place up when they come back and go to different events here at UVA,” says Kelley. “And we wanted a fun place for grandchildren to be able to stay.” Johnson says the details of that above-garage suite presented enjoyable challenges for him as a builder. “There’s an upstairs shower that hugs the bottom of some interesting rooflines. We wrapped the tile around it, and found some strategic spots to tuck some niches,” he says. More reclaimed wood and metal pipes form a ladder system for the upper bunk. When family and friends do gather, inviting outdoor spaces draw them into the landscape. A rear screened porch made of bluestone features an outdoor fireplace, and bluestone pavers lead downhill on a diagonal to a reclaimedsoapstone firepit. Both spaces, says Kelley, have seen frequent use since the Sobells moved in. “We use it all the time,” says Kelley. “The woods and view and cows and mountains, it’s sort of a religious thing for us.” C-VILLE ABODE

The Sobells designed their new home for aging in place, with the kitchen, living room, and master suite situated near each other on the main floor.


Into the future 26




Making an old kitchen serve a young family BY ERIKA HOWSARE C-VILLE ABODE

house built just before World War II might be replete with period charm, but it’s not necessarily geared toward the needs of a young family. Honoring that earlier era, while executing a major update, was Karen Turner’s charge in a recent project. “It’s an old house in a beautiful established neighborhood,” she says. “The clients wanted to give the house a more modern, fresh edge”—the aesthetics that would speak to their own taste, and allow their family life to function smoothly. Making this happen was a team effort. While a larger renovation took place elsewhere in the house, Turner joined forces with many of Charlottesville’s most expert craftspeople and suppliers to make the kitchen come together. Shelter Associates served as builders, and local company Gaston & Wyatt crafted cabinets. The first big step was to rethink how the kitchen connected to other nearby rooms. “We opened two big four-foot openings into what was the dining room, and is now a family room with a fireplace,” says Turner. That lets young children circulate in and out of the kitchen, still within sight and earshot. “It made it feel much more modern,” says Turner. Turner says she used the same approach to solving the layout puzzle for this kitchen that’s worked for her countless times before—it’s all about predicting people’s patterns. “I tackle every project with a cooking zone and a cleanup zone. And if you give guests a place to go where they feel like they’re part of the event, they will go there.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 29


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While the main kitchen features neutral whites and wood tones (achieving the “fresh, clean, crisp” the homeowners were looking for), the butler’s pantry is clad in navy-blue hues and penny-round tile for a traditional jewel-box feel. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

In this case, the cooking zone would be anchored by a custom seven-burner LaCanche range with gas oven, electric convection oven, and warming oven. “The range really needed a little bit of glamour above it so it didn’t just feel like it was this oddity in the room, so we made the finish on the hood highly glossed,” says

Where to find it Light fixtures: Visual Comfort, Urban Electric Countertops: Richard A. Oliva & Sons, Inc. Cabinetry: Gaston & Wyatt, LLC Range: LaCanche Vent hood: Vogler Metalwork & Design Faucets: Kallista Tile: Sarisand Tile Hardware: Armac Martin Contractor: Shelter Associates


Turner, who sourced the custom hood from Indiana’s Vogler Metalworks. Behind the island, which is much larger than the previous one, a cook has protected access to prep sink, range, and fridge. Non-cooks can reach the fridge without infringing on the action. “It’s also kind of nice having the fridge near the breakfast table,” she says. “Inevitably you need more milk, or this or that.” As for the cleanup zone, it presented an unusual challenge in that it’s located along the front wall of the house. Turner and her clients wanted to preserve the house’s historic façade. So, even though the bottoms of the windows extended below countertop height, no one wanted to alter them. Solution: install mirrors on the back of the cabinets, to reflect landscaping plants outside and hide the cabinetry. “Mike Oliva provided the stone,” says Turner, referring to the Olympian white marble countertops sourced from Richard A. Oliva & Sons, “and that installation was very precise. That definitely required some crafting on his part.” Guests naturally gravitate toward the stools at the island, and a wall of V-groove paneling behind them, with room for artwork instead of

cabinetry, helps define their space as a sitting area rather than a work zone. The clients’ key words for the way they wanted their kitchen to feel, Turner says, were “fresh, clean, and crisp.” That drove the choice of riftgrade white oak for the cabinetry. “I’ve been enjoying working with it recently; it’s so uncomplicated, and really calming,” Turner says. A white finish on the outer-wall cabinetry contrasts with the island, where the team created a custom stain to suggest a bleached look. This choice is practical in an area where people will be on and off stools all the time: Stained wood will hold up better than paint. Flat subway tile, sourced from Sarisand, forms the backsplash, while the butler’s pantry features penny-round tile. Glass cabinet doors and dark navy-blue hues gives the pantry a traditional, “jewel-box” feel, says Turner, along with a small brass sink. Unlacquered brass hardware from Armac Martin on all cabinetry, and unlacquered brass faucets from Kallista, harken to the original brass doorknobs throughout the house. “I love this kitchen,” says Turner. “It fits my rules, which are that it needs to belong to the house and to the client. I think it’s very sophisticated.” 29

Home Sweet Home

Adding to the story


A 19th-century Greek Revival gets a new life


hen Brittany Davis and her husband, Jared, crossed the creek to what would become their new home in Greenwood, they knew it was the one. “We’ve always loved older homes—the character, quirkiness, and lived-in feel of them,” Davis says. “We had dreamt for land to spread out, so when we came across this property, we were instantly in love.” Built in the 1840s, the five-bedroom, fourbathroom home sits on 16 acres, with massive 200-year-old boxwoods, and sweeping views to the mountains. It even came with a stately 30

name—Glentivar, meaning “shady glen”—and a storied history, as a Presbyterian school for girls and the site of the area’s first Albemarle Pippin crop. The couple and their four children moved in in June of 2019 and immediately set to work making memories. The kids created forts out of the boxwoods, and Davis invited her friends to gather at the property’s stone folly to pray for women struggling with postpartum depression and commemorate her best friend, who passed from a battle with PPD three years prior. “From that evening on I have felt like Glentivar has a calling to be a safe haven for people,

women especially, to feel comforted, seen, and loved,” Davis says. “Hosting brings my husband and I so much joy and I cannot wait until we can open our home to others again.” Until then, they’ve set their sights on the kitchen, working with architect John Voight to reimagine the space, which even in its present state serves as the heart of their home. “Despite the fact that the kitchen’s current aesthetic isn’t super fitting with the rest of our home, it’s still the most lived in,” Davis says. “I think that’s proof that a home doesn’t have to be perfect to be well-lived.”—Caite Hamilton C-VILLE ABODE

growing up with a

hands on approach candice van der linde buy and sell cville team realtors

Coming from a large family of contractors; my “job” growing up was to be the “helper” which gave me a “hands on” approach from building walls, demolishing old structures, designing layouts etc. This foundation is part of what drove me to begin in Real Estate in the area of Charlottesville, VA. Living in Charlottesville, VA for 20+ years I have been able to see and appreciate all it has and continues to offer with all of the new developments. Charlottesville has been a place about building friendships, community, and having fun! This is the heart of where our business comes from. We provide our clients the best of our time, devotion and attention to detail. Every single person has an individual need and desire; and we enjoy being the voice they need to accomplish their goals in Real Estate! A relationship built on trust and respect that will carry them through to the next time they are ready to make a move!“

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