Page 1

Readers’ Readers’ Survey Survey Results Results

PLUS! Mondo Condo in

The

the West End

HOT SWEET SUMMER SEATS

COCKTAILS IN THE SECRET GARDEN LOCAL TROPICS MAUREEN EGAN’S HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME

BARBARA BARRY’S DESERT DREAMS $3.95

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[contents]

[july/august 2010] up front From the Editor

p. 8

features 37 46

THE HOT LIST

54

READER FAVORITES

Cool and new — 20 local happenings, products and people you need to know about.

37

MONDO CONDO

Robin Campbell jettisons her old life and starts a new one in an ultra-modern condo in the West End.

Who’s tops in home and garden, according to our first readers’ survey

D E PA R TM E N T S

13

75

32

elements

insights

13

25

The Goods Statement-making outdoor chairs

16

Repurpose This Organize clutter with eyecatching accessory racks.

20

Great Space A pool and patio in Goochland bring the living room outdoors.

52

Gardening

happenings 75

Tropical Richmond

28

Q&A Designer Barbara Barry and her latest inspiration

32

My Style

78

Sally and David Ramert combine mid-century antiques with a turn-ofthe-last-century house.

80

C O V E R : V . L E E A U L I C K P H O T O I L L U S T R AT I O N T H I S PA G E : TO P : A S H D A N I E L P H OTO ; B OT TO M L E F T : P H OTO C O U R T E SY E M U ; B O T T O M C E N T E R : S A R A H W A L O R P H O T O ; B O T T O M R I G H T : J AY P A U L P H O T O

Event With cocktails and canapés, the Secret Garden Party showcased the green spaces of Richmond’s Court End. Calendar Picks

Maymont’s cutting-edge technology (of the 19th century), fall vegetable gardens at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and more. At Home Summer fun isn’t always as easy as it looks. R

H O M E

5


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from the publishers of richmond magazine President/Publisher Richard Malkman Editor-in-chief Susan Winiecki MANAGING editor Brandon Fox Associate editors H O Andrews, W R I CTina HM OND LIVES Kate Eshleman

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Contributing Writers Courtney Crane Dauer, Maureen L. Egan, Valley Haggard, Sara Jackson, Jonathan Janis, Megan Marconyak, Paulette RobertsPullan, Marilyn Shaw, Heather Simpkins, Wendy Umanoff

R I C H M O N D

art Director V. Lee Aulick

Contributing illustrator Chris Milk Sales Director Rich Malkman SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Scott Bunce, Martha Herbert, Kelly McCauley AD PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Marisa Noroña AD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Rebecca Boarman

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Contributing Photographers AshHDaniel, O WAdam R I Ewing, C H MBeth O NFurgurson, D L I V E S Jay Paul, Sarah Walor, Todd Wright

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Marketing and circulation director Debbie McCaffrey

Vice President/Controller Elisa Malkman bookkeeper Ellen Tishman office coordinator Devin Grimsley

Editorial & Advertising Offices 2201 W. Broad St., Suite 105 Richmond, Virginia 23220 Telephone 804-355-0111 Main Fax 804-355-5442 Editorial and Art Fax 804-355-8939 E-mail editor@rhomemag.com Subscription Rate: $14 per one year (6 issues R•Home and 12 issues Richmond Magazine). Single copy price is $3.95. Allow 4 to 6 weeks to begin delivery. R•Home, published bimonthly; Richmond Magazine, published monthly; and Richmond Surroundings Magazine are products of Target Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

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[ from the editor ]

COOL FINDS & HOT TRENDS

When we wanted to know which store has the most interesting fabric selection or which gallery has the best art finds for under $250, we decided to go straight to the source and ask. On page 54 you’ll find the results of our firstever Readers’ Favorites survey, and although there are some old standbys in there, I think you might be surprised by a few of the winners. At the same time, we had new favorites of our own we wanted to tell you about. The Hot List, starting on page 37, is a compilation of who and what TOP MUSE WINNER R.Home editors and writers think are new and exciting this year. Congratulations to Fountainhead We discovered that it’s becoming easier than ever to be a working Development (on page 42), 2010 artist in this town. Fountainhead Development and VCU’s School of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Top Muse the Arts have teamed up to offer two different kinds of fellowships Award winner! The VMFA Muse Awards to heat up the local art scene, and Studio Two Three is making recognize extraordinary creativity in printmaking equipment accessible to everyone who wants to use it. Virginia business. The ceremony was An old trend is back, we also found. Sewing is hot, and Daphne held in the new McGlothlin wing of Maxwell Reid of New Millennium Studios has plans to re-release the museum on June 16. a set of sewing videos she made in the late 1990s. Consignment shops and sales in temporary spaces seem to be growing, and at RestoreRVA you’ll find vintage factory flooring milled to fit residential housing. The do-it-yourself and the reuse/repurpose movements are stronger than ever. And lastly, we visited the lush condo of Robin Campbell. She decided to get rid of most of what she owned when R•HOME she moved from a larger house to a smaller space and ONLINE! enlisted designer Janie Molster to help her achieve her Read more on our new vision of what life would be like after the move. blog, When in RHome, Cloud-like and with sparks of silver and gold here at rhomemag.com, or and there, her all-white condo is a dramatic departure follow us on Twitter from her old house, which she says “was grandiose. at twitter.com/ RHomeMagazine Everything was colorful, continental and over the top.” Old favorites and brand-new discoveries: The best Richmond has to offer in home décor and design fills this issue’s pages. We hope what you find in this issue will surprise Broad Street’s Saturday and inform you — we had a lot of fun compiling it all for you!

SATURDAY STROLL

BRANDON FOX brandonf@rhomemag.com

8

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Stroll, on page 43, will be held on July 17 and Aug. 21 from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., and every third Saturday of each month after that.

TO P R I G H T : A S H D A N I E L P H O TO ; B O T TO M R I G H T : J AY PA U L P H O TO


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Contributors Ash Daniel

Ash Daniel, a Richmond native and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, is a nationally recognized fine arts and advertising photographer who has won awards from the Virginia Press Association and the Virginia Newspaper Photographers Association. He has twice been the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship in photography. For the last several years, he has been photographing Richmond’s art, fashion, news, sports and personalities for a variety of publications and clients, and has had his work shown in local galleries.

Valley Haggard Valley Haggard has lived in New York, Italy, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska and about 20 places around Richmond. She has been a waitress, a stewardess, a button maker, a creativewriting teacher and a stained-glass maker’s assistant. These days, she’s a freelance writer and the director of Richmond Young Writers. She lives in the West End with her husband, son, dog and cat.

Jonathan Janis

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6/10/10 9:50:59 AM

Jonathan Janis is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s master of fine arts program in interior environments. Passionate about all aspects of design, he believes in the power of a good floor plan as well as the power of good clothes. He studied political science and theater as an undergraduate and that makes him uniquely suited to a career as an interior designer: one part diplomat to two parts showman. He has worked at Barbara Barry Inc., the Kennedy Center and the Walt Disney Co.

Chris Milk Artist Chris Milk illustrated Maureen Egan’s column, “At Home,” this month. He says he is an old man who likes rap music and kittens. He lives and paints in Oregon Hill and looks much younger in photos. To see more of his work, go to chrismilkhulburt.com.

Thank you Richmond for voting us #1!

10

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6/18/10 1:41:22 PM


Wouldn’t it be nice if... ■

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elements

The Goods

Have a Seat Chairs that brave the elements with amplified style ď&#x192;&#x160;By Courtney Crane Dauer

Modern outdoor furniture is breaking down the difference between indoor and outdoor as high design sneaks onto the patio. New weatherproof materials mean that this furniture will endure with lasting style.

Superbly sleek and comfortable, too? Modern art for your deck or patio, Summer Classics' CIRCA LOUNGE CHAIR in pearl ($500) stuns with its sculptural lines and gestural, arching, low-slung design.

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H O M E

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Have a Seat cont'd

Inspired by iron chairs from the 1950s, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola’s RE-TROUVÉ CHAIR ($740) sits lacelike and lovely. Made by Emu from interwoven steel rods, it can be found at LaDifférence. Pier 1 Imports’ RED OUTDOOR CRAZY CHAIR ($100) is made of iron and plastic, and its extra-wide seat offers comfort while its wiry weave nods to mod.

Palm Beach for your porch: Crafted of aluminum in McKinnon and Harris, Inc.’s workshop in Scott’s Addition, the PAVILION VI CLUB CHAIR ($9,000) exudes grand hotel glamour. Available through designers. Cue the island music and then curl up in a Palmetto ALLWEATHER BARREL CHAIR from Pottery Barn ($600). Woven to look like wicker with waterrepellent cushions, it’s resortready and backyard-beckoning.

New but nostalgic, the RETRO METAL LAWN CHAIR at Plow & Hearth ($60) is cheery, cheeky and surprisingly lightweight. Also available in white and blue. Wrought iron and regal, O’Brien Ironworks’ CHINESE CHIPPENDALE CHAIRS ($1,600 each) come in diamond and star-back varieties. Choose your version and a finish at Ruth & Ollie.

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Accessory racks get clutter out of the way ď&#x192;&#x160;By Wendy Umanoff

These pieces offer a sense of order to the objects that can easily litter a space. You can hang them all up on wall racks created from reclaimed materials.

The ambience of the rack comes from molding with the original paint and fragments of wallpaper left untouched. Vivid drawer pulls replace ordinary wooden pegs. ď&#x201A;˘

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Lightly sanding the edges of the backing board defines the rack against the wall, and its old hooks are secured with new screws.

Vintage wooden shoe forms create an unusual way to hang towels, bags and belts, as well as other accessories. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re secured to a piece of baseboard with wooden knobs and a small handle of an antique tool.

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Reclaimed soap dishes affixed to a piece of naturally finished wood function as hooks and small catchalls. The key is to use soap dishes of the same size and shape to tie the design together.

B ETH F U R G U R S O N P H OTOS


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elements The pool at night creates a serene mood for evening swims.

Great Space

Living on the Water The Marcus family moves outdoors in the summertime By Heather Simpkins

W The view from the patio looks across the heart-shaped pool toward the trees and beyond lies the James River.

20

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The family often entertains on the patio, where guests can admire the sun setting on the James.

hen Goochland resident Tracy Marcus and her family of eight were looking for a home, they wanted a space that was simple, inviting and, most importantly, kid-friendly. “When we first saw the house, it was the Fourth of July weekend, and the patio doors were open. It was like it was calling to be lived in,” she says. “We loved it so much we bought it on the spot.” One of the main features that drew Marcus to the property is the heart-shaped pool and its proximity to the house. “With six children, it’s the best way to get all of their energy out,” she says. “We are a 

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Living cont'd

family that loves the water. We’re beach people — that’s where we love to be when we’re not at home.” Marcus wanted to capture the laidback feeling of Southern California and the breezy attitude of Miami, so she chose white furniture and a versatile outdoor rug by the pool and hung white curtains around the downstairs patio area. “We love that when the great-room doors are open, we can see the pool and hear the waterfall,” she says. “It’s very peaceful and also makes you want to swim.” Placing candles around the pool at night creates a serene mood for evening swims. The family often entertains on the patio, where guests can admire the sun setting on the James. “When the sun sets, you can see a bit of the river,” she says. “It’s very peaceful.” The pool area is still a work in progress; Marcus wants to plant peonies around the pool and plans to add an outdoor kitchen. “We are adding pieces slowly as we find things we love. We’ve gone very minimal because the space is as special to us as the things that fill it.”

RIGHT: A screened-in porch overlooks the patio and pool area.

LEFT: By opening the doors flanking the patio, the great room feels almost like outdoor space.

Quote We love that when the great-room doors are open, we can see the pool and hear the waterfall.” —Tracy Marcus

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insight s

My Style

Try Out Some Tropicals Believe it or not, the Richmond climate supports outdoor exotics By Sara Jackson

S

troll down the east end of Park Avenue in the Fan, and you’ll stumble into a tiny Caribbean oasis — an unusual tropical garden grown by local attorney Steven Benjamin and filled with banana leaves nodding in the breeze next to spiky palm fronds along with huge, deepgreen elephant ears. These exotic beauties aren’t the usual pot-bound, hothouse varieties, though. They’re true tropical plants grown right here in Richmond soil. “It’s very exciting each spring. I swear they grow right before your eyes,” Benjamin says. Tropicals are perfect for growing in Virginia, says certified horticulturist Mike Wallace of Earthscapes in Oilville. Unlike many

J AY P A U L P H O T O

native species, tropical plants thrive in our summer heat and humidity. They can grow feet, or even yards per year, compared with many native plants that grow only inches, Wallace notes. They also are wildly eyecatching with neon-bright flowers and multicolored foliage. Surprisingly, most tropicals can’t take full sun and should be planted in full to partial shade. Tropicals do exact a price for all their beauty, requiring a good deal of extra maintenance. Some need to be cut back and covered with mulch for the winter, while others need to be dug up and brought indoors altogether. Most should be both watered frequently and fed at least once a week, Wallace adds. Benjamin contradicts the experts’

advice, however, saying his tropicals do pretty well under his “benign neglect.” He only goes so far as to cut down and cover his banana plants in the colder months. One interesting note: Although tropicals are non-natives, the cold winters here generally keep them from being invasive, says Kathy Brooks, a Virginia-certified landscape designer in Richmond. Our sources agree, beginners should start with just a few plants. “They’re meant to grow fast and big. You owe it to your neighbors to keep it tidy … and not let it become an eyesore,” Benjamin says. And too many tropicals can look out of place, Wallace cautions. He recommends planting only a few as focal points. 

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Try Out Some Tropicals cont'd

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Palm trees are particularly interesting through the winter when they stay green and leafy

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Some of the best options for Richmond growers include:

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PALM TREES These may be the toughest to establish, although European and Chinese fan palms (Chamaerops humilis and Livistona chinensis) tend to be hardy here. Look for palms with hairy trunks; it generally indicates a palm that’s able to handle colder temperatures. They’re particularly interesting through the winter, Benjamin says, when they stay green and leafy — a fun, if incongruous, sight in the colder months.

with. Some will set fruit, but it generally won’t ripen because the growing season is too short here. Church Hill resident Chuck Wrenn received his first banana plant more than 18 years ago as a gift from a friend, and each year his 10-plant grouping produces at least two to three baby plants, which he happily gives away to friends and neighbors. “I have two going out this week,” he says.

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TROPICAL VINES A few that deliver major tropical punch with large, brightly colored flowers are Plumeria (Plumeria rubra), Mandevilla (Mandevilla boliviensis), Tropical Passion Flower (Passiflora) and Orange Trumpet (Campsis radicans) vines. Note: Be sure to purchase the tropical, not the native passionflower vine, which is an invasive species in Virginia. BANANA PLANTS (Musa sapientum) There are at least two varieties that are winter-hardy in Richmond, and they’re an easy tropical to start

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HIBISCUS (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) A medium-sized shrub, hibiscus sport large, even dinner-plate-sized blooms in bright pinks, purples and reds. Their rather traditional foliage fits well among native plants and can be a nice tropical touch. “It has great big flowers and is very showy,” Brooks notes.

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ELEPHANT EARS (Alocasia) Their broad leaves earned them their name, and they’ve become a big favorite for area gardeners. They can overwinter in the ground if the soil doesn’t freeze too hard.

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insights

Q&A

Poetry in Each Place Setting Designer Barbara Barry lives life in a series of elegant moments

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 By Jonathan Janis

had the pleasure of interning at Barbara Barry Inc. two summers ago in Los Angeles. I was floored on my first day when I saw takeout food replated on Barry’s Wedgewood china, plastic utensils replaced with silver and the contents of Styrofoam cups poured into crystal glasses. Her flatware, bone china, crystal, tile, bedding, carpet, wallcovering, fabric and trims, candles, lighting, and furniture lines are all recognizable by their elegant forms, subtle patterns and quiet luxury. In each object, her point of view has been translated from watercolor sketches into threedimensional reality. I recently contacted Barry to learn more about how she designs and what’s next on the horizon.

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R.Home: While the Barbara Barry look isn’t about trends as much as it is about composition and proportion, would you share your current inspiration? Barbara Barry: My latest influence and inspiration is the desert. I have never loved the desert before, nor seen its subtle beauty, but on a recent trip to Utah I was introduced to it — and it rocked me to my core. The magnificent coloration, and striation and beauty of the slot canyons, and the pink powdery sand with faded fig and sage [tones were] some of the most elegant color combinations and patterns I have ever seen.  p h oto s c o u r t e sy b a r b a r a b a r ry c o m pa n y


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Poetry in Each Place Setting cont'd

light, both votives and candlesticks. It makes the table sparkle and [look] festive.

R.Home: Speaking of tables, your furniture is a mix of French neoclassical, Hollywood glamour and modern restraint. How do you manage to so deftly marry these varied genres? Barry: I like to think of my style as casually elegant. Elegance is very important to me, and when you can make it seem natural and easy, then it is the best mix. [It’s the] same philosophy with whatever I’m designing.

R.Home: The term “pared-down elegance” is often used when describing your product lines. How does this spirit inform your work? Barry: It is a practice of restraint, of discretion, of paring away excess to reveal what is essential. A handsome cabinet, credenza or dresser conceals domestic clutter and creates a home with a sublime sense of order and simplicity.

Quote I have learned that you need to stand for quality in everything. And every time that I have given in to something inferior, no one is happy.” —Barbara Barry

R.Home: Nature is clearly an influence on your work. Barry: It is my biggest inspiration. I find it mesmerizing and elegant. My garden is where I start each morning, and what I’m fortunate enough to see out my window. I believe eco-conscious design is the future.

R.Home: How do your color stories develop and evolve? What color combinations are you currently tuned into? Barry: Living in California has defined my color palette. Because of the clear and bright light that is a constant here, I work in more washed-out and subtle colors. I love nuance in color and in form — and thrill to the way that light brings it all alive. Currently I’m tuned [into] a twist on a clas30

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sic color palette — something I like to call “Linen & Lime” — which includes natural and flax tones punctuated with touches of fresh greens.

R.Home: Richmond homes are usually characterized as more formal than Southern California homes. What advice would you give to new homeowners about their formal spaces? Barry: I would advise not to let your formal spaces go to waste and make sure to entertain family and friends. I see a dining table as a painting and always try to make poetry out of each setting. I use whatever is in season and never do a “flower arrangement,” but keep it casual with small vases of cut flowers. It is amazing what you can use for centerpieces, from books to fruit to collections of small objects. And I love the use of candle-

R.Home: Are there any common mistakes you see folks make time and again? Barry: Don’t give in to the small purchases that can clutter a space. Keep it simple!

R.Home: What’s something you know now that you wish you knew starting out? Barry: I have learned that you need to stand for quality in everything. And every time that I have given in to something inferior, no one is happy.

R.Home: What’s next for you? Barry: I am in the process of designing my own interiors for my new house, and I find it challenging and fun. I am trying to explore new ideas of color and how it informs the way you experience a room. I want to live with a modern sensibility — with less but with a sense of luxury. The Barry-designed Wedgewood china, flatware and stemware are available at Hampton House and Dillard’s. The Barbara Barry Collection of furniture by Baker is available for order through Leo Burke. Barry’s Kravet fabrics, trims and wall coverings are available to the trade only at Designer’s Market.

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insights White Walls The Ramerts kept their walls white so they weren’t restricted: “Having a white palette allows you to put color where you want,” Sally says.

Living Room Coffee Table The coffee table is a Japanese slat that came from Kyoto and was made before 1900. It’s only 9 inches high and makes a simple statement in the center of the room.

Deck with Platforms When the Ramerts moved into their house, they built a spacious deck with platforms that can be used for seating or extra standing room. It provides more space for guests during parties.

Modern Living Sally and David Ramert of Metro Modern carefully edit their space. By Megan Marconyak

W

hen Sally and David Ramert moved into their home on Grove Avenue, they made a conscious effort not to overfill any room. “Old houses work well with mid-century modern, but you really have to restrain yourself,” Sally says. Their house already had lots of windows and trim, so they focused on using items they already had thoughtfully. The owners of Metro Modern, a shop specializing in mid-century antiques, had already acquired lots of antiques when they lived in San Diego, Calif. Most of what’s in their house comes from the 1950s or earlier. Although they like streamlined design, the Ramerts focus on displaying unique items that catch the eye. “I love having things to look at as you pass by different rooms,” Sally says. They also focus on making their home utilitarian. “If you make a home too visually ascetic, you can’t live in it,” she says. “We want things that are comfortable, useful and sensible.”

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George Nelson Cabinet This cabinet, made in the 1940s, is known for its distinctive handles. “Lots of people are mimicking the style today, but this is the original,” David says.

Tractor Seats Sally has picked up several old tractor seats that she displays as sculptures in her garden. She likes them because they were both affordable and make a statement.

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THE

HOT

LIST

More than 20 innovators who are leaving their imprint on Richmond

B y C o u r t n e y C r a n e D a u e r, B r a n d o n F o x , J o n a t h a n J a n i s , M e g a n M a r c o n y a k , P a u l e t t e R o b e r t s - P u l l e n R

H O M E

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A HOUSE UNLIKE ANY OTHER

ARC & ARCHITECTURE

HIP TO HEM

EYE CANDY

THE CREATIVE COCKTAIL

SATURDAY STROLL

SELL NOW

NEW EMBRACES OLD

SECOND LIFE

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LIST

LIVING HISTORY ON FILM

IRON MAN

INNOVATIVE WORK

THE

PHONE IT IN

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME

LIVING ON GROVE

POP-UP SHOPS

SHOPPING THE WORLD

NEW BOUTIQUE HOTELIER

PRINTING PROTEGÉS

RICHMOND UNBOUND

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A S H D A N I E L P H OTO

A HOUSE UNLIKE ANY OTHER

RICHMOND UNBOUND On a snowy day a few years ago, artist Eliza Askin impulsively wallpapered her bathroom with old calendars she’d made. After seeing it, friends asked her to design wallpaper or gift-wrap featuring her Richmond illustrations. Last fall, she took their advice, designing Richmond-themed wrapping paper. The brown craft paper is printed with about 30 Richmond illustrations in dark green ink; most of the drawings depict local landmarks. The paper comes in a tube with matching green twine. “It’s been flying out of the studio,” Askin says. You can order it through Askin’s website, elizabaskin.com or find it at Sheppard Street Antiques and Very Richmond. —MM

Oh, how curiosity has run wild in Westover Hills as neighbors have watched the construction of what’s been dubbed “The Metal House.” Designed by BAM architect Burt Pinnock, this ultramodern home was built over the last year on an unlikely wedge of land off New Kent Avenue. The design required much pondering before Pinnock hit upon the right solution. “At the end of the day, we placed the house as close to the street as setbacks would allow,” Pinnock says. The exterior was clad in aluminum fieldfabricated shingles. The shingles ended up unexpectedly “singing.” Pinnock explains. “The singing is a result of the expansion and contraction of the material in the changing temperature.” It’s also resulted in a house that’s unlike any other in Richmond. —BF R

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WO R K BY B R ET AN D E R S O N, MAD E FO R S T U D I O T W O T H R E E ’ S T H E M I X TA P E TWO POI NT WHOA PORTFOLIO

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PRINTING PROTEGÉS Here’s a wrinkle in the local art scene: Neophyte artists are allowed, even welcomed, to work side by side with professionals in a printmaking studio. Ashley Hawkins, Sarah Watson, Emily Gannon and Tyler Dawkins started Studio Two Three at Plant Zero to share the costs of printmaking equipment. From the studio’s inception, the artists have offered studio time for a monthly or hourly fee. Since the studio has supplied a sorely needed creative space for the community, its founders are filing for nonprofit status. They’re also planning to move a few blocks away into New Manchester Flats, where they plan to house a larger etching press. Richmond may already be known as an artist’s haven, but groups like Studio Two Three make it more art-friendly than ever. “There’s no reason to leave Richmond,” Hawkins says. “Here [artists] have a community of support.” For more information visit studiotwothree.com —PRP

NEW BOUTIQUE HOTELIER The Berkeley in Shockoe Slip offers the size and service typical of boutique hotels. But it’s been a long time since we’ve had new one. Aloft, which opened last year in Short Pump, is part of the larger W hotels chain, but the company emphasizes high design, as well as comfort and price. And it shows. The lobby is spacious and modern. A sunken living room area features a two-sided glass fireplace and opens onto an outdoor patio. The communal area is furnished with brightly colored armchairs that contrast with its dark walls and blonde wood tables. And even check-in can have a twist. You can choose rooms and floors from a slick kiosk near the front desk. For people who live in town, a night at Aloft might be the solution to getting away without going away. You’ll find Aloft at 3939 Duckling Dr. in Glen Allen. Call 433-1888 for more details. —BF

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A S H D A N I E L P H OTO

HIP TO HEM

Between finding our inner thriftiness in this idling economy and combing for the handmade on Etsy’s website, the art of making clothes has been rediscovered. At least according to Cherri Hankins, a fiber artist who teaches sewing to adults and kids in her studio in the Far West End. Her four-week classes, $125 per student, are more popular than ever, she says. You can find other sewing classes at All Brands Sew and Vac, which sponsors an array of summer diversions, including sewing camps for kids and Friday night sewing parties. For neophytes, there’s a six-week beginners course that starts on July 22 at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond in the Fan. For more details check each website. —CCD

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PHONE IT IN As the iPhone gains in popularity, more home improvementrelated apps are hitting the market. A few of our favorites include Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture, which allows you to photograph a color and match it to a Benjamin Moore hue. And with Mark On Call, an app created by interior designer Mark Lewison, you can take pictures of finishes, fabrics and flooring and “skin” them onto any item or surface in your plan. You also can measure rooms and keep track of your budget with his app. —MM

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ARC & ARCHITECTURE The Greater Richmond ARC, formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens, has a spectacular new home at 3600 Saunders Ave. The 24,000-square foot, glass and steel building, designed by architect Sandy Bond and designer Kristi Pipes Lane of 3North, opened May 19. The building serves up lots of natural light for ARC’s 1400-plus clients and their families, as well as the administrative staff. “It’s a healthful and inspiring environment,” says ARC spokesman Doug Payne, referring to the building’s barrier-free, one-floor design. —CCD

EYE CANDY We could wax eloquent about its crispy braised pork belly and artisan cocktails, but what we really love about Balliceaux is the way we feel in the space. The restaurant channels a Richmond Rat Pack kind of swank with a healthy dose of Bohemia. Designers and owners Steve and Lainie Gratz combine the humble and the elegant to create a place that Gratz says “takes you off balance — in a good way.” Balliceaux is located at 203 N. Lombardy St. —JJ R

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POP-UP SHOPS In the fallout of the Great Recession, retail vacancies have risen, and some savvy merchants have seized the opportunity. They’re holding sales in empty locales. Two people who’ve been at it longer than most are Angie Ferbie and Kimberly Dawson, creators of Curtain Call, an annual two-week home décor consignment boutique held at the Shops at Willow Lawn. Janet Brown Interiors has held sales at the old Richmond Piano building in Carytown. Meanwhile, antique dealers Patti Loughridge, Sara Garza, Susan Sprinkle and Annette Bashensky get together a few times a year to create a roving antiques market they call Perfect Nest Antiques. For dates and special-sale locations check tlwylie.com/curtaincall/index. html, theperfectnest.com, and janetbrowninteriors.com. —CCD

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME A marriage between Fountainhead Development and Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts has resulted in two programs designed to amp up the art scene in Richmond. The Fountainhead Fellowship will expand from one fellowship spot to four this school year. The students chosen will receive studio space and an apartment, both at Manchester Flats. They will teach at VCU, receive a stipend, and their work will be exhibited at the end of the year. In addition, VCU and Fountainhead are teaming up to start the Incubator this fall. Also at Manchester Flats, it consists of 20 studio spaces costing a third less than market price, as well as access to a shared fabrication shop and digital lab. —BF

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11 LIVING ON GROVE Martee Johnson’s new shop LiVing on Grove, at 5714 Grove Ave., features an eclectic mix of handmade items. She’s channeled the years she lived in New Orleans, Connecticut, New York, Paris, and Virginia — as well her experience designing for McMillen — into a shop full of limited-edition and one-of-a-kind objects. The store’s stock always changes, and she tries to include custom-designed items. “My goal is to expose as many artists and artisans as possible,” Johnson says. “And I love the challenge of finding things just not available at market.” This summer, the shop will offer Richmonder Meg Turner’s woodand-slate planters, cotton baby wraps dubbed “Noonies,” placemats handpainted with crabs, and bespoke end tables that double as dog kennels. —CCD

AS H DAN I E L P HOTO

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SHOPPING THE WORLD The expanded galleries at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) are hardly all that’s new on the Boulevard. VMFA’s sophisticated museum shop is 50 percent larger than the old one and stocked to appeal to many tastes. The store’s manager, Barbara Lenhardt, has collected goods from around the globe, many of which are directly inspired by objects in the museum’s collection. The shop’s offerings include handcrafted items by Virginia artists, pottery and metalwork by renowned designers Jonathan Adler and Michael Aram, and Owen Suter furniture reproduced from museum objects. Other pieces shown together in what Lenhardt calls “cultural stories” include sleek decorative metal objects from Africa and paper lamps from Brazil. More traditional Fabergé-inspired objects abound, but new, high-design items contribute to the shop’s fresh appeal. Visit vmfa.state. va.us to find out more and shop online. —PRP

12

LIVING HISTORY ON FILM Perhaps never in Richmond’s history has any group fought to preserve the city’s architecture more than the four women who started Historic Richmond Foundation in 1935. Energetic, determined and certainly privileged, Louise Catterall, Mary Wingfield Scott, Elisabeth Scott Bocock and Mary Scott Reed purchased blocks of property slated for demolition with their own money. HRC spokesperson Katherine Fahed says, “In the fall, as the finale event for the 75th anniversary, we are creating a living history film. We interviewed and filmed about 15 people, who are ancestors of the founding members or who worked with the foundation.” The anniversary celebration on Oct. 28 at the Scott House on Franklin Street will showcase the video. —PRP

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THE CREATIVE COCKTAIL

SATURDAY STROLL Saturday Stroll is like a daytime version of a First Friday evening. Every third Saturday of the month from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., the Broad Street Arts District comes alive with vendors, music and street performers. Most activities occur on and just off Broad Street east of Belvidere and beyond. Sidewalks and lots overflow with things to buy for your home or your stomach, while music and chatter engage your ears. —JJ

After visiting New York with a friend, Bobby Kruger, bartender at Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, fell in love with craft bartending. “I love to cook and always thought it important to start with fresh ingredients,” he says. “I wanted to apply that to cocktails.” To take the edge off the unrelenting heat of the Richmond summer, Kruger came up with a watermelon cocktail called the Paramount that’s a riff on the traditional margarita (he made a nonalcoholic version for Broad Appetit in June). It’s a sweet-tart concoction with a cayenne-kick that’ll make you forget all about the sizzling hot sidewalks just outside Julep’s doors. —BF R

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AS H DAN I E L P HOTO

IRON MAN

SELL NOW

Look around and see a waiting room of castoffs in your attic or your garage? Look again and see hard, cold cash. Help yourself and others when you drop off old furniture and accessories at Renmark Consignment Shop on Church Hill, which gives a percentage of its monthly profits to ART 180. “The best thing about this business is there’s a surprise every day,” says Sandy Bremer who along with Beth Forsyth and Phillip Zornes owns Consignment Connection, a consignment store on Lakeside Avenue now celebrating its ninth anniversary. “Our motto is ‘buy it now,’ because what’s here today probably won’t be tomorrow,” Bremer says. The shop, which features furniture, lamps, glassware, china, books, and jewelry, has more than 8,000 consignors. For more details about Renmark Consignment Shop visit renamarkconsignment shop.com; or call Consignment Connection at 261-3600 for more information. —CCD

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Welder Doug McDonald’s work runs the gamut from restoration of old ironwork to creation of sleek modern fixtures. With 16 years of experience, he’s an expert in his field. Most recently, he’s been finding iron pieces more than 100 years old at architectural salvage yards and refitting them into area homes. “We can take something old and refit it for a new home and make it look like it was made to be there,” he says. McDonald also works on the other end of the spectrum, creating custom fixtures for restaurants such as Mezzanine, Stronghill and The Republic. To contact Doug McDonald, call 928-1519. —MM

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INNOVATIVE WORK In a global economy, businesses need to constantly stay ahead of the competition. That means fostering a steady stream of innovations and solutions from their employees. To that end, Visual Arts Center came up with a program designed to get business people out of the left side of their brain and into the right. The program, three days of workshops spread over three months and led by artists and business experts, will help participants find their creative spark and get it blazing again. To learn more about the program, call 353-0094 or go to visarts.org —BF THE 44

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SECOND LIFE After attempts in 2008 to sell an old Georgia textile mill that he had purchased, Justin French last year came up with an entirely different approach. He created ReStore RVA, which purchases abandoned factories and reclaims building materials while preserving the structures for future development. At ReStore RVA in Shockoe Slip, French sells high-quality antique, recycled and reclaimed wood, along with other environmentally sound products, such as recycled glass tiles. He describes the space itself as “very educational. You can look up at the ceiling and timbers and see recycling in action.” To find out more, go to restorerva.com. —MM

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Two local shops are expanding their heirloom inventory. Shades of Light now sells brightly colored antique rugs alongside the store’s rewired antique and vintage fixtures. Williams & Sherrill is working with a European buyer to offer an assortment of antique case goods and accessories. Blurring the lines between new and old, Williams & Sherrill also provides an instore kiosk for online acquisition. Jamie Coffey, creative director at Williams & Sherrill, says, “Now the customer is not limited to what’s on the floor. They have a constantly changing breadth of choices literally at their fingertips.” Leveraging new technology to purchase antiquity seems very smart, indeed. Shades of Light is located at 4924 W. Broad St. Call 288-6515 for more details. Williams & Sherrill is located at 2003 Huguenot Road. Call 320-1730 for more information. —JJ

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Robin Campbell and her dog, Mini-Cooper

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The design of Campbell’s condo reduces color to shades of white and metallics in order to emphasize textures and shapes. She had walls removed to create a larger, more open space.

mondocondo Robin Campbell presses the restart button on her home STORY BY VALLEY HAGGARD | PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD WRIGHT

About to plant 250 white begonias in one of three outdoor gardens at her home in Hillcrest, Robin Campbell asked the friend who had just stopped by, “What am I doing? I don’t want to do this anymore. I feel chained.” And so she put her house on the market; within the week it sold at the asking price. “It was blind faith,” says Campbell. “After that it was like, ‘Now you’re pregnant and you have to deliver.’ ” 

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The classical shape of the dining room table and chairs gets an update with white canvas upholstery and white paint. The combination reduces the formality of the space and plays against the oversized chandelier hanging above the middle of the table.


Quote I love taking ugly ducklings and turning them into swans.” — Robin Campbell

The condo she chose in Mooreland Commons because of its location, attached garage, hardwood floors, fireplace and good bones, was not love at first sight. As a renovation-design consultant, however, she could envision what it might be — a service she offers to her clients as well. “I love taking ugly ducklings and turning them into swans,” says Campbell, who undertook the gutting and design of her 1,500-square-foot West End condo in a very different way than the renovation of her 3,000-square-foot home in Hillcrest. “The living room of my old house looked like a salon belonging to Gertrude Stein and Elsie de Wolf. It was grandiose. Everything was colorful, continental and over the top. As they get older, people want simple and tranquil,” she says, “but they rarely give themselves permission. We don’t even know why we’re holding onto things — we just feel compelled to. In my case, I sold almost everything except for a few pieces and started fresh.” When working with a client, Campbell’s top priority is determining the lifestyle and needs of the family, followed by the importance of natural light and the placement of artificial light. She then figures out what needs to be done overall in order to achieve the first two things. “What I really like to do,” says Campbell, “is help a client visualize how they would like to live and then interpret or translate that for the architect or builder.” Taking the lead role of general contractor during the renovations of her condo, Campbell completed what should have been a six-month renovation in half that time, with the drywall, painting and carpentry assistance of Corbin Cash, whom she alternately calls her “best man” and “knight in shining armor.” Without the need for a formal dining room, Campbell designed an open floor plan to make her home a continuous living space. She ripped out the wall-to-wall carpeting, and where she didn’t find hardwood floors underneath, she had them installed. After gutting the Formica-and-linoleum kitchen and donating everything she tore out to Habitat for Humanity, she installed white Carrara marble counters, appliances with white floating glass fronts, glass-fronted lighted white cabinets and a

TOP: Campbell’s computer monitor doubles as her television screen, so the built-in cabinetry also functions as a workspace. BOTTOM: Books covered in white paper and white accessories on white bookshelves carry on the monochromatic palette. The striking French Empire chair is also painted white with details picked out in black and gilt.

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The sitting area is a mix of textures and shapes — the formal contrasts with shapes drawn from nature, and ultra-soft is juxtaposed against hard. The black mullions of the windows become “frames” for the foliage outside. R

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Quote I like to say I just let nature have her way with me.” — Robin Campbell

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The traditional exterior of Campbell’s condo gives no hint of its dramatic interior.

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The all-white appliances, counters, cabinetry, dishes and lighting fixtures bring clean lines and a crisper feel to the kitchen but are still in keeping with the rest of the open-plan design.

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Framed by long, linen curtains, the silvered geometry of the chest recedes into the wall and draws the eye upward to the gold starburst mirror.

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Campbell wanted her garage to be as inviting as her living space, so designer Janie Molster re-imagined it as a living room with room for a car.

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The downstairs powder room reverses the condo’s overall palette from light to dark, creating a small but dramatic space.

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stainless-steel backsplash. She replaced the PeptoBismol pink tile in the master bath and guest bath with white marble showers, and she used furniture instead of built-ins. “I like to say I just let nature have her way with me. I had to tear down walls to open it up,” she says. “I used to have so much art, and now I really only have one piece — the rest are the windows. I painted all the mullions black because they truly articulate the view, like an artist uses a black frame around their painting.” Interior decorator Janie Molster of Janie Molster Designs played a pivotal role in helping Campbell acquire fabrics and furnishings that were both luxurious and practical: white-vinyl, ostrich-stamped dining room chairs with gray velvet backs; linen velvet slipcovers that can be washed; white sheepskins and white cowhides that add warmth to the bleached hardwood floors. “She wanted it restful and calming,” Molster says. “The palette was all about the different textures as opposed to different colors and patterns.” Seven to eight different shades of white on the walls and furnishings, mixed with the organic element of wood, also keep the eye from becoming stagnant. “Janie’s very talented,” says Campbell. “She understood immediately what I wanted and respected that by totally going with it.” Campbell’s condo — immaculate, spacious and entirely without clutter — conveys the impression of a tiny part of heaven carefully transplanted to a pocket of the West End. Every detail is accounted for, from the screen that shields the trash in the living room-like garage to the collection of rare books covered in white acid-free artist’s paper. “I love it,” says Campbell. “It’s all I need and more. We can truly live with less and feel good about it. Now, granted this is for big girls. Families can’t do this, but big girls can. This is my big girl house.” 


Outlet merchandise that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint

Widest variety of plants

Widest rug selection

Most intriguing contemporary/ modern furniture and finds

Most comprehensive flooring selection

Widest selection of bath fixtures

Most interesting fabric selection

Widest variety of outdoor furniture

Widest variety of windows and doors MOST Surprising COLLECTION OF plants

Most inspiring furniture store

Readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Survey 2010

Most knowledgeable staff at an antiques store or mall

Worth-the-trip store (outside of town)

Top Class-A contractor/ remodeler

Most accomplished refinisher Most exotic furniture and accessory finds

Most well-made window treatments Most reliable painting and/or wallpapering company

Most dependable handyman or handyman service

Widest selection of stone countertops

Widest selection of architectural salvage

Most creative landscape design service

most reliable wood flooring refinisher


Most wellstocked furniture consignment shop

Most innovative home organizer or company

Most experienced lighting repair service

Widest variety of fireplace options

Widest selection of lighting fixtures Most inspiring kitchen design showroom

Most experienced framer or frame shop

Widest variety of landscaping products

Most knowledgeable home media installer

Most experienced framer or frame shop

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Most knowledgeable staff at a garden store/center

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Art gallery with finds under $250

Most stylish bed linens

Most creative decorative Painter Art gallery with the most thoughtprovoking work

Most interesting auctions

Most reliable reupholster

Most beautiful tile selection

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Most well-stocked furniture consignment shop

Impulse

419 N. Ridge Road, 288-7300, impulselive.com Whether you’re looking for a light-up wire alligator or a patio set with personality, Impulse offers high-end, gently used consignments and gifts that range “from antique to contemporary, French-inspired to beach,” says owner Kelly Pleasant. Impulse’s selection of home decor includes lamps, mirrors, paintings, and furniture for babies and children. Runner-up: Consignment Connection, 5517 Lakeside Ave., 261-3600 Outlet merchandise that doesn’t disappoint

(tie)

The Interior Outlet

Summer Classics

7905 W. Broad St., 935-3075, summerclassics.com

Swat some flies and sip a cool drink sitting on new outdoor furniture. Some things don’t last forever, and cushions and umbrellas left outside for the summer deteriorate the fastest. Summer Classics keep outdoor styles simple and durable. They sell indoor and outdoor furnishings, antiques and accessories, including outdoor rugs. Runner-up: JoPa Company, 8711 W. Broad St., 747-9700, jopa.com.

The Williamsburg outlets Nothing beats a quick road trip for discounts. Find Harry & David, Kitchen Collection, Bose Factory Store, Kirkland’s, Le Creuset Factory Store, the Williamsburg Wicker & Rattan Shoppe, the Shops at the Carolina Furniture of Williamsburg and more less than an hour away in Williamsburg. MOST RELIABLE Flooring refinisher

(tie)

Costen Floors 9840 Mayland Drive, 527-2929, costenfloors.com Costen Floors installs specially engineered wood flooring for condos, basements and other surfaces unsuitable for standard hardwood.

Old Dominion Floor Co. 10802 Trade Road, 674-0315, odfc.net “There’s nothing in hardwood we don’t do,” says Debbie Broyles of Old Dominion Floor Company. Old Dominion also specializes in ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate flooring and carpet. Runner-up: Lee’s Floor Services, 122 S. Cedar Ave., Highland Springs, 737-9570 56

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Widest variety of outdoor furniture

2011 Huguenot Road, 320-6050 Famished for fabrics? The Interior Outlet boasts 2,000 bolts of discounted fabrics, instock wallpaper, custom window treatments, furniture and bedding items.


MOST INSPIRING FURNITURE STORE

LaDifférence

125 S. 14th St., 648-6210, ladiff.com

Looking for inspiration? Head downtown and check out LaDiff’s three floors of sophisticated designs. Co-owner Andy Thornton can’t pick just one favorite piece. “Anything by Seltz,” he says. “This is a small, third-generation, family-owned business located near Strasbourg in wine country. As an ex-woodworker, I am hugely impressed by their woodworking skills that combine great design with cutting-edge technology.” Co-owner Sarah Paxton adds, “And they’re green!” Runner-up: (tie): Ethan Allen, 12000 W. Broad St., 360-1530, ethanallen.com; Ruth & Ollie, 3445 W. Cary St., 288-3360, ruthandollie.com; and Williams & Sherrill, 2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com R

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Widest rug selection

Green Front Furniture 316 N. Main St., Farmville, (434) 392-5943, greenfront.com Choose from thousands of rugs in every size, shape and color from Persia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “We carry traditional, contemporary, hand-woven, hand-knotted and woolen silk from 2 feet by 3 feet, to 15 feet by 25 feet,” says Glenda Webb of Green Front Furniture. As a direct importer with one of the largest selections of rugs on the East Coast, Green Front offers a constant supply of rugs at deeply discounted prices. Runner-up: W. Hirsch Oriental Rugs, 3117 W. Cary St., 359-5463, whirschrugs.com Widest selection of bath fixtures

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Williams & Sherrill

2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com

Within its 25,000 square feet, Williams & Sherrill offers customers an extensive choice of fabric and trims. If you can’t find what you’re looking for to cover that worn-out chair of yours, you probably haven’t hit all the aisles, fabric books and swatches. The selection is wide, and this time of year, Patrick Williams says that linen in any hue is their biggest seller. Runner-up: U-Fab, 106 S. Robinson St., 888-8322, ufabstore.com

Widest variety of plants

Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery 2051 Huguenot Road, 320-1317, greatbiggreenhouse.com “Our selection is our strength, as well as our associate’s knowledge of the products,” says assistant general manager Doug Hensel. “We try to carry items that you can’t always find at other locations.” From basil to hibiscus, a vast selection of outdoor and tropical foliage plants popular for summer gardening are available to be paired with a large, colorful assortment of containers fit for outdoor use year round. Runner-up: Strange’s Garden Center. 12111 W. Broad St., 360-2800, strangesgardencenter.com

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Most interesting fabric selection

2703 Ackley Ave., 264-6400, ferguson.com Ferguson offers the elegant and the practical in all things bath, from wall sconces and Jacuzzis to hand showers and comfortheight toilets. More exotic, hard-to-find fixtures are available as well. “Link-a-sink is a company that offers really interesting vessel bowls,” says Ferguson spokesperson Denise Vaughan. “The drain is concealed, so it becomes a piece of artwork as opposed to a sink.” Sinks lit from within and faucets in the shape of fish, dolphins or bamboo are some of the more unusual items they carry.


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MOST CREATIVE LANDSCAPE DESIGN SERVICE

(tie)

Christie’s Fine Gardening and Creative Landscapes 784-8886, christiesfinegardening.com “I specialize in blending the practical and artistic aspects of the garden,” says Christie Barry. She integrates flower color and leaf texture with the shapes of the beds and stone to create, as she says, “a piece of art you can sit in.”

Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery 2051 Huguenot Road, 320-1317, greatbiggreenhouse.com The Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery offers landscape design through their partnership with certified landscape designer Eve’s Creative Landscape Design for a masterful blend of creativity and plants.

MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF AT A GARDEN STORE/CENTER

Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery 2051 Huguenot Road, 320-1317, greatbiggreenhouse.com

Whether or not your garden is suffering from fungal diseases due to wet weather, this 9-acre retail garden center with 10 state-certified horticulturists on staff can provide support for nearly all of your gardening concerns. In just one stop, outfit your garden with seeds, tools, plants, soil amendments, fertilizers and décor. Runner-up: Strange’s Garden Center. 360-2800, strangesgardencenter.com

Great Big Greenhouse’s Doug Hensel

MOST SURPRISING COLLECTION OF PLANTS

Strange’s Garden Center 12111 W. Broad St., 360-2800, strangesgardencenter.com Looking for an herb that will keep tomato horn worms away? Borage. How about something to repel rodents and animals? Dog Gone. With thousands of herbs, 60 varieties of tomatoes and lots more, find the best and strangest plants at Strange’s. Runner-up: Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery, 2051 Huguenot Road, 320-1317, greatbiggreenhouse.com MOST COMPREHENSIVE FLOORING SELECTION

Costen Floors

9840 Mayland Drive, 527-2929, costenfloors.com Buying flooring is an investment. Along with a floor’s finish, consumers should consider durability. And don’t forget feel. Costen Floors sells carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, stone, laminate and wood flooring plus window treatments, and it offers installation services. Co-owner Ralph L. Costen Jr. expects to see a lot of interest in brand-new “floating floors [those that snap or click together on top of subflooring or finished flooring] of ceramic tile that just came out in February or March.” Grout is used to seal open joints (as well as for a more traditional look) but isn’t necessary with all of the options available. Runner-up: Better Floors Inc., 11300 Polo Place, 378-1405, betterfloorsinc.net R

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MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE HOME-MEDIA INSTALLER

Home Media

1111 Alverser Drive, Midlothian, 379-0900, homemedia.com In the coming decade, home automation will appeal to Americans like home theater did in last decade. Home Media, a designbuild firm, does both. It takes the electronics we love and integrates them with lighting, temperature and security systems. “We want to shift the paradigm,” says Ray Lepper, president of Home Media. “We consider ourselves to be the fourth trade: plumbers, electricians, HVAC and home media.” MOST INSPIRING KITCHEN DESIGN SHOWROOM

Custom Kitchens MOST EXPERIENCED FRAMER OR FRAME SHOP

Ben Franklin Crafts & Frames

Six locations around Richmond, bf-crafts.com

The most recent happening on the Ben Franklin framing front is a new partnership with Richmond artists. Ben Franklin associates scan the work of local artists and then place them in a catalog from which shoppers can order a print. “We like to support local artists,” says Jeffrey Ball, director of framing operations. “This helps them get their name and images out there.” Runner-up: Suitable for Framing, 5800 Grove Ave., 285-0774 or pictureframingrichmond.com

6412 Horsepen Road, 288-7247, customkitchensinc.net What’s cooking in kitchen trends? Cleaner, simpler looks in woodwork, sustainable woods for cabinets, such as plantationgrown hardwood trees for Lyptus products, and Virginia-mined soapstone for countertops. Custom Kitchens’ certified designers create both indoor and outdoor looks with custom cabinetry, installed by in-house craftsmen. “A new market for us,” says Richard Hendrick, president of Custom Kitchens, “is outdoor kitchens and outdoor cabinetry of ¾-inch heavy-duty plastic that’s durable.” Runner-up: Classic Kitchens of Virginia Inc., 12535 Patterson Ave., 784-5075, classickitchensofva.com MOST EXPERIENCED LIGHTING REPAIR SERVICE

Toombs Ltd.

5730 Patterson Ave., 282-6554, toombslighting.com While Toombs Ltd. specializes in reproductions and has performed work for the Landmark Theater and Governor’s Mansion, this family-owned company also has turned kegs and fishing rods into lighting. Silversmiths and a glassblower can re-plate and/or replace indoor and outdoor fixtures. Crystal chandelier cleaning also is available. WIDEST VARIETY OF LANDSCAPING PRODUCTS

Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery

2051 Huguenot Road, 320-1317, greatbiggreenhouse.com “Mother Nature brought us a very nice spring season,” says Great Big Greenhouse assistant 60

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WIDEST VARIETY OF WINDOWS AND DOORS

Pella Windows and Doors of Virginia 1549 N. Parham Road, 741-4556, pella.com

When the cold air blows in and rattles your old windows, you might want to consider replacing them with energy-efficient updates. Pella can match and install any window — from those in brand-new houses to the windows of historical properties. Runner-up: BNW Builders, 8601 Staples Mill Road, 346-3300, bnwbuilders.com


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general manager Doug Hensel. “The key to success . . . at a garden center is weather,” and after a tough winter, the spring months were perfect for planters. This nursery sells plants, trees, gifts, garden supplies and accessories. Runner-up: Charles Luck Stone Center, 343 River Road West, Manakin, 708-5700, charlesluck.com

Tommy and Muffy Barden

WIDEST SELECTION OF LIGHTING FIXTURES

Shades of Light

4924 W. Broad St., 288-6515; Decorating Outlet at 9912 Midlothian Turnpike; or shadesoflight.com Shades of Light founder Ashton Harrison says LED lighting “is allowing us to do fun new things such as lit bars, and illuminated glass shelves and color-changing lights for commercial clients.” Tired of that 1980s recessed lighting at home? Update the look with simple devices that screw into the socket to transform the fixture into a pendant or ceiling light. Shades of Light also sells furnishings and does custom work, including turning an artificial hip joint into a lamp for a physician. Runner-up: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, 2703 Ackley Ave., 264-6400, ferguson.com MOST INNOVATIVE HOME ORGANIZER OR COMPANY

(tie)

California Closets

L E F T : B E T H F U R U G R S O N P H OTO S ; R I G H T : J AY PA U L P H O TO

2117 Dabney Road, 359-1333, californiaclosets.com The key to staying organized is having a place for everything, and California Closets offers exactly that. They provide customized home storage, from closets to garages. They’ve even installed a small refrigerator, ice maker, wet bar and coffee maker in a walk-in closet, says senior designer Harlan Brubaker. A past client “didn’t want to have to walk all the way across the house to fix a drink at night, and she wanted her coffee brewing right there when she woke up in the morning.” Deluxe storage indeed.

Closet Factory 8162 Elm Drive, Mechanicsville, 559-0001, closetfactoryva.com Closet Factory not only consults, designs and installs organizing systems for closets, entertainment systems, home offices and pantries, but manufactures them locally. Empty-nesters have had bedrooms converted to dressing areas and spare rooms and

MOST RELIABLE PAINTING AND/OR WALLPAPERING COMPANY

Barden’s Decorating 598-4802, bardensdecorating.com

After 20 years in the business, Tommy Barden has lots of long-term, repeat customers. “We’ll do a house for a customer and then do their second house, and then we’ll find we’re doing their children’s first house.” Barden’s Decorating handles indoor and outdoor painting and preparation, painted finishes, wallcovering installation and removal.

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loft areas recast as multi-purpose rooms with Murphy beds for when company arrives. “Ninety-five percent of the time the bed is up and the room is another useful area of the home,” says sales manager Cathy Turner.

Kimberly Menges LLC 282-3336 Home organizer Kimberly Menges LLC finds that often the most disorganized people are the most interesting. In business for more than seven years, she primarily works in homes, arranging kitchens, children’s rooms, attics, basements or sheds, and creatively reusing items the client has for storage. “There isn’t any territory I won’t tackle,” says Menges, who is on retainer for some longstanding clients. Runner-up: Method ORG, 2418-C Granite Ridge Road, Rockville, 290-8822, methodorg.com (by appointment only) Widest variety of fireplace options

Mr. Handyman of Richmond 270-7272, mrhandyman.com

“Although we’re a class-A contractor, and that means we could build houses, that’s not the kind of thing we do,” says Gina Chapman, owner of the Richmond franchise of Mr. Handyman. Large additions and major remodeling aren’t their specialty either. However, bathroom remodels and smaller jobs are right up their alley. Whether it’s wood rot or drywall repair, Mr. Handyman and its nine technicians are on call. Runner-up: Lane Homes, & Remodeling Inc., 12536 Patterson Ave., 784-0012, lanebuilt.com; Franko-LaFratta Construction, 2121 N. Hamilton St., 355-4917, flfconstruction.com

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8801 Forest Hill Ave., 320-3600, bonairbetterlivingproducts.com What’s your burning desire? Bon Air Better Living Products sells and installs indoor and outdoor fireplaces — including Mendota, the Mercedes of gas fireplaces “and truly one of the prettiest burns you’ll ever see,” owner Mikki Hopcroft says. Although expensive, it’s the most efficient and the most realistic-looking gas fireplace on the market. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee. Runner-up: Victorian Fireplace Shop, 3201 W. Broad St., 355-1688 or gascoals.net Most dependable handyman or handyman service

Mr. Handyman of Richmond

270-7272, mrhandyman.com “Because our service technicians are multiskilled,” says Richmond franchise owner Gina Chapman, “the client doesn’t have to call a bunch of different contractors to get a job done.” Mr. Handyman takes care of those small, pesky odd jobs other contractors won’t. Need your sofa moved from downstairs to up? Pictures mounted? “We’ve even installed a stripper pole in someone’s bedroom,” Chapman says.

l e f t : s a r a h wa lo r p h oto ; r i g h t : j ay pa u l p h o to

Top class-A contractor/remodeler

Bon Air Better Living Products


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Most accomplished refinisher

(tie)

Gates Antiques Ltd. 12700 Old Buckingham Road, 794-8472 or gatesantiques.com At Gates Antiques Ltd., fun is rescuing furniture ready for the scrap heap and restoring its original beauty for owners to whom the piece has sentimental value — or finding $10,000 in a hidden compartment of a slantfront desk. The Midlothian company also sells investment-quality American and English antiques, and offers appraisals and classes.

Woods’ Refinishing & Restoration LLC

Widest selection of architectural salvage

Caravati’s Inc. 104 E. Second St., 232-4175, caravatis.com

With more than 26 years selling architectural salvage, Caravati’s owner Jimmy Kastelberg says one of his favorite things is to see people he wouldn’t normally expect wander into his business. He’s sold andirons to Hilary Swank, a 6-foot bathtub to Willard Scott, shutters to Roger Mudd, and he’s had designer/blogger Eddie Ross and the comedian Sinbad wander through his doors. Runner-up: Governor’s Antiques Ltd., 8000 Antique Lane, Mechanicsville, 746-1030, governorsantiques.com

1809 E. Franklin St., 782-9383, woodsrandr.com Charlie Woods of Woods’ Refinishing & Restoration LLC, which worked on the big furniture pieces in Dover Hall, the “castle” in Goochland County, enjoys becoming part of the history of the American antiques he restores and also knows when refinishing should not be done. Woods says when customers bring in failed do-it-yourself projects, the customer says, “ ‘Well, I stripped most of it.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, but you left me the hard part.’” Runner-up: Accent on Wood Inc., 2028 W. Cary Street, 355-1903 Most traditional furniture and accessory finds

Leo Burke Furniture 3108 W. Cary St., 358-5773, leoburke.com For durability, and tactile and visual quality, little compares to leather-upholstered furniture, a perennial best-seller at Leo Burke Furniture. This reader favorite serves customers all across the country. “We have a customer who lives in Seattle and comes down each time they’re in D.C.,” says Jack Burke, Leo Burke’s president. He adds that longtime staff makes for continuity with generations of customers. Runner-up: Ethan Allen, 12000 W. Broad St., 360-1530 or ethanallen.com Worth-the-trip store (outside of Richmond)

Green Front Furniture 316 N. Main St., Farmville, (434) 392-5943, greenfront.com What’s the most frequently heard comment from first-time customers when they see the 850,000 square feet of showrooms at the flagship location? “They wished they’d come R

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earlier,” President Dick Crallé says. Three or four times a week trucks make the trip with discounted handmade rugs, furniture and accessories from Green Front Furniture in Farmville to Richmond – the top out-of-town delivery stop. Runner-up: Williamsburg, Va. MOST WELL-MADE WINDOW TREATMENTS

Williams & Sherrill

ART GALLERY WITH FINDS UNDER $250

Crossroads Art Center

2016 Staples Mill Road, 2788950, crossroadsartcenter.com.

Art without intimidation is the goal of the Crossroads Art Center, and according to our readers, they’re one of the best sources in town if you want an original piece of art but don’t have the big bucks to buy one. Co-owner (along with James Bassfield) Jennifer Kirby says that “we represent 200 local artists [who] are permanent, and the number goes up to about 250 when you include the featured artists. All of them come from about a 60-mile radius” around Richmond. Runner-up: Quirk Gallery, 311 W. Broad St., 644-5450 or quirkgallery.com

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2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com In business for almost 20 years, owner Patrick Williams originally started the store with his future mother-in-law, Nancy Sherrill McAndrews as “a little wallpaper store,” he says, “and it grew to be a full-design service store.” Since they began making window treatments, single window panels have grown to 200inches wide as clients commission curtains for extra-large, double-sized rooms. Runner-up: Accent Draperys, 1515 Chamberlayne Ave., 329.3930, accentdraperys.com WIDEST SELECTION OF STONE COUNTERTOPS

Charles Luck

343 River Road West, Manakin, 708-5700, charlesluck.com Stone comes from all over the world, from Vietnam to our own Virginian backyard, at Charles Luck Stone Center. By infusing a highfashion sensibility with the enduring quality of the materials, the Luck selection is at once vast and eclectic. Pavers, countertops, tile — if you want stone that’s beautiful and functional, you might want to take a drive out to Charles Luck’s beautifully designed studio to find what your looking for. MOST INTRIGUING CONTEMPORARY/MODERN FURNITURE AND FINDS

LaDifférence

125 S. 14th St., 648-6210, ladiff.com Since 1992, LaDiff has been the go-to shop for contemporary design and furniture in Richmond. All those sleek, modern lines make you think twice when people say we Richmonders hate change. Green, however, is an old concept at LaDiff, and co-owner Sarah Paxton loves Copeland Furniture of Vermont. The company “was a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council,” says Paxton. “They are also members of FSC — the Forestry Stewardship Council — and they

ANTIQUE STORE OR MALL WITH THE MOST STOCK TURNOVER

West End Antiques Mall

2004 Staples Mill Road, 3591600, westendantiquemall.com

The best day to find new items at West End Antiques Mall is every single day. Manager Judy Splawn says at least a dozen dealers come in daily to drop off new items for an ever-changing selection. “We have regulars who come in to shop every day because they’re afraid they’ll miss something,” she says.


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recently won the SAGE Award presented by SFC for the furniture supplier or retailer who is the most ‘green’ or sustainable.” MOST INSPIRING HOME ACCESSORIES STORE

Williams & Sherrill

2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com Williams & Sherrill might carry a lot of fabric, but the rest of the store is filled with plenty of furniture and intriguing accessories. The one thing owner Patrick Williams and creative director Jamie Coffey wish everyone would give a try? The House and Home candles by Lafco, which are designed “to fit different people’s lifestyles,” says Coffey. “They last 90 hours and have the highest scent-to-wax ratio of any candle without turning into liquid.” Retailing for $55, they come in handblown Venetian glass, and scents include Pool House, Living Room and Patio among many others. Runner-up: Fraîche, 304 Libbie Ave., 282-4282, fraichehome.net MOST EXOTIC FURNITURE AND ACCESSORY FINDS

TO P L E F T : B E T H F U R U G R S O N P H OTO ; B OT TO M L E F T : S A R A H W A LO R P H O TO ; R I G H T : J AY PA U L P H O TO

LaDifférence

125 S.14th St., 648-6210, ladiff.com Where do all of the interesting and unusual things at LaDiff come from? “At last count we had furniture and accessories from 17 countries in the store,” says co-owner Sarah Paxton. “Let’s see: U.S.A, Canada, Denmark, Norway, France, Italy, South Africa, Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Mexico, England and a few Eastern European countries, too.” One piece that has to travel the farthest is a slate table made in South Africa out of slate quarried there. “The gentleman who is part owner of the operation,” says Paxton, “also started a wine-export business to represent several South African wines in the U.S. Unfortunately, we do not carry his wine.” Runner-up: These Four Walls, 1401 E. Cary St., 622-6201 or shopthesefourwalls.com MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF AT AN ANTIQUES STORE OR MALL

West End Antiques Mall 2004 Staples Mill Road, 359-1600, westendantiquemall.com You don’t need an expert to find what you’re looking for at the maze-like West End Antiques Mall — the experts work there and

MOST CREATIVE DECORATIVE PAINTER

Art to Di For

5400 Santa Maria Drive, Mechanicsville, 559-5670, arttodifor.com

Want some metallic in your palette or do you prefer colorful canvas floor cloths? Artist Diane Williams creates one-of-a-kind, hand-painted finishes for home or business. Last year, Hanover County honored Williams’ volunteer efforts for helping fifth-graders paint 60foot murals in Rural Point Elementary School. “My favorite part is the kids who come back to the school for a visit and point out ‘their fish,’” she says. Runner-up: (tie) Sunny Goode, 5703-A Grove Ave., 287-8523, sunnygoode.com; The Faux Chateau, 3804 Baldwin Road, Chester, 536-9999, thefauxchateau.com


Custom Made Garden Furniture & Unique Garden Ornaments

can answer your questions. High prices wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t break your wallet either. Although you can find great deals and hidden treasures yearround, mall manager Judy Splawn says the two semiannual sales are a great time to find a good deal. Once in fall and then again in the spring, the store offers up refreshments and most dealers offers up discounts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Almost everything is on sale,â&#x20AC;? Splawn says. Runner-up: Gates Antiques, 12700 Old Buckingham Road, Midlothian, 794-8472, gatesantiques.com MOST RELIABLE REUPHOLSTER

Whetstone Upholstery & Interiors 1122 N. Boulevard, 355-8505, whetstoneupholsteryandinteriors.com Along with upholstering old and new furniture, Whetsone Upholstery & Interiors builds new furniture that replicates antique styles. One of owner Madalyn Hopkinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; favorite looks is to take old furniture frames and to paint them bright colors like neon green or to upholster them with leopard-print fabrics. She also does a lot of work on antiques and even restored a chair that belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Swift Creek Garden Furniture

Ă&#x2021;{ääĂ&#x160;"Ă&#x192;LÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x160;/ÂŤÂ&#x17D;iĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;,Â&#x2C6;VÂ&#x2026;Â&#x201C;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;`]Ă&#x160;6Ă&#x160;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;ÂŁ ­nä{ÂŽĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2C6;xĂ&#x201C;Â&#x2021;ä{Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;°Ă&#x192;Ă&#x153;Â&#x2C6;vĂ&#x152;VĂ&#x20AC;iiÂ&#x17D;vĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;i°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C; /Ă&#x2022;iÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x160;£äĂ&#x160;Ă&#x160;qĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x160;*Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;->Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;£äĂ&#x160;Ă&#x160;qĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x160;*

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Runner-up: Williams & Sherrill, 2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF AT A HARDWARE STORE

Pleasants Hardware

Š ORG 2010

From start to ďŹ nish

Runner-up: Harper Hardware Co., 1712 E. Broad St., 643-9007, harperhardwareandtools.com

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Various locations; go to pleasantshardware.com The staff at Pleasants really knows their stuff. Marketing Director Darrell Campbell attributes this to the fact that many of the employees have worked for Pleasants for a long time â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually had real-life experience in the field about which they advise shoppers. He notes that many store-level employees have been with the company for at least 25 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one differentiator between us and the big-box stores,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really try to provide better service.â&#x20AC;?

ART GALLERY WITH THE MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING WORK

(tie) -ETHOD/2'COM

2 0 1 0 6/21/10 4:05:53 PM

1708 Gallery 319 W. Broad St., 643-1708, 1708gallery.org Although many Richmonders wander through 1708 Gallery on First Fridays, not everyone


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R I C H M O N D 12000 WEST BROAD STREET JUST WEST OF SHORT PUMP TOWN CENTER 804.360.1530 2WAYS 2SAVE IS NOT REFLECTED IN PRICES SHOWN. Valid July 2 through September 6, 2010. Excludes prior purchase and pending deliveries. *Excludes sales tax, delivery charges, gift cards, and Gold Protection Plan. **If promotional balance is not paid, in full, within twenty-four months from the date it first appears on your billing statement, interest will be assessed from the date of purchase. If any balance on your account goes sixty days past due, the promotion will be terminated and accrued interest will be billed at standard account terms. As of 07/01/10, new account APR is 29.99%, existing account default penalty APR is 29.99%. Minimum finance charge is $2.00. Not valid on gift cards. Transactional purchase and application are subject to credit approval by GEMB. Valid for U.S. citizens at participating U.S retailers. ethanallen.com Š2010 Ethan Allen Global, Inc.

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may know that this gallery is actually a nonprofit. “It was started 32 years ago by VCU students looking to provide space for the risk-taking work of contemporary artists,” gallery administrator Jolene Giandomenico says, adding that while most galleries focus on selling art, 1708 shows lots of large-scale, site-specific work and video installations by artists who might not be able to get shown in traditional galleries.

Chasen Galleries

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3554 W. Cary St., 204-1048, chasengalleries.com While most galleries only show one or two artists at a time, Chasen Galleries showcases several artists at once, so if you’re in the store and like the work of one of the artists there, make sure to talk to an associate — there’s probably more by that artist in stock. “We often sell more out of the back that what’s on the floor,” says owner Andrew Chasen. Artists represented by the gallery also sign local exclusivity agreements. If they show at Chasen, you can be confident that you won’t see their work anywhere else in Richmond. Runner-up: Reynolds Gallery, 1514 W. Main St., 355-6553 or reynoldsgallery.com Most stylish bed linens

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Summer at...

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Yves Delorme

Beautiful gifts wrapped daily! 11709 11709 West West Broad Broad St St || (804) (804) 360-4660 360-4660 || www.monkeesofrichmond.com www.monkeesofrichmond.com 68

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304 Libbie Ave., 282-4282, fraichehome.net Fraîche may be a petite boutique, but the selection of linens they carry isn’t. When it comes to the bedroom, the store carries three favorite flagship lines: Matouk, Traditions and Peacock Alley. You can choose from selections in-store or from endless books of customizable fabrics, threads and trims. Fraîche also carries colorful Le Jacquard French tablecloths, tea towels and napkins. For summer they’ve added Turkish foutas, traditional 100 percent Hammam linens that can be taken to the beach, used for picnics or worn as shawls.

2 0 1 0 6/14/10 12:06:29 PM

9200 Stony Point Parkway, 320-7521, yvesdelorme.com All Yves Delorme’s bed, kitchen and table linens are 100 percent Egyptian combed cotton. Creative Director Evelyne Julienne has been designing two new patterns per year for almost a quarter of a century. All the patterns use the same color palette, so mixing and matching from year to year is simple. The Bastille Day sale from July 9 to July 14 is a great opportunity to update your collection;


We’re Celebrating Our 13th Anniversary! Join Us for Light Refreshments, Gift Certificates and Special Sales

Sat., July 10th & Sun., July 11th 45,000 square feet of Antiques Over 300 Dealers! •

Furniture

• Jewelry

Silver

• Collectibles

La Petite Tearoom’s Lunches, Teas & Desserts

Voted 1st Place Gold Winner: Best Antique Shop in Williamsburg Voted 1st Place Gold Winner: Best Gift Shop in Williamsburg Voted 1st Place Gold Winner: Best Specialty Store in Williamsburg

The Virginian-Pilot Best of – 2010 Readers Choice Awards Pictured Above: Donna Conlan and Peggy Houff “This doll reminds us of the first item we sold when the mall opened 13 years ago.” Handicap accessible, clean, organized and climate controlled.

Open 7 Days a Week www.antiqueswilliamsburg.com

(757) 565-3422 500 LIGHTFOOT ROAD

Monday - Saturday, 10 AM to 6PM; Sunday, 12 Noon to 5PM Member of National Association of Antique Malls

Enjoy relaxing outdoors this summer on your new...

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Pictured Above: Left - Donna Conlan, Right - Peggy Houff “This doll reminds us of the first item we sold when the mall opened 13 years ago.”

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PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS:

THANK

YOU

TO THE MANY VOLUNTEERS, PARTICIPATING CHEFS AND EVENT SPONSORS THAT MADE THIS YEAR’S EVENT A SAVORY SUCCESS! CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNERS: “TO DINE FOR” Award: Acacia Mid-Town Runner-up: Gibson’s Grill

“TO DIET FOR” Award: Avenue 805 Runner-up: Imperial Catering and Events

PEOPLE’S CHOICE Award: The Bull and Bear Club

Acacia Africanne On Main Avenue 805 Bacchus Balliceaux Bistro 27 Bistro 104 Bookbinders Bull and Bear Café Rustica Carena’s Jamaican Grille Caribbean Mingles Catering by Jill Comfort Community Kitchen Cous Cous Croaker’s Spot Gibson’s Grill Ginger Thai Taste Grapevine Halligan Bar and Grill Imperial Catering and Events India K’Raja J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Julep’s New Southern Cuisine Kitchen 64

HEALTHY DISH Award: Mosaic Café and Catering AMBIENCE Award: University of Richmond Center for Culinary Arts

Kuba Kuba Lavenders Café and Specialty Shop/ Umami Coffee and Tea Company Louisiana Flair Mezzanine Mosaic Café and Catering Nile Ethiopian Restaurant Olio Popkin Tavern Positive Vibe Café Q Barbeque Rowland Fine Dining Seafire Grill Sensi Restaurant Sine Irish Pub Six Burner Sticks Kebob Shop Stronghill Tarrant’s Café Tastebud’s American Bistro The Empress The Urban Farmhouse University of Richmond Center of Culinary Arts Weezie’s Kitchen

Hosted by the Downtown Neighborhood Association to benefit

everything in the store is 20 percent off. Runner-up: Williams & Sherrill, 2003 Huguenot Road, 320-1730, williamsandsherrill.com Most beautiful tile selection

Morris Tile

2280 Dabney Road, 353-4427, morristile.net Morris Tile sources products from around the world and has options for almost every style. Right now, commercial sales representative White Morris is particularly excited about Sonoma Tile Makers, a California-based company that’s sold exclusively at Morris in Richmond. The company allows customers to create their own custom tile blend from more than 150 shades of ceramic, crushed glass, stone, etched tiles and more. Morris says it’s popular for backsplashes. “You just put in the percent you want of each,” Morris says. “Your backsplash will be like no one else’s.” Runner-Up: Charles Luck Stone Center, 343 River Road West, Manakin, 708-5700, charlesluck.com Most helpful paint store or department staff

Virginia Paint & Design Center Six locations around Richmond, virginiapaintcompany.com They know a lot about paint here. Benjamin Moore Paints, that is. You get the same focused attention and time from staff members whether you’re a homeowner looking to repaint a bathroom in an afternoon or a contractor about to paint an entire house. Some of us are easily intimidated by hands-on projects, but the folks here know how to reassure even the most reluctant painter that they can get the job done. Most interesting auctions

Alexander’s Antiques and Auctions 9131 Midlothian Turnpike, 674-4206, alexandersantiques.com After 17 years in business, Alexander’s moved to a new 30,000-square-foot space on Midlothian Turnpike this year. Every Thursday, between 600 and 1,000 items are sold at an auction that starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs until everything is gone. Co-owner Keith Smith says 60 percent to 70 percent of sales actually come from people who preview, and then place their bids by phone or e-mail.

SPONSORS:

Runner-up: Motley’s Auction & Realty Group, 4402 W. Broad St., 355-2100, motleys.com 

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Stylish Furniture, Colorful Pillows, Art & Accessories

3445 W. Cary St. 288-3360 | ruthandollie.com

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THANKS FOR VOTING US

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happenings

ABOVE: The Valentine Richmond History Center garden was a lovely place to sit and chat with friends on May 13. BELOW: Beautiful blooms graced the table in the garden at the Valentine.

Event

Secret Gardens

Celebrating the historic green spaces of downtown By Brandon Fox

T

he 250 people who attended the first Secret Garden Party in Historic Court End enjoyed it so much, “they lost track of time — so we’re making it a half-hour longer [next year],” says Katherine Fahed, spokesperson for the Historic Richmond Foundation. On May 13, the Court End neighborhood threw open its gates and staged a progressive cocktail party in the gardens of the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, the John Marshall House, Monumental Church, the Valentine Richmond History Center and the Massey Cancer Center Healing Garden. Each garden featured different food and drinks, from vodka gimlets to John Marshall’s favorite, Madeira. Music included Justin Smith’s Jazz Band Trio, Campbell’s Ramblers and guitarist Leah Kruszewski, among others. “It was the week after Mother’s Day, so a lot of daughters bought tickets,” says Fahed. “A lot of them [said] they’re going to bring their husbands next year.”

J AY PA U L P H O TO S

For more photos from “Secret Gardens,” visit rhomemag.com R

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happenings

Secret Gardens cont'd

In the Healing Garden at VCU’s Massey Cancer Center, Becky Massey hugs 8-year-old Dylan Lyons. Campbell’s Ramblers played in the garden of the Valentine Richmond History Center (from left: Mark Campbell, Glenn Amey and Ron Curry).

Quote People loved that they could walk to every site.” —Katherine Fahed

Loutisha James takes in an “Endless Summer” hydrangea at the Healing Garden at VCU’s Massey Cancer Center.

Roburt Kickler and Samantha Paulson say the swing in the Healing Garden at VCU’s Massey Cancer Center was their favorite part of the tour.

From left: Mike Cheadle, Judy Cheadle, Eric Harley, Kim Harley, Jim Morgan and Dan Stackhouse. 76

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happenings

7/14

Calendar

Cool Things to Do in the Summertime Calendar picks for July and August

7/17

Victorian High Tech In the 1890s, James and Sallie Dooley’s house at Maymont was considered cutting-edge. It already had that newfangled thing called electricity, plus indoor plumbing and a telephone – it even had an elevator. Go behind the scenes at the Maymont Mansion and take a tour of the latest and greatest modern residential innovations at the turn of the last century. 11 a.m. to noon. Maymont, 1700 Hampton St. $7; $5 for members. Call 358-7166, ext. 329 or go to maymont.org for more details.

7/21, 7/28, 8/4 Traditional Rug Hooking: Making a Family Heirloom! It’s never too late to discover a new passion, and the classes at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond are surprisingly varied. You won’t need any prior experience to learn the art of traditional rug hooking in this class. You’ll learn all the basics, plus make a small rug that you can turn into a wall hanging or pillow. The pattern, wool and hook will be supplied, but you’ll need to bring your own rughooking frame. Ages 14 and up. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. $180; $165 for members. Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W. Main St. Call 353-0094 or go to visarts.org for more details.

8/5

Awakening the Bauhaus : Innovation through the Integration of Art, Craft, and Technology Architects from Tektonics, a local architectural firm, will discuss how craftsmen, designers and architects collaborate together on projects. For the layman, each profession appears to have a discrete function, but this talk will discuss how permeable the boundaries between art and architecture really are. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. $5; free for members. Registration is required. Virginia Center for Architecture, 2501 Monument Ave. Call 644-3041, ext. 100, or go to virginiaarchitecture.org for more details.

8/5

Plant It Now! Fall Vegetable Gardens the Organic Way Luckily for gardeners, Virginia’s autumn seems to go on and on before the wintertime decides to get down to business. Join Amy Hicks of Amy’s Garden and find out what to plant and when for an abundant fall vegetable garden. She’ll even tell you how to keep vegetables growing all year long. Hicks’ techniques are earth-friendly and based on her experience running a certified organic farm. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. $30; $20 for members. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. Call 262-9887 or go to lewisginter.org for more details.

8/7

Director’s Tour: Bellevue Join Bill Martin, director of the Valentine Richmond History Center, on a tour of the Bellevue neighborhood on North Side. Streetcars kick-started North Side’s development at the turn of the century, and in the 1920s and 1930s, the burgeoning retail activity on MacArthur Avenue, along with the automobile, spurred the development of Bellevue. 10 a.m. to noon. $10; $5 for members. Meet at Stir Crazy Café, 4015 MacArthur Ave. Call 649-0711 or go to richmondhistorycenter.com for more details.

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At Home

Conviviality and Chaos It’s harder than it looks. By Maureen L. Egan

S

ummers years ago, I would sneak into my par‑ ents’ room at our family’s beach house, run to their side‑by‑side closets and pull the pair of mirrored doors together. The mirrors faced each other, sur‑ rounding me with reflections of me, over and over again. I wasn’t modeling clothes or deciding on a hairstyle. Unless I was inspecting a loose tooth, I didn’t care how I looked. I’d swing the doors and suddenly stop them to freeze my latest collage. When I opened and closed the doors faster, I powered a giant kaleidoscope with fragments of floor, bedspread, wallpaper, window and me whirling around all askew. If my arms tired, I pushed them out until there were only a few of me in the mirrors. Then I pulled the heavy handles in so close I could squeeze between the mirrors and count my reflections. The nearly complete circle of me was dizzying, but there was also comfort in numbers. My childhood had a cast of thousands, or so it seemed. There were the eight of us kids, my parents, my live-in grandmother, and a constant stream of people who were always driving up and walking onto the porch for a visit. Whether we knew the guests or not — liked the visitors or not — we congregated on the porch, scanning the road for cars bringing families my par‑ ents had invited up or cousins we hadn’t seen in ages, or, as we

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got older, a sister’s boyfriend or a new niece or nephew to add zaniness to the already frenetic proceedings. Fun appeared on our doorstep and food appeared on our dining room table. The living was easy. No doubt my memory has taken discrete moments from my childhood: fish fries with the neighbors, epic water battles and games of hide-and-seek, sprawling treasure hunts and everlasting games of SPUD in the front yard, whirling them around so that separate images blur into a continuous reel that shows effortless togetherness, the more the merrier, and inevitable hoagies, cheese steaks and hamburgers. I am not making up the warmth and hub‑ bub of those summers, but that I had no responsibility for the myriad things that needed doing to keep the house and family functioning got lost in the editing. I’ll never understand how my parents stood the constant conviviality and chaos, but I did learn the phrase “Go s--t in your hat and pull it over your head” after my father invited several too many guests for the weekend so my mother could wait on them during her “vacation.” That being a child in no way prepares one for being an adult I found out by becoming a mother. I spent lonely years moving around the East Coast with my small family. When I moved to a small town in South Carolina decades ago with my husband and toddler, the closest friends I had lived 400 miles away. Pregnant with my daughter and while my son slept, I often sat at my computer and wrote letters to my friends, wishing desper‑ ately that somehow someone who knew me would pull into the driveway. Instead I’d hear the UPS truck pull in to turn around. It made me wish I had ordered something. Ever since we put down roots in Richmond, I’ve tried to rec‑ reate the gathering glow of my childhood without going so far as acquiring six additional children, dumb dogs, mean cats, a beach house, a live-in mother-in-law and nonstop guests. I want our home to be casual and welcoming, and I want friends to come by often and hang out. But even though my idea of enter‑ taining is to bake something sweet, leave the door unlocked and hope for the best, I know that effortless entertaining is an oxy‑ moron. My parents made having people over look easy because I wasn’t paying attention (or helping). I don’t have porch steps to sit on to await our guests, but even if I did, I doubt I’d be sitting on them. Getting ready for visitors is a sweaty business. The likelihood that upon our guests’ arrival, it will suddenly turn effortless is laughable. Good thing I like to laugh. If presentation is everything, nothing I do will suffice, but maybe I was paying attention after all. The long open house my parents pulled off all those years ago might have been done with mirrors, but it still looks like summer to me.

c h r i s m i l k i l l u s t r at i o n


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R•Home July/Aug. 2010  

Readers' Survey Results, The Hot List: Sweet Summer Seats, Cocktails In The Secret Garden, Local Tropics, Maureen Egan's Hot Fun In The Summ...