R•Home - Mar-Apr 2024

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GRAND PRIZE: Best Residential Bath Over $100K

GRAND PRIZE: Best Interior Over $100K

Design Group 804-744-0620 • www.VADesign.Group

Home and Garden Events

Think spring with garden tours, flower shows and shopping affairs By

March 1-3 Richmond Home + Garden


Access more than 250 exhibitors and meet Je Devlin, host of HGTV’s “Stone House Revival” as well as Virginia Chamlee, author of “Big Thrift Energy: The Art and Thrill of Finding Vintage Treasures — Plus Tips for Making Old Feel New.” New this year: Ask the pros, a panel discussion on the Fresh Ideas Stage at 1 p.m. March 2 and 3. $9 per person at the door, $7 online; free ages 12 and under; free admission to ages 60+ March 1; free admission to active military, veterans, police, firefighters, EMT, medical professionals and teachers March 3. Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., richmondhomeandgarden.com

March 16-Sept. 2 Julia Child: A Recipe for Life

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture explores the life of Julia Child and her influence on America’s culinary revolution through an interactive “The French Chef” television set, video, audio and photography documenting Julia, her voice and her contributions to the culinary world. The exhibit is included with museum admission. virginiahistory.org

March 23-24 Virginia Da odil Society

Show The da odil show features hundreds of delightful prize-worthy da odils and expert growers. Included with admission to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. lewisginter.org

April 1-June 1 A Million Blooms

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s celebration of spring. Events throughout the season include Spring Plant Sale and plant shows. lewisginter.org

April 5-7 African Violet Show and Sale

Interesting and unusual African violet varieties on display and available for purchase at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. lewisginter.org

April 12-14 The Bizarre Bazaar

The 32nd Spring Market features unique gifts including gourmet food and cookbooks, fine linens, designer clothing, fine crafts and artwork and decorative home accessories. Tickets $9 per person at the door, $8 online, $2.50 ages 2-12; early bird tickets 8-10 a.m. Friday, $14. Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., thebizarrebazaar.com

See the first flowers of spring — tulips, da odils and bluebells — in bloom at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

April 20-27 Historic Garden Week

This year, Historic Garden Week features nearly 170 of Virginia’s most beautiful private properties. It encompasses 29 tours organized and hosted by 48 Garden Club of Virginia member clubs, including three in the Richmond area. Prices per person range from $25 to $75. Presented by the Garden Club of Virginia since 1929, tours typically include access to both the grounds and interiors of three to five private properties, which guests walk to or drive to in their own cars. vagardenweek.org

April 27 Herbs Galore

The annual one-day plant sale takes place on the Carriage House Lawn at Maymont from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring over 70 plant- and gardening-related vendors from across Central Virginia. Tickets $10 per person, $5 for ages 3-12; free for Maymont members and Museums for All participants. maymont.org/Herbs

Shop for rare and popular herbs, including ginger the herb of the year, from over 80 vendors at Maymont's Herbs Galore.

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From left: Courtesy Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; courtesy Maymont

A kaleidoscope of color: Cowles' 810 Pink wallpaper enlivens a powder room designed by Robin Gahan.

Powder Pu s

Powder rooms provide the perfect palette for bold color and pattern

ENTERING A BEAUTIFUL powder room is like stepping into a canvas. The walls envelop you in art. As poet and playwright Oscar Wilde observed, “Mere color … can speak to the soul in a thousand di erent ways.”

While wallpaper has graced homes since the 16th century, powder rooms emerged in the 18th century when powdered wigs were de rigueur. Small closets were appointed with a chair and mirror to provide guests with a place to refresh their wigs. Practical and aesthetic, powder rooms represented refinement.

A century later, wigs were passé, but noses still needed powdering. A rising

middle class born of the Industrial Revolution adopted powder rooms as a symbol of a uence. Printing advances of the day also made wallpaper consid-

Diminutive, tucked away, yet visited by friends and family alike, they are the perfect place to add personality.

erably more accessible. Papered powder rooms remained sensible even after the introduction of plumbing because, in the absence of bathing fixtures, the humidity isn’t an issue.

Today, powder rooms invite bold designs. Diminutive, tucked away, yet visited by friends and family alike, they are the perfect place to add personality. And what better way than with wallpaper? Wallpaper is an artistic accessory that takes up no square footage, and a little goes a long way in a small space.

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From left: Mindie Ballard; Gordon Gregory

Richmond artist Lindsay Cowles transforms her abstract paintings into patterns for wallcoverings and textiles. Robin Gahan of Marble Moon Interiors selected Cowles’ 810 Pink because “blues and golds add drama, while pinks and purples pop without feeling overly feminine.” Gahan suggests people should “choose colors based on how they make you feel. Lean into what you like in flowers, clothes, accessories and art.”

In an open floor plan, it’s harder to introduce the unexpected because there are no clear boundaries for pat-

terns or colors. In such settings, powder rooms are “perfect jewel boxes,” says Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs. You can close the door so they don’t have to be in lockstep with the primary spaces, but Jamieson recommends pulling a bold accent color from adjoining rooms to use as a jumping-o point.

Wallpaper can also tell a story, such as the jungle motif designer Lee Harmon Waters selected for a busy family in a wild phase of life. “Don't worry about overwhelming the space with patterns,” she says.

“Bold wallpaper makes small rooms feel larger because layers of color create depth.”

Once you select the pattern, hold up a paint deck to see what sings. “If it looks good on samples, it will work on walls,” Waters explains, adding that you should always get samples, as images can’t capture the true colors. Her advice? “Like art or relationships, don’t go with the safe choice. If there’s nothing new to discover, you’ll get bored. Go for what’s interesting!”

What says Oscar Wilde? In his final days, he quipped, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us must go.” The wallpaper won. Choose wisely, choose boldly and choose what you love.

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Lee Harmon Waters specified York Wallcoverings' El Morocco Palm paper in Teal/Green to create a lush yet calm vibe. Susan Jamieson went bold with Philip Gorrivan's hand-printed Desert Storm wallpaper in Cadet.



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Blair Martin found the turquoise bead-encrusted steer skull in a shop near Georgia O’Kee e’s Abiquiú Home and Studio Museum in New Mexico.


In their previous home, the Martins used their now-vintage iron and wood Restoration Hardware table in the dining room.

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The desk was a prop for a play that Blair found when working with a North Carolina theater company. The mustard-painted cabinet was an import. “It’s sort of a cross between Swiss German and early American painting to me,” she says. “… not what I would be typically drawn to. It was the color and size.”


On a vintage manicure table with seriously great curves, a selection of Blair’s resin paper weights — containing oddities like tarantulas and crabs — and a Sputnik-like pen holder that originally held cigarettes. The little resin pin cushion reminds her of something her mother used to have.

creative couple’s environs. “Everything in this house is something we collected somewhere,” she says. “The stories are what are important to me. I know where everything came from, what we were doing and why we were doing it. Stories are my thing in my painting, as well as everything else.”

Case in point: “rat bot.” Sculpted by Reginald “Ripp” Smith, a friend from Asheville, North Carolina, the unusual creature rests in between conversation areas in the living room. Made of thin layers of plywood pressed together and then carved, the sculpture is one of three of Smith’s works in the Martins’ house. “And it’s only the top half of the ‘rat bot.’ When we bought it, we couldn’t a ord the bottom half,” she laughs.

Using the same pressed plywood technique, Smith also created a sculptural base for the Martins’ dining room table. A twisted mass of what turns out to be appendages ends

in animal paws and human hands and feet carved to a miraculous, even height to support the glass top. “It really is absolutely incredible that he was able to make them all come to an even height,” Bill says.

Tied together with art, colors and stories on the inside, the pale gray exterior belies such lively spaces, with one exception: the front doors. Painted Blair’s favorite shade of red orange, that faced opposition from the Reeds Landing homeowners association when the Martins sought approval for the paint color.

“They told us they would only allow Williamsburg colors,” Blair recalls. “I can’t tell you how many colors we went through trying to convince them to let me paint what I wanted. Finally, I just told them that the red orange was a Williamsburg color and they said yes. I think they were just sick and tired of me. Of course, I would’ve done it anyway.”

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Perfect Patinas

Custom paint finishes are having a moment; Rick Holtz of H.J. Holtz demystifies the options

The right finish can transform a paint job, according to Rick Holtz, owner of H.J. Holtz & Son Inc., the full-service painting, decorative finishes and wallpaper contractor founded by his grandfather in 1936. R•Home spoke with Holtz to learn about trends in custom paint finishes and how to choose what’s best for your home.


R•Home: What’s the difference between standard paint and a custom finish?

Rick Holtz: When you pick a color from a paint company, you can choose from several finishes: flat, satin/eggshell, semigloss or gloss. Depending on the surface and what kind of look you want, a custom finish can be used for additional e ect to make the paint stand out. Many people want a high gloss custom finish; they want to make their walls look pristine and see more depth than what you can get from a basic paint job.



Both are glossy and highly reflective, but lacquer is the shiniest and gives a glass-like finish.

R•Home: Describe the process of applying a custom paint finish — how does it di er from applying standard paint?

Holtz: Custom finishes require more prep and coats of primer. Many have a higher sheen so imperfections in surfaces are more likely to be seen, so we do more filling and smoothing of wood and wall surfaces prior to applying primer. Once we are happy with the surface, we apply multiple layers of primer to seal the fillers and compounds. Primers seal and provide a base


Contains finely ground marble and slaked lime. The multi-step finish process can burnish to a high shine or natural matte look.

A ceiling hand-lacquered with Fine Paints of Europe Hollandlac

of color so the finish coats go on smooth and sheen levels are even.

R•Home: What types of custom paint finishes are most popular today?

Holtz: High gloss paint. I think the first time we did high gloss was back in 2005 and it hasn’t lost any steam. It’s still very popular for interior walls, furniture, ceilings, everything. Venetian plaster — it can burnish to a shiny finish or a more natural matte finish. We see a lot of that with chimney breasts. People also like lime wash (not to be confused with lime paint). We often use lime wash with brick surfaces instead of painting with a solid color. … It absorbs into the brick, showing o the brick’s texture.


The process of thinning paint with glaze to achieve a low-sheen faux finish

R•Home: What advice would you give homeowners for choosing the right paint finish?

Holtz: There’s no right or wrong answer. The beauty of paint is that it can always be undone or redone, so don’t be afraid to go bold.

Venetian plaster hand-painted to mimic a stone wall

LIME WASH VS. LIME PAINT Lime wash is a whitewash paint finish that is mostly see-through, while lime paint is a fullbodied, thick paint with richer color texture.

GLAZE Used to thin regular paint to achieve a translucency and color wash


A gradual color transition from a dark shade to a light shade, or vice-versa

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Courtesy H.J. Holtz & Sons Inc. 

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