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FALL 2015, vol. 9, No. 4

Experience Life Refreshed.

It’s Your Time Come to Westminster Canterbury and focus on the life you love. It’s your time to swim in our indoor heated saltwater pool, dine in one of our fine restaurants, walk the dog, plant a vegetable garden or join in one of our never-ending activities. All without chores or checklists. Retire with peace of mind—for you...for your family. We offer maintenance free living, 24-hour security, a financial safety net and a LifeCare program that’s nationally recognized by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. It’s your time for Life Refreshed. We’ll take care of the rest. Start planning your future and experience Life Refreshed. Call Laura Hunter to schedule a tour, (434) 386-3305 or (800) 962-3520. A LifeCare Retirement Community 501 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 www.wclynchburg.org

Cardiac care close to home Centra helped me get back to caring for my community. As a firefighter, it’s my duty to save people from danger. Serving my hometown of Lynchburg means so much to me. It’s what I was called to do. – Brian Younger, Lynchburg firefighter An irregular heartbeat forced firefighter Brian Younger to the sidelines. Centra cardiologist Richard Kuk, MD, diagnosed Younger with symptomatic premature ventricular contractions, which caused his heart to produce an extra beat. Dr. Kuk performed an ablation procedure to correct the irregular heartbeat.

For more information on heart care, call 1.877.MDLINK1 Watch a video about Brian Younger at StroobantsCardiovascular.com

Thanks to Centra’s nationally recognized cardiovascular care, Younger is back on duty, working alongside his fellow firefighters, responding to calls for help around the clock.

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n editor ’ s note Homeownership and all it entails—the sweeping of floors, the making of beds, annual maintenance and repairs—can have a tendency to skew toward mundane…but only if we let it! For me, conscious gratitude helps (“I’m so thankful to have all this laundry,” even if I say it through gritted teeth). But another way separate routine from humdrum is to occasionally seek ways to inject a little “thrill” into it all. In this issue, we share “The Thrill of the Hunt”—a feature about shopping in consignment and other types of furniture resale stores. You’re certain to feel a thrill of excitement when finding a one-of-a-kind treasure at a fraction of the cost of buying it new. Or if your idea of a good time is simply relaxing, this may be the season to add a hot tub or swim spa to your home. The luxury of a private water-filled retreat may be just the thrill you need. And our feature on staircases examines ways to renovate this oft-neglected, hardworking space. I don’t know about “thrill,” but renovating your staircase to include fabulous details could certainly put a spring in your step. (Sorry, we love a good pun.) I count myself among those who get a serious thrill out of intense organizing or cleaning sessions. In this issue, we’ll motivate you to tackle your drinkware cabinet (all those mismatches!) as well as conquer grimy hotspots in the kitchen that aren’t part of the weekly routine. Add a focal point to a room simply by painting, invest in an upholstered chair, learn a new veggie-centric recipe…all suggest departures from routine, and are here to inject a little wow. We also plant seeds for thrills to come; start composting now using the information from the article here, and you could yield a nice compost pile in the spring—nutrients to transform summer’s garden into thrills galore. Sure, there’s work to be done, but we’d all do well to seek ways to add an element of thrill to our days. Thanks for reading!







Volume 9 I ssue 4 PUBLISHER


Meridith Ingram ART DIRECTOR


Rachel Beanland Lucy Cook Phoebe Dinsmore Charlotte A.F. Farley Laurel Feinman Katherine Fulghum Knopf Patricia C Held Meridith Ingram Alyssa Mercadante Rory Rhodes Jessie Thompson GRAPHIC ARTIST


Beth Moore

—MERIDITH INGRAM, EDITOR meridith@westwillowpublishing.com


Allegra Helms KG Thienemann

Historic estate in the

Heart of Boonsboro

Historic charm with

8 secluded acres but convenient to everything

Porches & decks


Susan Creasy Lyn Marie Figel Liz Houhoulis Janet Lampman Julie Pierce SUBSCRIPTIONS

all the modern amenities

Central Virginia HOME is published five times annually by West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. For an annual subscription, please send $20 and your name, address and telephone number to: Central Virginia HOME 3831 Old Forest Road Lynchburg, VA 24501

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For advertising information please call (434) 386-5667 or sales@cvhomemagazine.com.

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To discuss coverage of an event relating to home or garden, please contact Central Virginia HOME at info@cvhomemagazine.com.

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cell: 434.660.5073 • office: 434.385.6655 www.judyfrantz.com • judy@judyfrantz.com 10

West Willow Publishing Group, LLC (434) 386-5667 westwillowpublishing.com Copyright 2015 by West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. All pictorial material reproduced in this magazine, whether in a produced ad or by itself, has been accepted on the condition that it is with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer or the artist concerned. As such, West Willow Publishing Group, LLC is not responsible for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising out of publication thereof. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, West Willow Publishing Group, LLC makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5


Actual patient, Alex

Get ready this fall. Fall brings many events - sports, hayrides and bonfires to name a few. No matter the activity, your smile is important! Central Virginia Orthodontics can help you achieve the perfect smile while providing excellent care with state-of-the-art technology in a warm, relaxing atmosphere.

Dr. Eric Baugher | Dr. Jennifer Claiborne

434.385.GRIN (4746) | bracesbycvo.com 7802 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg

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engaged IN LIFE

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with day to day activities. Our friendly, well-trained staff adapts assistance to each individual, helping with both routine activities and special needs.


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Custom Homes begin with Custom Service. (434) 237-2111 Conveniently located in Wyndhurst



C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

contents C e nt r a l V irg ini a h o m e Fa ll 2 0 15




16 34


features CON S I G N M E N T S T O R E S A N D M O R E

Shoppers experience the thrill of the hunt By J es s i e T h o m p s o n


Soak your way to backyard bliss

50 69

By M e r i d ith I n g r a m


How one local couple lives large since downsizing to new condo By Lau r e l F e i n m a n


Elevate your home’s style with an updated staircase By Lau r e l F e i n m a n Cover photography by Jennifer Finazzo LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HOME Magazine

c vhomemaga zine .com


C e nt r a l V irg ini a h o m e Fa ll 2 0 15

departments 26








30 PA I N T LIKE THE PROS Use paint to create focal points in your home

46 DEEP CLEANIN G THE KITCHEN How to tackle grime in five common hot spots

26 TREE CARE Maintenance tips for large, mature trees

43 H O U S E S TAT I O N E RY Hit the right note with custom-printed stationery

By Patr i c ia C H e ld

By P h o e b e D i n s m o r e

By C har lotte A.F. Far ley

By K ath e r i n e F u lg h u m

77 COMPOSTING 101 Get on board with Mother Nature’s recycling program

62 VEGGIE-CENTRIC MEALS Recipes to get more vegetables on your plate


88 S I T T I NG PRETTY Tips for buying upholstered chairs By R ac h e l B ean lan d

83 CHEERS! Spruce up your drinkware collection with versatile options

By R o ry R h o d es

By Lu cy C o o k

82 S TAT E O F R E A L E S TAT E Local pros weigh in on market conditions

By Alys sa M e r cadante




96 AROUND TOWN Local home and garden events in our area

88 S pecial I nterest 9 8 Index of advertisers 14

C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Now Available in Black


434-237-2800 c vhomemaga zine .com



The Thrill of the Hunt Shopping second-hand stores for first-rate looks

E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

By J es s i e T h o m p s o n P h ot o g r a p hy by KG T hi e n e m a nn

You might be one of those crazy-talented folks who knows exactly how you want your home to look and how to tie it all together. Or you may have only the vaguest idea that something in a room just feels off. Regardless of your design skills, when find yourself in a home-goods resale or consignment shop and you spot a piece that you love—whether it’s a huge piece of furniture to anchor your entire room or a perfectly proportioned accessory—there is probably a physical reaction. Your heart beats a little faster, you might even get a little light-headed. And then you check the price. The elation when the numbers on the tag are actually below what you were hoping to spend sends another spike of adrenaline, and you can’t help it—you are hooked. 16

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E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s


ore and more often, discerning shoppers and designers are scouring local resale, consignment and estate-sale home-goods stores to find those types of deals. Such stores are enjoying a renaissance—as an affordable (and environmentally friendly!) option for homeowners looking for unique pieces that fit their specific needs and their style. With fall on the way and the prospect of more and more time spent indoors (not to mention the upcoming holidays), the nesting urges will kick in. It’s about time to start making a list of things you might like to update your home—whether you’re making it more comfortable, more functional, or simply more of a reflection of your current tastes. You may need to address a problem spot—needing more storage near the kitchen door, for example—or feeling like it’s time to replace the sofa you never thought was as cushy as you’d like it to be. Maybe it’s something as simple as adding a new centerpiece in your dining room, or adding a few seasonal pillows in your family room to zhush things up. If any of these home-dilemmas sound familiar, then get yourself set for an adventure, and plan to visit these locallyowned, ever-changing stores that specialize in reselling quality items for your home.

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E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

Both the beauty and the beast of second-hand shops is that their inventory may never be the same twice. Treasure seekers will enjoy the thrill of the hunt for home furnishings, accessories and collectibles in an everchanging stock of items. 17

E s t at e s Rev isi t e d

Going on the Hunt

when only

the best will do...

Looking for your perfect home? You need Jane by your side. With a career sales volume of over 750 million, let Jane put her expertise to work for you. Jane@JaneBlickenstaff.net 434.384.8000 (office) 434.660.3773 (cell) JaneBlickenstaff.net


Both the beauty and the beast of second-hand shops is that their inventory may never be the same twice. Because it’s so different than flipping through furniture catalogs or walking the aisles to find something to order, owners of such stores suggest two things: keep an open mind, and be prepared to purchase. Joanne Newcomb, who owns Estates Revisited in Lynchburg and a new branch in Forest with business partner Art Dodd, says their stores change every single day. “We purchase items from people in every phase of life,” says Newcomb, from couples who are downsizing to families who are moving across the country. The styles are as varied as the people who originally bought them. Shoppers, too, are unique and varied, including everyone from those looking to furnish their first apartment to seniors who are opting away from their antique dining room table for 12 to a more practical six-top. Some have an eye for fixer-upper pieces, while others prefer the “purchase it to place it” method. There is no one way to shop, and these stores have such a vast array of furniture and accessories that it can be intimidating for the uninitiated. “You can’t really explain it to people who haven’t done it,” says Newcomb. While different people employ varying techniques when shopping—some come in with a mission, some walk the aisles and make three or four passes, others plant themselves and do quadrant looking—there aren’t really any tricks. “My advice is always: ‘If you love it, get it.’ If you love something, whether it’s monogrammed flatware, a rug, or an entire dining room, it will go together in your home with what C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

you already have because it’s all a reflection of you,” says Newcomb. For shoppers who are looking for a very specific item or for a specific space, it’s best to have your exact dimensions handy. No matter how much you are drawn to a particular piece, if it won’t fit in the space you have available, it’s better to pass, unless you love it so much you’re willing to change other spaces in your home. Some stores have pieces grouped according to size or style; others set up mini-rooms, complete with rugs, drapes and accessories. “I have no choice but to put a midcentury sofa next to a chest of drawers from the 1920s,” says Newcomb. “In this one room, even though it’s a big space, I have 20 different styles, all of which are on display and all of which will appeal to different people… Art and I have two totally different design aesthetics. He’ll put something out that I wouldn’t, and sure enough, it will sell, and vice-versa.” Vignettes like this often inspire shoppers to feel more comfortable mixing styles or decorating periods in their own homes; they may notice an older piece that’s been updated and think, “Oh, I could do something like that for my own space.”

The Promise

Life is hard enough right now. Everyone... I mean everyone is feeling the economy. I know there’s a lot on your plate. On top of everything else, some of you have dental problems; a broken tooth, lingering pain, or not the greatest smile. You would love to do something about it, but well, there are so many other things.

Here’s the promise: Come in and we will figure something out. I’ve spent the past thirty years training in dentistry. There exist some clever ways to give you back your smile or “hold you over” for awhile. No pressure. So call, maybe I can take one thing off your plate.

Kevin S. Midkiff, DDS, FAGD 20331 Timberlake Road Lynchburg, VA 24502


New patients are welcome c vhomemaga zine .com




Realizing the Value

We know tacos… …so bueno!

Moyanne Harding, who owns Estates and Consignments at Twelfth and Commerce Streets, says that without a doubt the biggest draw to shopping in resale shops is the bang for the buck. “Pieces are a lot less expensive, often they are better made, and there are more one-of-a-kind items that give buyers something unique, something special,” she says. Because the price points are lower, there can also be less intimidation in picking the wrong item. Like the piece but not sure it will work in your current color scheme? No problem: Paint it. Too drab? Get some funky new knobs. Super comfy but the color wouldn’t go well in your family room? Slipcover it or reupholster. In a move to assist customers in their design endeavors, Harding recently consolidated her two businesses (Interiors by Moyanne, and Estates and Consignments) under one roof. While Harding offers differing levels of design services—everything from turnkey design-and-build to consultations—she says she’s seeing more homeowners who really want to decorate their spaces themselves, but need a little help. Her shop fits that niche, she says, because the design center is staffed with employees who can help shoppers find great pieces at reasonable prices, and also help them with the details of refurbishing or repurposing to ensure their purchases fit well into their existing décor. She’s also seeing more eclectic decorating, with homeowners being more adventurous in mixing furniture styles, finishes and colors, along with blending accessories—much less matchymatchy than in previous years. “I feel like it’s best to just shop for things you love,” says Harding, explaining that many homeowners naturally tend to follow a color or pattern theme, adding to the current, eclectic trend in design.

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C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5


E s t at e s Rev isi t e d

E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

E s t at e s a n d C o nsi gnm e nt s

Because estate shops purchase everything in a house, they offer so much more than furniture. There are tools, kitchen appliances and dishes, light fixtures, accessories, linens and artwork. “We have way more artwork than we can hang,” says Newcomb. “So we price things to move; typically we’re pricing for the frames.” She’s had customers buy multiple frames, then paint them all in one color to be a cohesive display for artwork. Others have used empty frames to decorate a mantel. Decorating choices are limited only by imagination. “Once you get the taste of it, you can find special little treasures hidden all over the place,” says Newcomb. “There are so many wonderful things with great stories. … Even if you’ve only imagined the story.” Bonnie Hagar, who owns Next Time Consignment with her husband, says for those who are less inclined to change entire rooms, consignment shopping is a perfect way to add some umph. Think lamps or even just new shades, curios, a new-to-you end or side table. The store also offers chalk-mineral paint, for those who see a project piece.

Buying & selling estates Antiques, vintAge, old & new • new items Arriving weekly!

2 great locations! downtown • 1301 Main st. 434.845.0555 Forest • 14521 Forest rd. 434.616.2158 estatesrevisited.com c vhomemaga zine .com


E s t at e s Rev isi t e d

E s t at e s Rev isi t e d

My advice is always: “If you love it, get it.” If you love something, whether it’s monogrammed flatware, a rug, or an entire dining room, it will go together in your home with what you already have because it’s all a reflection of you.

—Joanne Newcomb, Estates Revisited

The Devilish Details

While Newcomb’s stores buy estates and partial estates outright, Harding’s is a mix of estate sales and items that have been consigned by their owners. In a traditional consignment store, like Next Time Consignment, items are brought to the shop by their owners, and there is an agreement between the owners and the shop as to how the piece or pieces will be priced. At some consignment shops, the longer the item stays in the store, the less expensive it will become. When goods are purchased, the money is split according to the contract between the store and the owner. While you might pay less the longer you wait, you may risk losing out to another buyer. Hagar says her store “accepts quality furniture and housewares seven days a week, so you never know what you might find when you visit.” Items have come in and gone out in the same hour. If you haven’t ever consigned an item or been a consignment shopper, she says it might be surprising; while some have a perception that buying “used” is less desirable, she suggests 22

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Moyanne Harding, Interior Designer c vhomemaga zine .com

shoppers look at the value. Her Waterlick Road shop, which has been open a little over two years, recently offered a side chair for a fraction of the $2,000 the original owner paid for it. But, she says, the key to being successful in finding those crazy-amazing deals is to check in often. Understanding that this might not always be easy, Next Time posts photos on Facebook several times a week of items that come into the store. Employees also are quick to respond to online questions about dimensions and prices. “We don’t want anyone to miss something they would love,” says Hagar, who says the store has even added a wish list, so if searching for a particular piece or manufacturer, the store can notify you. “We work real hard to have a positive relationship with our customers, and we also work really hard to accommodate all reasonable requests,” says Hagar. So don’t be afraid to shop without knowing exactly what you might be looking for. These reselling shops are interested in generating happy customers. If you’re up for waiting until you find a piece—unique, well-made items at a reasonable price—that hits you just the right way, browsing these shops might just be the perfect way to fill up a day or two. Just don’t forget your vision, or your wallet.

e moyanne@moyanne.com e 434.384.6844 e www.moyanne.com 23

Warm & Functional 80’S UPDATE

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When Mrs. Brooks called Pinnacle Cabinetry to renovate her 1980’s kitchen, she wanted a kitchen to accommodate her large family. She described a kitchen with an island sink including a dishwasher in addition to the main kitchen sink and dishwasher. She wanted a professional style range, hood, built-in wall oven and microwave. The refrigerator was integrated in cabinet door panels.The kitchen was a complete renovation of the cabinetry, countertops, appliances and fixtures. The original hardwood floors were retained. Mrs. Brooks chose a recessed panel maple door in Celedon green for the cabinets and an oak espresso stained island to provide a warm, traditional feeling to the kitchen. The island has a bar overhang with five stools. There is an apron front sink with a pullout spray at the kitchen window. The kitchen is loaded with storage and conveniences like roll trays, lazy susans, large pots and pans drawers. St. Cecelia granite countertops and Mexican backsplash were used. The Brooks brought special deco tile from California for over the range.

—Chris Hargis, CKD

Chris Hargis designed the kitchen I had imagined. He was pleasant to work with and a good listener. I love the colors and functionality of the space. With two dishwashers and two sinks, it makes it easy for my daughter and I to work together preparing meals for family and friends. I am grateful we were able to update our kitchen and bring in all the wonderful amenities of today. I especially enjoy my Bertazonni range. It’s beautiful and powerful for the serious cook, as well as easy to use, and costs less than most other professional ranges.

—Joslyn Brooks

Pinnacle Cabinetry designs and builds beautiful kitchens and baths crafted from the latest technology and quality materials that are affordable and functional, and are a pleasure you’ll love and value for years to come. Through effective design and management of the installation process, our team will create an original look to fit your tastes and lifestyle. Contact Chris Hargis, CKD at Pinnacle Cabinetry & Design (434) 382-1738 www.pinnaclecabinetry.net 113 Tradewynd Drive, Lynchburg c vhomemaga zine .com

PINNACLE Cabinetry & Design









GIANTS Caring for mature trees By Pat r i ci a C H el d

Trees occupy an important place in our gardens—and our culture. Author Ernest H. Wilson aptly sums up America’s love for them in his book, Aristocrats of Trees: “When first we dabble in the healthful pastime of gardening our interests may be in the lesser things; we may enthuse over tiny alpine plants, bulbs or tall herbs….Later we are attracted to shrubs, more permanent things. Finally we take to our heart trees, treasure them while life lasts, and hand them on, objects of lasting usefulness and beauty, an enduring legacy, to the generations that follow us.”

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Consequently, we are willing to invest time and effort to manage trees on our property. In many cases, tree care should be left strictly to an arborist—an expert certified in the cultivation and care of trees. Look at it this way; you wouldn’t consider diagnosing and treating a very ill pet without professional help. Likewise, a mature and beloved tree needs professional care, especially for significant trees. According to Adam Braaten of Bartlett Tree Service, “Significant trees are large trees, those with historical value—often attached to a memory or important event—or a tree with some exceptional qualities that deem it worth extra care.” His office of Bartlett Tree Service serves the Lynchburg, Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake areas. The company has been caring for trees for 100 years. A homeowner can feel comfortable working with a tree up to 15 feet tall, but anything taller is a different story. “Leave big trees alone,” cautions Jonathan Sledge, owner of Above Ground Landscape in Bedford County. Sledge has a degree in landscape contracting and management, and in addition to servicing residential clients’ trees, also cares for the trees at historic sites in Appomattox and Poplar Forest. He explains that do-it-yourselfers can often run in to trouble when trying to work with too-big trees best left to the professionals. “I have removed more trees that have fallen on a house after a homeowner tried to tackle them,” says Sledge. When hiring a professional for tree maintenance, there are several factors arborists will examine. It’s important to note that once a homeowner becomes a regular client with a tree service company, most are happy to perform a check up on clients’ trees, sometimes at no charge. During this examination, an arborist will look for broken branches, stress cracks and lightning damage, which are all entry points for disease and other organisms. Fungal growth around the trunk of the tree is another cause for concern. Arborists also look for signs to indicate problems with the root system; cracking in the soil and dying limbs are often signs of roots in distress. Maintaining a tree’s proper shape through correct pruning is important, too. Since a tree can become top heavy, it needs thinning from time to time. Some experts say that when trees get sick and die, it is often from neglecting these signs.

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If an arborist wants to take a tree down, Braaten recommends that you ask for the full reasoning why. The time is right for removal if the tree is posing a hazard, if it is dead or is a lightning target, if it is unhealthy and dying, and also if it is necessary to thin out an area. An overabundance of trees in one location creates a crowded and unhealthy situation. There is an art to taking down a tree. An arborist must consider how it will fall and where most of the weight is concentrated in the tree. An arborist generally climbs the tree and removes all of its weight first. Unless the tree is coming down, spikes should never be used to climb a tree since these can cause damage to the trunk. Ropes and harnesses are the preferred method. Some problems can be easily circumvented by the homeowner. Do not allow vines, especially ivy, to climb a tree. Just as ivy on a house can do untold damage, it can kill a tree. Avoid driving heavy vehicles around the base of the tree or wherever roots are likely to be. This causes the ground to compact, preventing the roots from accessing air and water. Do not pile mulch directly on the base of a tree. Known as volcano mulching, this technique is not recommended. While wood chips are great at holding moisture in, they can cause rot when piled against the tree’s base. Instead, keep the chips gently tapered away from the tree’s base. Finally, avoid hitting the tree with a weed eater or mower. Hiring a Professional

To be sure that a tree professional is a certified arborist, confirm credentials with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This is a worldwide professional organization dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation for trees and promoting research, technology and the professional practice of arboriculture. ISA offers support and continued education for tree industry pros, and also serves as the governing body of tree workers, promoting safety and a code of ethics and standards for tree care and pruning. (Check out their website at www.isa-arbor.com.) C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Since ISA provides certification for professional arborists, this organization offers a baseline for consumers, and assurance that an arborist certified with them has basic understanding of tree care and the precautions necessary to protect both trees and workers. Consider the following when hiring an arborist: ■ Does the firm have workers’ compensation and liability insurance? ■ Do they use spikes or a bucket truck when they work in trees? Just

as spikes can damage the tree, a bucket truck can damage a yard and/or a healthy tree by causing the soil over the roots to compact. Most arborists prefer to climb the tree using ropes and harnesses. ■ Do they use safety precautions when they work, including

helmets and safety glasses? Tree professionals, including arborists and loggers, work in one of the most hazardous professions; safety is paramount. ■ Do not be afraid to ask for references and credentials (ISA certification). ■ Is the company dependable? Do they return your phone calls? Are


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they on time and do they come when they say they are coming? ■ Ask for a written proposal describing what work they will do and the cost. When planning any major projects centered on trees, it is important to consider the possible risks to the property. A professional will explain those risks and help you determine the least invasive, safest, most economical and most appropriate methods to complete the job. Trees are the monarchs of the woodlands and welcome guests in our gardens. Treated as such, they will thrive for decades.



Look Here!

CREATING A FOCAL POINT WITH PAINT By Ch a r lott e A . F. Fa r l e y


e use color in our clothing and makeup to highlight our strong points and camouflage our flaws. If you think about it, paint for our homes works the same way. By highlighting a room’s strong point, not only do you create a place of visual interest—a focal point—but you also can help hide anything unsightly in the room. It’s all about where you want to draw the eye. If you’ve read enough HOME magazine, watched enough HGTV, or browsed Pinterest a little longer than you intended (Who, me? No, never!), you are familiar with the concept of creating a focal point in a room. It’s that first sight you see upon entering; it’s that place that highlights the area where the lines of a room meet. While many people arrange artwork and furniture groupings to make a point of focus, using paint is another

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easy, economical and customizable way to create a focal point in a room. This can be as simple as priming, rolling and edging a new splash of color, or it might involve the tedious but worthwhile process of stenciling. From ceilings to floors to bathtubs (yes, bathtubs!), using paint to form a focal point allows you to bring a unique, personalized design to a room.

Determining the Focal Point

Usually, focal points exist naturally in the home; elements like chimney breasts, fireplaces, staircases, and bay windows help drawn the eye up and in. Review your rooms and identify organic focal points by clearing out clutter and seeing where the room’s lines meet or where your eyes tend to settle. If nothing pops out at you, it’s time to create a new focal point. To that end, consider the largest wall in

the room, the one that mimics a blank canvas. On the other hand, you might like to create a subtle point of interest. In that case, look for a nook, an inset wall, or a bump-out. And keep in mind, a focal point doesn’t have to be a wall—it could be your floor. If refinishing tired wood floors is beyond your budget, painting a pattern on worn pine or oak completely refreshes the look. And while big expanses are obvious choices, they aren’t the only ways to accomplish your goal of bringing flair to a room. If you love your white walls but also want to have a pop of color, paint the molding—this will help echo the colors that already exist in the room. This look is especially effective on the window trim in bedrooms and bathrooms—really any confined space that makes it easy to determine where to stop and start bold color on trim. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

A focal point doesn’t have to be a wall—it could be your floor. If refinishing tired wood floors is beyond your budget, painting a pattern on worn pine or oak completely refreshes the look. Speaking of the bathroom, you can dress up that space by painting a cast-iron tub for a one-of-a-kind focal piece. Actually, you can use paint to totally change the look of any room that has built-in furniture—shelving, cabinets and cubbies included. Since these built-in pieces often essentially function as part of a wall, painting them establishes an accent wall in an unconventional way. And the most universal, built-in piece of all is often the most overlooked when it comes to color: the doors. Sure, you paint the outside of your front door so your home appears welcoming, but why not paint the interior side of the front door to extend the invitation? Doing so allows you to have two focal points in one, depending on whether the door is open or closed.

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Now that you have decided where you want your focal point, determine what kind of feeling you want to evoke from the space: bold, dramatic or subtle? The easy and obvious answer for making a bold statement is to use a bright color or strong, thick pattern. To add a hint of drama, think eyeliner colors—chocolate-brown, navy, charcoal, amethyst, deep emerald, even black. When it comes to choosing paint colors, keep in mind the colors of adjacent rooms. If you can see the accent wall or focal point from elsewhere in the home, you’ll want to harmonize your color selection. It’s one thing to develop visual interest and it’s another thing entirely to fashion a faux pas. Dressing the Focal Point

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Now comes the most fun: determining how you will apply this paint. Color is the dealmaker here, but the design does not have to end there. With paint as your medium, you can create lots of interest with patterns or stencils—classic stripes, latticework, medallions…stencils have come a long way over the years, with designs that can mimic the look of high-end wallpapers. If you do not want to tackle stenciling by yourself (or do not want to hire someone to do it), you may be able to achieve the same effect with a decal, believe it or not. Several high-end retailers carry wall decals that resemble stencils or hand-painted custom art designs. The best thing about using paint? If you decide you don’t want to live with a certain color anymore, you’re just a new coat of primer and topcoat away from changing things to reflect your new style. It’s as easy as changing your outfit. Once you find a focal point, dress it in a way that reflects your personal taste while playing up your home’s assets. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Tips for Transforming with Paint ■ Dark hues make a strong

visual impact, but they tend overwhelm a large space. ■ Try to make your focal point

one blank, uninterrupted wall. The exception? If you have unusual windows, French doors, or some other beautiful architectural feature that you want to highlight, focal point paint will help draw even more attention to them. ■ Choosing to accent one wall

with paint and grouping your furniture at that point will unify the space and create a cohesive appearance. ■ Use semi-gloss or high-gloss

paint on moldings or window trim.

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE Find your “ahhh” in hot tubs and swim spas By M er i d i t h I n g r a m


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There are many ways to unwind from the stressors of everyday life, but perhaps one of the best is by way of water. Feeling sluggish? Drink a glass of water for an instant pick-me-up. Feeling uptight? Relax into a bath. Feeling the aches and pains of strenuous exercise or simply the good old-fashioned passage of time? Consider hot tubs: More luxurious (and fun!) than running a bath, less commitment than a swimming pool, a hot tub may be just the thing to create a private, relaxing oasis in your own backyard (or even somewhere inside). And the best part of all? This water feature will be at your disposal to enjoy all year long. The hot tub industry as we know it began in the 1950s when some folks you may have heard of—the Jacuzzi brothers—created a hydrotherapy pump to help alleviate a family member’s arthritis. In 1968, Roy Jacuzzi created the first stand-alone whirlpool tub. The rest, as they say, is history; the Jacuzzi family became a household name and did for hot tubs what Kleenex did for tissues and Xerox did for copy machines. Today, though, there are many manufacturers and many brands of hot tubs, with more features than ever. Even newer on the scene, and taken a step further, is the swim spa—much like a hot tub but with the added utility of providing a workout. In a swim spa, powerful jets provide enough resistance for homeowners to swim (or walk, run, even boogie board) against. Turn off these powerful jets and you also have your own place to kick back and relax. Once relegated to hotel pool decks, the stuff of wild parties, or the trusty sidekick to residential c vhomemaga zine .com

in-ground pools, hot tubs are now, like most other home enhancements, something that can be tastefully integrated and completely tailored to suit your needs. Terry Donovan of National Pools explains why hot tubs are a feature sought after by many of today’s homeowners. “People are looking for a warm body of water to relax in,” she says. Hot tub customers run the gamut, from younger families who enjoy them for the recreational and social value, to older customers who gravitate toward them for their therapeutic benefits. Charlotte Knight of Perry Pools and Spas says that her hot tub customers often have one thing in common: They are looking for a place to have family time. “We live in such busy times. The hot tub can be the place to have a real conversation with your teenagers, or deepen your connection with your spouse,” she says. She also says many of her customers come to her looking for a means of hydrotherapy for the aches and pains caused by fibromyalgia and other illnesses. 35

Choosing the Right Model

When working with customers shopping for the right hot tub, Donovan goes over a series of questions. “I ask them, ‘Have you had a hot tub before? Have you been in one? What features are you looking for? What are the reasons behind this purchase?’” With these answers, she can help homeowners determine what size, shape and model will best suit their needs and desires. For example, if you are considering a hot tub for entertaining, you’ll need ample seating; if you’d rather use it more for a private retreat to relax and ease muscle aches, then jet size and jet placement may be more important. “Features are only a benefit if they benefit you,” Donovan says. Knight says that while the number of jets in a tub is an important consideration, so too is the type and placement of jets. She explains that there is a huge variety in jet functionality, from pinpoints of water to pulsating waves to the feel of fingers running down your back. Even hot tub seating has many options: some models feature seats that are more upright while others will include loungers, “captain’s chairs” in each corner, or some combination. Sound and TV systems, special mood lighting, even water features like illuminated arcs of water or mini waterfalls are options to amp up your hot tub experience. The look of hot tub interiors has evolved over time as well. Donovan says, “In the 14 years we’ve been doing this, hot tubs have come a long way in terms of comfort, color and variety. It all started with a marbled look, then speckled, then moved to more of a matte/muted look. We are seeing marble make a comeback, however!” Just like fashion, the trends in hot tub 36

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interiors are coming back around. Some homeowners prefer that the interior of their tubs coordinate with the exterior of their homes in some way—even if they are covered when not in use. Interiors are made of fiberglass covered with acrylic and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Covers, typically made of foam core covered in vinyl, also come in an array of colors to suit your preferences. The cabinets that hot tubs are housed in have also come a long way in terms of good looks—and ease of maintenance. “Cabinets used to be made of redwood,” explains Knight, noting that while homeowners enjoyed the look of wood, it required the regular cleaning, staining and sealing necessary to maintain wood’s good looks. Today’s cabinets are typically made from polymers that mimic the look of wood, complete with wood-grain embossing. “They have all the natural warmth and beauty of wood without the maintenance,” she says. She also notes that some manufacturers make beautiful cabinets to look like stone. So you’ve figured out the look of the hot tub you want; what about integrating this sizeable item into your space? This is

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More luxurious than running a bath, less commitment than a swimming pool, a hot tub may be just the thing to create a private, relaxing oasis in your own backyard—or even somewhere inside. one of the most important things to decide, and Knight urges her customers to think it through carefully. “I tell my customers, ‘Do not put the hot tub far away from your house. The closer it is to your home, the more you’re going to use it,’” she says. It can be a long, cold walk back to the house if you’re taking advantage of a hot outdoor soak in the depths of winter. To install a hot tub, all you need is a firm, flat, level surface, like a concrete pad or pavers. If you’re looking to place the hot tub on a deck, you’ll need to be certain that your deck can withstand the enormous weight of a hot tub full of water—as well as the people in it. “They can weigh anywhere from 3,100 to 7,000 pounds when full of water,” notes Donovan, so some decks will require further reinforcement to withstand that kind of weight. Most hot tub retailers will do a site inspection of your home, to assess the feasibility of your plans as well as to determine clearance to deliver the tub to your property; no one wants the unpleasant surprise of installation challenges on delivery day. Along with assessing the feasibility of where you want to place of your hot tub, they will also check that gates, walls, branches, even protruding meters and air conditioning units are not going to impede delivery of your new hot tub.

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WWW.LAURENBELLREALESTATE.COM While you don’t need a plumber to help install this water-filled fun—hot tubs are self-contained, filled initially and then filtered—you may need the services of an electrician. Donovan explains that most municipal codes require that you have a dedicated, grounded outlet (a GFCI outlet), and in the right location—a certain distance from your hot tub, for safety. Getting your electrical hook-up up to snuff to accommodate a hot tub is not considered a major electrical overhaul, however, and costs should be minimal. What if you want to place your hot tub inside—like in a basement or a sunroom? Some of the same rules apply: you’ll need a firm, flat surface with adequate reinforcement, and the added requirement of water-resistant flooring (such as tile or cement). You also need to be sure the room where you want to place your tub or swim spa has adequate ventilation, though Knight says that she has not encountered ventilation issues for any of her clients who have installed hot tubs indoors. She says to save your money on elaborate, additional venting and splurge instead on some features on your new hot tub. c vhomemaga zine .com

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Once installed, you can certainly enjoy your hot tub without lifting another finger—but if you are looking to boost the aesthetics of your new spa even further, there are certainly some ideas to consider to create a visually pleasing scene. Some hot tub owners build attractive decking around the tub, making sure that the control panel and electrical supply remain easily accessible. Another tip, if you haven’t already placed it near existing landscaping, is to landscape intentionally around it to enhance privacy and a getaway feel—think lush evergreens, perennial grasses and a trellis that will bloom with flowering vines in the warmer months. Under a pergola, an accent to an existing hardscape, or surrounded by large potted trees and container gardens, your hot tub really can be a destination in your own backyard. Maintaining a hot tub has never been easier, and there are many options to consider here as well. “There are a dozen or more alternatives for sanitizers,” explains Donovan, from traditional bromine or chlorine, to saltwater systems (a system that turns salt into chlorine), to ozonators (a mechanized solution to eliminating chemical sanitizers) to mineral sticks. She also notes that some models are “self-cleaning”—meaning a powerful drain in the bottom of the tub eliminates any debris that lands there, as well as a skimmer (like on a traditional inground pool) to filter any surface debris or oils. With this selfcleaning feature, you can also drain the tub completely without using a secondary means (like a shop vac, or sponging out those last few inches of water). Technology advances have also improved hot tubs’ energy efficiency. Knight explains that many models meet strict efficiency standards, made with multiple layers of the high-tech foam used to insulate freezers, which in turn means less energy is required to keep them nice and hot. Like any home luxury item, prices for hot tubs run the gamut, from base models to fully loaded. You can expect to pay somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000 for an entry-level tub, on up to $12,000 or more for a model with all the bells and whistles you could imagine. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Swim Spas

H ydro p o o l sw im sp a ava il a b l e at N at i o na l Po o ls

If you’d like to be able to use your water oasis as a workout tool, you might be in the market for a swim spa. Much like a hot tub, this vessel is also above ground and self-contained, but it is longer and wider, and runs a powerful jet to swim against for a full workout. Swimming can be easier on troublesome joints than higher impact activities like running, or even walking and biking, while still providing a great workout. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered how major athletes make such relatively quick comebacks from their injuries, wonder no more: Much of their recovery can be credited to hydrotherapy and the use of swim spa technology. To borrow a favorite phrase from physical therapists everywhere: “All roads lead to the pool.” Donovan says her company sells dual-zone spas, in which the water on the swim spa side is cooler for recreation than on the hot tub side. She has seen families choose this model so that the parents can relax on the hotter side while the children swim and play on the other. She says some models provide everything from 3 ½ miles per hour resistance—perfect for walking, swimming, even boogie boarding—to 7 miles per hour, in which you can even practice your kayak skills. A swim spa will cost “more than an above-ground pool, but less than an in-ground pool,” says Donovan. A top-of-the-line swim spa loaded with features, for example, can cost around $30,000. Whether hot tub or swim spa, there’s a year-round oasis available for you and your family. “We all need to pamper ourselves,” Knight reminds us. With a hot tub or swim spa, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to be transported to a water-filled retreat.

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House Stationery

Folded notes are typically used to write thank you notes, extend informal invitations and send short messages to friends and acquaintances—and the front page of a folded note was practically made for showcasing such a special image. Imagine the delight of your letter’s recipient as she opens the envelope to see a rendering of your home—that beacon of hospitality! How might you obtain a sketch or drawing of your home that’s worthy of being printed on a notecard? There are many options. Commission a Local Artist

Hits the right note

BY P h o eb e D i ns m o r e

In our technology-driven daily lives, an “old-fashioned” handwritten note, in many ways, has become even more of an extra-special treat to receive. Your time and effort in writing a hand-penned letter warms the heart of your recipient— especially if it’s clear the note has been personalized. Personalize not only what you have to say, but your stationery too! Of course, you can order stationery from fine stationery retailers imprinted with your name or monogram. Or, with just a little bit more effort, you can create something truly one-of-a-kind to become your “house” stationery—complete with a custom sketch of your home printed upon it! c vhomemaga zine .com

Perhaps the loveliest way to customize your house stationery is to work with an artist from your community. Commissioning an artist is not just for the rich and famous; you might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it can be. The best way to get to know artists is to become active in your local art scene. Read your community calendar to find out when local art events are taking place, and attend them. Autumn in Virginia is ripe with opportunities to meet artists at “open studio” events, galleries, fairs and festivals. Stroll around, admire their work and get a feel for various artists’ styles until you find the one whose style matches your own. The artists are typically available to speak with you and share their contact information; many even have their own websites, where you can see more examples of their work. You might also contact your local art supply store, tell them about your project, and ask them for recommendations. Or, if you like the idea of supporting young artists in training, you could even reach out to the art departments at local high schools or colleges. Please be certain to inform the artist of what you intend to do with the sketch they create for you, in case you need to obtain their permission to have it printed/replicated onto your new stationery. It’s not uncommon for printers to seek verification that an artist/photographer has given their permission for you to use their artistry in that way. Once you have your custom artwork in hand, the next step is to take it to a local printer to have the image printed on notecard paper of your choosing. By using a printer, you will have access to the highestpossible quality image, printing and paper selection for your special notecards. You can also choose matching envelopes and have your return address printed on them. When you hire an artist to complete your project, remember that not only will you have your notecards, you’ll get to keep the original artwork too—perhaps to frame and display in your home as a keepsake. 43

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Did you know it’s possible to search for an artist-for-hire on the internet—one who can work from a photograph to create a custom work of art? As with any online shopping experience, if you select a reputable website, the process should be a cutand-dried agreement. You’ll provide a photo (or several) of your home from which the artist will work. Most are happy to provide a proof of the work before it’s finalized, to ensure you’re fully satisfied with their work. Many websites even offer a turnkey service of having the image transposed onto stationery for you, saving you the legwork of that step in the design process. Depending on the look you want, you will be able to find artists who can work from photographs to create styles ranging from animated, cartoon-like drawings, classic pen-and-ink or charcoal/pencil sketches, or even colorful watercolor, acrylic or oil paintings. Graphic Designers, Computer Software and Online Tools

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Tech-savvy do-it-yourselfers can use computer software or online tools of choice to alter a digital photograph into an image that looks just like a hand-drawn architectural sketch, which can then be uploaded to a printer or online stationery website. Or you can hire a graphic designer to do the work for you, if you’d rather rely on their expertise in manipulating digital photographs and computer software. Graphic designers and printers often have working relationships that go hand-in-hand, and they can handle the print shop step for you, usually for an additional small fee. There are many ways to add the image of your home onto special notecards that you’ll be proud to send to your friends and family. If you’ve recently completed a big renovation project, send your holiday greetings on your new house stationery to share the news. (You could even add spots of holiday color by inking on little wreaths and festive red bows onto the windows and front door by hand, with green and red felt markers!) These notes make great change-of-address notifications too. You could also announce other special news from your household, like the arrival of a new baby or the celebration of a graduation. Personalized “house” stationery makes a terrific housewarming gift for new homeowners, or a lovely present for anybody who loves their home—including you. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5


It’s best to write a note within three days of an event or receiving a gift—though, it’s never too late to express your feelings, so don’t be embarrassed if more time than that has lapsed. Send a note (you’ll be glad you did). Three Lines Long

Not including the note’s salutation or closing, a well-constructed note can be as short as three lines long. The first line is for expressing gratitude and specific acknowledgement of the person, event or gift. The second line can state a specific memory about the person or the event you attended—or, in the case of a gift, a specific acknowledgement about how you’ll use it or why you appreciate it. The third line is for stating your hopeful anticipation for the next time you and your friend will get to see each other again. Source: The Emily Post Institute

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Kitchen Duty hot spots for deep cleaning By K at h er i n e F u lg h u m K n o p f

The frenzy of fall spurs us all back into action with renewed vigor for school, work, sports and activities galore. The kitchen is where we fuel our bodies, minds, and souls during such busy times, so a clean kitchen simply inspires. Now’s the time to spruce it up—before the holidays are upon us, and the kitchen is called into overtime service. Tackle one heavy-duty chore each week, or just focus on those that scream for attention in your kitchen.

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Before you get started, assemble your tools: þ Rags þ Sponges þ An old toothbrush or small soft-bristled brush þ White vinegar þD ishwashing liquid (Dawn is a favorite for degreasing)

þ Hydrogen peroxide þ Baking soda þ Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol þ Furniture polish/spray wax Optional: Oven cleaner, paper towels and a store-bought degreaser product

Grimy Grout Be Gone!

Every kitchen has “hot spots” that get really grimy because they are not part of a weekly cleaning routine—at least not in our house. Which one to tackle first? Looking around the kitchen, my eyes land on dirty, stained grout. Most of us have tile somewhere; whether it’s on the backsplash or the floor, the tile’s beauty is diminished by dirty grout. While there are several solutions for cleaning grout, the product I have found to work the best is hydrogen peroxide. It really works for me! I buy it in large bottles in the first aid section of the grocery or drugstore. Pour a liberal amount of hydrogen peroxide on a clean rag and apply it to the grout. Wait two to three minutes and rub the grout lines with an old toothbrush that you have dipped in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. You want it to be a thick, soupy mixture so it covers the grout, and stays there, while you scrub it clean. Wipe clean with a damp, fresh rag. A once-over with a mop will help eliminate any residue from the baking soda mixture you’ve applied on a floor. Once your grout is clean, you may want apply a grout sealer, available from a home improvement store or tile supply distributor. These products seal grout for six months or longer, depending upon the product. Once sealed, grout stays cleaner and you can relinquish that cleaning chore for a while. c vhomemaga zine .com


Tackle the Fridge

Heat Up the Range Hood

How long has it been since you pulled that monster out and cleaned behind it? Grab it on both sides, and walk the refrigerator out so you have a couple of feet open behind it. If you have an icemaker line, be careful not to overstretch it. Once the fridge is clear from the wall, take a clean dust rag and wipe the whole thing down from the top to the bottom. When you reach that nasty grill on the front, wipe away what you can. If you have a strong vacuum, use the brush attachment to suck as much dusty scum off of the grill in the front, and then vacuum the floor behind the fridge and from the top to the bottom of the back of the fridge. Take a rag dipped in hydrogen peroxide and wipe down the grill. If it is still grimy and needs more cleaning, use some Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water to degrease it. (There are also degreasing products for sale in the cleaning aisle of your grocery store.) Now carefully push the refrigerator back in place and wipe down the front. For stainless steel, a clean rag dipped in alcohol works well. The smudges and fingerprints will disappear! There are also ready-made stainless steel wipes and spray bottle formulas in the cleaning section of most stores. For colored appliances, use warm water with dish soap and a rag to get it clean and streak-free.

Ah, the range hood…now that is one dirty appliance, if you have one. The range hood, or any type of kitchen vent, catches it all; the grease and splatters from cooking a good meal build up over time. If you have a stainless steel vent hood, grab your alcohol and a clean white rag. Pour the alcohol on the rag until it is lightly soaked and lay it across the top of the hood. Let it sit a minute or two to dissolve grease, then start rubbing away the grease for a hood that sparkles. If your hood is painted, use dishwashing soap (again, Dawn is great for that greasy build up) and warm water on a rag and use the same method. Next up is the filter or screen under the hood. These should be gently removed and soaked in a soapy bath of dishwashing liquid and hot water. Let them sit for 20 minutes in this hot bath, then scrub the dirty spots with your bristled brush. Rinse with clean, hot water and let them air dry before you return them to the underside of your range hood.

Banish Cabinet Grime

Cabinet faces get greasy and dirty over time from cooking oils and spills and need their own occasional thorough cleaning. One good solution is an easy homemade product: Put 12 ounces of Dawn dishwashing detergent and 16 ounces of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Mix well then let it settle until the bubbles reduce. Find a small, inconspicuous spot and test the cabinets to make sure the finish on your cabinets isn’t disturbed. (If your cabinets are old and the finish is soft, you should stick to wiping them down with a mild dish detergent and warm water.) Spray and wipe down one door at a time as you move around the kitchen. This method quickly removes grease and makes this chore a breeze. Once your cabinets are clean, they will benefit from a good polishing. Use your favorite spray wax and a clean white rag to buff them until they shine. Now, don’t they look so much better? 4 8

What’s Lurking in the Oven?

Last up is the oven. Now’s the time to remove the oven racks and turn on the self-clean cycle. While it is self-cleaning, put the racks in the sink and give them a scrub with Dawn and hot water or your favorite degreaser. Once the cleaning cycle finishes and the oven cools, wipe it out with a rag that is dipped in warm water and a mild dishwashing soap. If your oven doesn’t have a self-clean feature, then open the door, remove the racks and spray it with an oven cleaner. A sweeter smelling option is to clean it with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixed into a paste. This takes more elbow grease, but you get a free arm workout and the oven smells great! A good tip for keeping oven spills to a minimum is to pour salt on a spill in the oven right after it happens. This stops the smoke fumes and burning smell of a run-over in your oven. It also makes clean up faster and easier. Whew! What a series of dirty chores, but now your kitchen sparkles! You should feel accomplished, knowing those hot spots are fresh and ready for action. Kitchens are for living, and that is why we enjoy them so much. All good things, just like all good parties, start and end in the kitchen. Happy cleaning! C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

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Double Happiness Living large by scaling down

BY L au r e l F ei n m a n P h ot o g r a p hy by A ll e g r a H e lms

c vhomemaga zine .com



The Stubstads greatly downsized from a large, traditional family home to a three-bedroom condo when they moved downtown. Claudia says the key to making their decor work in the new space was creating a neutral backdrop to display their colorful, textural artwork and collectibles. 52

pontaneous and fun loving, Claudia and Mark Stubstad are a dynamic couple whose roots are grounded in design. Mark has spent his career in the home furnishings industry, designing and sourcing furniture from around the world for well-known interior design stars like Bunny Williams as well major furniture retailers such as Rooms To Go. Claudia, a self-taught artist who says she’s been “creating” her whole life, has spent the past 10 years honing her skills in creating mixed-medium collage artwork—working especially with paper, acrylics, ink, oils and pastels. She primarily works by commission for individuals, but recently completed 19 large collages for a Whole Foods grocery in California. Claudia and Mark’s shared open-mindedness and zest for adventure led them to make a life-changing, spontaneous decision last summer when they received an unexpected phone call from a friend—a local realtor with a client who had admired their home in passing while out viewing a different property in the neighborhood. Claudia says, “We basically received an offer on our house out of the blue, and Mark and I looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do it! Let’s sell the house, downsize and go downtown!’” Soon a downtown real estate developer gave the Stubstads a tour of his work-in-progress building, the James River Place condominiums which Claudia describes as an empty shell at the time, with only roughed-in walls in place. Despite its incomplete state, Claudia and Mark instantly saw the potential of the space and knew they could be happy living there. They signed paperwork that day and made it official. Claudia and Mark had only three weeks to move out of their home, where they had lived for nearly two decades, raising their three children. Claudia says she didn’t read how-to books or work with a consultant to help her downsize; she went with her gut and kept only the things they truly loved. They sold or gave away everything else to neighbors, friends and family. Claudia says, “Everyone kept saying what a huge favor we were doing for our children, sparing them the future agony of having to cull through our stuff and make decisions about selling the contents of our home someday. In essence, we took that burden off their plate.” These words really resonated with Claudia and Mark because they are part of the Baby Boomer demographic—that generation currently faced with the challenges of helping manage the logistics of their aging parents and their households. Mark still frequently travels with his job, and because Claudia is released of the responsibility of having to constantly worry about a house and a yard, she now feels free to join Mark on his trips—and that’s just what she did once their family home had been sold. Claudia explains, “Well, we were basically homeless! Our new loft was still months away from completion and Mark had a business trip scheduled to go to Vietnam—so I went with him—for two months!” C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

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Claudia’s collage called “Double Happiness” welcomes visitors to the Stubstads’ home and features the delightful orange tone that Claudia calls a favorite. This bold orange-red is picked up in accents throughout their home.

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The Stubstads hired local general contractor Gordon Cudd to do the finish work on their new home while they were away. The day before they departed, they had one all-day planning session with Cudd and the firm they had hired to do their kitchen and cabinetry work, Chris Hargis of Pinnacle Cabinetry and Design. Claudia says, “We made all our design choices in one day and left town!” But, Claudia adds that there was a lot of intentional, concentrated effort behind that day—none of their decisions were willy-nilly or rushed. She explains, “Mark and I both felt that the most important thing was that the space be cohesive and have a great flow. So, we agreed that introducing as few elements as possible—smoothing the appearance—was key.” That’s why the Stubstads chose to use one type of flooring (an ebonized bamboo) throughout the loft, the walls are all painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White,” and the appliances, cabinets, countertops and hardware in the kitchen, baths and closets are all constructed in the same style and materials. As a result, the sleek and consistent backdrop in the Stubstads’ new condo allows the panoramic views of the James River as well as their own eclectic furnishings and art collections to shine. Visitors are welcomed into their home by one of Claudia’s enormous collages called “Double Happiness,” which features a Chinese ornament design commonly used as a symbol of marriage. The predominant colors in the piece are black, white and a bold orange-red. Claudia says that orange is her favorite color, and there are many instances of the hue repeated throughout the rest of the home. In fact, most of the artwork in the Stubstads’ three-bedroom/two-bath condo is of Claudia’s creation. Under the wall-sized collage sits a black lacquered chair of Mark’s own design. It’s a contemporary interpretation of a Chinese Chippendale-style armchair, which they had made for them in Vietnam. The Stubstads have three other chairs like this one in their home—another black one in the master bedroom and a pair lacquered in white next to the contemporary, modular masonry fireplace in the living room. The fireplace is a unique focal point; Claudia says that instead of traditional gas logs, the stylish gasfueled fireplace is filled with softball-sized pumice stone orbs which can be artfully arranged for an attractive display, whether they’re warming the living room or not. c vhomemaga zine .com


The Stubstads’ home features an open floor plan, with a bar and kitchen at one end of the expansive entertaining space and a comfortable seating area at the other. The kitchen is large and sleek, with a white subway tile backsplash and clean lines on the cabinetry, hardware and appliances. The countertops are a manufactured stone material, made at twice the standard thickness. The chairs under the kitchen island were a pair of bank tellers’ chairs that friend and Realtor Jane Blickenstaff had given them when she purchased her current office building from Bank of America. Claudia says, “I just really liked the contemporary, sculptural lines of their bases. I had slipcovers made for them to transform their look.” Claudia says she chose to install several glass-front cabinets with lighting in the kitchen because they provide display space for some of her favorite pottery and porcelain collectibles. Their bright colors and patterns enliven and accent the white kitchen. The cabinetry in the bar area is an identical style to the kitchen but painted gray, a subtle difference that distinguishes this attractive spot and evokes the vibe of a vintage butler’s pantry. An extra-long refectory dining table that Mark designed himself separates the room. Claudia says they frequently host dinner guests, setting one end of the table for dining and reserving the other end for card games. Over the table is a trio of oversized, contemporary red and gold carriage-style 56

lanterns, a modern interpretation of classic Colonial fixtures. The substantially sized dining chairs are sumptuously covered in white leather finished with nickel nail head trim and metal tips on each leg. A pale gray rug softens the floor and adds texture to the space under the dining table. Claudia says they brought the furniture in the seating area from their former home, but otherwise purchased everything else new. The sofa and large club chairs are covered in crisp white cotton slipcovers, accented by large down throw pillows sporting a bright orange geometric pattern. A rustic antique wood coffee table anchors the conversation area, its imperfections adding warmth and character to the arrangement. The stylish white antique Moroccan rug adds a contemporary flavor with its large, graphic, black diamond pattern. The sofa’s marbletopped octagonal side table, lamps, and angular garden stools are designs produced for Bunny Williams (who, incidentally, grew up in Virginia). There are two rooms and a full-sized bathroom in the hall just off the living room. Mark uses one room as his home office/ study and the other room is for overnight guests. On the bed in the guest room, a special globe-shaped toy pillow is on display. Claudia explains that their new son-in-law designed it, and that the toy recently won a “Toy of the Year” award—one just like it is circling Earth on a satellite until the year 2025! C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5



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Eclectic furnishings and art collections, most of which is of Claudia’s own creation, make the Stubstads’ home a true showcase of their lifestyle—creative, enthusiastic world travelers who also enjoy spending time in their beautiful home.

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On the wall in the hallway bathroom is one of Claudia’s creations—a cheerful, lime-green tropical parrot—hung on top of whimsical bright orange and white cheetahprint wallpaper. The floor in this bathroom and the master bath is the only departure from the ebonized bamboo found throughout the rest of the apartment. It’s a taupecolored ceramic tile that has a nubby linen weave-like texture. In the master bedroom suite, Mark drew inspiration for the design of their white leather tufted bed and the bedside tables from his world travels—it’s easy to imagine that this is how a luxurious hotel suite in an exotic paradise might look. The lamps at the bedside are examples of another design created for Bunny Williams. On the bed are two decorative pillows featuring an Asian-inspired scene—a nod to the many trips they’ve taken to that part of the world through Mark’s career. The bathroom features a soaking tub, a large walk-in steam shower and glamorous vanity. Claudia and Mark share the walk-in closet. Though it seems that the Stubstads have chosen to skip having window treatments on their windows, they actually do have white canvas roller shades from Curtains, Blinds and Bath on nearly every window. Claudia says, “Most people don’t even notice them because they roll up to nothing and they don’t interrupt the profile of the windows.” c vhomemaga zine .com


The Stubstads have a small private balcony just off their bedroom and they also get to share a large rooftop communal garden and patio with their neighbors in the building. Claudia had a lead role in decorating the rooftop space and says all the residents use it frequently. She says, “It seems like every few days, a neighbor will phone to invite us to join them on the rooftop for a glass of wine or a chat.” When selecting the furnishings for the space, Claudia chose versatile mixed-use pieces that would be comfortable for lounging or dining. The rooftop lounge connects via a private elevated walkway to the newly opened Bluff Walk—downtown Lynchburg’s newest pedestrian path linking Commerce Street to Jefferson Street and the James Riverfront. Claudia says, “At night, it’s really beautiful up here, between the city lights and the new lights installed all along the Bluff Walk.” Already, they can traverse the Bluff Walk to patronize Shoemaker’s Restaurant, and since future plans for the Bluff Walk include even more restaurants and retail shops, the Stubstads say they look forward taking leisurely strolls to enjoy them all. Reflecting on their bold decision to dramatically downsize and move downtown to a condo, Claudia says, “Our kids are grown, we have no yard work, no maintenance. It’s incredibly easy to live here. It’s very cleansing and freeing not to be weighted down with ‘stuff’ anymore.” Having a smaller home can mean a happier home, thanks to the release from the stress and upkeep of a larger dwelling—after all, reducing your daily chores and maintenance frees up more time for pleasurable leisure activities. In the case of Claudia and Mark Stubstad, downsizing has lead to “Double Happiness” just like their aptly named entryway collage that sends them off and welcomes them home every day.

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Move Over, Meat Veggies star in main-dish meals BY Lu cy Co o k

6 2

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Shakshuka with Smoked Tomatoes c vhomemaga zine .com

nyone who knows me knows I’m no saint, especially when it comes to food. I have read enough about healthy eating to know that I need to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For most of us, it’s not part of the plan to give up meat altogether, but it’s a good idea to try to eat more vegetable-focused meals (not necessarily vegetarian) to reduce saturated fats in our diets. I’m happy that the definition of “healthy eating” has shifted from using meat substitutes like tempeh and tofu to using meat as a flavoring, rather than the main event. And did you know the commercial meat industry is responsible for 20 percent of manmade greenhouse gases? Buying local meats can reduce your carbon footprint as well as the use of fossil fuels to transport it to market. Locally raised meat may cost a little more, but it’s worth it for what is usually better flavor. Get maximum taste from the meat by using flavorful cuts and cooking them in a way that best brings out their flavor. If you’re looking to make healthy changes, one way is to visualize moving meat from the center of the plate, at least some nights. Instead of serving one steak per person, slice a cooked steak and serve one for several people while serving a filling grain as the main dish. Or, instead of cooking burgers made from beef, use ground turkey or chicken, stretched with an equal volume of roasted mushrooms. (They are so easy to make! Toss 2 pounds of quartered mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then cool and chop in the food processor.) These ground mushrooms are also delicious substituted for half the ground meat in your favorite meatloaf or meatball recipe. To add interest to your vegetable-based dishes, make sure that you have lots of different flavors and textures. Consider the way that the vegetables are cooked; use different techniques like smoking, roasting, grilling and pickling to make it feel more like a meal, and less like a plate of steamed vegetables. Add texture by including nuts and beans in your recipes. And don’t forget that sustainable seafood is more readily available and good for you—but that’s another article for another time! Sometimes it’s hard to change old habits, but do a little research and you may be convinced that moving meat from the center of your plate a few nights a week may be a worthwhile effort for your health and the environment. Happy cooking! 63

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash (Serves 6-8) I love the sweet spicy dressing and the different flavors in this centerof-the-plate salad. It contains enough flavors and textures so that I’m satisfied without meat, but if you’d like something meaty, top with prosciutto that has been baked in a 350 oven until crisp. It can be made a day or two in advance—just wait to add the cheese until you’re ready to serve. 1 butternut squash Olive oil 6 cups of baby kale, chopped Sweet and Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Put the kale in a bowl, and crush with your hands to soften slightly. Toss with ½ cup Sweet and Spicy Vinaigrette. Let sit. Cook the black-eyed peas in boiling water for about 20 minutes until just tender. Drain and spread on a sheet pan to cool. Combine squash, kale, peas, chopped pepper, jalapeno and parsley. Add more vinaigrette as needed to coat all the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with crumbled goat cheese before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Vinaigrette (makes about a cup)

1 bag frozen black-eyed peas

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons honey

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Juice of one lemon

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup crumbled local goat cheese

2/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 375. Peel the butternut squash, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in oven until tender and beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool.

Add all ingredients to a small jar and shake until combined.


C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Smoked Tomatoes (makes 1 ½ pounds) After taking the main event off the grill, we like to use the dying embers to smoke tomatoes (and other veggies) for dishes later in the week. These smoked tomatoes can be used instead of regular tomatoes in pizza, chili, soups, or any recipe that may benefit. And you can try them as the star of the shakshuka recipe that follows. 1 cup hickory or other wood chips, soaked for 30 minutes and then drained

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2 pounds ripe tomatoes Salt and pepper Olive oil Fresh thyme sprigs On a gas or charcoal grill: Wrap the wet wood chips in a piece of foil, and make three inch-long slits in the foil. Place the foil pack on the coils and heat until smoking. Cut tomatoes in half, and squeeze gently to remove most of the seeds. Drizzle a disposable pan with olive oil. Place tomatoes in a single layer, cut side up. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs. Smoke on low heat (about 250 if you have a thermometer) for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Shakshuka with Smoked Tomatoes (serves 4-6) This North African egg dish is an incredible brunch or dinner dish. Be sure to serve lots of crusty bread alongside to sop up the spicy tomato sauce.

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3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced 1 large red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Cayenne pepper to taste 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes 8 smoked tomato halves, chopped 6 eggs ½ cup crumbled feta cheese Chopped fresh parsley Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet, saute the onions and pepper until soft and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the canned and smoked tomatoes, and ½ cup water. Let cook until it thickens a bit, about 3 to 5 minutes. Crack the eggs, spacing them evenly apart, into the tomato sauce. Top with feta cheese. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 7 minutes until the eggs are just set. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread. c vhomemaga zine .com


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Stairways That


to the Occasion

A stairway remodel elevates your home’s style

BY L au r e l F ei n m a n

The stairway can be much more than a pedestrian’s path to the next floor; it can be a memorable focal point in your home that welcomes guests and sets the tone for your interior decor. There are many unique elements you can incorporate into your stairway’s design to elevate its appearance and transform it into your home’s most spectacular architectural feature—whether you’re building a house and designing a new stairway, or considering a remodel on an existing one. c vhomemaga zine .com

Your stairway can contribute an elegant, modern or traditional vibe to your home, so it’s important that your staircase fit both the architecture of your home and your personal aesthetic. You can remodel the entire stairway or just a portion of it (or, you can tear the whole thing out and start over!). After all, in most multi-storied homes, the stairway is the main architectural element viewed when you walk in the door—maybe yours simply needs a new look. (Can you relate?) It’s still got great bones, but over the years has developed a few squeaky treads and wobbly balusters here and there (and it’s been sporting the same runner since you bought the house back in ’91!). A design makeover can put the spring back in its steps! Depending on the scope of your project, your stairway remodel could take days or weeks to complete, disrupting your family’s day-to-day living. Hiring a contractor who is specifically skilled in stairway construction ensures your job will progress safely and efficiently.

Though the ways they are adorned and expressed are limitless, there are basically two types of stairways—straightrun stairways and curved stairways. A straight-run stairway might also feature a turn or change of direction at some point along its flight, marked by a small landing. A curved stairway will glamorously follow a constant arc as it vertically rises between levels. A curved stairway contributes a distinctive open flow of energy between the spaces it connects, while a straight-run stairway gives that firmly grounded feeling of a strongly built stalwart. Most commonly, stairways hug a wall, as it is easier for builders to anchor a stairway into a wall than it is to suspend one (though some homeowners are lucky to have a grand statementmaking suspended staircase reminiscent of Scarlett O’Hara’s in “Gone With the Wind”). If your stairway is rather ordinary, don’t despair—there are many things you can do to keep it from looking like a lonely wallflower. 69

Take it One Step at a Time

Paramount to appearance when it comes to stairways is safety—so, don’t tread lightly when it comes to the idea of building or remodeling a stairway. Stairway construction requires the help of a licensed professional who can keep the appropriate stairway scale and measurements safely consistent and within code. We get in a rhythm when climbing stairs, and even an inch of a difference can be enough to trip us up. The most significant safety feature for stairways is that the steps be of uniform height, though stairway safety guidelines also recommend a minimum tread depth (the horizontal board you walk on) of 9 to 11 inches. Consistency is key to avoid stumbles and falls. Some contemporary stairways completely omit the riser—the vertical board that marks the height between the stair steps—leaving an empty space between the treads. Most building codes require that the space between open risers be fewer than 4 inches to prevent a child from being able to crawl through. If you like that modern look, but have a traditional staircase, you can fudge 7 0

the illusion of a floating stairway by painting the risers the same color as the wall and painting or staining the treads in a contrasting color, causing the risers to virtually disappear and the treads to command all the attention. Another design opportunity involves accentuating the risers instead. Mediterranean homes often feature colorful ceramic tiles applied to the stairway risers. Collectors of antique Spanish or Danish tiles could enlist a tile installer to help display their collections on their stairway. Or, a talented artist could mimic a similar look by stenciling on designs. You can purchase decorative wood overlays called “riser covers” to add texture, character and pattern to stair steps. Most riser covers come prefinished to match common wood flooring colors (like oak, cherry, maple and hickory) and many have cut-out designs that can be further accented by painting the riser a bright color before the overlay is attached. Should you soften your steps with carpet or a runner? It’s a matter of personal taste, and many homeowners prefer that “best-of-both-worlds” combo of having hardwood treads partially covered

by a runner—exposing a few inches of wood on each side. The width of your stairway runner can be tailored to fit your stairs, but standard runner widths are 27 to 33 inches. Brass stair runner rods are a handsome adornment that can be added to the base of each riser, appearing to secure the runner to the steps. Today, stair rods are ornamental, as carpeting is safely secured to the stairs with nails and staples. But before the days of staple guns and carpet installation pros, the rods had a useful function, too. A stairway covered with a runner is quieter and more comfortable to walk on than plain hardwood treads—less slippery, too! Carpet can add interest to your stairway and today, there are more colors, patterns and materials than ever to choose from—ranging from fine wool carpets, natural materials like jute and sisal, to family friendly indoor/outdoor runners made of recycled plastic—all of which can stand up to high traffic areas like stairways. On the other hand, many people want the polished look of unadorned hardwood stair treads, enjoying the character of the wood as well as the ability to recognize their family members just by the sound of C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

their footfalls. Traditionally, homeowners match their stair treads to their wood flooring, but if you’re going for a more eclectic look, why not stain or paint them in a contrasting color instead? If you have carpet on your stairs and want to remove it in favor of wood stair treads, you have a few options. First, there’s a chance that hardwood treads in good condition exist underneath all that carpet that can be refinished—a time- and labor-intensive task, but worth the effort if it is original wood in a historic home or you are a hands-on do-it-yourselfer. If removing the carpet reveals stained or subpar wood that’s not worth saving, you can completely replace the stair treads— but doing so will require demolition of your stairway’s treads and risers, which means your stairway could be inaccessible for several days (if not weeks). Your family will likely need to relocate during this project. A third and less invasive option is having hardwood overlays designed to fit over the existing, unsightly treads. Overlays can usually be installed within one to two days. Your contractor or local builder’s supply can help have your stairway measured and fitted for a tread overlay system.

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Mixing and matching—for example, pairing a wood banister with rods made of forged iron— can be an eye-catching effect. Get a Handle on it

In order to prevent an accidental tumble down the stairs, stairways are required by local building codes to have a handrail (also called a “banister”) to provide support while ascending or descending the stairs. Customizing the handrail can be the best way to add distinction to your home’s stairway—after all, it’s usually the first part of the staircase that visitors see and touch! Updating yours could transform the look of your entire entryway. A handrail over white balusters (vertical support posts under the handrail, also sometimes called “spindles”, and a grouping of them called “balustrade”) with wood steps and a plush runner may create the most timeless of stairway fashions, but many homeowners want to express a more eclectic look by mixing contemporary elements with classic architectural details. Some even like to make a personal statement through their decor— beach lovers adding nautical motifs and outdoorsmen integrating rustic, natural elements throughout their indoor spaces. Your stairway’s handrail and balustrade can boast intricate carvings and embellishments as long as they remain strong and sturdy. They can be made of stone, reclaimed or exotic woods, iron, steel or other metals. Some are even made of rope, tempered glass or acrylic.

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But before you get too caught up in sourcing a new handrail and balustrade, contact your local building official, a contractor or even a local builder supply to get the straight scoop on what your local safety code requires of a stairway handrail system. Know that depending on what your local code requires, some of the creative ideas you’ve seen on the internet might not be something you can actually do in your home. A simple update like painting your handrail in glossy black oil-based paint or staining it in a tone to contrast your wood flooring might be a big enough change for you. Or, you might want to exchange it for one made of a completely different type of material. Mixing and matching— for example, pairing a wood banister with rods made of forged iron—can be an eye-catching effect. In fact, you can mix and match the styles and designs of your spindles, too. Alternating two or more styles adds contrast, interest and texture. Architectural salvage shops are great places to look for house parts like banisters and balustrade. You can often find entire stairway sets in styles to complement a home from almost any architectural period.

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Topping it Off

Everybody knows the best part is “the icing on the cake.” Almost as important as the stairway itself is its newel post— both for engineering the stairway and for helping it make a design statement. The newel post is the post to which the handrail/banister is attached and the anchor for the stairway’s handrail. In historic times, the newel post often reflected the architecture of the home, the social class of the homeowners, and sometimes even their interests and occupations, revealed through elaborate carvings and adornments. If you ever see an old newel post with an inlaid ivory or mother-of-pearl button in the center, know that these are called “amity” buttons—an indication that the debt to the bank or builder had been settled. A hole would be drilled into the newel post and the financial papers inserted into it. Some homeowners rolled up their house plans and inserted them in the hollow newel post, too. Secret compartments and hidden documents are certainly the stuff of legends and folklore, but your newel post doesn’t have to be old to tell a great c vhomemaga zine .com


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story. If you can’t find a solid newel post you like or if you want something truly one-of-a-kind, you can have one custom-made out of virtually any material and in any style that you can imagine! Perhaps all your newel post needs is a new topper. A newel post finial—that decorative architectural element marking the top of the newel post—is the exclamation point at the end of your stairway’s design statement. Newel posts can be finished with a simple low-profile cap, or they can topped by a more elaborate ornament like a hand-carved pineapple to symbolize hospitality, a classic ball, acorn or some other geometric shape— even an elegant crystal orb. Adding decorative wood finishing details to an unadorned, plain stairway can be a great project for do-it-yourselfers. Though they look like they’re helping hold up the stairway, they are actually just decorative ornamentation. Tread brackets are decorative carved moldings applied below each tread on the open face of the staircase. They are usually painted white (or the same color as the other wood trimwork in the room) and can be found in an array of traditional architectural motifs ranging from elaborately carved leaf patterns, classic scrolls, Greek keys and others. These are another architectural element that is easy to find in architectural salvage shops, though it’s just as easy to find modern versions made from lightweight polymer-based materials, too. They usually only require a small amount of glue or a few small nails to install them. Once they’re up and painted in your color of choice, it’s one little add-on that will make a big difference in the appearance of your stairway. Adding wainscoting (decorative wood paneling) to the walls is another nice way to visually enhance the line of the stairway and add a layer of protection to the walls, too. Generally, wainscoting is applied at the same height and angle as the handrail. Wainscoting gives a bland stairwell a timeless air of formality.

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Let Your Landing Take Off

The “landing” of the stairway refers to the floor space at the top or bottom of the staircase, as well as any platform along the way. The landing itself is a focal point—a place where the eye is naturally attracted—and it’s the perfect place to display a significant piece of artwork or an entire gallery wall. Having accent lighting installed to focus on those special items will further enhance their effect and attract onlookers. Anything that piques your curiosity and makes you want to ascend the stairs to have a closer look is the right thing to do to decorate your landing—whether it’s installing a statement chandelier, hanging an oversized mirror or adding a pop of color on the wall through paint or wallpaper. A stairway is a prominent architectural feature in any multistoried home, whether it is small and narrow or boasts shapely, generous curves. There are so many things you can do to customize the appearance of your stairway, making it uniquely yours.

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COMPOST Mother Nature’s Recycling Program By R o ry R h o d es

With its abundance of falling leaves and fading perennials, autumn is a natural time of year to start composting. A process in which various organic materials decay to produce a natural soil enhancer, composting is most frequently used to amend poor soil and reduce a garden’s need for fertilizer. If you’ve ever raked leaves in the fall, then ordered scoops of mulch in the spring and spread it on the garden (cough cough, guilty!) you’ve essentially discarded prime soil amenders and bought new ones that aren’t as good. Perhaps you’ve heard about the wonders of composting, but aren’t sure what’s involved or how complicated it is. Don’t worry; it’s actually a simple process. This year, instead of bagging or burning that brown stuff, why not give composting a try? Here’s all you need to know. The Benefits

The rich, dark brown matter produced from composting can work wonders in garden beds and containers. It’s especially helpful in Virginia, which has a lot of heavy clay soil. Many plants struggle in clay because its dense structure is hard for roots to penetrate, while moisture retention and slow drainage can cause root rot. If you’ve carefully planted some pretty nursery specimens in your yard, only to watch them waste away like consumptive heroines in a 19th century novel, you may have a clay problem. Amending clay soil with compost will add vital nutrients as well as improve drainage by binding to the clay, producing larger particles that filter water more effectively. Whether you have clay or not, compost will improve the soil quality and water retention in your garden. Homemade organic material saves money on bagged soil and fertilizer, and also decreases household waste sent to the landfill. Using compost instead of high-nitrogen fertilizer prevents runoff from polluting local waterways. And, if you have opened your windows on a glorious fall day, only to slam them shut after inhaling a lungful of burning leaf smoke, you can imagine that composting those leaves is a healthier alternative for your immediate air quality. In other words, composting beautifies the garden while taking care of Mother Nature. Win-win! c vhomemaga zine .com


How It Works

The chemical process of composting works best with a mixture of carbon and nitrogen ingredients. Dry matter, such as leaves, pine needles, shredded cardboard and newspaper, eggshells, bark, and shredded twigs are all high-carbon “brown” materials. Fresh grass clippings, garden trimmings, fruit and vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds and tea leaves are nitrogen-rich “green ingredients.” Mixed together, these two components will help microorganisms break down the material. Heat is a by-product of this process, and is necessary for effective composting. Starting your compost in the fall with a bottom layer of dry, brown material will allow aeration throughout the pile. Chopping and shredding larger items will hasten decomposition, while sunny days and mild temperatures will provide a bit of heat to accelerate the process. Add kitchen scraps as you have them, and in spring begin incorporating green material, such as grass clippings. Just make sure you don’t add any meat or dairy products, as the compost won’t get hot enough to break them down, and they’ll also attract animals. Getting Started

There is a lot of specialized composting equipment available which, if you’re new to composting, might seem intimidating. Remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Fundamentally, composting is free. Make a pile of unwanted kitchen and yard material, let it rest for several months, and you have your very own garden superfood. However, a few basic items will make the process more convenient. In the Kitchen

For starters, you’ll want a vessel in your kitchen to hold those fruit and vegetables scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds. You could use something as simple as a small aluminum pail with a lid. You can also buy special compost crocks with replaceable charcoal filters to absorb any odors. If you’re concerned about fruit flies, there are various decorative and unobtrusive fruit-fly traps on the market. 7 8

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In the Backyard

The first option is just to make a pile in your yard. This is the best choice if you have a lot of leaves and garden material to compost, if you have a lot of soil you want amended, or if you just want to keep it simple. Select an out-of-theway location that gets some sun, since the sun’s heat will accelerate the process, and begin with a layer of brown material. Don’t heap it right up against a wooden structure, as over time it can rot the wood. You may want to contain the pile by installing a simple fence around it. A wire or mesh fence is a simple but tidy option. Hardware cloth is sturdy and will hold its shape while containing the compost. You can secure the wire with metal stakes, or construct a basic wood frame with treated lumber. Leave the fence open on one side for easy access, or install a gate. A compost pile will quickly become home to various microorganisms, along with earthworms, sow bugs, nematodes, and other tiny creatures who will get the compost party started. Keep your compost aerated and active by turning it every couple of weeks with a pitchfork or shovel (you can also buy a compost aerator, which looks like a metal pole with wings at the bottom) and add moisture now and then to aid decomposition. A good guideline is to add a bit of water when you add brown material; green material has its own moisture.

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If you are looking to compost a smaller amount and want something more concealed, you can purchase special tumblers and bins. There are a variety of sizes and options available to suit different needs and budgets. A tumbler is a drum with a hinged door, usually mounted on a frame. It has a turning crank either attached to a gear on the frame, or connected to a center axle that runs through the center of the drum. Some popular features are drums with interior fins to help mix the compost, insulated drums to help “cook” the material, and drums that are divided into two compartments so that one side can hold fresh material while the other side decomposes. An advantage with tumblers is that they will stay warmer than an open-air pile, which increases the rate of decomposition. You can’t put earthworms in a tumbler because it gets too hot inside, but you can buy compost “activator” which contains things like microorganisms, enzymes, and meal such as bonemeal and alfalfa meal. A third option is a compost bin, essentially a large ventilated container that is often made of sturdy polyethylene, like a Rubbermaid tub. As with tumblers, options include insulated bins, and bins divided into several trays for different stages of compost. A bin will hold more than a tumbler, making it a good middleground choice. Be aware that it can be tough to turn the material inside a compost bin, and less aeration means the composting process will take a bit longer. The Result

Depending upon the conditions of your compost pile, you should have rich soil and a gourmet meal for your plants in several months. It may take longer if conditions are less than ideal, or if you “BROWN” MATERIAL leaves pine needles shredded cardboard and newspaper bark and shredded twigs egg shells

started with a lot of coarse material. When the compost is dark and crumbly, with no trace of the initial ingredients, it is ready for use. With a compost pile or bin, dig into the bottom to find the richest material. You can add composted soil to your garden at any time of year. Put it in the holes you dig for new plantings. Spread it as mulch and slow-release fertilizer in established garden beds to help control weeds while adding beneficial nutrients to the soil. Use it for container plantings instead of pricey potting soil. You can even brew a “compost tea” (not for drinking!) by placing a shovelful of compost in an old pillowcase, tying the case, and submerging it in a lidded fivegallon bucket of water, stirring whenever possible to keep it oxygenated. (Healthy tea will have an earthy smell. If it smells spoiled, pour it back onto your compost pile and try again.) Use compost tea as soon as it’s ready, usually in a day or two when it’s the color of strong coffee. To use this “tea,” dilute the brew with water until it is the color of iced tea (approximately 3 parts water to 1 part tea.) This liquid gold makes an excellent natural fertilizer, which can be sprinkled directly onto foliage as well as into surrounding soil. Using compost tea on foliage can also help control plant blights and molds, as well as reduce insect damage. Recycling organic material turns nature’s trash into your treasure. Composting can invigorate scruffy shrubs and pallid plants while conserving natural resources. If you find yourself with some leftover leaves and yard trimmings this season, perhaps it’s time to adhere to the old saying, “Waste not, want not,” and start a compost pile. Your garden, and Mother Nature, will thank you. “GREEN” MATERIAL fresh grass clippings garden trimmings fruit and vegetable waste coffee grounds and tea leaves

Keep kitchen scraps in a pail or crock Select an outdoor location with some sun Start with a layer of brown material Add kitchen scraps as they occur, and green material in the spring Keep the compost moist Turn compost every week or two When compost is evenly brown and crumbly, add to garden beds 8 0

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Local pros weigh in on current conditions As homeowners—whether we plan to stay put, renovate, move neighborhoods or relocate to another city—the real estate market in our area is of interest to us all. It can be one indicator of the economic vitality and health of a region—something to which we are all attuned. HOME asked local Realtors to weigh in on what they’ve been experiencing in our area so far in 2015. Here, see what they have to say. I’m seeing our market very much in a balanced state—not too heavily weighted in favor of buyers or sellers. Having said that, there are certain pockets of our market (neighborhoods, price ranges) that are experiencing a shortage of inventory. In those cases, homes are selling faster than normal, creating a seller’s market for that segment of the market. We just had our best May ever in terms of volume of homes sold (282) since 2005 (which was 285). The activity I see is all across the board—first-time home buyers, “move up” buyers, buyers new to the area, sellers moving out of the area. Also, the average sales price for most segments of our market is improving; I often say we’re not racing out of the recession, but every year we’re putting one foot in front of the other and making steady progress. I’d characterize the Lynchburg market as very healthy in 2015. Dan Vollmer Associate Broker,  ReMax 1st Olympic Past President, Lynchburg Association of REALTORS

Sold prices on existing homes in Lynchburg are slowly showing promise; overall sales volume is up. It’s helpful for sellers to know that discerning buyers have come to expect turnkey conditions—nicely staged with updated kitchens and baths. Garages also continue to be an important amenity. These are the properties that are driving the market. Judy Frantz, ABR, CRS, GRI John Stewart Walker, Inc 8 2

The greater Lynchburg real estate market continues to improve. Our firm has seen good dollar volume growth each year since 2010. The market in most segments is reasonably balanced—neither a seller’s nor buyer’s market. Properties that are in excellent condition, attractively staged and correctly priced are moving briskly. Those that are in need of repair or updating will continue to languish. Only really high end continues to be a bit of a challenge, but we expect that to improve in time. Our beautiful area is once again attracting retirees and seems to be retaining more of our area college grads. As long as our elected and business leaders fight to improve transportation in the area (lack of commercial competition, fewer flights, and increased fares at Lynchburg Airport are a particular headwind) then we remain quite optimistic for housing in central Virginia both near and long term. Billy Flint, CRS, GRI Flint Property Group

We are still in a “buyer’s market” in most areas. Reviewing statistics in the Lynchburg Multiple Listing Service comparing the first six months of 2014 to 2015, the market is strong, with an 8 percent increase in residential sales. The market has shown a very insignificant increase in the “days on market” or the list price to sales price percentage. Although sales are strong, our area is not experiencing value appreciation in properties. Most of the time, the Region 2000 market [the 2,000 square miles encompassing the city of Lynchburg, and parts of Bedford, Campbell, Amherst and Appomattox Counties that comprise our market area] does not follow national sales data. A current example is that the “May 2015 Home Sales and Foreclosures Report” released by RealtyTrac showed that “cash sales were at an all time low since 2009.” However, in our market, cash sales are higher than in the past several years. John Stewart Walker, Inc. has shown a 9 percent increase over 2014, and

has steadily increased since 2007, which was the height of the market. What are some of the home trends in our area? “New” sells before “existing” if not decided by location. Kitchens and bathrooms are the place that dollars spent convert into value for the buyers. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are expected in the price range over $200,000. Garages are also an important issue with those relocating to our area. It’s very unusual to find a home with a garage for under $250,000, but is expected by those buyers in all price ranges. Also, most buyers in today’s market do not want fixer-uppers—they just want to move in without having to replace, repair or renovate. Younger buyers have much higher expectations than in the past as well. Karen W. Hall, Realtor/Sales Manager John Stewart Walker, Inc. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5


RaiseYour Glass! Spruce up your drinkware wardrobe By Alys s a M er c a da n t e

Take a quick peek inside your drinkware cabinet. What do you see? Orderly rows of chic glasses organized by type? Or an assortment of plastic stadium cups sporting logos that you probably received at various events? Tervis tumblers bearing a variety of logos? Mismatched coffee mugs from all the places you’ve visited? Cups are so easy to accumulate—it’s a mystery as to what is even nestled back in that cabinet (besides dust). If cups are stacked five-high and falling off the shelves every time you open the door, it is time to make a change—particularly before the holidays roll around and you’ll be filling those glasses for friends and family on more than one special occasion. Be party-ready while creating a little cabinet Zen with a fall tidy-up and restocking with the addition of a few simple glasses. c vhomemaga zine .com


Purge and Organize

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The first thing to do is to start with a clean slate. Remove each and every cup, mug, tumbler and glass from your cabinet. Once they are out, you will realize just how many you had jammed in there. Take advantage of the now-empty shelves and give them a good wipe down. Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the ones you don’t need. Grab an empty box and start ruthlessly tossing for donation or recycling. You don’t need 15 Tervis tumblers, you don’t need a coffee mug from every state, and you definitely don’t need an abundance of those flimsy plastic cups. Discard anything you haven’t used in a long time, and ditch anything that doesn’t make sense for your current living situation. Do you really still need to keep those sippy cups if your youngest child is 13? Once you have decided which ones to keep, place them back where it makes the most sense. Everyday drinkware should go on the bottom shelves for easiest access, with specialty glasses up top. If you have a glass-front cabinet or hutch in your kitchen, think about displaying some of the pretty, special ones here. Perhaps you now have some extra room to update your drinkware wardrobe and add some fun, stylish and versatile options to your collection. Find the Most Versatile Drinkware

Nowadays, it seems more and more people are embracing cocktail culture at home. Going out can be expensive and crowded, and it’s much more intimate to host a small get-together at home. The trick to doing so, though, is to provide a variety of options for your guests. Some people prefer wine or champagne, some liquor, others non-alcoholic beverages. Getting your hands on these liquid goods is the easy part. But what do you serve everything in? Do you really need all those fancy, different-sized crystal glasses for whites, reds and champagne? Can you only drink margaritas out of margarita glasses? The answer is no. There are many versatile sets of all-purpose wine glasses available that accommodate both white and red wine. Stemless wine glasses are popular because they are easy to handle and can fit on that top shelf of the dishwasher without breaking. They can also be used for drinks other than wine, such as margaritas or freshly squeezed lemonade, as they almost mimic a highball or old-fashioned glass in your hand without the stem. Many people are moving away from the fine, crystal stemware that our grandparents have locked up in their china cabinets; it is considered extravagant and frankly, too much fuss in this time-

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starved world. When it comes to champagne, many argue whether it’s best to use coupes or flutes. Coupes are wide-mouthed and swanky, and can be fun to bring out at a small party—but that wide mouth can lead to easy spillage and offers little space for the bubbles to rise. Tall, slender flutes accentuate the rising bubbles, but don’t allow the champagne to fully express its wonderful aroma. To get the most enjoyment out of your champagne, consider serving it in a simple wine glass. After all, isn’t champagne just wine with bubbles? Old-fashioned glasses (rocks, whiskey glasses) are always “in” and are considered classic, timeless, casual and versatile. These short tumblers, or lowballs, can be used for serving almost any spirit or cocktail. The same goes for highball glasses, which are taller and feature a sleek, cylindrical shape. They can even be used as a dramatic way to serve juice or soda. Another popular drinking vessel that can be used for a wide variety of beverages is the Mason jar. Perfect for enjoying your favorite cold drinks, smoothies or sweet tea, these adorable jars are easy to hold and even easier to care for. These days, there are Mason jars that come with handles, lids, straws, and even Mason jars with stems, just for fun. If one day you decide to no longer use these jars as drinking glasses, there are a million other uses for them.

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The options for drinkware are endless, and you should mold your collection to fit your own needs. Add In Some Fun Pieces

While it’s important to have glasses that can accommodate a wide variety of beverages, also think about adding some unique pieces to your collection. Moscow Mule mugs are a standout in their coppery beauty and are sure to act as a conversation starter. Chilled drinks in copper cups offer some extra coolness because the metal acts as an insulator. While these copper mugs are usually reserved for Moscow Mule cocktails (lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer and vodka), that’s not to say they can’t be used for other drinks. Other vodka or gin-based drinks, or simply some refreshing, iced water garnished with lemon, can be served in these as well. Hot beverages such as coffee and hot chocolate can also be served in copper mugs, and the handle makes for easy sipping. For craft beer lovers, you may not want to use the same type of glass for every variation. There are reasons why certain kinds go in certain shapes here, and when you have the right glass for unlocking the flavors of each style of beer, hosting a small craft beer or microbrew tasting can be tasty and fun. There are many sets that you can buy at your local home goods store that include glasses for a classic English pub, Belgian ale, pilsner, stout/porter, and wheat beer. If you don’t drink a lot of different styles of beer, just stock up on a set of pint glasses that are sure to do the trick. C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

The options for drinkware are endless, and you should mold your collection to fit your own needs. Give this some dedicated thought while cleaning, purging and restocking. If your family loves a glass of wine with dinner every night, make sure you have enough wine glasses to accommodate that. If you like a smoothie every morning with breakfast, stock up on large, basic glasses such as Mason jars. Simple pint glasses, which are great for water, soda and beer, also serve as great general-purpose glasses. If you have some of each in your drinkware collection, then you’ll have a glass for practically every type of drink. Choose clear glasses to keep it simple while also being able to appreciate the color of your drink, but don’t be afraid to branch out and gather a few with designs or colors that express your personality and accent your home. Whether your drinkware cabinet is in need of a full-fledged cleaning out, or you just need to do a bit of reorganizing and restocking, the main goal is to be able to open your cabinet to a state of calm. Having just the right assortment of drinkware will allow you to have one more part of your home organized, party-ready and blissfully updated.

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In ofPursuit the Chair


what to know before shopping for upholstered furniture

By R ach el B e a n l a n d

My husband and I once bought an upholstered chair on impulse. It was a floor model so the price was reduced, and the fabric—a bold print— initially appealed to me. Within six months, I knew we’d made a mistake. The chair wasn’t comfortable, and it was too small for the space. Worse, the fabric was so loud, I couldn’t decorate around it. We moved the chair from room to room, hoping to find a place where it would work better. Ultimately, it came to rest in a dark corner of our unfinished basement. Buying upholstered furniture is a big deal. You’re spending a lot of money on something you’ll live with for many years. No one wants to get it wrong, and yet there are so many factors to consider, it’s easy to make a mistake. When it comes to upholstered chairs—or sofas for that matter—it’s wise to do your homework before you start shopping. Flip through design magazines, peruse Pinterest, and pay attention to the living rooms of the friends whose taste you admire most. We all say we want a chair that’s sturdy, comfortable and attractive, but what does that mean to you? 8 8

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Framing and Joinery

Finding a chair with a solid, hardwood frame is the best place to start. Hardwood comes from deciduous trees (think oak, walnut or beech) and is stronger than the wood of coniferous trees like pines and spruce. It’s also more scratch resistant. Some furniture makers rely on nine-layer plywood in places, and that can be okay, but you want to steer clear of thinner plywood, particleboard, pressed wood and fiberboard. Excessive knots in the wood can weaken the frame, as can cracks. Look for wood that has been kiln-dried, a process that removes moisture and thereby reduces the likelihood that the frame will warp in high temperatures or humidity. In addition to learning your trees, it’s a good idea to learn a thing or two about joinery. Dovetail joints, in which two notched pieces of wood, cut at an angle, interlock, make for the strongest joints. Mortise-and-tenon joints are a close second. Both techniques are more labor-intensive for furniture makers, so you’ll see that reflected in the price of the chair. It’s not necessarily a no-go if you find a chair you love that’s joined using dowels, screws or reinforced corner blocks, but beware of anything stapled, nailed or glued. Give the chair a good shake. A well-constructed chair shouldn’t wobble. Suspension

When it comes to a chair’s suspension, “eight-way hand-tied” spring coils have long been considered the furniture industry’s gold standard. Each of the seat’s springs are tied together with twine in eight places and then tied to the frame. The technique is labor intensive and thus more costly, so it’s become the mark of the finest furniture makers.

Many retailers argue that, with the improvement in manufacturing technology, other steel coil suspension frames are every bit as comfortable—and can last longer. A sinuous or serpentine seat system uses S-shaped springs, tied together with steel wire, to create a comfortable and sturdy seat. The key is to be sure the springs—regardless of type—are close together and evenly spaced. Ask your retailer whether the manufacturer has done anything to reduce the noise springs can make. Spring coils can be stuffed with cotton to reduce squeaking, and wires can be coated with paper to absorb sound. Less costly than a coil suspension is one made of webbing. Thick strips of durable fabric, often made from jute or nylon, are woven together and stretched across the chair’s frame. Webbing works well for chairs with a slim profile but is generally considered to be inferior to a spring coil suspension. When fine furniture manufacturers use webbing, it’s often in tandem with coils or with a tensioner that fastens the webbing to the frame. Cushions

Today, most upholstered cushions are made from polyurethane foam. The denser the foam, the more durable the cushion. Furniture manufacturers are required to provide their foam’s density rating to consumers, so you should be able to find this information easily. Ideally, you want a density rating between 1.8 and 2.5 pounds per cubic foot. To protect the foam’s integrity and make foam cushions as comfortable and durable as possible, manufacturers either wrap the foam in cotton, wool or polyester batting or encase it in a loose fiberfill. A liner, often made of muslin, keeps everything in place.

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Fiberfill is most commonly made of polyester or down, though it’s likely that, no matter what you choose, you’ll end up with a blend. Each material has pluses and minuses. Polyester fiberfill is soft, affordable and mildew-resistant, but it has a tendency to separate over time, creating lumps that even the most ardent cushion fluffer can’t fix. Down, which is the layer of fine feathers underneath a bird’s exterior feathers, is lightweight, soft and a great insulator. Disadvantages are that it needs constant fluffing to maintain its loft, breaks down over time, and can trap mold and dust. Fabric

It’s important to keep in mind that the best fabric for upholstery has a high thread count and a tight weave. Be especially wary of a loose weave if you have pets or small children, as it’s much easier to snag the fabric. When it comes to natural fibers, cotton and wool blends hold up well to day-in and day-out use. Twill and damask are both tightly woven fabrics that can survive life in a busy household. Chenille and velvet tend not to pill. Linen and silk are attractive but work best in formal living rooms and other spots where upholstered furniture won’t be heavily used. Synthetic fabrics such as micro-suede and micro-velvet are designed to mimic the properties of natural materials that might otherwise be considered too impractical for upholstery. Today, these engineered materials are some of the most durable on the market. Pay attention to the labels on the back of the fabric swatches furniture retailers and interior designers provide. They can help you make a more informed decision about your upholstery. If you’re shopping at a retailer that sells fabric by the yard, you can find much of the same information on stickers at the end of each bolt. The double rub count will help you gauge the fabric’s durability. Before fabric goes to market, it’s run through a machine that rubs back and forth against the weave until it disintegrates. Fabric is considered delicate duty if it survives less than 3,000 double rubs (approximately one year of use), light duty if it can take between 3,000 and 9,000 double rubs, medium duty if it can withstand 9,000 to 15,000 double rubs and heavy duty if it can sustain more than 15,000 double rubs. For residential upholstery, and particularly if the chair will be in a high-traffic area, it’s a good idea to select a fabric that’s survived at least 15,000 double rubs. 9 0

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It’s important to keep in mind that the best fabric for upholstery has a high thread count and a tight weave. The label will also rate the fabric according to its fade resistance. Fade resistance is measured on a scale of 1 to 5; a fabric that earns a 1 will experience severe fading while a fabric that earns a 5 shouldn’t fade much at all. As a rule, natural fibers in dark colors will fade fastest. You’ll also find information about the fabric’s repeat on the swatch label. If the fabric you’re considering has a pattern, the label should tell you how many inches the pattern runs before it repeats. It may also indicate that the pattern is railroaded, which means that the pattern runs horizontally across the fabric bolt. Railroaded fabric is especially useful if you’re upholstering a sofa because it means fewer seams or breaks in the pattern.

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Look for cleaning codes on the swatch label as well. Textile manufacturers will indicate whether the fabric can be cleaned with a water-based or solvent-based cleaner. Some fabrics can only be vacuumed, so it’s important to know that up front. The Upholstered Furniture Action Council is an industry group that sets voluntary fire safety standards and advocates for making upholstered furniture more flame resistant. Look for the gold UFAC tag on upholstery fabric, as it means the fabric meets their fire safety standards, but be cautious about committing to a fabric that’s been treated with flame-retardant chemicals, as they may be toxic. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $250 a yard for upholstery fabric. The more labor-intensive the weave, the more costly the fabric. Some retailers will permit you to supply your own material; others will require you choose a fabric from their inventory. If you’re supplying your own fabric, you’ll need to know how much to buy. The average upholstered chair takes about 7 yards of material, but it’s important to check with your upholsterer before making a purchase. The width of the fabric (54 inches is standard), the size of the pattern’s repeat and extras like tufting, welting and skirting can affect the total yardage. If you buy too little fabric, a good upholsterer can sometimes make it stretch— but don’t count on it. Your best bet is to consult with your upholsterer before you go shopping. Choose the right chair with the right fabric and you’ll be sitting pretty for years to come. With careful research and a little bit of luck, your chair will outlast the fabric it’s upholstered in, and years from now, you’ll find yourself reupholstering it.

Make Your Home, A



Come in and see our Grand selection of Living Room Groups. From MicroFiber to Leather and everything in between, we have a large variety of colors, fabrics and styles! Let Grand’s experienced sales staff help you make your home a Grand home!

LYNCHBURG 5401 Fort Avenue | 434-239-5900 www.grandhomefurnishings.com 9 2

Open Every Day C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5


Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour

Celebrating 25 years supporting area charities P h ot o g r a p hy by C a r l a L a set e r

Founded in 1991 by Jeanne Wagoner and her husband Joe, the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour has raised $3.8 million for nearly 40 area charities. These organizations provide critical services such as food, crisis financial aid and clothing, counseling, medical care, and advocates for abused or neglected children. In its 25th year, the Charity Home Tour continues to make a positive impact on the lives of people in the Smith Mountain Lake region. This year, the home tour will be held October 9, 10 and 11. Each year’s event is truly a partnership between volunteers, charities, businesses, homeowners and individuals in the community. In 2015, more than 1,200 volunteers and 200 business and individual sponsors will help plan, staff and fund the home tour. “Without question, the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour is the number one community-building activity in our area,” says Denise Tuttle, the tour’s executive chair. “For one weekend in October, we all come together with a single purpose: To help those who need help.” The 2015 tour, presented by VC Design & Build, showcases eight beautiful waterfront homes that offer visitors ideas and inspiration for decorating, remodeling and landscaping. The mix of this year’s new and remodeled homes features unique kitchens, outdoor living spaces and spectacular lake views, as well as artifacts and collectibles that reflect owners’ travels and personal tastes. Take a friend and go by car or boat! It’s a great way to spend a fall day at the lake, while helping those in need. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.smlcharityhometour.com. Here, enjoy a sneak peek at the homes on this year’s tour: c vhomemaga zine .com



16179 SML Parkway, Huddleston Sitting on a flat, grassy point with 800 feet of shoreline, the Adams home is a mix of Colonial style with Craftsman pillars. Its lovely blue color is accented with bright white trim. A two-story stone fireplace dominates the great room, which flows to the kitchen and dining area, all of which have attractive hickory flooring. The main floor master suite has a clever closet-to-laundry room pass-through designed by the homeowner. Three guest rooms are upstairs with two baths and a sitting area.


1122 Crows Nest Drive, Huddleston

The Chadason home, a blend of rustic farmhouse charm and modern lines with Arts and Crafts details, exudes both comfort and cordiality. The style is clean and uncluttered with impact from architectural aspects—soaring ceilings, chunky wood beams, stone fireplaces, an additional stone wall and distressed wood flooring. Scattered throughout are rugs and artifacts acquired during 27 years of living overseas. Notice the unusual bathroom sinks and vanities, and one bath with a Finnish sauna.


105 Arbor Lane, Huddleston The Berdine home on Craddock Creek was remodeled to make wonderful use of space. Only the roof and studs remain of the original home. Within the same footprint, everything is new—the room arrangement, gourmet kitchen, sunroom, three bedrooms, larger windows and doors, hand-scraped flooring and a new deck with glass railing to emphasize the spectacular view. Beyond a delightful waterfall, a series of ponds extends over 50 feet along the lakeside of the house.


221 Hardwood Court, Hardy

The Wetter/Sayre home exemplifies how a weekend lake house can be transformed to a modern open-concept home perfect for entertaining and full-time living. With the help of an architect, part of the house and the former garage were redesigned into dining, living and kitchen space, and a new garage was added. Other interior features include a tree root cocktail table, a unique sliding TV cover, and three fireplaces, one with a rough-hewn mantel.

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980 Parkway Avenue, Moneta Located in Park Place near the “S-Curve,” the Snyder home was designed, placed and constructed to maximize expansive lake views using many very large windows. The main level has an open layout with an ultra-modern kitchen, fireplaces, furniture and accessories. Curves and circle designs are used throughout the house in rugs and doors, even garage doors. See unusual domed ceilings in the entryway and breakfast room. An octagonal observatory captures an almost-360-degree view of the lake.


106 Harbour Island Lane, Moneta The Petrine home sits majestically on a large lot on the Blackwater. The exterior has multiple turrets, yet the home looks contemporary with large windows and gigantic wooden pillars. The interior reflects British Colonial style of the Virgin Islands with dark wood trim and simple, clean lines. Everything is eye-popping—an indoor great room garden, 11½-foot sliding glass doors, and a pool and patio with a stream and waterfall.


91 Harbour Court, Moneta The Laseter home, located in Waverly, has a gently sloping path to the house from the dock on the Blackwater. Inside, the décor is a mix of contemporary pieces and family antiques. The kitchen features a unique round island that is perfect for food prep and chatting. The master bedroom looks out on an expansive view of the lake. Downstairs there are two guest bedrooms and a family room with a fabulous built-in bar. Landscape additions include a beautiful Japanese maple in the front.


48 Watch Hill Circle, Moneta In The Boardwalk, the Grant Home, completed in 2013, sits on an almost-flat lot with 325 feet of shoreline. Inside, East meets West in decorating styles. The main level has art, furniture and artifacts from the couple's time spent living in Taipei, Taiwan, and traveling in Asia. On the lake level, the West predominates with art from Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Aspen log bar stools and coffee table are exceptional.

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n LIVE AROUND TOWN Lynchburg Historical Foundation Tour Features Federal Hill Historic District

Sunday, September 27, 1 – 5:30 p.m. “Lynchburg is growing more rapidly than any [town] I have ever known in any country.” So Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1817. He might have added that much of that growth was occurring on a certain hill just to the southwest of the original town limits. In fact, Federal Hill, as it soon came to be called, was Lynchburg’s first residential suburb. The many Federal-style houses built during Lynchburg’s early 19th-century era of prosperity still define the neighborhood. When Federal Hill was studied in 1974 in preparation for being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, the Virginia Landmarks Commission declared that few Piedmont cities of the South can boast of such a distinguished grouping of Federal dwellings. Federal Hill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Join the Lynchburg Historical Foundation for a tour of four homes in the Federal Hill Historic District on Sunday, September 27 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Tour tickets ($20) are available through lynchburgtickets.com, the Lynchburg Visitor Information Center, and on the day of the tour at tents on 12th /Harrison and 11th / Federal Streets. A Patrons’ Party will be held Sunday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.; reservations are required and tickets ($75) must be purchased by September 18th. (Patrons’ Party home is not included on the tour.) Here, take a look at the homes featured on the tour. 1012 Federal Street

Originally built in 1910 by Lewis & Burnham Architects for Henry A. Allen Jr., the home has seen many changes on Federal Hill in 105 years. Remarkably, this Colonial Revival has kept many of its original fixtures and all of its character. The home is filled with books, family photos and original artwork as well as furniture and accessories acquired from both fine antique stores and repurposed finds. 1115 Federal Street

Built in 1890 by William A. Ford, a tobacco merchant, this home’s architectural style is a transition between Queen Anne and First Colonial Revival. In this house you will see a cabinet that would have held tobacco samples, Mr. & Mrs. beds in the Renaissance Revival style, original soapstone fireplaces, original hearth tiles and a border designed by illustrator Walter Crane. 1121 Harrison Street

Showing up on Gray’s Atlas in 1876, the Sidney F.(Carroll) Miller Home, designed by architect Robert C. Burkholder, is one of three French Second Empire homes built on the “Carroll 9 6

Compound” on Federal Hill. Mr. Carroll, Lynchburg’s first millionaire, built this home for his daughter Sidney during Reconstruction. The home has its original Mansard roof, built of Virginia slate. It has a commanding view of downtown, perched atop a massive stone retaining wall high on Federal Hill. 1014 Harrison Street

This house, known as the R. Layman Carroll House, was commissioned by John W. Carroll and designed by R.C. Burkholder. John, who is R. Layman’s father, was one of the prominent tobacconists of Lynchburg. John built a few homes within the Federal Hill neighborhood including one that he occupied at 1102 Harrison Street. Things to see in this house are the second-floor bathroom displays, a colorful transom from Belgium, and a collection of Depression glass. As a tribute to the Carroll family, the current homeowners have included tobacco-related antiques and decorations throughout the house. Lynchburg Design House Features Local Talent for a Good Cause

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the YWCA of Central Virginia’s inaugural Design House—a showcase of local design talent and vendors open for public tours later this fall to support the mission and programs of the YWCA, including the Domestic Violence Prevention Center. For this event, each room is assigned to a local designer who transforms it with the latest design styles and techniques for a total makeover. Visitors gather ideas and inspiration as well as a unique chance to see the work and vision of the area’s best designers. The house, at 3128 Rivermont Avenue, will be open Saturday, November 21 through Sunday, December 13. During this time, the house will be open at various times Wednesday through Sunday. A preview party with the opportunity to meet all participating designers will be held the evening of Thursday, November 19. Also part of this special event is an on-site boutique and Christmas shop, sponsored by Farm Basket. The home will also be available for community members, groups and companies to use for events of their own. All proceeds from this amazing event—put on solely by volunteers—will directly support the YWCA programs and local community. For more information, please contact Beth Doucette, 434-942-6012, info@lynchburgdesignhouse.com The Ghosts of Historic Lynchburg

October 22, 23, 24 Enjoy an evening on a walking tour of the Garland Hill Historic District with a guide that will delight and entertain you with stories of the haunts of days gone by. The walks will start at 300 Harrison Street, where tickets can be purchased each night beginning at 6 p.m. First come, first served; limited walks each evening. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 11 years and under. No rain dates; group reservations for 10 or more can be made by calling the Lynchburg Historical Foundation office at (434) 528-5353. All proceeds go to the Garland Hill Neighborhood Association and the Lynchburg Historical Foundation. Sponsored by Whitten Funeral Home C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

Day Trip to Roanoke for James Farmer Event

The Roanoke Valley Garden Club will host best-selling author, James Farmer, on Tuesday, October 6 at the Taubman Museum of Art, 110 Salem Avenue in Roanoke. Farmer will be speaking and demonstrating flower arrangements from his newest book, A Time to Celebrate. His latest work features cooking, recipes, entertaining, and stories about celebrations done in the Southern style— with graciousness and hospitality. A professional garden, floral, and interior designer, cook, author and lifestyle expert, Farmer is an entertaining speaker who emphasizes garden-to-table living. He has been featured on HGTV Gardens, Paula’s Best Dishes, NBC Today, and in numerous magazines. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets are $50 each and are available online, along with more information about the event, at www. JamesFarmerInRoanoke.com. Proceeds will benefit community projects in the Roanoke Valley.

Coming 11-21-15

3128 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg A showcase of local designers, contractors and vendors open November 21 thru December 13! All proceeds from this amazing event—put on solely by volunteers—will directly support the YWCA programs and local community.

Presented by:

On-site boutique and Christmas shop sponsored by:

For more information, please contact Beth Doucette, at 434.942.6012 or info@lynchburgdesignhouse.com

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Farm Basket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Outtasight Truck Wraps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Fink’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Paisley Gifts & Stationery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

First Bank and Trust Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Pat Joiner, Realtor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Flint Property Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

PIP Printing and Marketing Services. . . . . . . 66

Givens Books and Little Dickens. . . . . . . . . . 67

Pella Windows & Doors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

4 Seasons Landscape Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Gladiola Girls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Periodontal Health Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Accents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Gleaning for the World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Perry Pools and Spas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Access Advisors, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Gordon T. Cudd Construction Inc.. . . . . . . . 39

Persian Rugs & More. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Bank of the James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Grand Home Furnishings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Piedmont Eye Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Bartlett Tree Experts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Head and Neck Surgery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Piedmont Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Bedford Ready Mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Human Kind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Pinnacle Cabinetry & Design. . . . . . . . . 24, 25

BHRBA Parade of Homes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Integrated Technology Group. . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Rainfrost Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Blanchette Orthodontics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Interiors by Moyanne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

RankAuditor.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

Blickenstaff & Company Realtors. . . . . . . . . 18

Iron & Grace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Riley Dental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Bloom by Doyle’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Isabella’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Robert Dawson, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Bowen Jewelry Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

James River Day School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

RM Gantt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Boxley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

James T. Davis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Select Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Brenda Moore, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

JMK Construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Buy Local Lynchburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Jersey Mike’s Subs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Centra Home Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Judy Frantz, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Centra Hospice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Karen Hall, Realtor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Centra PACE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Kevin S. Midkiff, DDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Centra Medical Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Kitchen and Bath Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Central Virginia Orthodontics . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Land Tech Group of Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . 100

Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics of Lynchburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Lauren Bell, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39







Cindy Bryant (Mary Kay) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 CLC Incorporated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 87 Cornerstone Cabinets & Design. . . . . . . . . . 85 Custom Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Dawson Ford Garbee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Decorating Den Interiors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Dermatology Consultants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Lawn Doctor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Liberty Christian Academy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and Cantina. . . . . . . 20 Lynchburg City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Lynchburg Design House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Lynchburg Ready Mix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Lynchburg Retail Merchants Association . . 66, 67

Simply Clean by Stacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Smith Mountain Building Supply . . . . . . . . . . 8 Southern Air. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Southern Landscape Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Spectrum Stone Designs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 St. Clair Eye Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Summit Mortgage Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . 66 Taqueria Tradicional. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Terrell E. Moseley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 The ARC of Central Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 The Cabinet Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Little Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Summit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Vinyl Porch Rail Company. . . . . . . . . . . 15 Virginia Vein Specialists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Watts Petroleum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Divine Delights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Mable Hamlette-Franklin (Mary Kay Cosmetics). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Embrace Home Loans - Lynchburg. . . . . . . . 72

Monogram Love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Westminster Canterbury. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Estates Revisited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Nadine Blakely, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Window and Door Design Gallery . . . . . . . . . 8

Ferguson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

National Pools of Roanoke, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . 38

Wired Up Electrical. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

9 8

Wellington Builders, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

C e n t r a l V i r g i n i a h o m e F a l l 2 0 1 5

We’re bringing back family time.

We’ll help you make your back yard the place everyone wants to be. Whether you are interested in an elegant patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, hot tub, pergola or complete outdoor living space, our national award-winning team can turn your back yard into the perfect place to enjoy with family and friends.

Call us at 434.821.6004 or on the web at www.soscapes.com.

Profile for West Willow Publishing Group

Central Virginia HOME Fall 2015  

Central Virginia HOME Fall 2015