HOME C E N T R A L V I R G I N I A
Spring IN THE
HISTORIC GARDEN WEEK PROMENADE ON PEAKLAND
THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE MARKET TRENDS
UPGRADES THAT MATTER
THE PERFECT WHITE PAINT
SPRING 2016, VOL. 10, NO. 2
Transform Your Home Inside & Out
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We’re just getting started Healthcare close to home means convenient access to a growing number of medical specialties and services at Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital. With the full backing of Centra Medical Group’s network of medical and surgical specialists and primary care providers, Bedford Memorial continues to expand services for your community in support of Centra’s mission of Excellent Care for Life. EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 540.425.7550 PRIMARY CARE Centra Medical Group – Bedford 1613 Oakwood St. Suite 201 540.586.7273 SPECIALTY SERVICES Centra Lab 1613 Oakwood St. 540.425.7530 Centra Medical Group Bedford Women’s Center 1615 Oakwood St. Suite D 540.425.7690 Centra Medical Group Bedford General Surgery Center 1615 Oakwood St. Suite B 540.425.7695
Centra Medical Group Neurology Center 1615 Oakwood St. Suite D 540.425.7699 Centra Medical Group Bedford Pulmonology Center 1613 Oakwood St. Suite 202 540.587.7810 Centra Medical Group Stroobants Cardiovascular Center 1613 Oakwood St. 540.425.7540 Centra Medical Group Urology Center 1615 Oakwood St. Suite D 540.425.7699
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Make Your Story Truly Stunning We are making impressions in the metal just like the story that you are documenting has made an impression in your life. You have to embrace those moments and Cherish Who You Are庐.
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SMILE ITâ€™S SPRING Actual patient, Se-Anna
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Experience Life Refreshed.
Ahhhh...Life! Come to Westminster Canterbury and inhale the fresh air of life. Take the walks you want to take, read the books you want to read, find joy in the little moments. We take care of the chores and checklists so you can swim in our heated pool, follow the Nature Trail, work out in our Wellness Center and enjoy our lifelong learning opportunities. Westminster Canterbury offers maintenance free living, 24-hour security, a financial safety net and a LifeCare program thatâ€™s nationally recognized by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. Attend one of our 2016 seminars and start planning your future! Call Laura Hunter for more information or to schedule a tour, (434) 386-3305 â€˘ (800) 962-3520 A LifeCare Retirement Community 501 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 www.wclynchburg.org
VOLUME 10 ISSUE 2 PUBLISHER
Julie Pierce EDITOR IN CHIEF
It’s a great sign for all things real estate.
Meridith Ingram ART DIRECTOR
As a part of the Smith Mountain Lake community for nearly 30 years, we are proud to be a locally owned and operated real estate company backed by the power of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. As one of the most dynamic and progressive real estate ﬁrms in the region we have earned a solid reputation in our market area. Our highly trained and qualiﬁed team understands local economic trends and has an in-depth knowledge of the many ﬁne communities available. Call or visit us today and work with a company you can trust. Get to know us at SmithMtnLake.com.
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©2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.
Trisha Roth CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Cynthia BeMent Mitzi Bible Ashley Bunner Becky Calvert Lucy Cook Charlotte A.F. Farley Andie Gibson Megan Hall Katherine Fulghum Knopf Adrienne Mand Lewin Sloane Lucas Alyssa Mercadante Noelle Milam Christy Rippel Rory Rhodes Heather E. Towe GRAPHIC ARTIST
Amanda Adams PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Why Advertise with HOME? “I’ve been advertising in Central Virginia HOME for almost 10 years–I was in the first issue in March 2007. I can count on getting new business as a result of my ad in HOME, both the Central Virginia edition and the annual Smith Mountain Lake edition. My partnership with HOME has helped me grow my business and is an important part of my overall marketing plan. I highly recommend HOME magazine as an effective advertising vehicle that produces a positive return on investment.” -Jason Nuckols, The Vinyl Porch Rail Co.
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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.
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n EDITOR’S NOTE As young marrieds, my husband and I moved—a lot. We relocated cities up and down the Eastern seaboard seven times in as many years, making what we thought were really smart real estate decisions each time (if we did say so ourselves). We’d go for location, charm, and potential resale, knowing we were in that phase of life when relocating was necessary and even rather exciting. We got so confident about picking just the right house that I even let my husband buy one house in Philadelphia without my seeing it—a major fixer-upper that we flipped before flipping became a thing. That, gentle readers, will never happen again. But what an experience! Oh, to be that young again. Times are a little different now, for us and probably for a lot of homeowners, with our current climate calling for smarter real estate decisions. Lucky for us all, we have enough information at our fingertips to make us empowered consumers. Everyone who owns a home is wise to stay abreast of what’s going on in the real estate world, to know what’s happening with what may be your biggest investment—which is why we at HOME have created this special “Real Estate Issue.” Here you will learn what’s going on in our local market—what’s selling fast, what’s in demand, what are the most sought-after features? We also share information about home upgrades that affect the long-term value of your home, as well as tips for navigating new lending regulations. If
putting your home on the market is in your near future, you’ll benefit from our “ready, set, sell” checklist. Even if it’s not, we trust you’ll find this article helpful, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that taking care of your home is a necessary investment—whether you are happily living in your forever home or you attend open houses for sport. One easy, refreshing bit of maintenance just about anyone can get behind is a fresh coat of paint. Because the color white is having a major moment, we asked local designers to divulge their favorite white paints. Refreshing your outdoors is also definitely in order; we give you lots of ideas for fun garden projects, like planting a weeping cherry tree, creating a mailbox garden, or—if you’d rather take a more observant approach— how to hire a lawn care service. In this special issue of HOME, we hope you’ll find there’s much to learn, to understand, and most importantly, to enjoy about homeownership. Thanks for reading!
—MERIDITH INGRAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org
c vhomemaga zine .com 11
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
contents C e nt r a l V irg ini a H O M E S p r in g 2 0 1 6
THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE An in-depth look at the Central Virginia area
17 28 42 70 82 54
TRE N DS I N T H E REA L ESTAT E M A RK ET BY AN D I E G I B S O N
HOME U P G RA DES T H AT M AT T ER BY N O E L L E M I L A M
BUY V S. BU I L D BY H EAT H E R E. TOW E
RE A DY, SET, SEL L : A C H EC K L I ST BY M E G A N HA L L
FI NANC I N G T H E H OM E OF Y OU R DREA M S BY B E C KY CA LVE R T
showcase home RE N OVAT I ON F OR T H E A G ES
Transforming a home makes way for family memories BY C H A R LOT T E A .F. FA R L EY
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HOME Magazine c vhomemaga zine .com 13
C e nt r a l V irg ini a H O M E S p r in g 2 0 1 6
33 T H E PERF EC T WHI TE Local designers weigh in on their favorite white paint
24 GORGE OUS GARAGE S Transform this space from drab to fab
21 SI G N S OF SP RI N G Weeping cherry trees boast some of spring’s best blooms
50 BOOK C LUB DI N N ERS How special meals spark great conversations
BY CYNTH IA B E M E NT
BY K ATH E R I N E F U LG H U M
BY LU CY C O O K
65 L A M P S HADES 101 Shedding light on replacement shades BY AD R I E N N E MAN D LEWI N
39 SPRI NG CLEAN I N G HACKS Tips and tricks make chores easy
47 RA I N G A RDEN S Turn a soggy spot into a visual attraction
BY AS H LEY B U N N E R
BY R O RY R H O D ES
68 C A L L I N T H E P ROS The best questions to ask when hiring a lawn service
74 V I N TA G E G L A S S Capturing the charm of an era in today’s homes BY S LOAN E LU CAS
86 OF F T O T HE R A C E S Celebrate Triple Crown races in style BY ALYS SA M E R CADANTE
BY C H R I STY R I P P E L
78 C U RB A P P EA L How to plant a mailbox garden
BY M ITZ I B I B LE
91 H I ST ORI C G A RDEN DAY 2 0 1 6 A preview of homes and gardens on this year’s tour
S P E C IAL INTEREST 9 8 Index of advertisers 14
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE trends in local real estate
WHAT’S TRENDING IN LOCAL REAL ESTATE? Get the inside scoop from area experts BY A N D I E G I B S O N
In addition to blooming flowers, chirping birds and warming temperatures, spring in Central Virginia generally signals an uptick in real estate activity. Sellers have spent the winter prepping their homes to go on the market. Buyers are eager to get out and start searching for their dream properties. So what types of homes do area experts say are moving quickly in the area? What do current residential buyers have most often on their wish lists? And what can sellers do to make sure their properties are positioned to sell quickly? “New construction and ‘affordable’ single-family homes—under $350,000— are selling more briskly than ever in our region,” says Billy Flint, managing broker of Flint Property Group. “We’re also seeing a rise in popularity for residences that have been updated.”
Nadine Blakely, a real estate agent with RE/MAX 1st Olympic, says activity is strong across many sectors “from first-time home buyers who allow others to move into larger homes, and the snowball continues through to median-priced homes and luxury homes. [There are] a surprising number of cash buyers, even in the luxury market. And first-time home buyers, the millennials, are definitely ready to buy, not rent.” Flint says properties within walking distance of restaurants, shops and other conveniences are also hot in the Lynchburg area. “Closer to amenities is a theme that’s here and likely to continue,” he says. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) points to a number of emerging trends that it expects to influence real estate choices in the near future, including use of
c vhomemaga zine .com 17
materials with a handcrafted style, reclaimed wood floors and better integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Blakely says, “Many buyers appreciate the character and charm of older homes, or a newer home with classic designs of yesteryear to avoid the renovation work needed with older properties. Yet some are willing to forego the new for something they can put their sweat equity into, and be proud of the remodel they create.” According to NAR, many buyers today prefer their future home to have distinctive features such as wide trim and wood floors that show the patina of age with unique markings. These are all elements that provide “character,” which Flint says can be difficult to define since it means different things to different buyers. “It can be an architectural style such as Arts and Crafts or Cape Cod, or it can mean 18
specific features,” he says. “For example, a quaint covered porch, unique windows or copper roofing accents are appealing to many buyers.” Blakely says formal living spaces are definitely less appealing to today’s buyers who instead appreciate a more open floor plan with a combined kitchen, breakfast area and great room for entertaining. “The larger the rooms, the better, and that goes for bedrooms, too,” Blakely says. “Light-filled spaces are a must, and buyers are leaning toward the white kitchens once again. [They also prefer] shades of gray in everything from cabinet color to granite with white/gray hues.” For baby boomers, Blakely says, main-level master bedrooms are still extremely popular and she’s seeing an increase in demand for a second, main-level bedroom suite for those caring for aging parents. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Nadine Blakely, REALTOR® “Your Neighborhood Specialist”
~ Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ~ ~ Accredited Staging Professional ~ ~ Senior Real Estate Specialist ~
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“Several bedrooms and baths—not necessarily suites—are important for those with older children, guest spaces, and even ‘grandchildren spaces’ are becoming very popular with buyers,” she says. Screened porches are always popular, as are sunrooms with windows that can be opened to screens, says Blakely. Also on the rise as a solution to integrating indoor and outdoor spaces are large-scale door panels that fold up like garage doors. Once in a price range out of reach for many, they’re now available at more affordable prices and offer homeowners a better connection with their outdoor space without blocking daylight or views like some porches.
“Buyers love the idea of having a home serve as a ‘staycation’— a place to relax and enjoy their friends and family,” says Blakely, noting that “outdoor patios with kitchens are really hot right now, too.” For sellers who plan to list their properties in Central Virginia this year, Flint and Blakely offered a number of suggestions. “It’s always a good idea to have the windows washed,” Flint says. “Another tip is to pay particular attention to the entrance since this sets the stage for potential buyers. Paint the threshold and the door. Add flowers at the entrance. These are small, inexpensive touches that create an environment that makes prospective buyers feel welcome and want to stay awhile.” Blakely, who also offers home staging services, adds, “It is very important … to ‘cross the street’ and look at your home from the eyes of a buyer driving up to it. Shrubs should be trimmed, the grass mowed, front porch cleared of toys—everything your eye would capture to see your home before you ever enter the front door. Anything that the buyer sees as work will be cause for the buyer to offer much less.” Flint says he also tries to impress upon sellers the importance of presenting the house to be as appealing as possible to as many people as possible. “Clean, clean and cleaner! Seriously, it needs to be clean and smell good,” he says. “I also stress to sellers that they should eliminate dark spaces. The home should be as light-filled as possible.” Blakely agrees. “Cleanliness and the smell of a clean home are key. You need to have pristine kitchens and bathrooms,” she says, adding that sellers should also declutter spaces, removing unnecessary furniture and accessories.
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n GARDEN WEEPING CHERRY TREES
Plant a weeping cherry tree this spring BY K AT H ER I N E F U LG H U M K N O P F
t graced our front yard for 15 years, providing spectacular flowers each spring and offering the perfect hiding spot for our children to play. Many secret meetings and neighborhood clubs took place under its branches. The weeping cherry we planted when we ground up an old oak tree stump thrived in our yard. It was a show-stopper and everyone awaited its spring blooms. When we had to take it down three years ago, the arborist and I took a few minutes to relish its wonderful life. We planted it thinking it would never grow to half the size it did, and when its 15-yearold branch spread started covering the sidewalk, we knew it had to come down after it gave us one more spectacular spring performance. The weeping cherry tree is native to China, but became noticed by gardeners and artists in Japan. Royal homes in Kyoto planted these trees to provide beauty in their gardens. They stand alone. In the early 20th century, weeping cherries were imported to the United States. Believed to be a symbol of friendship, these ornamental fruit trees thrived in our warm climate. Each spring, their prolific white, light pink or “cherry”-hued blooms grace many yards and gardens in the South. You will find the weeping cherry tree painted on china, vases and pottery, and artists love to make them a subject in landscape scenes, too. For over 1,000 years artists and gardeners alike have used these fragile spring blooms in traditional white to represent rebirth. Their blooms are fleeting, so take time to savor this tree when you see one. Most of these trees do bear fruit, but it is not edible. Leave it for the birds, butterflies and insects to enjoy. There are a few important tips to consider when you choose a spot for your weeping cherry tree. These trees need full sun; six hours a day is preferred and results in more blooms. Weeping cherries tolerate light shade, but without significant sun time, you will not have many flowers. Well-drained soil is a must for these trees. They also need good air circulation around the canopy of the tree. Light and air prevents diseases that will occur if they are not given room to grow and stretch their branches. If you leave it plenty of room to grow and spread its canopy then you won’t have to prune its main branches. The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems these trees hardy in Zones 4-8, so they are ideal for our climate.
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Weeping cherry trees are fun and easy to grow. They need consistent, deep watering until they are wellestablished. Two to three times a week is a must to keep a weeping cherry tree healthy in its early years.
Weeping cherries, scientifically named Prunus pendula, need space. Given room to grow, a weeping cherry becomes the highlight of your garden. As a focal point, these mature trees can grow to 40 feet with a canopy of 30 feet in diameter. Your local garden store can give you options on size; the dwarf variety is perfect for a small spot and will stay relatively small. Growing 8 to 10 feet, these miniatures offer the beauty of the spring flowers and the same lovely shape of the full-sized tree. They are perfect for a little corner or tight place in your yard. Weeping cherry flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds so they bring beauty all spring, summer and fall. Even in winter, their dark, drooping branches add interest and texture to your garden. They offer a shape like no ordinary shrub or tree. These trees grow slowly, so they provide a long-term addition to your landscape plan. It is actually quite enjoyable to watch one slowly spread its wings over the years. To plant your weeping cherry properly, dig a hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Put the tree in the hole and place your shovel handle across the hole to see if it is level. You want the bottom of the tree trunk just above its root ball to be level with surrounding soil. Use the dirt you removed in making the hole to fill in around the root ball of your new tree. Most experts agree that you should not use enriched or purchased soil, as this may discourage the roots from taking hold and spreading out into your garden. Soil with additives tends to keep the roots from reaching outward. After you put in a few inches of soil, tap on it to press it down and remove any air. Do this several times as you fill the hole up halfway. Get the hose and water the hole well. Allow the water to
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drain down into the hole and secure the roots. Now continue to add dirt, a few inches at a time, until the soil is even with the ground around it. Tamp the soil in place again. Water and let it drain. Pack down the dirt so the tree is firmly in place. Weeping cherries do not like to be staked. Weeping cherry trees are fun and easy to grow. They need consistent, deep watering until they are well-established. Two to three times a week is a must to keep a weeping cherry tree healthy in its early years. Weeping cherries like welldrained soil, but they do not like their roots to be too dry. Water deeply and less often to promote root growth. Placing mulch around the tree helps it retain water and gives nutrients. Once new leaves begin to bud, it is time to fertilize your tree. The best topping is compost, or you can feed it a slow-release product purchased from your local garden store that is labeled for flowering trees and shrubs. Tree spikes that contain fertilizer are not recommended; they are expensive and do not release fertilizer at a consistent rate. Weeping cherries’ airy, delicate branches can grow quite long. Unless these branches are touching the ground or diseased, do not cut them. If they are diseased, cut them back to the main trunk; additional branches on the other side may need to be cut so that the tree is balanced. Diseased branches should be removed immediately. Otherwise, you should only prune your weeping cherry in the late fall or early spring. You want to prune before the leaves or flowers appear. Keep all branches trimmed six inches off the ground to provide air circulation. Remove any branches that are growing up; all branches should go out or point down for the proper look—you want the tree to weep. Thin out branches that touch or cross one another. Again, you want a graceful arch of branches that allows air to circulate and space for flowers and leaves to show. As you prune, step back often to see the shape and form of your tree; remember you are making your cherry tree crown into a shape that is pleasing and uniform. You also want to be sure there is room for the butterflies, hummingbirds, and small children to roam underneath. Weeping cherries bring life, beauty, and a little action to your garden.
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n IMPROVE GARAGE REHAB
GARAGE MAKEOVER Transform it from drab to fab Cl o set St o r a g e O rg a nize r s
Cl o set St o r a g e O rg a nize r s 2 4
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
BY CY N T H I A B EM EN T
Let’s be honest: Our garages are usually the last places we want to go when we’re home. Often, they’re a domain of disorganization and despair where all that enters gets lost in a mess of cobwebs, dust and chaos. For some, it’s a dumping ground to be avoided at all costs. It doesn’t have to be this way. Want to turn your eyesore into a crowning jewel, or at least a clean, useful, nonscary part of your home? We’ve got some ideas for your garage makeover that can bring beauty, utility and personality to the place you park your car. Ground Floor Opportunities
Cl o set St o r a g e O rg a nize r s
Garage floors aren’t inherently known for their glam; dark, dusty and stained is often a better description of a garage floor. If you’re not feeling your floor, consider coating it in a light or bright hue with concrete floor paint—a tougher version of wall paint that comes in oil- and water-based formulas. Epoxy paint is another option, typically a two-step process that yields tough-asnails results but involves meticulous floor prep and a work-fast application process. A garage floor stain is a third choice—one that mimics the look of natural stone with color that sinks into the floor, and is applied in two coats and buffed in with a wire brush, then sealed with one or two coats of polyurethane as a final step. Lastly, a garage floor sealer with an acrylic or urethane base can be an economical and easy way to spruce up your floor. Both versions apply easily with a roller, have a sheen when dry, and can be tinted. These coverings offer varying degrees of stain and moisture-resistance and are easier to clean than bare concrete, but involve careful surface preparation and a garage floor that’s dry year-round. Before you embark on this option, spend some time up front assessing your floor for compatibility with these applications. If you’re not brave enough to coat it, you can cover your garage floor with easy-install, roll-out mats, which come in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns (think tough, rubber area rug) and can be used in one area or to cover your entire garage floor. Interlocking tiles are another variation, in solid, soft rubber or slotted, harder plastic versions. The former is softer underfoot while the latter drains liquid more easily; both can be installed by trimming with a utility knife to fit. Some companies offer a design-your-own level of customizability with patterns and colors and can ship your interlocking floor to you, ready for installation. A highly economical option is to thoroughly clean your floor and add outdoor rugs in strategic places, like near the house entry door, under a coat rack and topped with boot trays for a mini mudroom, or in front of a counter or shelving unit, paired with bright, enameled metal stools to designate a work station or gear-change area. Don’t forget to coordinate these rugs with dirtand rock-catching entry mats near doors to your house and yard to keep things colorful and tidy.
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Owner: Lou Thornsbury 26
Your garage walls are a golden opportunity to add color, increase light and create more storage options. Paint them a cheerful color or install beadboard covered with mildew-resistant paint in bright white, on which to hang wire baskets and adjustable shelves. Group decorative hooks next to the door to the house for an attractive and functional coat rack, or hang them near the door to your yard to hold tools like grilling tongs or marshmallow roasting skewers. Stock up on heavy-duty hooks which can hang bikes, ladders and other bulky items for both organization and aesthetic appeal. Take full advantage of your vertical space. Not only will you get your sports gear and gardening tools off the floor and out of those decaying cardboard boxes, but you’ll create an additional opportunity to liven up walls. Use metal or plastic free-standing shelving units as bases on which to organize items into colorful rubber baskets, plastic bins and tubs; your color scheme of choice can even serve as an organizational method (winter gear in gray bins, pool accessories in blue baskets, for example). You can also install pegboard, painted to match your color scheme, for an easy, inexpensive and attractive storage option—just grab hooks and group your power tools and camping gear for easy access and organization. Don’t overlook ceilings; they’re great places to suspend kayaks, golf bags and bikes from heavy-duty hooks. If your budget allows, another obvious way to add loads of utility is to install cabinetry and countertops on one or more walls. If most garage cabinetry offerings look too industrial for your tastes, consider kitchen cabinetry, a countertop and open shelving above to mimic kitchen style (even if you’re cooking up planting projects instead of salmon and risotto). The trick: Install enough cabinetry to serve the space but not so much as to bulk up its visual balance. Rolling storage carts are another versatile garage storage option. They can serve triple duty as a potting place, a craft table and an auto maintenance station, and come in a wide variety of sizes and storage configurations. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Cl o set St o r a g e O rg a nize r s
Make function follow form by creating zones in your garage for different activities like sports, gardening and DIY projects. Look for zone-specific organizing products, like wall-mountable ball racks to keep sports equipment organized, see-through containers with seals for dog food, and wire bins for beach towels. Outdoor seating placed in your garage can also serve as a zone in which to relax and chat with a loved one who’s in the throes of a project, a lounging spot for your dog, or to park it for a quick change of shoes before heading out. Two chairs with outdoor cushions, an outdoor rug and a folding, all-weather accent table create instant livability if your square footage allows Add Homey Accessories
Look for opportunities to add elements you’d typically install inside your home, which can lend a livable-space vibe to the garage. Install new lighting with a sense of style and outdoor durability, such as chandeliers or sconces with durable surfaces that are easy to clean, or go recessed with can lighting that’s a step up from fluorescent tubes. Improve airflow with a ceiling fan, and add texture and style with bamboo shades over garage windows. Now, it’s time to have at it. With some planning, purging and playfulness, you can get excited about your garage and start using it as it was meant to be—a functional extension of your home in which to park cars and so much more.
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UPGRADES THAT MATTER Getting the most out of home improvement projects BY N O EL L E M I L A M 2 8
With finite resources to cover upgrades to a home, homeowners today are perhaps more careful than ever to evaluate and choose their home improvement projects wisely. Whether you are living in your “forever home” or know that you will be selling your home in the near future, you want to consider upgrades in such a way that they maximize the home’s value regardless of when, or if, you plan to sell. Our homes are a shelter, a gathering place, a palette for our tastes and lifestyles, but they are also an investment—often the largest we ever make. If you are like most savvy homeowners, especially if you have lived in your home for more than a few years, you probably have laundry lists of home improvements to protect and enhance this investment. Most lists can be boiled down to two categories: things you know you need to do to your home and things you’d like to do to your home. The first list is likely chock-full of unglamorous items, like: “Insulate the attic, replace siding, line the fireplace, fix the broken stair riser.” The second list is more of a wish list, containing items that make your heartbeat quicken: “Replace master shower with steam shower, tear out old wall-to-wall carpet and install heated flooring, get rid of the rattling old refrigerator and replace it with a sleek builtin … ” You get the picture. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE home improvement projects Upkeep IS an Upgrade
When we do have the opportunity to do some projects around the house, it is tempting to ignore the “needs to be done” list in favor of the wish list, but keep in mind that keeping up with the maintenance of a home should always be your first priority. Drawing on 31 years of real estate experience, Karen Hall of John Stewart Walker Inc. Realtors, advises all homeowners to be proactive with upkeep and maintenance of their property. “Definitely attend to maintenance issues first,” she cautions. “Maintenance issues always rise to the top when a house goes on the market.” So it is a good idea to keep up with these tasks on a regular basis while you live in your home. Replacing a roof may not be a very exciting way to spend a lot of money, but if your roof leaks, it will very quickly devalue every other project you do under that roof. As a bonus, Hall describes replacing a roof as one of the best investments you can make in your home. Most real estate professionals agree that the best way to protect your home’s value is to be vigilant about upkeep. Maintenance projects add up over the years, and ignoring them only means you are creating a snowball of problems to address in the long run, so fix things that are breaking (or broken), perform necessary maintenance, and have a plan to replace things that need replacing. Upgrades That Increase Value
Assuming your home and its systems are in good working order, you are ready to dust off that second list. But where do we start? We often hear that the smartest upgrades that offer the biggest returns in terms of long-term home value are kitchens and bathrooms. Lauren Bell of Lauren Bell Real Estate confirms that in her experience, updated kitchens and baths are consistently popular among homebuyers, and thus generally a good way to increase your home’s value, though by no means a guarantee, she is careful to point out—especially in the short term. Bell warns against major upgrades—even kitchens and baths—purely to influence a selling price. “The main risk of doing everything with resale in mind is the fact that trends are always changing,” she says. Both Hall and Bell encourage homeowners to choose upgrades that they will enjoy and get use out of, whether staying or selling. The general rule of thumb for upgrades, both large and small, is that if you do plan to sell your home in the near future (defined by real estate professionals as less than 3 years), opt for upgrades that will appeal to most people. According to these professionals, upgrades with popular appeal include using natural materials for flooring and countertops, stainless steel appliances, built-in storage and fresh paint in neutral colors. Many homeowners are not in the position to completely tear out an old kitchen or bath and undertake a complete renovation. It is possible to take a more incremental approach. New countertops are one of the most noticeable upgrades both in kitchen and bath, and can immediately boost a room’s “wow” factor. Replacing dated fixtures like door handles and c vhomemaga zine .com 29
New countertops are one of the most noticeable upgrades in both the kitchen and bath, and can immediately boost a room’s “wow” factor. drawer pulls can also give these rooms an updated feel with minimum effort. Consider, too, your appliances. Do they have an up-to-date look, or is it time for something new? Flooring is often overlooked, but can go a long way to making a home look polished. Consider replacing vinyl or wall-to-wall carpeting with easy-to-maintain, low-allergen tile or hardwood. Even an upgrade as simple as a fresh coat of wall paint can transform a blah room. In kitchens, Bell recommends painting dated wooden cabinets if the budget doesn’t allow for new ones. She also says, “The leathered look in granite is very popular right now, and another specific upgrade I’m seeing people enthuse over is the big farm sink.” In some cases, it makes sense to consider adding space to your home. This can be as extensive as an addition to an existing home, or reworking the existing square footage. Popular additions include bedrooms and/or bathrooms, garages, or the increasingly in-demand “great room,” a hybrid of kitchen, family dining area and den. Adding space can also be accomplished without changing the footprint of your home by expanding and updating closets, installing built-in shelving and cabinets for storage, and finishing off unused space in attics or basements.
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When considering upgrades, don’t forget about your home’s outdoor spaces. Upgrades that increase curb appeal are always smart choices. These include landscaping (think healthy, well-tended green areas: lawns, beds, and hedges) and hardscaping (attractive stone patios, well-maintained fencing, walkways and retaining walls). And these days, people are also really enthusiastic about outdoor living spaces such as outdoor kitchens, decks, and built-in firepits. “You should always be thinking about curb appeal,” suggests Karen Hall. “If the outside of your home isn’t appealing, a potential buyer will immediately be thinking of why they don’t want your house.” Hall suggests that replacing a front door can often be one of the best things a homeowner can do to increase a home’s value. Remove and replace old aluminum storm doors with more attractive and energy-efficient models. Perhaps consider adding a covered entrance, or even a gracious front porch to make your home feel more welcoming. Finally, remember that all upgrades, large and small, should be evaluated in terms of your enjoyment first, and future sale value second. Ultimately, the upgrades that matter the most are the ones that will bring you and your family functionality and pleasure now and for the years to come.
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n DESIGN PAINT PERFECTION
Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. We often feel pressure to come up with a fabulous color for our walls, overlooking “plain white” in favor of something more creative or with more perceived flair. But goodold-white, the default setting for ceilings and windowsills everywhere, is definitely having a moment. Designers love it for its versatility, its ability to reflect a spectrum of undertones, and for the clean palette it presents. White paint can be subtle, or it can be its own big story—and, done well, it’s never boring. Here, we asked local designers and interiors specialists to share their tried and true “perfect whites.” c vhomemaga zine .com 3 3
Interiors by Moyanne is proud to now carry Farrow and Ball paints. These colors are tried and true as Farrow and Ball is the oldest paint company in the world. They come in a variety of finishes including my favorite two—“Modern Emulsion,” a satin, and “Estate Eggshell,” a semi-gloss. Using these two finishes together in the same color gives you that tone-on-tone look. Farrow and Ball paints have amazing texture, come premixed, and contain more titanium dioxide (more pigment) than most American paints, giving customers better wall coverage and refraction of light. This paint also has one of the lowest VOCs (volatile organic compounds) available. One of the best things about Farrow and Ball is that it goes a bit further because of its composition. It works amazingly well and is easier to use than chalk paint on furniture. As far as whites, Farrow and Ball “All White” and “Wevet” have a nice soft finish, but my personal favorite is “Strong White,” which has a hint of gray.
Moyanne Harding, Interiors by Moyanne
One of the best things about Farrow and Ball is that it goes a bit further because of its composition, it works amazingly well and is easier to use than chalk paint on furniture. -Moyanne Harding
White paint for walls does seem to be the trend, though for our area it still seems to be about subtle variations of gray, gray/blue and gray/green wall colors. When you do see white walls, you also see white window treatments and furniture with pops of color added to the accessories. This could be in pillows, a trim on your curtain, or in floral arrangements. This “monochromatic” look creates a soothing atmosphere in which pops of color become more of the focus, enabling you to change out the brighter colors when desired. I tend to look at my client’s space and decide whether they need a white wall or variation of a subtle white with an undertone of cream or another shade altogether. I recommend that if you are doing a white or cream wall, add some interest with texture. That could be in molding, a paint technique, or even beadboard paneling. This helps to ground the space. A color that I like to use is Sherwin-Williams White Flour (SW 7102). I would caution that although a white is neutral, there are many different undertones of white. White with pink, white with cream, white with grey and so on. You can buy a test can and paint a test area. I paint mine on foam board and look at the paint both during the day and night as color changes based on the amount of natural light and the type of lightbulbs you have in your light fixtures. All of these variations change the color of your paint. It is best to take your time as this saves on money and labor. Look for inspiration in your permanent pieces for the right shade of white, such as your cabinets, countertops and furniture. Compare your painted board to these areas to be sure that your “white” complements your permanent pieces.
Cindy Greer, Curtains, Blinds and Bath I write this sitting in my library. Walls are White Dove by Benjamin Moore (OC-17) in a washable matte. Trim and millwork are also White Dove, but in a semi-gloss. I’m in heaven. Why? Because I’m surrounded by a blank canvas for color, texture, art and furniture. Every piece I add to the puzzle (drapery, art, rugs, upholstery) contrasts with the walls and makes a huge impact. Therefore, white rooms are often more carefully curated and refreshingly uncluttered. My other favorite whites include Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (OC-117) and Cloud White (OC-130).
Heather Zippel, SPACES by a little French 3 4
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is Simply White (OC-117). I’m using it right now in a downtown loft space in Lynchburg and love it! White paint brightens up spaces and helps give a room that desired fresh, airy feel. Many designers are pairing it with white upholstered pieces and letting artwork, throw pillows and rugs add color to the space. There are a few things to remember when using a monochromatic color scheme. Consider adding a variety of textures. For example, white walls look great with a large jute rug, canvas-covered sofas, textural throw pillows and rustic end tables. Thanks to designers like HGTV’s Joanna Gaines, shiplap is in high demand. Painted white, this also adds texture to the room. And don’t be afraid to add color with throw pillows and art work. Do try to keep window treatments neutral, though. White walls will have more of an upkeep (think scuff marks, smudges, and little ones’ finger prints) so make sure you get a quality-grade paint in a durable finish that can be cleaned.
Kaycie LaGrone, Circa Studio Interiors
If you’ve looked at a paint chart lately you may be surprised to find as many as 12 or more shades of white to consider. There is always the sharp bright white, while other shades may have tones of pink, gray, blue or yellow, which only serves to confuse the homeowner. Personally, I have always preferred to use a shade of white for the trim and in many circumstances, an eggshell finish as opposed to a semi-gloss. Recently, for Lynchburg’s Design House 2015, I choose Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White (OC-149) with an eggshell finish. I found the tone in this shade of white complimented the white scroll design in the wallpaper, while the eggshell finish offered an overall subtle look that complemented the wallpaper and the home. The color and the finish looked clean, clear and fresh. I loved the finished look. I always encourage homeowners using any shade of white to take a sample home and compare it with the paint or wallpaper they are using. Light affects color and the lighting in the store can be entirely different than the lighting in the home.
Carolyn Mahone, Mahone & Sons Decorating Center
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I have two favorite whites that can be found locally at James T. Davis: Snowbank (545-1) by Pittsburgh Paints, and Melting Glacier by Davis Paint. Whites can be tricky because of their hidden undertone. These two are easy go-tos that aren’t too yellow or too pink. They are beautiful on walls, trim or ceilings. I love using multiple tones of varying whites in a room (think cabinets/ trim/wall/ceiling). This creates character and visual interest if done correctly. Depending on the use, a matte/eggshell finish is perfect for walls that call for easy touch-ups, and also works well to hide imperfections. For high-traffic areas, satin is perfect and super-durable for washing. For trim, semi-gloss and high gloss are great choices. My all-time favorite is eggshell if I must make a choice, but truly I like to layer sheen level in a room just as I do colors.
Haley Pavao, Pastiche Interiors
I love color on the walls, but if I had to go white, SherwinWilliams Dover White (SW 6385) is my go-to. White paint can have a gray undertone or a tan/gold undertone. I tend to stay away from the gray; the gold or tan undertones have a warm feeling and I like those the best. I love white furnishings that have been antiqued or whitewashed; this same technique can be applied to walls. Flat paint is easy to fix if you make a mark on it by painting over it. I prefer an eggshell finish, as it has a slight sheen and is easy to wipe clean. Low-luster and gloss will show every imperfection with a wall; however, it’s great for trim. As you know, someone else decides what is in or out and what is the newest trend—and I will say that of all the things you can change to stay current with a trend is paint. It is inexpensive enough that it can be changed often; you just have to be willing to move everything out of the way to get to the walls.
Kathy Potts, Decorating Den Interiors
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
As much as I love color, I think that a good white is just like a perfect little black dress: flattering, timeless and great for any occasion! White doesn’t have to be that stock white contractors’grade paint that you had to live with when you were renting. I rarely ever have clients ask for a white wall color that doesn’t have a slight hue in it. I’m partial to a soft white with a hint of blue/gray like Davis Perfection Semi-Gloss Paint 0600 Melting Glacier, which would be perfect for kitchen cabinets. The undertone is so subtle but complements other whites—such as white subway tile, marble or bright white trim—so nicely. Just like that little black dress, you can accessorize with any color you’d like!
Sarah Girten, James T. Davis I like Super White from Benjamin Moore (OC-152). It’s a true “clean” bright white and everything looks good against this crisp white. For a warmer, creamier white, use Benjamin Moore’s Ivory White (CC-130). It’s flexible and works with any color that has more of a warm undertone. It’s also a good choice for trim color. Of course Simply White (OC-117), Benjamin Moore’s “Color of the Year,” is an excellent choice as well. I prefer Benjamin Moore’s eggshell finish, and for trim, use a semi-gloss finish.
Elizabeth Harrington, Studio H Home
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I like using Benjamin Moore’s Minced Onion (OC-128) on trim in a semi-gloss finish. Minced Onion appears green next to many other go-to whites, but it’s amazing when it goes up on the casings and moldings.
Beverly McCloskey, Beverly McCloskey Interiors c vhomemaga zine .com 37
My go-to white for interior design is Shoji White by SherwinWilliams (SW 7042). It is the perfect warm white with a gray undertone; it looks beautiful with wood or metal finishes. Shoji White is the perfect foundation for any style! In our farmhouse renovation, I chose this paint color for the entire main level. I have also used it in a variety of client spaces including master bedrooms and basements. People always tell me “I can’t have white because I have kids!” But I disagree! You can have white walls as long as it has the right finish. Satin, also known as eggshell, is the best finish for walls. As for trim, moldings and doors, I choose high gloss. Both finishes are scrubbable and have the perfect light reflective value that adds visual dimension to any room. No matter your style, I challenge you to try white!
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I’m a longtime fan of Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White (OC-149). But sometimes the convenience of a grab-and-go, premixed white can’t be beat. In those cases, I love Valspar Signature’s premixed 216344 White. It has good painting coverage and the color stays consistent in any light. I used Valspar White on the walls, ceiling, and moldings in this small full bath to create a fresh, airy space that is anything but sterile. The all-white palette allows the bath components to blend into the background, maximizing the feeling of space and creating a spa-like atmosphere in this petite bath.
Tera Auch, Tera Janelle Design Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n IMPROVE SPRING CLEANING Kitchen
SPRING CLEANING HACKS Tips and tricks to make chores easier
BY AS H L E Y B U N N ER
With the arrival of spring comes the warmth and rejuvenation we have been longing for after months of winter. While we’d probably like to rush outside at the first signs of spring, we know that our houses could probably use a good, deep cleaning after hibernating inside all winter long. Here are some quick and easy tips for deep cleaning your home; many of them use ingredients and tools you already have on hand—which might help you get outside faster! Living/Family Room
Living room, family room or den—whatever you call it, it’s a good place to start your cleaning since it probably sees a lot of traffic and is the room that you and your family spend the most time in. Start by picking up any clutter that may be in the room. Throw away trash, recycle books and magazines, then gather items that don’t belong in the living room and put them in their proper place. With the stage clear, it’s time to dust. Dust the ceilings, walls, light fixtures, ceiling fan and any furniture that gathers unwanted particles. Use a broom or a duster with a
handle extension to get these tough, out-of-reach places. An easy way to clean the ceiling fan is to take a pillow case and place it on the blade. Then press both hands against the blade and glide the dust right off. Empty the bulk of the dust in the trash, then simply toss the case in the laundry. Next, clean the blinds and curtains. Cleaning both sides of your blinds without getting tangled up can be a hassle. A quick solution to this problem is to grab a sock and slip it on your hand. Then dip it into a 50/50 cleaning solution of water and white vinegar and simply swipe each slat. Give your curtains a quick vacuum
and be amazed at how fresh and bright they look if it’s been awhile since you’ve last done this task. Now’s a great time to freshen up your carpets and upholstery, too. Consider using carpet spot cleaner or homemade upholstery cleaner on your chairs and couches to remove stains. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and let sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming it up. Next, mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of hot water. Use a clean cloth to dab the stain with this mixture, and continue blotting until the stain is gone.
While your kitchen may receive a little more TLC than the other rooms in your home simply because of the daily clean-up after meals, it still needs an occasional thorough cleaning. Places that are out of your normal sight range tend to get neglected. The oven is a great example of kitchen appliances that get left out of your everyday cleaning routine. To make a DIY oven cleaner, mix 5 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 drops of dish soap and 4 tablespoons of vinegar. Stir the ingredients until a paste forms. Then, use a sponge to coat the inside of the oven with the paste. Close the oven and let the paste sit for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, scrub the oven until all of the muck and grime comes off. If you want to add a little extra power to cut through the grease, take half a lemon and add some salt and a few drops of dish soap to the lemon, and use that to scrub. Another area in the kitchen that might need some extra attention is your cabinets. Over the years, dirt and grime tend to build up on cabinets. The scary thing is that you may not even notice this funky film. So, how do you clean something that you may not even be able to see? It may sound strange, but a great way to get the greasy, oily gunk off your cabinets is by using oil. A mixture of one part vegetable oil and two parts baking soda can help cut through the grime on your cabinets. Simply take a sponge or a clean cloth and work a bit of the mixture onto the cabinets, then wipe clean with another fresh, damp cloth. And to really deep clean all of the grooves, try using a soft toothbrush.
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Between the sink, toilet and bath tub, there are plenty of places for mold and bacteria to hide in your bathroom. Spring is a great time to deep clean any germs that may still be hanging around from winter sicknesses. Start with small tasks like running the toothbrush holder and soap dish through the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. Next, move onto the sink. You may notice a buildup of hair clogging the sink; a clever way to attack this situation is with an old mascara brush (surely you have an old tube of mascara lying around somewhere) and plunge it as far as you can into the depth of your sink drain to see how much gunk you can fish out. Time to clean the grout between your shower tiles? Here’s a homemade grout cleaner you can make with things you likely already have in your home. All it takes is ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of bleach. Mix until a paste forms, then coat the dirty grout lines with the paste. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before taking an old toothbrush and scrubbing the tiles for a deeper clean. Once you’ve finished, use a damp rag to rinse the cleaner away. Or if you have a handheld shower head, use that to rinse for an easier clean up. Bedrooms
Aside from the minor dusting and mopping and/or vacuuming floors, your main focus in the bedroom should be your bed. Start by stripping off bedding and tossing your sheets, comforter and pillow cases into the wash. This may be as far as many of us go to routinely clean our bedding—but there is a way to do a muchneeded deep clean.
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Though covered in layers of mattress pads and sheets, a mattress can still harbor plenty of dirt, dust, spills, stains, dust mites and more. It’s enough to make anyone cringe and want to burn their mattress on the spot! Luckily, there is an easy way to clean and deodorize your mattress. Start by using a clean upholstery attachment and vacuuming the mattress. This will help collect any dirt, dust and dead skin that may be lingering in the crevices. Next deodorize your mattress by sifting baking soda over it. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that will help get rid of any smells. Let the baking soda sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum it up. If you like essential oils and have a favorite, add a few drops to the baking soda for a lovely fresh scent. Lastly, finish by getting rid of any stains your mattress might have. Generally, most mattresses have some protein stains from bodily fluids. Although this may sound horrifying, it’s a fact of life from which no one is immune. The best way to target these stains is by filling an empty spray bottle with 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and a couple drops of dish soap. Give it a good shake, then spray the mixture all over the stained area. Within a few minutes you will see the stains start to disappear. To get rid of the gritty baking soda residue, wait an hour or so for the mattress to dry, then run the vacuum across the mattress. A clean home is a happy home. Do yourself a favor and get the chores done and out of the way so that you and your family can get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
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THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE buy vs. build
BUY VS. BUILD BY H E AT H ER E . TOW E
Purchasing a home is a big decision—possibly the most expensive one you’ll ever make. Ensuring that your home is going to support your lifestyle and please your senses will most likely require some planning and effort. If making a big change is on your horizon, you may choose to buy an existing home and renovate it to your standards, or build a custom home. While both processes have their advantages, there are distinct differences that will make one a better fit for you, depending on your needs. 4 2
Buying and Renovating
Buying an existing home may be more attractive than building if convenience, location, financing or timeframe are concerns for you. Compared to the effort and attention to detail involved in constructing a new house, buying a resale is very convenient. When shopping for a resale, most of the major decisions have already been made: the land has been developed, conditions for electric, water and waste systems have been established, building permits have been obtained, and the footprint of the house and landscaping are already in place. Instead of engaging
in the construction process, which can include developers, builders, general contractors, architects and interior designers, your efforts are limited to working with your real estate agent to secure the house, and your loan officer to secure your financing. Location plays an important role in deciding to purchase an existing home when you want to live in a specific area that is already developed. In older communities and within city limits, new construction can be limited or cost prohibitive. Jane Blickenstaff, principal broker at Blickenstaff and Company Realtors, says, “You will discover that lots in older neighborhoods are Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
limited. People who want to live in premier neighborhoods that have old roads and trees will need to buy a home there, and we have seen people tear down existing homes and build in the same location.” Financing is another huge factor, as financing a pre-existing home is usually easier than financing new construction. However, if you are buying a home that requires a lot of work, you may want to obtain a renovation loan. Renovation loans can be trickier than traditional mortgages. While new construction loans involve the entire construction process, thus accommodating more moving parts, renovation loans are limited to cover the work that is under the scope of the specific project. Both may require a higher down payment. Timeframe is also a major factor in deciding to renovate an existing home. When you make an offer on a home you want to purchase, you can usually close on the home and move in in as little as 45 days. This is especially important if you have a deadline such as a lease ending, the sale of your current home, or relocation to a new city. Blickenstaff says, “Most people who move to Lynchburg need to move into their new home in 60 to 90 days to get their kids into school. They do not rent and build. We usually see people purchase a pre-existing home when they get here, so they can get settled as a first step.” While purchasing an existing home means that it may not be the “home of your dreams,” as long as you like the location and the overall structure of the house, a lot can be done to modify it to suit your tastes. Once you move into the house, renovations can happen on your schedule. You may want to renovate one room at a time
as you live there, or handle the most pressing concerns immediately, and wait to renovate other areas later. Custom Building
There are many advantages to building a new home, with the biggest being that you are much more likely to get exactly what you want. While the process can be labor intensive, it doesn’t have to be. Additionally, new homes are typically more energy efficient, which can cut down on monthly bills, help the environment and create a higher level of comfort within the house. Finally, building a new home means installing new systems and appliances and knowing both the quality and nature of the underlying construction—which can save you money in the long run. Inventory in the housing market is tight and although it has been growing, its growth has been slow as the market improves. Many times, options are slim and homebuyers struggle to find a house that meets their needs. Instead of settling for a house that lacks many of the elements you want, custom building will give you the chance to get exactly what you want. Building a new house can be as detailed or as hands-off as you like. If you prefer to engage on a daily basis, you can hire a team of professionals and work with them continually through the process; however, if you want someone else to handle the details, you can find a builder who will take over the process for you. Newer homes are typically far more energy efficient than older homes, with construction advances resulting in a “tighter seal,” meaning fewer drafts in doors and windows. Newer energy building codes result in
Instead of settling for a house that lacks many of the elements you want, custom building will give you the chance to get exactly what you want. Building a new house can be as detailed or as hands-off as you like. better standards for heating, ventilation and cooling systems (HVAC), insulation and air filtration. Better efficiency is good for the environment and can save money on utility bills each month. New homes are also less likely to contain elements that can cause health concerns like asbestos, lead paint or mold.
New construction also provides the benefit of the homeowner knowing the age of the systems and the quality of materials used in the home. When you build, you know that the systems and appliances are new, which means that you most likely defer maintenance expenses for things like your roof, HVAC and kitchen appliances.
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Also, when you work with contractors and builders you trust, you can eliminate the surprises that can come with renovating an older home. New construction usually takes 6 months to 2 years from start to finish. Blickenstaff advises, “Before homebuyers decide to build, it is important to get a timeline from the builder and to find out what they will need to do beforehand. They need to consider how quickly they will be able to make decisions so they can avoid holding the process up. For example, cabinets can take six to eight weeks. Any delays can delay completion date significantly. As a general rule, the more customization is involved, the longer the process will take.” There are circumstances in which homebuyers can purchase a new home in less time. If you are limited in your timeframe and don’t necessarily prefer to custom build, you can purchase a “spec” home or a model home. Both are built by a developer before a sales order exists. Spec homes are designed to fit the builder’s specifications, and model homes usually showcase the builder’s more expensive upgrades. While sacrificing the ability to make the home uniquely yours, purchasing an already-existing new home provides all the other benefits of new construction—without the wait. Whether you decide to purchase an existing home and renovate it, build a custom home from scratch, or buy an already-finished new house, there are many options for homebuyers. Because buying a home may be your biggest purchase, make it your best by understanding all of these options.
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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Jane Blickenstaff: 434.660.3773 (cell) email@example.com • janeblickenstaff.net kate Blickenstaff: 434.258.1400 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org • blickenstaffandcompanyrealtors.com c vhomemaga zine .com 45
Accessories For Every Style
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n GARDEN LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS
Rain Gardens Natural feature makes the most of soggy areas BY R O RY R H O D ES
April showers bring May flowers—and sometimes, they bring mud and other soggy problems to your landscape. If your garden has drainage issues, or if you’re just looking to add a charming natural feature to your property, have you considered a rain garden? A rain garden is essentially a low spot in the terrain, lined with plants and permeable materials, that is designed to capture rainfall and allow it to soak into the soil. It’s an especially useful feature in Virginia, which enjoys upwards of 40 inches of rainfall annually. In the suburban landscape, roofs, driveways, patios, and even compacted lawns produce runoff which can, if not properly managed, cause issues in your home and garden. While gutters, downspouts, drains, and sump pumps are all effective (though not particularly romantic) methods for managing and directing excess water, a rain garden can be a helpful, attractive part of the plan. Having a rain garden is beneficial in several important ways: It can help prevent costly damage by redirecting water away from structures; it helps control erosion, standing water, and soggy lawns; it aids in preventing water pollutants from joining streams or the water table by capturing and filtering them through soil and plants; and it provides habitat for wildlife. Not to mention that it looks fabulous—far more appealing than a mushy patch of grass!
Location & Planning
The first and most important thing to do when installing a rain garden is to figure out the right location. During the next rainfall, take note of where the water goes. Does it run down your driveway? Do downspouts empty into your garden? Your rain garden will need to be situated in a low spot where water either runs or can be directed. You won’t want it to be near any structures on your property, including retaining walls, and you’ll also want to make sure it’s not too close to your property boundaries, where it could overflow onto neighboring gardens or sidewalks. A good guideline is to leave 3 to 5 feet of clearance from boundaries, and 10 feet from your structures. Make sure there’s nothing beneath the spot you’ve chosen, and always call Virginia 811 for a utility survey before you dig! Ideally, the spot you’ve chosen will receive runoff, be relatively flat, and have good drainage. Adjustments can be made to improve the site, however. Downspouts can be repositioned if needed, and water can be directed to the rain garden by means of pipe or a swale, which is a low channel dug into the soil to funnel water through the landscape. If the rain garden is situated on a gentle slope, a berm (man-made mound) can be built on the downhill side to improve water retention. Rain gardens need well-drained soil or they’ll overflow, so if your site has compacted or clay soil, amend it with compost to improve drainage. Fine gravel can also be incorporated if necessary, but it might be best to avoid sand if you have clay, because certain types of clay and sand can actually stick together and make the soil compaction worse!
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Construction & Materials
Once youâ€™ve got your spot and conditions are right, dig your rain garden about 18 inches deep, and amend soil as needed for drainage. Make sure the rain garden basin is level and that the perimeter is gently sloped to avoid erosion of the sides. Take care that any excess water will not run toward buildings or directly onto your neighborâ€™s property. In the lowest level of the rain garden, plant species that can handle periodic saturation. If drainage is especially slow, consider native rushes, sedges, wetland species such as Sweet Flag, or even pea gravel or river stone. (Stones can also be used in a connecting swale for an attractive, dry-creekbed appearance.) For the middle portion of the rain garden, many types of ferns do well in damp conditions; maidenhair, Christmas and cinnamon ferns are some varieties to consider. For the top level, you can install pretty much any kind of plant that will work with your areaâ€™s soil and light conditions. You might want to put shorter varieties around the edges where they will be visible, and place taller ones inside or a bit lower on the slope. Extending the plantings you use for the rain garden out into your yard will help blend it into the landscape. As far as specific plants to consider, native species are preferable if you can find them. They will have the advantage of being more readily adaptable to your site and its conditions. Ask your local nursery for recommendations. Otherwise, shrubs such as red twig dogwood, holly, and swamp azalea, and perennials like liriope, coneflower and aster will provide visual interest and help anchor the soil with their root systems. Using a mix of evergreen and perennial plants will provide year-round interest, 4 8
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
while planting fairly close together will help control weeds and erosion. When creating your garden layout, be aware of each plantâ€™s fully grown dimensions so that you can space plantings accordingly and design a rain garden that will allow the various plants to be seen. Once the plantings are in, top it off with some mulch to help control weeds and retain moisture while the plants become established. Use a heavier mulch that wonâ€™t float away in heavy rainfall, and be sure to water regularly during the first season while root systems are developing. Your rain garden will need occasional maintenance to ensure it doesnâ€™t become clogged with sediment, and you may find that you need to move or replace certain plants because of varying degrees of wetness around the area. With a bit of planning and some muscle, you can turn a problem area into a pretty landscape feature. Building a rain garden will not only create an enchanting and environmentally conscious focal point on your property, it will ensure that, when wet weather comes, nothing will rain on your parade.
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Easy Dinner, Great Conversation
n LIVE BOOK CLUB DINNERS
MEALS TAKE A PAGE FROM BOOK CLUB SELECTIONS BY LU CY CO O K
everal years ago, after hearing the fun that everyone was having, I joined a book club. I love the diverse group of women in the group and the interesting books that we read. My book club doesn’t do dinner, although I love the idea. (I did host my book club for dinner once, but I was testing a recipe for a HOME article, and I used them as guinea pigs!) If I did it again, or we started serving dinner, it would be fun and interesting to have the meal relate to the book in some way. With the thought of food and literature in mind, I marched myself straight to the source. Who knows more about books and book clubs than those who work in a bookstore? I had a great conversation with Angie Fleming at Givens Books this week about food and literature. We decided there are generally four categories of things to serve at book club that add context to the discussion in some way. The first would be food that is actually mentioned in the book (unless you’re reading about zombies!). Of course there are obvious choices like chocolate pie to accompany a discussion of The Help by Kathryn Stockett (please, no secret ingredients!) or Chocolat by Joanne Harris—that menu would be delicious! I recently read Things I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which would lend itself to serving Hamburger Helper, TV dinners, (better, gourmet versions, of course!) or one of the other 5 0
meals that the author describes eating in the book. A second way that a dish could relate to a book is through the time in which it takes place. For example, say the book is set in the Golden Age of Hollywood like All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani. I can picture martinis and shrimp cocktail and other foods that were considered so glamorous in that era. The third connection between a book and food may be place: A book set in Italy like My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante would lend itself to a simple Italian meal of flatbread or crostini with a salad. Lastly, the if there isn’t an obvious way to tie food into the book you’re going to discuss, just serve something simple that your friends will enjoy! Here, I have included three recipes: the first is my favorite pizza dough, which can be used in the flatbread recipes that follow. Flatbread is like pizza, but the crust is a little stiffer and the toppings are decidedly un-pizza-like. You could use my recipe to make your own dough, buy a ball of dough at your favorite pizza joint, or in a pinch, use packaged naan which is available in the bakery section of the grocery store. Both flatbread recipes could be served in wedges with a salad for a light meal, or cut into smaller pieces for an appetizer portion. Flatbread would also be a good choice for a lap-based meal if your book club is large and cannot fit at a table. Happy cooking (and reading!) Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Pizza Dough (makes two large-ish pizzas) Bread flour is made from hard wheat, and has a higher protein content, which makes a chewy, crispy crust. Of course, if you don’t have bread flour on hand, all-purpose flour is a good substitute. 3½ to 4 cups bread flour 1 teaspoon sugar 1 envelope instant yeast 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1½ cups warm water In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, put 3½ cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Mix to combine. Add the oil and water and beat on medium speed until it forms a smooth ball. If the dough is too sticky, add flour a little at a time until smooth. Dump out on a floured counter and knead until smooth. Grease a mixing bowl with olive oil, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean towel, place in a warm area and let rise about an hour. After an hour, dump the dough back out on a floured counter and cut into two balls. Dough can be kept in the fridge for up to three days, or freezer for up to a month. Let come to room temperature before cooking. Use this dough in the flatbread recipes that follow, or as a “regular” pizza, topping with your favorite vegetables, meat and cheese, and baking for about 10 minutes at 500 degrees, until the crust is brown, and cheese is bubbly and golden. c vhomemaga zine .com 51
Flatbread Primavera (serves 4-6) One half recipe pizza dough 1 large sweet onion ½ bunch fresh asparagus 8 ounces burrata ½ cup frozen peas, thawed Olive oil Salt and pepper Preheat the oven with a pizza stone (if you have one!) to 500 degrees. Slice the onion in ½ inch slices. Saute until browned and limp, about 10 minutes. While the onion is cooking, cut the woody ends from the asparagus, and slice the remaining spears into 1-inch pieces. When the onions are almost finished, add the asparagus to the pan and saute for another 4 minutes. Set aside. Pat and stretch the pizza dough into a large circle. If you’re using a pizza stone: Place dough on a rimless cookie sheet or pizza peel that has been dusted with cornmeal. Slide onto the stone in the preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes. If you don’t have a pizza stone, put the dough on a cookie sheet that has been dusted with flour or cornmeal, and place in the oven and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with asparagus and onions. Drain the burrata and tear or cut into 1-inch pieces. Scatter over vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Return the flatbread to the oven and cook until heated through and crust is beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with peas, drizzle with olive oil and cut into wedges.
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Cheese and Grape Flatbread (serves 4-6) I love flatbread and pizzas topped with salad, and this one would be a good candidate for that, topped with baby arugula tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. 8 ounces red seedless grapes 4 ounces good-quality blue cheese, like Roquefort or Stilton 1 large sweet onion Olive oil Salt and pepper Slice the onion into ½-inch slices. Rinse grapes and pat dry, then cut grapes in half. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and grapes and cook, until the onions are brown and the grape juices are thickened, about 10 minutes. Pat and stretch the pizza dough into a large circle. Place on a rimless cookie sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Slide into the preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the grapes and onions. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the top. Sprinkle with black pepper. Return the pizza to the oven and cook until heated through Pinn_CentVA_Nov2015:Layout 5
and crust is beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and cut into wedges.
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Renovation for a Growing Family
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
BY CH A R LOT T E A . F. FA R L E Y P h ot o gr a p hy by A ll e g r a H e lms
Behind a long wooden fence, tucked away in the seclusion of the woods, you’d never know you were just minutes away from busy Boonsboro Road. The privacy of the lot captured the attention and hearts of Gail and Luke Van Dyke, who moved to Lynchburg from Abingdon nearly a decade ago. At the time, Luke, a now-retired anesthesiologist, had accepted a part-time position at UVA teaching residents while also working part-time at Lynchburg General Hospital. His brother, a cardiologist, was here in Lynchburg, had children in DC and at UVA and the youngest was still at home. “It was a good time to move,” explains Gail. c vhomemaga zine .com 55
A painting depicting the Teton Mountains and a field of wildflowers recalls the Van Dykes’ trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, its colors inspiring the room’s soft palette. 5 6
Upon entering the Van Dyke home, visitors are greeted with rays of sunshine pouring in from the home’s many windows. A turn to the left brings visitors to the formal living room, with color bursting forth from the yellow and pink floral window treatments and soft green sofa. Above the sofa hangs an oil landscape—the inspiration for the room’s palette. The painting, a depiction of the Teton Mountains and a field of wildflowers, comes from the couple’s trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming several years ago. An upright piano sits beside the door. “All four of our children learned to play the piano, and our two boys particularly liked it. We enjoyed hearing all of them practicing pieces for lessons or recitals and playing their favorite songs at Christmastime,” Gail says. That piano, along with several other pieces, has moved along with them over their 35 years of marriage. Cherished memories are on tasteful display throughout the Van Dyke home, particularly in the formal dining room
that sits across the hall from the living room. A soft, romantic space with touches of pink, the grand crystal chandelier that hangs above the dining room table resembles an heirloom piece from a plantation home. “Actually, our first home had that chandelier, so we kept it! We took it with us and it has moved everywhere with us over the past 30 years,” Gail says. The focal point of the room is the arc of vintage pink dishes that creates a wreath-like effect over the dining room hutch. Luke found the set of 1940s china at an estate sale and recognized the set as being from Cumbo China in Abingdon; he shares a story well-known around Abingdon of Eleanor Roosevelt’s purchase of that same pattern (Mrs. Roosevelt’s set was blue and white, according to the tale). More treasured memories lie in the hand-embroidered tablecloth given by Luke’s mother, their daughter Stephanie’s wedding portrait, Luke’s grandmother’s hutch, and a sideboard made by a furniture-maker friend in Abingdon. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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The Van Dykes’ new sunroom, overlooking the backyard and woods, is a popular gathering spot; it’s where they place their Christmas tree and exchange gifts during the holidays. What one might assume is a closet or hall bathroom tucked away is actually a pass-through bar (outfitted with a brand-new wine cooler) that connects the living room to the den, a bright space adorned with ginger jars, plants, and many family photos. The den connects seamlessly to the new sunroom that overlooks the backyard and the woods. This room, the one in which the Van Dykes display their Christmas tree and exchange gifts during the holidays, holds a very special painting for Luke: an oil portrait of Hereford cattle. The painting reminds Luke of his family’s farm where he grew up. “I’m always reminded of home,” he says, even during the visit to Park City, Utah, where he spotted the piece in a local gallery. “It immediately caught my eye.” Clearly, family and memories are at the heart of this home, from the furniture to the artwork to the design. In fact, it was because their family is growing larger that Gail and Luke decided to make some changes in their home to accommodate their growing family. They are proud parents to four grown children, and grandparents to five grandchildren all under the age of 3 (the oldest is 2 ½ and the youngest just arrived in October 2015). “We simply needed more space,” says Gail. Luke agrees, explaining, “We were looking at the long-term and wanted to be able to live on one level.” With the future in mind, they decided a main-level master bedroom would be a good idea. The couple set about shopping the real estate market, but “couldn’t find anything with a really great kitchen and a main-floor master suite,” Gail explains. Plus, they liked their current neighborhood and the privacy of the lot. Luke adds, “We’d always figured we could renovate it the way we wanted to since it was all under one roof.” Thus, they decided to renovate. 5 8
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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What used to be a narrow kitchen and garage is now a wide, open gourmet kitchen and a master bedroom with deluxe master bathroom. The new kitchen is every home cook’s dream space—it rivals the beauty and function of any kitchen you’d see on Food Network. The Van Dykes employed the skills and artistry of L.G. Flint General Contractors, who also renovated Luke’s brother’s house. The showpiece of the kitchen is the 11-foot island, whose countertop was fashioned from one solid, seamless piece of granite. Complete with a rinse sink, the darker walnut cabinets and drawers within the island contain a vertical filing system for baking pans and cookie sheets, a spice drawer, and what Gail refers to as her baking center. “I love to bake, make cakes, pies, sourdough bread, sweet breads, scones, and of course lots of cookies for the grandchildren,” she says. Behind one side of the island is a large cabinet-level Jenn-Air fridge, an ice maker, a wall oven, and a warming drawer. The new kitchen provides an abundance of space for storage and display, and the Van Dykes use two side counters for a tea service station and coffee station. Across from the island is the new Thermador six-burner gas range, which has one of the widest ovens on the market—that’s what drew Gail and Luke to it. “It’s my favorite!” Luke says. Gail likes it for its width, “but it was also the prettiest one!” she admits with a smile. Luke loves using the range for his specialty in the kitchen: fish and seafood, particularly salmon. “I can make you salmon any way you want it,” he proudly states. A ledge sits behind the range along with a wall-mounted pot-filler faucet. Both husband and wife agree that the renovated kitchen allows for more comfortable and enjoyable family dinners and makes holiday cooking a breeze. Apart from the great cooking tools and breathing room the new kitchen affords, Luke enjoys the cabinets from Tim Columbus at Columbus Woodworks. He especially appreciates the self-closing drawers in the kitchen, “so when [Gail’s] mad at me, she can’t slam the door,” he jokes. Gail’s favorite aspect of the new space is the natural sunlight in the kitchen that streams in. She’s spotted foxes, woodpeckers, and up to a dozen deer at a time from out the kitchen and sunroom windows. 6 0
“I knew I wanted white cabinets, and I knew I wanted big windows and light, as the kitchen faces the north side of the house—sunshine is at a premium in the woods,” Gail explains. Her previous kitchen only had one small window; now, a painting of the Allegheny Mountains draped in morning mist takes the place of that window. This painting is another that the Van Dykes acquired on a trip, this time to Warm Springs, Virginia. “Bath County is a very special place for us,” they explain, since they honeymooned at The Homestead in Hot Springs. The sunshine gleams in the room of warm white cabinets and walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Linen White. From Pinterest and Houzz to collaborating with the contractor, utilizing the skills of a kitchen designer, and studying magazines, Gail used “all of the above!” to create their dream kitchen. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
This was the Van Dykes’ first major foray into home renovation. Gail says, “The whole process was a learning experience for us, and I enjoyed learning about all the different kinds of cabinets, appliances, and surfaces.” She says that one of the most helpful resources was visiting with other homeowners who had also renovated their houses and seeing those spaces. “I would call and just say, ‘Do you mind if I come by and see your renovation?’ and then go over and to see what they had done.” The Van Dykes had anticipated a few months of the renovation, but the project took longer than expected. “We’d run into glitches, but the contractor was great and accommodating and would tell us ‘no problem, we’ll fix it,’ and he did,” Luke says. So just how do you go about cooking and living in your home while major demolition and renovations are taking place? “We used our refrigerator and our old cabinets and recycled them into a kitchenette downstairs— it was our youngest son’s idea,” explains Luke. They used a slow-cooker and cooked on an electric eye. “We made lots of soups and stews,” Gail says. One would think Gail would have grown tired of crockpot cooking, but the slowcooker still has a place in her walk-in pantry.
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The new master bedroom suite lies directly off of the kitchen. The Van Dykes use this room currently as a guest room for their parents and other overnight visitors. A room decorated in soothing hues of pale blues and greens (including Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke), the couple used an oil painting they picked up on a trip to West Virginia as inspiration for the color palette. “It reminded us of home,” Luke says of the mountain scene. The space seems to have been designed with rest in mind—a perfect retreat for relaxation and slumber. You can just imagine yourself curling up in the charming window seat. Gail is looking forward to reading with her grandchildren in that very spot. “It will be fun to read with them there, and I plan to put toys and books and other fun things in the drawers,” she says. No master suite is truly a suite without an adjoining bath, and this is no exception. The bathroom is a spa-like retreat, adorned in marble and natural sunlight, and with heated floors. The walk-in closet space holds more than just linens—it currently serves as a storage unit for all things grandbaby, including the children’s high chairs, playpens, and a table and chair set. A short walk through the new breezeway leads to the new garage. “The contractor joked that it’s the dog’s house since our 6 2
dog Charlie stays out there,” Luke says with a smile. If this is the dog’s house, then it’s truly the dog’s palace: the space is heated and has a separate loft bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The power in the garage works on a generator that’s hooked into a propane tank, a decision inspired by the 2012 derecho. They’ve also hooked their new refrigerator into the generator. “When you’re out in the woods, you never know how long it’s going to be before the power comes back on,” Luke says. “We had a few trees down, but thankfully we didn’t have any tree damage to our house,” says Gail. At the time of the storm, the Van Dykes were out of town, and Luke’s brother kept coming by the house to keep things going. Family was one of the reasons that Gail and Luke came to Lynchburg, and their growing family is the main reason they decided to undertake more than a year of demolition, replacing and renovating. Now, the Van Dykes have exactly what they had hoped for: a better place for cooking and sharing meals with their loved ones, a larger space in which to entertain friends, children, and grandchildren, and a way to enjoy the space they call home for years to come. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Y O U R H O M E S AY S A LOT A B O U T YO U . W E ’ R E H E R E TO L I S T E N .
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n DESIGN LAMPSHADES
P h ot o gr a p hy by Te r a Ja n e ll e
Light Bright Shedding Light on Lampshades BY A D R I EN N E M A N D L E W I N
You spot it across a crowded discount-store aisle: the lamp you’ve been looking for, the one that will complete your room, at half the designer-lookalike’s price. Back at home, you place it just so, flip the switch, and are thoroughly disappointed by the sickly light that emits from its cheap lampshade. Or perhaps you’ve inherited a ginger jar lamp that you’ve always admired from a doting aunt. But once you get it home, it looks dated in your house and its shade seems dull. In cases like these, there are endless possibilities when it comes to buying a replacement lampshade that freshens the look and fits your personal style. Knowledgeable professionals at lamp stores, or local designers can help. And with a few basic design and functionality rules, the perfect look for any room is simple for any homeowner to achieve.
P h ot o gr a p hy by Te r a Ja n e ll e
While there’s always some wiggle room in choosing a shade for a lamp, there are a few basics to keep in mind. The shape of the lamp (square, round, or one that encompasses multiple shapes) should match the shape of the shade. (Generally, either shade design—round or square—works for a lamp that incorporates multiple shapes). Similarly, if a lamp is straight, go with a shade that incorporates straight edges. Curvy lamps get curvy shades. Intricately designed lamps should have simple shades, while a basic base deserves something more interesting up top. Then there are the myriad shapes to choose from: bell, drum, square, octagon, barrel, empire (narrow at the top, wide at the bottom) and more. Bell shades generally fit with a traditional design scheme, while drums lend themselves to more modern interiors. Bell shades shed light between the top and the bottom of the shade, empire shades illuminate mostly from the bottom, while drum shades provide a medium amount of light from both ends.
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White shades are best at lighting an entire room, while darker ones tend to funnel the light and make a more dramatic statement. When it comes to fabric, follow the generally accepted truths that silk is more formal than linen, textured materials or parchment shades. You also should consider the purpose of the lampshade and base you are looking to purchase. Will it provide ambient light or simply be an interesting design piece? Will it be used as an accent, or for a specific task, such as reading? Task and ambient lights require broad and translucent shades, while decorative and accent lights can be colored and opaque. A new trend in the lampshade world is custom-made chandelier surround shades. These typically are round and mostly cover the chandelier for a more modern look. They can be translucent or colored—really anything you would like to complement the room. They can transform a tired, standard brass chandelier into something much more interesting and modern, making them a good fit for transitional interiors. Proportion
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To avoid an awkward look, choose a shade that is in proportion to its base. A rule of thumb is that a lampshade should be 2 or 3 inches shorter than its lamp, and only half an inch of the connecting lamp neck should be visible. You never want to see the mechanics of the lamp near the bulb at eye level, so consider that when you place your lamp. Generally, a proportionate look includes a shade that is two-thirds the height of the lamp and half an inch wider than the base’s thickest part. Freestanding floor lamps provide other challenges. Due to their height, empire shades tend to look best and they should be tall enough to stay in proportion to the large lamp base. To hold their shape, lampshades have either a metal framework or a hard—usually plastic—lining. These prevent light from passing through the sides of the shade. If you are looking for more ambient lighting, choose a soft-backed shade whose lining is flexible (typically linen or paper). These diffuse more light but need vertical supports on the lamp to retain their original shape. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
When you want to add a little personality to a lamp or shade, add an ornamental finial that sits atop the lamp and holds the shade in place at the top. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles and can be inexpensively changed to match the new tone of a room when redecorating. Something less fun but just as important to consider is safety. Lamps that use high-wattage bulbs create more heat and need more ventilation between the bulb and the shade. The best way to figure out the required area is to measure the distance between the lightbulb and the inside of the shade and to follow the manufacturerâ€™s instructions on maximum wattage. The area can be as small as 2 inches or as large as 4 Âž inches. You can also determine this by turning on the lamp for five minutes and feeling the top of the shade. If itâ€™s hot, you need a shade with a wider opening. Whatever your mission when purchasing a new lampshade, follow these guidelines and your room will emit a welcoming glow for all who enter.
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n GARDEN PROFESSIONAL HELP
LAWN CARE PROS Ask the right questions when hiring a lawn care company
BY CH R IS T Y R I P P EL
The arrival of warmer weather means sun, short sleeves—and that familiar hum of the lawn mower. But if you’d rather turn the lawn care duties over to someone else this year, we’ve got the dirt (ahem) on how to hire a company that best suits your needs. Whether you want regular mowing, or help with an entire overhaul of your landscaping, some basic knowledge of lawn care will help you ask the right questions to be sure you’re heading down the right path—one that is preferably neatly edged. Lawn Care 101
While you may have pushed a mower across your yard for years, there may be some tips on lawn care that you don’t know and may help you when hiring a professional to help. For example, many people like the look of short grass, but it can encourage weeds and make the grass grow unevenly and faster, necessitating more frequent mows. If you are paying someone to cut the lawn, save money by extending the amount of time between mowings. A general guide is to never cut more than 1/3 of the length of the grass in a single mow. While many reputable landscapers do follow this guideline, homeowners often ask for shorter grass, and some companies oblige. 6 8
In addition to mowing, the other basic lawn care ritual is fertilizing. Opinions about when to fertilize, what to use, and how much is a continual topic of debate among lawn care professionals. Many say twice a year is adequate for the average lawn, but more aggressive schedules may be five times a year or more. How important is it to you to have the greenest lawn on the block? Or, is a neatly mowed landscape for your kids to play on enough to satisfy you? Another way to feed your lawn is by leaving lawn clippings in the grass, rather than bagging them. Experts say the clippings can supply half of the food that a lawn needs in a year. However, this may not be ideal for families with pets and children, so decide in advance if you’ll want the clippings left or bagged, as this will likely influence the price you pay. Now that you know to extend the time between cuts with longer grass, and you’ve thought about bagging versus leaving your clippings, decide if fertilizing is something you want to handle yourself or if you want to hand that over, too. When you know what you want, you’re ready to bring in the experts. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Finding Your Lawn Care Service
Whenever hiring a contractor like a landscaping company to do work at your home, it’s best to start from referrals. Ask around; neighbors and friends will probably be happy to share their experiences. Plan to interview at least two or three companies to have a sense of price structures and to be sure you are getting the best deal and right fit. Once you have a list and are ready to set up appointments, make a list of questions to have on hand. One of the first things to know is whether the contractor has liability insurance. If he doesn’t, your homeowner’s policy could be at risk and you could be liable for injuries that occur on your property. You may want to know if the company owner or supervisor is a member of any professional organizations, which could indicate that they are up to date on best practices and are mindful of using the correct amounts of fertilizers and other chemicals—important for the safety of kids, pets and the environment. A printed menu of services and prices is helpful, which, in addition to mowing and fertilizing, might include anything from mulching, leaf removal, weed control and tree pruning to landscape design. Some prices might be fixed (like mulching, based on quantity) while mowing quotes are individual based on size of lawn, obstacles (fencing, playsets, etc.) and terrain. Ask what factors into your individual quote, and find out if prepaying at the start of the season can net you a discount; bundling services together (like mowing and fertilizing) can often lower your total costs as well. Ask if you can expect surfaces, like walkways and driveways, to be blown clear of clippings, and if edging is included, or an extra cost. When you have written quotes in hand to compare, be sure to read the fine print: is there an automatic renewal clause? Can you subtract services at a later date without penalty? A reputable company will be happy to answer your questions. Once you’ve compared your quotes and made your decision, sit back and enjoy the sun on your face and the pleasant sounds of spring—and leave the mowing duty to someone else.
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Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Lawn Care Company ■ Do you have liability coverage? ■ Will the same crew be doing the work every time? ■ Is the mowing schedule changed around fertilizer applications? ■ Are bundled services less expensive? ■ Do you offer discounts for pre-paying for the season? ■ Do I have to sign a contract? ■ What services warrant extra charges? ■ Do you subcontract any services to a third party? ■ Can I add or subtract services later without penalty?
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THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE preparing to sell your home
READY, SET, SELL BY M EG A N H A L L
So youâ€™ve decided to sell your house. Cue the excitementâ€”and undoubtedly some angst. And if you are a home improvement dreamer, you may also be secretly delighted that those years of binge-watching HGTV and musing about organizational ideas are about to pay off! Preparing your house for the onslaught of real estate agents, buyers and inspectors can be a daunting responsibility. However, fixating on every square inch of your house is not only an impossible task, but will also drive you mad. Instead, keep your sanity in check with this handy checklist.
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
A striped rug in your living room, floorlength curtains in the bedroom or mirrors in the hallway help spaces feel larger.
Rediscover Your Space
Whether you’ve nested in an 800- or 8,000-square-foot home, show off the light. Buyers want to envision their own belongings adorning each room, and it’s your job to create a bright, blank page on which they can write their own narrative. n R EMOVE CLUTTER. Consider
renting a small temporary storage unit or commandeering a family member’s garage to eliminate bulky or excess furniture, offseason clothing, holiday decorations and the like. You don’t want to give the impression of cramped or limited storage. Treat this as an opportunity to purge unwanted items before you even begin the lofty packing process. n C LEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Buyers want
to know they are choosing a home that was cherished by its owners. Sparkling outlet covers and light switches, walls free of nicks and holes, and freshly swept porches can
make all the difference. Be warned—buyers are typically interested in cabinet space, and they also love an excuse to snoop, so don’t neglect your fridge, bathroom cabinets and linen closets. n M AKE IT THEIR HOME. Your guests may
love the macaroni art from your little tyke or the cringe-worthy family portrait from the ’90s, but that’s what makes it your home, not the buyer’s new home. Store personal items so folks can see the house as the start of their next chapter. n E MPLOY TASTEFUL TRICKERY.
A striped rug in your living room, floorlength curtains in the bedroom or mirrors in the hallway help spaces feel larger. Storebought bookshelves placed in a closet give the illusion of a custom organization system. Higher-wattage light bulbs create instantly brighter spaces. Use small changes like these to make a big impact.
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Making the closing process easy & smooth for all parties involved. About Us Reliance Title & Settlements, LLC has been in business since September 11, 2006. The staff has a combined experience of over 73 years in the real estate business.
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Welcome the Inspector
Once you secure a buyer, the home inspection is perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of the process. However, you have more control than you think. Much like potential buyers, home inspectors want to traverse your house with ease. Follow this proactive approach to design a welcoming atmosphere centered on respecting the inspector’s time and skills. nR EMOVE CLUTTER. This step is absolutely essential. The
inspector does not want to navigate Lego forts, family pets, your great-grandmother’s one-of-a-kind lamp, or anything else that might disrupt his or her work or cause chaos. nD ISCLOSE ISSUES AND REPAIR DOCUMENTATION.
Honesty is always the best policy and selling your home is no exception. The inspector will find any problem areas in your home, so make his or her job easier by disclosing any known issues up front. Also, if you’ve recently made repairs, be sure to provide proper documentation to the inspector. n E NSURE ACCESS. Efficiency is key when it comes to
home inspections. Before the big day, take a walk through your home and ask yourself these questions: Are all doors unlocked? Are the attic and/or basement accessible? Do I have a ladder available, if needed? Are all appliances ready for testing (e.g., dishwasher unloaded, washer/dryer empty, no pots on stove)? n S CHEDULE AN OUTING. The last thing an inspector wants
is you or other family members underfoot, especially when speaking openly with potential buyers. It is recommended to leave the property an hour before the inspection. Readying your home to be sold can be an emotional roller coaster, but it doesn’t have to be a rough ride. Remember, this is temporary. A little hard work now will yield great results. Steal a moment to imagine the long-awaited “Sold” placard adorning your “For Sale” sign. Now take a deep breath and get to work— those dust bunnies aren’t going to clean themselves. c vhomemaga zine .com 73
n LIVE VINTAGE WARES
Capture the Charm of
VINTAGE GLASS BY S LOA N E LU C AS
The thought of acquiring something whimsical, purely for fun, seems to fly in the face of our current era of minimalism. But there’s always room for a few items that simply spark joy. And one way to create a joyful table with color and charm is to augment your everyday dishes and flatware with vintage glass. The term “vintage glass” really includes a range of timeframes and styles—from 1930s-era Depression glass, to mid-century modern barware, to 1970s kitsch. But all vintage pieces have one thing in common: they can elevate a mundane contemporary table setting into a fun-filled conversation-starter.
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
You can quickly assemble a wonderful assortment with minimal investment while also having a lot of fun. First, think about the place settings and linens that you already own and the color palette you already have to work with. If your everyday tableware is a basic white or even another solid color, start from there and think about complementary colors to match your dishes and any decorative linens you have. Bear in mind that most vintage glass pieces you will find in antique shops or second-hand stores will be wine, water or cocktail glasses, as well as platters, candy dishes (which can double as serving dishes) and other servingware. Plates are harder to find. So you are looking for fun or funky pieces that will add subtle charm or pizazz to your existing dishes and flatware.
Once you have some colors in mind, seek out pieces that speak to you. The best place to start your acquisition of vintage glassware is probably in your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen. Do they have some fun sets of glasses that they keep buried in their cabinets? Ask if they will let you have them. They will probably love to see them used. Or maybe you were lucky enough to have some passed down that you haven’t really considered using. Well, unpack those boxes and see what you have. If you are like most people, you may have a few pieces here and there to start you off. Do you have a bowl of delicate green jadeite that you have always liked, but didn’t know how to showcase? Perhaps some creamy milk glass that you always wanted to use but didn’t know how? Or maybe you have a funky amber glass chip and dip set from the 70s that you think is fun, but nothing else you have quite matches it? Start with those. Then augment these with a selection that you can break out for dinner parties—or even build into a display when not in use. Jadeite and milk glass are two of the more subtle styles that add a touch of low-key charm to your table. When it comes to color and “pop,” nothing beats Depression glass. While the name seems to indicate a specific era, the term is more colloquially used to refer to any colorful or cut glass that was popular from a range of eras, from before the Great Depression to long after (although later glassware would have been reproductions of original patterns).
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Glasses, candy dishes and other pieces of servingware were often given away free as incentives during tough economic times—to lure people into buying a specific brand of oatmeal, for example. You can almost imagine how families would slowly acquire these colorful, sparkling items one at a time until they had a whole set, and how much joy and fun they added to dining tables during lean years. Of course, the popularity of shows like “Mad Men” have also reminded us that having a nice set of “mod” cocktail glasses and pitchers is a great way to create a festive mood for a party. So mid-century modern pieces and 1960s and 1970s items, with their muted greens and smokey blues, bright patterns or silverand-gold designs, might fit better with your existing dishes. These also tend to include chip and dip sets, ornately designed platters and other fun serving pieces—making them perfect for entertaining. Before investing hundreds of dollars buying a complete set of glasses or other pieces from an antique store, first buy a few pieces here and there to test them out. The best place to find vintage glassware at the lowest prices are local thrift and consignment stores and garage sales. Buy a few items in different colors and see how you like them. You may love a bright green candy dish in the store, but when you bring it home, it might not really go with your table. No worries. For the few dollars you spent, you can donate it back or pass it along to someone else who might like it. As you start to browse for new-to-you glassware, you will naturally find yourself gravitating toward a color palette or design that speaks to your personal style and taste. You can Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
then have a lot of fun browsing for similar styles and colors online, and maybe even tracking down exact patterns or manufacturers you like. Some glassware will have marks—like a stylized L on the bottom for popular Libbey glassware from the 1960s and 1970s. Some you can tell just by the design. You can easily upload an image of a favorite glass to Google Images. Google will scour the web and show you similar images, and you can click around to investigate what you have. Frequent your local antique and thrift stores to add to your collection—and don’t be shy about asking the proprietors to see if they have additional items in back. No store can display all its wares, so even if the shop doesn’t have your pattern or color on display, see if they have any in storage. You will quickly find that dealers not only understand their customers’ love of vintage glass—they may also share it and be able to offer some fun history or information on your items. And if they know you are looking for certain pieces, they can also alert you when they acquire them. The sooner you start using your new acquisitions the better. Start with everyday family dinners and play around with place settings, mixing and matching. When you think you’ve got a truly eye-catching design, break it out for a dinner party. (A lot of Depression glasses are especially heavy and sturdy, making them an excellent choice for outdoor use in warmer seasons.) Collecting vintage glass is a fun and inexpensive hobby that allows you to add unique charm and personality to your tabletops. Collectors will tell you that the only downside is finding enough cabinet space to store your newly acquired gems.
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n GARDEN CURBSIDE GARDENS
Mailbox Gardens Create a special space for special deliveries BY M I T Z I B I B L E
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Everyone loves to receive a personal greeting in the mail. There’s something exciting about opening up the mailbox and spotting a hand-addressed envelope from a relative or an old friend amidst those unwelcome bills. The mailbox is also the first thing your guests see as they approach your home, so why not make the space around it a personal greeting in itself? If you think about it, there is probably no place on your property that is frequented more by a visitor than your mailbox. Six days a week, we depend on our friendly neighborhood postal carrier stopping by. While your top priority should be to maintain your box, post, and land around it so that it is easily accessible for your carrier, you may also want to add curb appeal by sprucing up the space with plants or hardscapes. A mailbox garden can be as simple or elaborate as you would like, just as long as it matches your style—and your level of devotion. If you have a long driveway, running a hose and sprinkler or irrigation system may not be possible, and you may not care to lug a watering can. In this case, choosing a few hardy perennials is best. On the other hand, if you have a large front yard and are looking to cut down on some of the maintenance there, planning a big garden space around your mailbox with some mulch and attractive groundcover may actually help you out. Whatever size you choose, it is important to note that your mailbox garden will need to meet all the challenges of a life on the street: motorists driving by, children running down the curb, deer paying a visit, and of course, dogs doing their thing. Here are some ideas for plants and hardscapes that are up for the job.
The key to designing a small garden space around your mailbox is choosing plants that grow mostly up and not out. Be mindful of your postal carrier and don’t pick plants that spread too far or grow too tall. Make sure plants don’t cover numbers on your post or mailbox, and don’t impede raising the flag or opening the door. Taller plants and bulkier shrubbery can play a role, though, if they are planted behind your post and serve as a backdrop for the shorter plants taking the stage out front. The taller plants could include everything from vines winding up a trellis (such as clematis), to an edge of boxwoods, to daylilies, iris, or any number of fuller and thicker ornamental grasses. Many people choose ornamental grasses for their curbside gardens because they are mostly drought-tolerant, deer-tolerant, and don’t require much care. Because the mailbox is most often in full sun, the grasses will do well. At maturity, they will stay the same height so there is no pruning, and they create a nice contrast for your space. When choosing grasses, make sure you have a space that won’t be overwhelmed by them. They tend to look nice on a hillside, acting as a bridge from a sloping yard down to a road. Though not an ornamental grass but often thought of as one, liriope (or lilyturf) is a good choice for a mailbox garden as it typically stays the same shape and size throughout its life and deer tend to avoid them. With purple flower spikes in late summer, they can add a splash of color, too.
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COMING THIS SUMMER...
if you are starting a new mailbox garden, you can train deer early by planting daffodils along with tulips. Many bulbs generally are deer resistant, including daffodils, Dutch iris, and hyacinths. If deer are already a real problem for you, anything you put at the curb will be sure to attract their attention during their nighttime strolls through your neighborhood. If you are starting a new mailbox garden, you can train deer early by planting daffodils along with tulips. If dogs frequent your post, consider shrubbery like barberry. The varieties with sharp thorns are a natural deterrent for dogs and deer alike. Groundcovers that donâ€™t spread too much can also be a lowmaintenance option for a simple garden, such as phlox. Of course, if you want to add more color and donâ€™t mind trekking out to the mailbox, you can plant annuals, but plan a regimen to phase them out as they begin to fade, replacing pansies with red salvia or white sweet alyssum, then adding mums in the fall. Your local nursery can advise you on which varieties will give you the longest run for your money. To cut down on the maintenance, always remember to mulch well and use a newspaper or fabric underlay in your bed. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Boxing in Your Box
Choosing your edging is where you can really get creative with your garden design. If you don’t have a curb, you can use simple stones to outline a round or square bed, being careful not to place them in the way of where you need to stand to open the box or where motorists, including your postal carrier, would be driving. You can also use the curb or street as one of the sides for a square or semi-circular space. Choose pavers or bricks—any hardscape that matches the style of your home. By stacking rock slabs, stones or pavers (in much the same way as a firepit), you can create a nice raised bed that will really set the stage for your mailbox as a focal point. If you have enough room and want to plan a larger garden, creating a low hedge with shrubbery in a semi-circle pattern behind the box can be equally attractive. When you get to work on your garden, use that time to inspect your mailbox to see if it needs a fresh coat of paint, a new post, or a new set of numbers to identify your house. Adding a beautiful garden space at your mailbox is an easy way to enhance your landscape year-round. Deliver on this project, and checking your mailbox for your own deliveries will be more enjoyable.
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THE REAL ESTATE ISSUE financing your dream home
MONEY MATTERS Financing the home of your dreams BY B ECK Y C A LV ER T 8 2
Homeownership is the quintessential American Dream, dating back to our country’s pioneer days and the homestead acts of the second half of the 19th century. “Buying a home is one of the largest, if not THE largest purchase one will make in their lifetime,” says Debbie Grishaw of Bank of the James. “It is a scary process; however, I really want to make the borrower comfortable with me and comfortable asking any and all questions. There really isn’t a dumb question. If you are educated in the process, then the process is much easier.” The best place to start in the process of purchasing a home is by meeting with a local lender—someone who understands the local real estate market and economy. Billy Woolridge of Embrace Home Loans says that while the internet is a great source of information for many things, it’s not personal enough for applying for a mortgage. “Shop around and talk to more than one local lender,” he advises, as everyone’s situation is different and the right lender for you may be different than the lender for say, your squash partner. Upon meeting with a local lender, they will give you a “punchlist of necessary items,” says Rick Comar, mortgage specialist of Select Bank, to bring to a meeting. This list will include tax documents, recent pay stubs, statements and assets. You’ll talk about the process and see what mortgage might best suit your needs; there are a number of options available, particularly for first-time buyers. Says Grishaw, “The borrower leaves the meeting knowing what they can and cannot buy.” Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
With low rates and a housing market that has stabilized, now might be a good time to make that purchase you’ve been pondering. It is important to have established credit when purchasing a house, but a lender can talk you through what you need to establish credit, says Comar. “There are traditional trade lines to developing that—car payments and credit cards, as well as non-traditional ones that look at utility payments, rent” and the like, he says. Comar explains that your credit score is based on credit history as well as the amount of available credit you have. The takeaway on this? Don’t cancel those cards if you’re not using them, as cancelling them decreases your amount of available credit. Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can begin searching for the home of your dreams with a local real estate agent. As with a lender, you’ll want to work with someone who has experience with the local market as well as the price range you are interested in. A good place to begin a search for both a local lender as well as a Realtor is by asking a variety of friends for recommendations, learning what they liked and didn’t like about their experiences, then interviewing a few of each to see who might be the best fit for you. Any number of unexpected events can pop up on the road to homeownership, but working with experienced, trusted professionals can help you navigate it successfully.
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In working with a Realtor, one of the first things they will ask is what is you are looking for in a home—this includes not just price and location, but features. They will guide you through what is available in your price range until you find THE ONE. It is advised that throughout this process, you stay in touch with your lender, so that upon making an offer and having it turn into a ratified contract, your lender will be able to deliver your financing commitment based on your pre-approval, contingent upon appraisal of the home you wish to purchase. A home appraisal looks at the condition of the home as well as comparable sales of three to five similar properties over the last six to 12 months in the area—a critical final step in the loan approval process. Recent changes in the regulations concerning mortgages were enacted in October of 2015, known as “TRID,” which is really an acronym for an acronym: the TILA (Truth in Lending Act)/RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) Integrated Disclosure rule. TRID regulations are part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was a reaction to the great recession of 2008 and launched what is known as a “Know Before You Owe” campaign. As part of TRID, a loan estimate is issued at the time of
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Navigating the path to homeownership can seem overwhelming, but working with professionals who understand the local market and economy can help ease your journey. The first step is just learning how easy it can be.
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loan application, and a closing disclosure document is required to be issued at least three days prior to closing, spelling out the monthly payment as well as all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage and closing the loan. While these changes have added time onto the process, lender timelines vary as to exactly how much time. Mortgage rates have been at historic lows in recent months. You may have seen headlines regarding the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes last December, the first since 2006, in response to a solid US economy. Despite the hike, both 30- and 15-year fixed interest rates have stayed low, even dropping a little, thanks to fluctuations in the stock market. The housing market having stabilized, there is much optimism in the real estate field. Combined, low rates and a stable market make now a good time to make that purchase you’ve been pondering. Navigating the path to homeownership can seem overwhelming, but working with professionals who understand the local market and economy can help ease your journey. The first step is just learning how easy it can be. c vhomemaga zine .com 85
n LIVE TRIPLE-CROWN FUN
OFF TO THE RACES Hosting a horserace party
BY A LYS S A M ER C A DA N T E
Horses, roses, big hats and bourbon—all represent one of America’s long-standing traditions, the Kentucky Derby. On the first Saturday in May each year (this year, it’s May 7), 20 horses compete in front of a crowd of 155,000 people at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the most prestigious horse races in the world and often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race (May 21) and the Belmont Stakes race (June 11). All three of these events provide great excuses for throwing a party—and you don’t have to make a trip to Kentucky to experience the festivities. Hosting a watch party for one of these races, complete with themed food, cocktails, decorations and games right in your home, is both easy to put together and tons of fun. 8 6
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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Think finger foods and Southern charm. A platter of deviled eggs topped with bacon crumbles is quick to make and easy for guests to grab. Chunks of fresh watermelon are cool, refreshing, and a perfect Southern snack. For a Derby Day classic, bake frozen biscuits and fill with slices of country ham. Set out a variety of flavored butter and mustard blends for guests to dress their biscuits. Add in some seafood options with an herbed shrimp dip, made with chopped shrimp, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions and a mix of spices—or perhaps some mini crab cakes. Be sure to finish things off with dessert; try your luck at some cute horseshoe-shaped sugar cookies or a big, gooey chocolatebourbon pecan pie—the quintessential Southern dessert. (See recipe that follows.) Wet everyone’s whistle with some simple but tasty drinks. Combine Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka with lemonade for an instantly delicious cocktail or whip up a large pitcher of sangria. Set out pitchers of lemonade and sweet tea individually for some nonalcoholic options. Mint juleps, the traditional drink of choice at the Kentucky Derby since 1938, are of course a must. Did you know this refreshing cocktail actually originated in Virginia and was popularized in Kentucky? Up this classic’s game by spiking it with a homemade jalapeño simple syrup. To make this, combine a cup of water, a cup of sugar and one jalapeño cut lengthwise over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, steep for 20 minutes, then strain and discard the jalapeño. Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Dress Code and Derby Decor
The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every woman to express her inner Southern Belle with cool and colorful sundresses and of course the big statement piece: the Derby hat. This can be simple or grand, adorned with flowers or feathers— just make sure to have one perched atop your head. Let guests know how formal or informal they should dress. A sit-down meal, for example, would be a little more formal than a backyard party. And men can get just as dressed up as the ladies. Polos and button-downs in pretty pastels paired with plaid or striped pants is a great look for fellas wanting to get decked out. Since Derby headgear is not as popular for men as it is for women, their look can be pulled together with an eye-catching tie or bow tie. Since the Kentucky Derby’s nickname is the “Run for the Roses,” use roses as your go-to decoration. Rose and boxwood topiaries make great centerpieces or tabletop decorations. Fill traditional silver julep cups with red roses for a more small-scale arrangement. Trophy cups can also be used as centerpieces and filled with red roses. Let loose rose petals spill over and scatter them around the table and elsewhere. Hang sparkly gold streamers that will instantly pop when placed near those vibrant red roses. Use brightly colored tablecloths and napkins to tie in the colorful uniforms associated with the jockeys and horses. Hang blue winner’s ribbons along the tables or walls, or use them as place cards with each guest’s name written in the center of the ribbon. Set out mason jars with cute straws for guests to grab and fill with their beverages of choice.
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Games and Activities
The actual race only takes two minutes, so be sure to plan a few games and activities for before and after the main event to keep your guests entertained. Since the ladies will already be asked to wear hats, encourage creativity by offering a prize for best hat. Have guests vote once everyone arrives and award the winner with a homemade pie or bottle of bourbon. Other contests can include “Most Creative Hat” or “Best Dressed.” Before the race starts, write each horse’s name on a piece of paper and place in a hat. Let each guest draw a name out of the hat to cheer for. Give the winning lady a pretty scarf as a prize and the winning fella a cute tie or bow tie. Cash prizes are always a hit, too! If you and your guests are in to betting, create a sheet with a list of the horses’ names and boxes for guests to write in their names. Tell them they can choose however many boxes they want at $2 (or whatever amount you want) per square. Those who bet on the winning horse get to split the pot. Play the song “My Old Kentucky Home” and help guests learn the words and sing along. Set up a game of horseshoes outside that both adults and children can play at their leisure. Create a “Pin the Tail on the Champion” game that would be great for kids as well. Follow these guidelines and you and your guests will feel like you’re truly a part of one of America’s most beloved traditions. Before your guests leave your party, see them off with a Derby party favor. Mini bottles of Maker’s Mark whisky for the men look adorable and are distilled just south of Louisville. For the ladies, leave them with small potted plants of mint so they can go home and make their own juleps. And they’re off!
Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups chopped, toasted pecans and 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels evenly onto the bottom of a refrigerated, pre-made pie crust. In a large saucepan, stir together 1 cup corn syrup, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup of bourbon and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Whisk together 4 eggs, ¼ cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons cornmeal, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Combine with hot corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly, and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed. Cool for about an hour before serving. Adapted from Southern Living
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
n GARDEN HISTORIC GARDEN DAY 3809 Peakland Place
Promenade on Peakland
3852 Peakland Place
4001 Peakland Place
Lynchburg’s Historic Garden Day
Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 200 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during Historic Garden Week, which has come to be known as “America’s Largest Open House.” A beloved Virginia tradition, this 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Locally, Historic Garden Week in Lynchburg will be held Tuesday, April 26, hosted by the Lynchburg Garden Club and the Hillside Garden Club. This walking tour features five private homes along or just off Peakland Place in the historic Boonsboro section of Lynchburg. The houses, all built in the 1920s and 1930s, and their gardens vary in size and formality, with some gardens enjoying years of history while others are in their infancy. As a way of celebrating the Lynchburg Public Library’s 50th anniversary, each home will include an arrangement that interprets the homeowner’s favorite children’s book. Outdoor lectures on beekeeping, growing grapes and harvesting lavender will take place along Peakland Place. Oakwood Country Club will serve as headquarters; also at Oakwood will be painted box lunches by the Lynchburg Art Club (by advance reservation only) and wine tasting by Blenheim Vineyards. Advance tickets are available locally at various locations as well as online; tickets may also be purchased on-site on the day of the tour. Proceeds support the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens and state parks. For more information, check out Historic Garden Week in Lynchburg on Facebook, or visit vagardenweek.org online. Here, HOME offers a sneak peek at what this year’s home and garden tour has to offer.
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3809 Peakland Place Formally named the Kylemore House, this grand Federal-style home is a quintessential Lynchburg residence with a traditional feel and a “white picket fence” garden. Designed by architect Pen Clark of Clark Nexsen, the house was built in 1923 by Alice Aunspaugh Kyle, the founder of the Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs (now known as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Virginia). The Nexsens purchased the home in 1998, embracing the traditional aspects of the home while incorporating their own style. Included in the interior is an extensive portrait collection, art from their many travels, as well as a vast collection by local artists, including Ethel Ferrell, Mrs. Nexsen’s aunt. The front and rear yards represent simple and elegant gardening. Traditional boxwoods and greenery accented with benches, birdhouses and petite statues are nestled throughout the garden. The driveway is lined with crepe myrtles. Mr. and Mrs. W. Randolph Nexsen, owners.
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
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3852 Peakland Place
This classic brick home was built by the Pettyjohn Company in 1932. Over the past 40 years, the owners have transformed their home into a mini-museum, filling it with an extensive collection of traditional and modern art, antiques and Oriental rugs. An extensive portrait collection hangs throughout the house including a painting of Edmund Ruffin, Mrs. Giles’ great-greatgreat-grandfather, who fired the first shot of the Civil War from Charleston to Fort Sumter. Other artists include Taylor Harbison, Seymour Guy, Mary Simms, Annie Massie, Kay Sutherland, Robert Sarsony, Betsy Owen and Peter Williams. A 1895 music box and a doll collection of Mr. Giles’ great aunt Mary Banks Moore is featured in their living room. In 2002, a first-floor master bedroom was added with a vaulted ceiling that overlooks the pool and terraced garden. The gardens were initially designed and maintained by the owners, who are opening their home for Historic Garden Week for the third time. Guests will find a hidden garden, a shade garden, many whimsical statues of children and restful places to sit. Mr. and Mrs. Donald M. Giles, owners.
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Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
3908 Peakland Place Designed by architect Stanhope S. Johnson, this Colonial Revival home was built in 1923. The front entrance is highlighted by the beautiful flat lawn lined with stately boxwoods and accented with a white columned portico. Having lived in the home for nearly 40 years, the owners have renovated the older sections of the home while maintaining the original architectural elements. In 1987, they added a family room, home to their Steinway piano with original ivory keys, as well as their collection of wooden boxes, W. Britain toy soldiers and model ships. Art from local Lynchburg artists and frequent trips to Maine and France fills their home, as do many family antiques. The backyard was designed for elegant evening entertaining with the inclusion of a moon garden of green shrubs, white spring bulbs, a fountain, and a folly. The original shed is now a guest house with espalier pear trees lining one side and a voluminous cutting garden on the other side. Dr. and Mrs. Fox, past President of the Lynchburg Garden Club, are opening their home and guest house for the second time for Historic Garden Week. Dr. and Mrs. Parham R. Fox, owners.
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fresh • local • fantastic Serving Lunch and Dinner Tuesday through Saturday “Lynchburg’s Best Sunday Brunch” www.isabellasitalian.com 4925 Boonsboro Road • 434.385.1660
4001 Peakland Place Built in 1920 by local architect Stanhope S. Johnson, this Mediterranean-style home has a neoclassical architectural flare. Purchased by the McCrarys in 1989, the house stands with its original footprint. With a stucco façade and terracotta tile hip roof, this home includes two symmetrical open masonry brick patios, an original cottage guest house (or depending on the season, Santa’s workshop!), and a child’s playhouse decorated with flags acquired from family travels. Sitting on approximately one acre, the property includes a spacious front and side yard, full of charm and function for a family who loves to be together and entertain friends. Of note is the vegetable garden outside of the guest house, which is surrounded by an antique wroughtiron fence purchased at a local downtown estate shop. Mrs. McCrary, an avid chef, maintains a summer and spring garden bustling with vegetables and herbs. Dr. and Mrs. Morris E. McCrary III, owners. 9 6
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
120 Linden Avenue This classic Colonial Revival home has traditional charm and modern freshness that reflects the homeowners. Designed by Craighill and Cardwell and built in 1929, the home includes exterior and interior architectural details that mirror other signature homes in the Peakland neighborhood. The brick faĂ§ade with gable slate roof, Chinese Chippendale front door, and original interior moldings drew the couple to this home. The interior is decorated with furniture and art collected from the ownerâ€™s time living in the mountains of Colorado, in and around New York City, and upstate New York. The fresh colors coupled with English wallpapers create a contemporary, warm ambiance. The previous homeowners gave the Ainslies the original 1929 landscaping plans designed for the first owner, which hang in the family room. Although the original plantings are no longer intact, the backyard is ideal for outdoor entertaining and family fun. The front yard and driveway are newly redesigned and landscaped to include a traditional 18thcentury Virginian forecourt garden with boxwoods and pea gravel, while also adding functionality for the modern family. Mr. and Mrs. Garth Q. Ainslie, owners.
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n INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Estates & Consignments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Outtasight Window Tinting . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Estates Revisited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Paisley Gifts & Stationery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Ferguson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Pella Windows & Doors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Farmbasket pink lady. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Periodontal Health Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Fink’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 4 Seasons Landscape. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 First Bank and Trust Company. . . . . . . . . . . 83 About Face. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Flint Property Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Accents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Perry Pools and Spas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Pinnacle Cabinetry & Design. . . . . . . . . . . . 53 PIP Printing and Marketing Services. . . . . . . 64
Givens Books and Little Dickens. . . . . . . . . . 64 Access Advisors, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Rainfrost Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Gladiola Girls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Bank of the James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Reliance Title & Settlement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Gordon T. Cudd Construction Inc.. . . . . . . . 31
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. . . . . . . 10 Grand Home Furnishings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Blanchette Orthodontics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Head and Neck Surgery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Blickenstaff & Company Realtors. . . . . . . . . 45 Interiors by Moyanne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Bowen Jewelry Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Isabella’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Boxley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Riley Dental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 RM Gantt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Select Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Simply Clean by Stacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
James River Day School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Southern Air. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
James T. Davis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Southern Landscape Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Judy Frantz, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Spectrum Stone Designs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Karen Hall, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Taqueria Tradicional. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Kevin S. Midkiff, DDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Terrell E. Moseley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Lauren Bell, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Art Box. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Buy Local Lynchburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Capps Home Building Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Centra Senior Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital. . . . . . . . . 6 Central Virginia Orthodontics . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics of Lynchburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Lawn Doctor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Cindy Bryant (Mary Kay) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Liberty Christian Academy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
CLC Incorporated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and Cantina. . . . . . . 76
CMC Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Lou’s Auto Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Cornerstone Cabinets & Design. . . . . . . . . 77
Lynchburg City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Coulson Builders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Lynchburg Retail Merchants Association . . . 64
Curtains, Blinds & Bath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Meals on Wheels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Daniele Mason, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Member One Federal Credit Union. . . . . . . . 73
Davidson & Garrard, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Merry Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Decorating Den Interiors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Nadine Blakely, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Dermatology Consultants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
National Pools of Roanoke, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . 12
Willis Landscaping, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Divine Designs and Delights. . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Next Time Consignment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Wired Up Electrical. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Embrace Home Loans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Outtasight Truck Wraps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Zoës Kitchen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
The Columns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 The Corner at Rivermont. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Summit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 The Vinyl Porch Rail Company. . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Timberlake Christian Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Virginia Commonwealth Games. . . . . . . . . . 80 Virginia Garden Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Wellington Builders, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Westminster Canterbury. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Central Virginia HOME Spring 2016
Make Your Back door The Entrance to your personal paradise.
Turn your back yard into the perfect place to escape & recharge. Make this the year you transform your back yard into the paradise youâ€™ve always dreamed of. Our national award-winning team can help you explore an array of exciting possibilities. Whether you are interested in an elegant patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, pool, hot tub, pergola or complete outdoor living space, weâ€™ll make the back yard your new favorite escape.
Call us at 434.821.6004 or on the web at www.soscapes.com for a consultation.
Published on Apr 4, 2016