HOME CENTRAL VIRGINIA
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As one of only seven ICAA Certified Commercial Building Insulation Contractors in the nation, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. We stay up-to-date on the latest building science advancements. We also have RESNET Certified Home Energy Raters on staff, ready to analyze a home’s energy performance.
*Source: Home Innovation Research Labs Builder Panel, April 2019. †See actual warranty for complete details, limitations and requirements. For the lifetime of the Home beginning from date of installation by an Owens Corning® Certified Energy Expert®. THE PINK PANTHER™ & © 1964–2020 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. Toler Insulating is an independent contractor and is not an affiliate of Owens Corning Insulating Systems, LLC or its affiliated companies. The color PINK is a registered trademark of Owens Corning. Owens Corning Insulating Systems, LLC is a manufacturer of durable, high-quality fiberglass products and does not sell or endorse other insulation industry products.
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Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
CONTENTS Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
STAY COOL WITH A POOL Budget and plan for a swimming pool
A FAMILY STORY Collections showcase familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passions in updated Colonial
BY CHRISTY RIPPEL
BY CARTER HEALD BENDALL
COLOR YOUR WORLD Hot paint colors for 2021 and where to use them BY KENDALL ATKINS LIVICK
LOVE THE LOWER LEVEL Basement renovations create more space for fun
BY JANE RENNYSON
Cover photo by Michael Patch
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HOME Magazine
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E A R LY S PR I NG 2021
20 THE WARMTH OF WOOD
Incorporate wood accents for custom interiors BY RORY RHODES
28 STYLE YOUR SOFA
Local designers show us how 87 MIRROR MAGIC
Add style and dimension to any space
BY AMELIA POORE
46 LAUNDRY TIPS
Special care for winter home textiles BY KATE ERICCSON
58 CUT THE CORD
Watch your favorite shows without cable BY PAULA PETERS CHAMBERS
83 COZY UP OUTSIDE
All you need to know about outdoor heaters
BY MARGIE LIPPARD
24 BRING ON SPRING!
Forcing blooms brings nature, color inside BY BECKY CALVERT
80 FOLIAGE FANCY
Houseplants for every interior BY MITZI BIBLE
41 PLANT-BASED PROTEINS
Ideas for meatless meals BY SLOANE LUCAS
74 COMFORT FOOD FOR TWO (OR MORE)
Individual servings make easy, cozy dinners BY MARSHA GALE
74 Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
C U S TO M I Z E Y O U R L I F E .
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Start the Conversation by Requesting a Brochure Call Laura Hunter at (434) 386-3305
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Request a Brochure or visit us online to learn how you can plan your
EDITOR’S note I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, mostly because the minute I set one, I hate it. But if 2020 taught me anything, it’s that setting an intention is a better way to go. Intentions are more forgiving; they can be set anew each day, or month, or season, giving shape or purpose to uncertain times. As 2020 wore on and on, I found myself setting daily intentions in the form of daily to-do lists, including even the mundane, writing down simple things as a way to make them count amidst the tedium. “Finish folding laundry. Plan next three meals. Purge hall closet.” What was a coping tactic gave me new appreciation not only for time management but for my home and the activities that make it function. You’ll find lots of ideas for setting your own intentions at home in this issue of HOME. If you’re looking for a mood boost (who isn’t, at this point?), check out our feature on trending paint colors and the effects they can have on our moods. Another idea: You may think your garden is sleeping, but our article on forcing blooms will show you which branches can be snipped now and brought indoors for an early-spring boost of color. Or the simple act of buying a new houseplant you read about here might give your space just the shot of life it needs. Considering making a commitment to healthier eating, even just one day a week? (Notice I did not say “resolution;” it is February, after all!) We explore options for meatless proteins; it’s easier than you think to embrace Meatless Monday. Perhaps your intentions involve accomplishing chores, being productive. Our article on laundering winter textiles will help
as spring beckons and you’ll put away those wool blankets and down comforters. Or maybe you want to cut your astronomical cable bills; our article on navigating the world of streaming may help you cut those costs and possibly discover some new shows in the process. A couple of things (in addition to toilet paper) became very dear in 2020, chief among them, swimming pools and outdoor heaters. While one may have a long lead time and the other may or may not be sold out, learning about both will inspire you to consider ways to enjoy your outdoor space at home. You’ll find all of this and more in this issue of HOME, as we continue to stay close to home and navigate our way out of this global pandemic. Keep the faith!
Thanks for reading! Meridith Ingram email@example.com
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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Total Home Comfort
HOME CENTRAL VIRGINIA
VOLUME 15 ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER Julie Pierce EDITOR Meridith Ingram ART DIRECTOR Edwana Coleman
Fast, Prompt Heating & Cooling Services 100% No-risk Guarantee on Everything We Do!
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Carter Heald Bendall Mitzi Bible Becky Calvert Paula Peters Chambers Kate Ericcson Marsha Gale Margie Lippard Kendall Atkins Livick Sloane Lucas Amelia Poore Jane Rennyson Rory Rhodes Christy Rippel PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Patch
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GRAPHIC DESIGNER Donna Collins OPERATIONS MANAGER Marianne Schatvet ADVERTISING SALES Kirsten Morey Becker Julia Belvin Julie Pierce Anne Marie Poore
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Central Virginia HOME is published five times annually by West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. For an annual subscription, please send $20 and your name, address and telephone number to: Central Virginia HOME 2003 Graves Mill Road, Suite B, Forest, VA 24551 For advertising information please call (434) 386-5667 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss coverage of an event relating to home or garden, please contact Central Virginia HOME at email@example.com.
Specializing in Color, Brazilian Blowout, Cuts and Perms Laura Spriggs-Moore - Stylist/Owner Shelli Macheras - Stylist Roberta Colinger - Stylist/Manicurist Debbie Glass - Stylist Offering Neora Anti-Aging and Holistic Products | lauraspriggsmoore.Neora.com Skin Care • Wellness • Hair Care • Weight Management
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WEST WILLOW PUBLISHING GROUP, LLC (434) 386-5667 westwillowpublishing.com Copyright 2021 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 Early Spring 2021
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YOUR LYNCHBURG MOTHERDAUGHTER REAL ESTATE TEAM. TOGETHER WE GET IT SOLD!
JANE BLICKENSTAFF: 434.660.3773 firstname.lastname@example.org • janeblickenstaff.net
KATE BLICKENSTAFF POATS: 434.258.1400 email@example.com • katepoats.com • @liveinlynchburg
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DESIGN wood accents
THE WARMTH OF WOOD add custom style to home interiors BY RORY RHODE S
Wood features have warmed our homes for centuries. Whether log walls or ornate paneling, plank or polished hardwood floors, utilitarian or intricately carved furnishings, the mellow richness of wood enhances our interiors. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more than accustomed to wood flooring and furniture, but there are other ways to use wood accents in your home design. Adding a wood architectural element can create a pleasing focal point which adds distinctive style to your home. 2 0
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Traditional wainscoting in the form of raised panel, tongue and groove, and board and batten adds a delightful custom touch to any home and works with a variety of decor styles, from traditional to farmhouse to Arts and Crafts. In recent years, shiplap, with its long horizontal planks, has been a hot trend for accent walls. Beyond these staples, there are new ways to think about old favorites. Try imparting a modern feel by going big. A grid of large wooden squares or oversized rectangular panels is a stunning design element, but make sure your space is large enough so that the design isn’t overpowering or out of scale with the rest of the room. Framing
You can also use wood to delineate spaces and frame out architectural details. A wide entry between rooms can be highlighted with wood beams instead of standard molding. If your home has load-bearing components such as lintels or columns, covering them in an eye-catching wood cladding can turn a necessity into a feature. It’s a good trick to warm up a finished basement, which can sometimes seem a bit sterile without natural light. Offset the richness of the wood with crisp white walls for a thoroughly bright and inviting space. Don’t forget to watch where you walk. Homes with step-downs between rooms can benefit from a wood detail on the transition. Any potentially awkward architectural features can be turned into a focal point with the addition of a custom wood detail. Ceiling
Wood ceiling beams can really set the tone in the right room. But be careful: Unless your home is on the National Register of Historic Places, heavy beams on a standard 8-foot ceiling are likely going to feel oppressive and out of place. Save this feature for large, airy rooms with good light and high or vaulted ceilings, where their weight will help ground a soaring space. This look pairs particularly well with contrasting textures, such as a fireplace of stone or exposed brick. Fireplace
A chunky length of reclaimed or rough-finished wood makes a pleasing mantel, and is an attractive way to delineate the space between fireplace and a wall-mounted TV. If you have wall space on either side of the hearth, consider adding thick floating wood shelves to frame the fireplace and provide a venue for objets d’art. Room divider
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partial wooden screen. The key to making this look fabulous versus dated is to stick to clean, bold lines and shapes. Keep the same pattern going from floor to ceiling, and choose a design that allows light to pass through and a view to the other side. Think of this kind of room divider as a statement piece as much as an architectural element. Kitchen
If your kitchen has stained wood cabinetry, offsetting it with other finishes such as stainless steel and natural stone will keep it aesthetically balanced. But if your cabinets are white or another painted color, wood accents add an inviting touch. Consider pairing painted cabinetry with butcher block counters or wood panels around an island. Open shelving made of thick wood slabs is a stylish counterpoint against a tiled backsplash. A range hood clad in reclaimed lumber adds an unexpected detail.
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Door + Stairs
For a midcentury welcome, jazz up a plain front door by adding fretwork. Make a statement on your staircase by replacing a traditional balustrade with floor-to-ceiling vertical wooden posts. Keep the lines clean and geometric for maximum “wow” effect. The best part about custom wood details (besides their design impact) is how well they can be incorporated into a variety of decors. Traditional dwellings gain a sense of opulence and luster from detailed millwork. Cottage and farmhouse spaces gain charm through horizontal planks and reclaimed or rustic wood accents. Midcentury digs can up their energy with geometric details and shapes. Modern homes with sleek lines and concrete flooring are warmed by organic wood elements. Whichever style is yours, there’s a wood accent waiting to bring your space to life. ✦
You deserve the kitchen of your dreams. Let us craft one for you. 540.586.6763 | 434.616.2666 | 3678 Moneta Road | Bedford, Va. 25423
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GARDEN early-spring blooms
bring early spring inside B Y B E C K Y C A LV E R T
With most plants sitting dormant this time of year, the winter months can be short on freshly cut garden flowers to add a burst of color to your home. Thankfully, in a process known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;forcing,â&#x20AC;? you can remedy this while also addressing some of your late-winter pruning. Many spring-blooming trees and shrubs set their flower buds during the previous growing season. After six to eight weeks of cold temperatures (generally below 40 degrees), the blooms are ready to move out of dormancy with just a little push of warmth and moisture. By bringing branches trimmed from these early bloomers indoors, you can force them to bloom earlier than they would on their own outdoors with just a little bit of effort. 2 4
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Branches that are a half-inch or less in width are best suited to forcing. To start, you’ll need sharp hand pruners. The process is best done on milder days when the temperatures are above freezing. While you’re out there, don’t forget to trim off the old and dead wood; this is a great opportunity to get your pruning done. Select branches with a large number of flower buds; these are usually the younger branches. Flower buds can be easily confused with leaf buds, but keep in mind flower buds are larger and rounder than leaf buds. You can always gently open the buds to look for the various flower and leaf parts to confirm what’s what. Cut the branches longer than they need to be; you’ll be trimming them again once inside, and should continue to trim them as needed to keep them fresher longer. Cut a few more than you think you’ll need, as not all the branches will necessarily burst forth in flowers. Bring your branches inside and place them in water; somewhere around room temperature is good. It used to be suggested that smashing the ends of the branches helped them absorb more water, but that practice isn’t helpful if they are too damaged. Instead, after ensuring your branches are cut at a 45-degree angle, make a slit about an inch long in the bottom of the stem, which helps them take up the necessary water. Be sure to remove the lateral branches that could touch water, so the main stem can focus on
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FASHION FOR YOU 16940 Forest Road in Forest | 434-525-7503
Annuals H Perennials H House Plants Herbs H Shrubs H Trees H Pots H Planters Statuary H Benches H Trellises & More... visit us on facebook for specials & events 4614 BOONSBORO ROAD (434) 384-2441 26
blooming. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to be out of direct sunlight, with a daily misting and water changed every two to three days to ensure freshness. You can keep the stems in a bucket in a cool room until they start to open up. Then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to bring them in and put them on display, where you can watch the blooming process over the weeks it takes them to open. The list of what you can force to bloom is long and changes every few weeks, making the practice one to do with everything growing in your yard. Cut various branches at various times for a succession of blooms and color until warmth is here to stay! Branches to bring indoors into February include forsythia, witch hazel, cherry, Cornelia cherry, Bradford pear, fothergilla, red maple, quince, serviceberry, willow, apple and crabapple, dogwood, magnolia, azalea and rhododendron. As the calendar drifts into March, lilac, oak and mock orange join the list of excellent candidates for forcing inside. Some plants take longer than others to bloom. Forsythia can generally be forced to bloom in about a week, while dogwoods can take up to five weeks. If the blooms do not appear to be getting larger, you can always cut a few more and try again. The secret is to not let them get above 70 degrees while also keeping them moist. These little bits of early spring can be used dramatically inside in a variety of vases and arrangements, but keep in mind Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
that the blooms will add a bit of weight to the branches. You’ll want your vases to keep the arrangement anchored. Generally, the rule of thumb for flower arrangements is a ratio of two to one, where the arrangement is twice as tall (and wide) as your base. You don’t have to follow that rule precisely, but make sure the balance is there so that the arrangement is pleasing to the eye. Flowering branches have a slightly wild appearance to them, so they are a case of “less is more.” Plan on about three to five stems per vessel for maximum punch.
FLOWERING BRANCHES HAVE A SLIGHTLY WILD APPEARANCE TO THEM, SO THEY ARE A CASE OF “LESS IS MORE.” PLAN ON ABOUT THREE TO FIVE STEMS PER VESSEL FOR MAXIMUM PUNCH.
With the sweet reward of early spring flowers, the process of forcing blooms to open is an easy one that also gives gardeners an excuse to wander their gardens on those sunny but chilly days. And what gardener doesn’t love both those ideas? ✦
1032 ELK COURT, FOREST VA
Exquisite Custom Home with Exceptional Main Level Living 6,000+ Sq Ft | 7.8 Acre Corner Lot
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DESIGN sofa styling
LOCAL DESIGNERS SHARE TIPS ON STYLING YOUR SEATING What happens when you take a neutral sofa in a lush fabric and pile it with pillows? That depends! You can achieve a variety of looks depending upon the pillows and other accessories you use on and around it. Here, local designers show us how to style a sofa for maximum comfort and flair, and HOME staff take what they learned and try their hands at the styling fun as well.
PATTERNS, TEXTURE AND A TOUCH OF WHIMSY
Mady Greer and Ashley Hilbish of Curtains, Blinds and Bath suggest applying the same design ruleof-threes to your sofa that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d apply to styling other areas of your home. Here, the odd number of pillows in varying heights, shapes and textures makes for a pleasing arrangement. They also suggest that mixing patterns and textures with consistent colors works best. A bird print, a customizable zip code pillow and oversized tassel trim all add a sense of whimsy in their design. A burnt orange wool and acrylic throw, available in multiple colors, adds a shot of color and a cozy vibe. Greer and Hilbish also suggest determining if you want the look of down- or fiber-filled pillows; the pillows featured here have fiber inserts which provide more structure than down. They say that for maximum fullness, pillow inserts should be two inches larger than the covers. 2 8
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Oversized plush ivory pillows with down inserts make the perfect backdrop for embroidered pillows featuring a smoke-colored leather welt in this design by Lia Melder of Reid’s Fine Furnishings’ Lynchburg design studio. “Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns and textures,” advises Melder. She says that if you want to play it safe, however, you can always pair a textured neutral with a pattern. A bamboo throw threaded with various tones of gray offers additional color and texture, while a pair of drinks tables by Charleston Forge keeps refreshments within reach.
BRIGHT NOTES OF COLOR
According to Kathy Potts of Decorating Den Interiors, “The more pillows the better on any sofa!” Here, pattern play adds a sense of fun, including a down-filled velvet pillow for texture, a fresh geometric for visual interest, and a linen floral lumbar for variety. She suggests grouping pillows in threes, including a mix of a solid, textured pillow, a large-scale print and a smaller-scale print, with a common color tying it all together. A casual fleece in a bright blue keeps the early-spring chill at bay.
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EMBRACE THE MONOCHROMATIC
A monochromatic color scheme from High Cotton Fine Home Furnishings and Gifts is another option for a sophisticated yet fun look. Embroidered tone-on-tone linen square pillows are the backdrop for handstitched, painted burlap oblong pillows that act as a focal point. A charcoal throw in a dotted-patterned, 100 percent-cotton adds depth and movement to the palette.
Taking a tip from the experts, HOME decided to place a pair of pillows on either end of the sofa for a balanced look, with the contrasting but complementary styles making a statement. A traditional linen floral pops when paired with a deep burnout velvet damask. A cozy but elegant throw in 100 percent cotton adds another bright note of color and an extra element of softness.
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
PLAYING WITH TEXTURE
HOME created a look focused on incorporating a variety of textures. Velvet pillows with a contemporary animal-print-vibe offer pattern and texture in one, while embroidered linen pillows with an ivory flange bring a touch of the traditional. The fifth pillow, in a soft faux fur, brings in that odd-number magic. A wool throw in shades of taupe, burnt orange and aubergine adds notes of color to this easy neutral palette. ✦
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HOME premier profile 2021
5 WAYS DESIGN SERVICES Can Bring Your Vision for Your Home to Life
Have you ever walked into a furniture or home store and suddenly felt completely overwhelmed? Do you have a vision for how you want your space to look, but you don’t have the first clue about where to start? Whether you are simply interested in sprucing up your living room, or gearing up for a total home makeover, working with a designer could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches! Here are five ways that a professional can help:
1 2 3
A DESIGNER CAN NARROW DOWN YOUR OPTIONS BASED ON YOUR STYLE AND NEEDS. Selecting pieces for your home doesn’t have to be stressful—in fact, it should be fun!
PICKING COLORS CAN BE MORE DIFFICULT THAN YOU THINK—BUT A PROFESSIONAL WILL TAKE OUT THE GUESSWORK! A good designer has a broad knowledge of color science (yes, it is an actual science) and can help you determine what colors will work best in your home.
DESIGNERS CAN DETERMINE THE BEST LAYOUT FOR THE PIECES IN YOUR SPACE, SO YOU CAN STOP STRUGGLING WITH YOUR TAPE MEASURE. A designer will know how to measure the space needed for each type of piece, so you don’t have to worry about how things will fit. You can just sit back, relax, and let the professional do all the math!
IN TODAY’S GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE IF A PIECE IS OF GOOD QUALITY; BUT A DESIGNER HAS THE KNOWLEDGE TO SAVE YOU FROM SUBSTANDARD BUYS. A designer knows how to recognize good construction and quality materials. Your investment will go a much longer way when you buy well-made pieces.
A FRESH PERSPECTIVE FROM A PROFESSIONAL COULD PROVIDE AMAZING IDEAS YOU HAVEN’T EVEN CONSIDERED. A designer can inspire you to get creative with your home while still remaining true to your personality. Why settle for a space that is simply functional, when you could have a home that excites and inspires you?
Maybe you agree that working with a designer would help you, but there is still the issue of spending the money to hire a professional. Home improvements are already costly enough! At Reid’s Fine Furnishings, we believe that design services should be easily accessible to all our customers. That is why working with our designers is complimentary with any purchase through our showroom or design studio. You heard that right—design fees are completely waived with any purchase. Simply give us a call or stop by our Roanoke showroom to meet with a designer and learn more! The home of your dreams is right at your fingertips!
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WITH YOUR OWN POOL
PROJECT: NATIONAL POOLS
PLAN FOR A POOL THAT FITS YOUR FAMILY AND BUDGET BY CHRIST Y RIPPEL
hen the hot days hit, it’s heavenly to have a backyard oasis—a spot to take a dip, catch some sun, swim some laps or cannonball into the deep end. Pools today have more available features than ever before, to suit a variety of budgets and lifestyles. If you’re considering adding one to your property, some careful thought about how you’ll use it now and in the future will ensure that your pool functions well for your family for years to come.
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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R E A L T O R ®
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“The pandemic has created a situation where a lot of people are spending money at home, on their home,” says Wayne Melancon of Land Tech, a pool and landscaping company in Lynchburg. “Staycation backyard projects are the thing right now.” Jason Vaughan, vice president of sales and new construction for National Pools in Roanoke, says his company has had the same uptick in requests. “COVID has created a backlog we have never seen in 43 years in business,” he says. “We are running on close to a year-long backlog, when typically the process from initial consultation takes a couple of months, and most pool projects take around three to four months to complete once construction has started.” While COVID-19 has upped the demand for pools and backyard recreation areas, the appeal of a pool extends beyond the current era of social distancing. Read on for advice on what to consider, and how to plan for your own pool installation. What’s your budget?
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In-ground pools are an expensive endeavor, any way you cut it. According to Homeguide.com, the average cost of a pool is $35,000, with most people paying between $28,000 and $55,000, depending on the type of pool and degree of customization. A larger concrete pool can cost $60,000 or more, and that cost often does not include related expenses,
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such as landscaping, hardscaping, fencing and pool accessories, like covers and automatic pool cleaners. There can also be additional site-specific costs. “If access to the property is limited, or the site is very sloped, it can increase the budget dramatically,” says Vaughan. “There have been very few sites that we’ve seen where a pool cannot be built; it’s just a question of whether the budget will allow it if things like retaining walls have to be constructed.” As for obtaining a design for your pool, you have two options: Hire an architect to create your pool and have a pool company execute the vision, or hire a design/build pool company to do both. Typically, the design/build route will save on your budget, as design cost is included in the price, but an architect will incur a separate fee. However, both an architect and pool company will likely provide a free on-site visit to discuss your property and the feasibility of your pool dreams. Types of in-ground pools
There are three main types of in-ground pools: vinyl-lined, fiberglass and concrete/gunite. Typically, vinyl-lined are the least expensive to install, followed by fiberglass, and then concrete/ PROJECT: NATIONAL POOLS
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gunite. A vinyl pool has a custom-made sheet of vinyl between the water and the pool structure, and this liner must be replaced every six to 12 years. Heat, weather changes, and how well you care for the pool will impact the longevity; plan about $4,000 for a new liner. However, a vinyl pool is not as porous as the plaster finish on a concrete pool, which means vinyl-lined pools use less chemicals, and therefore your chemical costs may be lower by approximately 25 percent. A fiberglass pool has a higher initial cost than a vinyl-lined pool, but wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t incur the maintenance costs of a new liner down the road. Fiberglass pools are a one-piece shell constructed offsite. They cannot be customized, which is a drawback, but are available in many shapes and sizes. The material is durable and non-porous, and the look of a fiberglass pool has come a long way since the initial models decades agoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which critics said resembled oversized bathtubs. Colored finishes, spas, water features and other options are now available for fiberglass pools. The traditional high-end pool is a concrete/gunite pool. Gunite is pneumatically applied concrete, which means it is pumped through a hose at high velocity, creating a material that is stronger than traditional cast-in-place concrete. Gunite has been used in swimming pool construction for more than 40 years, and is the only type of pool that both Land Tech and Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
National Pools install. “It’s the best product on the market from a longevity standpoint,” Melancon says. “If you go back in history and look at the pools of the Egyptians, they were concrete.” A concrete pool is constructed by pouring concrete over steel rods to create the shell of the pool, which is then finished with other materials, such as plaster. A concrete pool is fully customizable in shape and size to fit your property. A concrete pool requires more maintenance than fiberglass, but can last 50 years or more with proper care, including cleaning and attention to chemical maintenance. A concrete pool will need to be resurfaced approximately 10 to 15 years after installation, which can cost $10,000 or more, depending on pool size. Typically, tile at the water line is replaced during this process as well. You may have to consult with several pool companies to explore the options, as many specialize in only one type of pool and may not be able to give you a balanced assessment of each. Features to consider
If you live in Florida or Texas, you may not need a pool heater, but in Virginia, most pool owners want to invest in one in order
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to enjoy a longer pool season, notes Melancon. “Homeowners are asking for more options now than they once did, like automation for lights and such, robotic cleaning and salt chlorination,” Melancon says. Like many things in your home, such as lighting and security systems, some pool features like lights and waterfalls can be app-controlled via a phone or tablet. Think carefully about how you’ll use your pool. Do you have young children who want to cannonball off a diving board? Is a slide a must have? What about space for a basketball goal, volleyball net or room to swim laps? If a diving board is on your list, you’ll need a pool with a diving well, approximately 8 feet deep. This can increase the cost of the pool construction, and it’s wise to check with your homeowner’s insurance first, as there can be a fee increase for a diving board. “We’re about 50/50 on the pools we install ... some people are fine with a more shallow pool and find that you can use more of the pool that way, and others that are more old-school and want the diving board,” Melancon says. A sun shelf or tanning ledge is a popular pool feature now, which allows for chairs to sit in the pool, and many homeowners
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want to incorporate seating areas, like benches, within the pool for relaxing instead of active swimming. “A sun shelf or tanning ledge we probably incorporate in 75 percent of the pools we build now,” says Vaughan. “In addition to putting chairs there, young kids or babies can play in that shallow space.” Last year Melancon did a beach entry (also called a zero-depth entry pool) for a homeowner with a disability, so he could roll his wheelchair right to the pool. This feature would also be a plus for an older homeowner, or following a surgery. A zerodepth entry also creates a beach-like area for young children to play. If you don’t have young children anymore, will you have grandchildren in the future? Think about how you’ll use the pool now, but also in 10 years, or 15 years. The options are limitless, if the budget allows. Waterfalls, lights, attached or separate spas, and hardscape areas can create the custom look you desire. Rules and permits
If you select a reputable pool company or architect, they will know how to navigate the permitting process in your county and area. Melancon says that in Central Virginia,
inspectors and municipalities have been easy to work with, but there are certain restrictions to follow. For example, in Bedford you must stay 20 feet off of any septic tank. There’s also a state code regarding a safety barrier around the pool, which is usually a fence. In some instances, a power safety cover is sufficient, but it depends on the locality. Again, your pool contractor can give you the most updated guidance regarding your area. In addition, you’ll need to check with your homeowner’s association for any additional stipulations, as well as your homeowner’s insurance carrier, to prevent any last minute surprises. When making such a large investment in your property, you’ll want to think ahead to consider your budget, available options, and desires. Also be aware that pools don’t recoup most of the cost in resale, and whether or not it’s a desirable home feature depends on the buyer. Some are thrilled about a pool while others will bypass the property because of it. Most homeowners who invest in one are doing it for personal enjoyment and family fun; the real value is in the memories made around the pool deck. ✦
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LIVE plant-based proteins
PLANT-BASED POWER PROTEINS FOR MEATLESS MEALS
BY S LOA N E LU C A S
ave you heard about the latest food trend? Meatless Mondays have gone mainstream. According to Vegetarian Times, some 22.8 million people in the United States are eating a “vegetarian-inclined” diet, meaning they are eating more meatless (and chickenless, and fishless) meals. There’s even a new generation of plant-based burgers available at fast food restaurants and plant-based sausages at pizza chains, and they’re so similar to beef that people often can’t tell the difference.
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There are usually three reasons people cite for choosing to go meatless: respect for animals, preservation of resources for the environment, and health concerns over consuming animal meat and byproducts. However, there are some differences worth noting. Here are some common definitions that might help navigate a plant-based culinary journey. VEGAN: The term vegan is reserved for those who don’t eat anything that derives from animals. This includes any meat from any animal (land or sea) or byproducts, such as eggs. Vegans also don’t drink (or eat cheese made from) animal-derived milk, believing that baby cows are the only animals that should be drinking their mothers’ milk. Vegans will also often not eat honey, since that’s supposed to be for the hard-working bees who make it. VEGETARIAN: Vegetarians will not eat anything that involves killing an animal, so they will eat eggs, milk, and cheese, but nothing that was alive. (Truly committed vegans and vegetarians will also not wear or use leather, silk or other products for which animals are killed.) PLANT-BASED: Usually this indicates a fully plant-based diet, without any animal meat or byproducts, but is also often used as a term for people who choose this path for health reasons. WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED (WFPB): A more regimented form of plant-based diet, someone on a WFPB diet would avoid processed foods and would instead cook from scratch using unprocessed ingredients. So, while a vegan or vegetarian might embrace Beyond burgers, a WFPB dieter would make a black bean burger from scratch. Many WFPB diets also decline to use oil, which is considered by some to be a processed food. PLANT-FORWARD OR FLEXITARIAN: A diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, grains and other non-animal foods, but also a diet that might include animal-derived foods. 42
One question everyone seems to ask about meatless meals: “But what about protein?” Don’t worry. According to Mayo Clinic, people are eating almost twice as much protein as they need. Adult men need about 56 grams a day while adult women need about 46 grams a day—and all of that can be obtained through plant-based options, including grains, beans and, yes, even vegetables. Making vegetables and plant-based proteins the star of your culinary show provides for amazingly delicious meals that are also fiberrich and nutrient-dense. Interested in trying some plant-based proteins that are easy on the wallet and fun to cook? Here’s a rundown of options available right in your neighborhood supermarket. Tofu
Tofu is the grand dame of all plant-based proteins. Its origins date back to 2,000 BC, and it is a staple of multiple cultures across Asia. One rather illustrative way to describe tofu is as fresh soybean cheese, when soybeans are processed into soymilk, which is then curdled. It comes ready-to-cook in a range of forms, from silken, which is the softest form, to super firm, which is a dense block that resembles Indian paneer cheese, Mexican queso fresco, or farmers cheese. Some tofu, like firm or extra firm, will benefit from being pressed to remove excess water. You
can buy a fancy tofu press for this, or just put it on a plate lined with paper towels and put a cast iron pan (or something similarly heavy) on top, to squeeze out extra moisture. Because it’s a blank slate, tofu can be dressed up in countless ways. Silken tofu can be the base of sweet puddings and pies or savory dips and sauces. Harder forms can be cubed, marinated, sautéed, grilled, or used as a substitute for paneer in Indian dishes. You can even scramble tofu for an eggless breakfast burrito. Different types of tofu provide different amounts of protein, from silken tofu, which is about 4 grams per 3-ounce serving, to super firm, which provides 11 grams per 3-ounce serving. You can even buy protein-enriched tofu which can reach 14 grams per 3-ounce serving. (It offers additional calorie benefits over its competitors as well. A ½-cup serving of firm tofu contains 94 calories, while a comparable amount of ground beef contains 331 calories.) Due to the relatively low carbohydrate count, this is also suitable for people on a low-carb diet. Alternative non-soy tofu
Because soy is a top-eight allergen, some companies have been creating and marketing niche versions of soy-free tofu. One of the more popular ones is Pumfu, made from pumpkin seeds. This is really hard to find, so you will likely need to order online. Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Tempeh is another soy-based product that also has a storied history, thought to have originated in Indonesia several centuries ago. Tempeh is very different from its cousin, tofu, in that it’s far less processed. Essentially, tempeh is soybeans pressed together to form a dense block, then fermented. It doesn’t have a pickled taste though; it can be very neutral, with a slight nutty taste, and can absorb myriad flavors based on what you are cooking. It is also sometimes made with added grains. Tempeh can be cooked right out of the package, but will have a strong, earthy taste. For more neutral results, steam it before using in recipes. Because of the low carbohydrate count, it’s also suitable for people on a low-carb diet. Tempeh provides about 16 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving.
in fat, and it’s almost all protein, making it suitable for a low-carb diet. Depending on how you spice and season it, you can make all sorts of mock meats, including gyros, corned “beef,” and faux-chicken. The easiest way to make your own is to buy vital wheat gluten and season accordingly before you add wet ingredients, form into a loaf, and steam. Then, you can grill, sauté or pan-fry for a multitude of recipes. You can get some ideas for basic recipes from cookbooks and websites. However, you can also buy readyto-cook brands like Upton and Field Roast at the grocery store. Seitan made with 1 ounce of vital wheat gluten provides a whopping 21 grams of protein. Storebought will have higher fat content and calories, but will also be high in protein.
MAKING VEGETABLES AND PLANT-BASED PROTEINS THE STAR OF YOUR CULINARY SHOW PROVIDES FOR AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS MEALS THAT ARE ALSO FIBER-RICH AND NUTRIENT-DENSE.
Beyond vs. Impossible Seitan
This is a gluten-based protein that aficionados and fans have immeasurable fun cooking from scratch and experimenting with. The base for this is wheat gluten—ergo, wholly unsuitable for someone with celiac or gluten intolerance, but fantastic for people with a soy allergy. Seitan is made by making a dense dough of vital wheat gluten, water or stock, and whatever herbs, spices and seasonings you prefer. It’s extremely low
First there was Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Now there’s Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. These two competitors go head-to-head in both consumer and commercial competition, in that you can buy both in supermarkets or order them off popular restaurant menus, like Impossible Whoppers at Burger King and Beyond sausage on Pizza Hut pizzas. Both of them make products that can easily stand in for ground beef in recipes as diverse as
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burgers and meatloaf to shepherd’s pie and tacos. And they also offer options like bratwurst, Italian sausages, and breakfast sausages. Their products are so similar to beef, pork and chicken; some people really can’t tell the difference. They are, however, very different in composition. Beyond is soy-free, and mostly pea-based, deriving its red meat-like hue from beets. Impossible is made with soy protein, so, unfortunately, it’s not suitable for people with soy allergies. Impossible derives a beef-like flavor from “heme,” a protein the company makes from fermented soybeans. Because FDA required Impossible to test its heme ingredient on animals before releasing to the public, many vegans eschew this brand, so it is generally considered vegetarian instead of vegan. However, the ingredients are vegan. Per 4-ounce serving, Impossible has 19 grams of protein and Beyond has 18 grams of protein. However, they also come with fat and sodium. So if you are going meat-free for health reasons, these may not be the best option for you.
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If you want ease of use, head to the freezer section of your local supermarket. Some longstanding brands have provided shoppers with fantastic options way before Beyond and Impossible emerged on the scene. Morningstar Farms and Gardein can be found in almost every supermarket freezer section and offer everything from faux-meatballs to “bacon” strips to “chick’n” nuggets. Whatever plant-based protein you choose, have fun and experiment. Buy some plant-based cookbooks, search for creative recipes online, search the product websites for recipe ideas, or simply sub in something like Beyond meat for ground beef in a favorite recipe. It’s easy and fun to incorporate some plant-based power into your everyday meals. ✦ Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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IMPROVE laundry tips
LAUNDRY TIPS FOR ITEMS THAT KEEP US TOASTY B Y K AT E E R I C S S O N
My high school years were spent in Ohio where my family lived in an old, drafty house. If I ever complained about being cold, I was told to “put another layer on.” This might consist of another wool sweater or knitted throw or blanket. My grandmother knit all of her grandchildren beautiful sweaters in Scandinavian patterns, and my mother knit and crocheted blankets. In the spring, my mother enlisted my help laundering all these woolens. We’d fill up a sink or tub with cool water, add Woolite, and let them soak. Then we’d rinse them, roll them in towels, let them dry on radiators, then tuck them away in a chest with moth balls. 4 6
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
The winter textiles around your home that keep you warm and toasty need a little TLC too before packing them away for the season. While it is always important to check laundering labels, unless something specifically says “dry clean only,” many of your cozy home items—blankets, throws and comforters—can be cleaned safely and inexpensively at home or at a laundromat. Annual end-of-season laundering will help keep these textiles in good shape. Avoid top-loading machines with agitators, as they twist large items and result in lumpiness before the drying process can occur. Cotton, fleece and acrylic blends can be washed in cool water and dried on a low setting. It is best to wash each item separately to avoid shedding or tangling, which can damage the appearance and shape of the item. Wool is a staple in the world of warm, natural fabrics and is available in a variety of forms including lambswool, merino, shetland, mohair, angora and cashmere. Wool has a natural layer of lanolin and requires a gentle detergent. Avoid heavy-duty detergents, especially ones containing enzymes or bleaches. Enzymes are proteins that break down stubborn stains and are listed as “bio-based.” Wool should never go in the dryer; rather, stretch your wool over one or two drying racks or air dry outside on a sunny day. Even cashmere, the most expensive and delicate material, can often go in the washing machine; just use a mesh lingerie bag to protect it. Larger winter textiles such as comforters or quilts can also be washed at home in a front loader. If your piece is very bulky, it would be wise to use the industrial-size machines at a local laundromat. Just like laundering wool, use a gentle detergent. Down comforters and quilts can go in the dryer. Wool dryer balls are recommended for drying such large items; the dryer balls bounce inside the dryer drum, creating loft for better air flow and quicker drying. The wool balls will help feathers in comforters return to their original fluffiness and protect batting in quilts from lumping. If you like scented dryer sheets, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the balls instead. For the real down and dirty
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rage. Fast forward to 2021, and people are laundering in their tubs. With so much time spent at home during the pandemic, many people have looked around and noticed things that need to be tidied, organized or cleaned. Laundry stripping—a process that involves soaking it in a bathtub with a mixture of powdered borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate) and powdered laundry detergent—has been making a comeback. Mothers who used cloth diapers are probably familiar with the technique, but it has made a resurgence thanks to social media. Essentially, laundry stripping is a method of washing that aims to remove detergent residue, fabric softener, minerals from hard water, and body oils that have collected on your laundry over time. Since towels and sheets are used daily and washed frequently, they develop residue that dulls or yellows them. Soaking laundry in hot water with this solution (¼ cup borax, ¼ cup washing soda, and ½ cup powdered detergent) strips the fabric of this residue. This process works best on white sheets and towels; the solution can cause colors to run and damage delicate fabrics. After soaking for four to six hours, launder and dry your sheets and towels as you regularly do, but without detergent. For textiles with stains, try a spot treatment of a dab of detergent applied directly to the stain then rinsed off after a few hours. Seriously stained pieces should be taken to a professional dry cleaner. As with all items that have been dry cleaned, remove the plastic when you get home. The chemicals used in dry cleaning need to be ventilated. Store your clean winter blankets and comforters in cotton or muslin bags in a climatecontrolled area of the house. If your home is prone to pests or insects, toss in a few cedar chips or lavender sachets. Plastic storage containers are fine as well; just make sure your items are completely dry before packing away. Proper care and storage will ensure a longer life of your favorite winter textiles, as well as provide a satisfying ritual for spring cleaning. In fact, a favorite sweater of mine, carefully laundered over the years, was passed down to my younger siblings and then to both my children. I have four of those sweaters safely packed away for future grandchildren. ✦ Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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HOT COLORS for 2021
PAINT CAN CONVEY ANY MOOD FOR ANY ROOM
B Y K E N DA L L AT K I N S L I V I C K
hen life feels uncertain, the best therapy is to command control over something small and rewarding. A manageable project is an excellent way to regain your sense of footing in an unpredictable world. A project involving color is a double whammy! Color has the power to change our moods. When a concrete action leads to an abstract reward like an improved mood, we achieve satisfaction at its finest. We reap the short-term gratification of task accomplishment, along with the long-term benefits of enjoyment. One of the easiest ways to affect mood in your home is through paint color. What mood would you like to achieve in 2021? Do you want to feel inspired? Calm? A whimsical sense of escape? Alert, yet Zen? We’ve done some research for you and compiled trending colors for the year ahead, along with their accompanying palettes, where they work best in the home, and the mood they are likely to invoke for you and your home’s inhabitants. Simply painting a room—or even a wall or two—can help you usher in an optimal sense of well-being..
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The psychology of color
Has your mood ever changed seemingly on a dime without rhyme or reason? Maybe you simply moseyed in or out of a room. Color psychologist experts theorize that different hues can influence our feelings, thoughts, and even actions. You can easily recognize these effects if you close our eyes and visualize yourself walking through your own home room by room, reflect on the styles of loved onesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; abodes and the associated memories you have in those settings, or think back with nostalgia on a meaningful space from childhood. Identifying the vibes associated with different colors across the spectrum can help you set the mood in your current home and envision a future of desired states of mind.
Bright colors like red, orange and yellow can actually make our hearts beat just a bit faster. Red can enliven a room with a sense of drama and warmth. Depth of the shade creates warm comfort, while brightness brings forth high energy, perfect for a family room or bonus game room. Yellow and orange can inspire both excitement and coziness depending on the shade. These colors are great for communal spaces where the goal is pleasure and togetherness, such a dining room or eat-in kitchen. Greens and blues remind us of nature and are thought to bring about a sense of harmony and serenity. Soothing and balanced, these colors work great in rooms of the house that encourage rest and relaxation. Bathrooms and bedrooms are the most traditional for greens and blues. Additionally, for
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
those struggling with anxiety and racing thoughts, these colors can bring peace to the mind and offer a centered focus in the home office. Purple has been traditionally associated with royalty and luxurious living and is known for its ability to inspire artistic ability and spirituality. The shade is also popular with the kiddos. This color works beautifully in children’s bedrooms, imaginative playrooms, and spaces designated for creative hobbies like music, painting and writing. White and black are timeless colors, but you want to be sure to pair them with complementary accents, interesting accessories, and eye-catching art, or you risk creating a room that is drab (for the former) or overwhelming (for the latter). If paired well with other aesthetics, both of these classic colors can stand the test of time and make a room feel clean, fresh, modern and stylish. White and black work best in rooms where a lot of time is spent, such as living rooms and basements. Brown is a wonderful way to warm up a room and offer a sense of inviting coziness. Brown pairs well with wooden tones, leather, and natural accents. Boasting lots of versatility, brown can work well in essentially any room in the house. For a color palette that is aesthetically pleasing and balanced (within reason and without limiting your creativity), consider following the classic interior design 60-30-10 rule. Choose a main color that will take up 60 percent of the room, in terms of paint, accessories and art. Choose a complementary color that supports but doesn’t compete with that color for another 30 percent of the room. Fill the final 10 percent with an accent color that contrasts and pairs pleasingly with the original color.
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POPULAR COLORS OF 2021
Take a deep breath, because the overarching theme of 2021 is tranquility. This year’s vibes are entrenched in nature colors, homey comfort, and sunbaked hues. When you feast your eyes upon these palettes, you can’t help but feel a bit lighter due to the calming undertones. In December 2020, the color experts at PANTONE revealed their alwaysanticipated colors of the year—the combo of ULTIMATE GRAY and ILLUMINATING (a bright yellow). The marriage of these colors is a yin and yang of sorts, representing “deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly,” according to their website. This combination of calmness and hope can be seen across the board from all major paint brands.
BEHR hopes to “elevate your comfort zone” with the 21 colors that compile their special 2021 color trends palette. The idea here is to relax, maintain a subtle focus, and live with a sense of optimism. Very intentional with their inspired moods, BEHR includes not only the title of each shade, but also a helpful description of the mood that individual colors are designed to invoke. These include: Smoky White (soft and serene), Almond Wisp (comfortable and adaptable), Sierra (warm and approachable), Modern Mocha (grounded and relatable), Jojoba (natural and rejuvenating), Wishful Green (nostalgic and fresh), Dayflower (reassuring and calm), Seaside Villa (subtle and elegant), Canyon Dusk (earthy and harmonious), Maple Glaze (hopeful and welcoming), Barnwood Gray (solid and relaxed), Caribe (engaging and steady), Voyage (soothing and spiritual), Jean Jacket Blue (timeless and peaceful), Cellini Gold (confident and inviting), Saffron Strands (fiery and
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Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
For a “down to earth” vibe, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS has introduced a color of the year that is dubbed “grounding, meditative, and serene.” URBANE BRONZE was selected for the hue’s ability to ground a room and pair well with other earthy tones like greens, warm neutrals, and bone whites. A monochrome palette includes similarly nature-inspired shades, such as MODERN GRAY and MESSENGER BAG. Earth tones in general go great in rooms designated for a calm yet focused state of mind. They also make excellent accent colors. A mantel in a den or library, a dressing room, or even the primary shade of a bedroom are ideal for URBANE BRONZE, especially if these spaces already incorporate wood finishes, metallic features, or accents made of stone. swcolorforecast.com
festive), Kalahari Sunset (rich and expressive), Euphoric Magenta (gracious and creative), Nocturne Blue (stable and refined), Royal Orchard (restorative and secure), and Broadway (safe and resilient). BEHR has made it simple for you. Decide what you wish for the vibe of a room based on personal preference and the room’s purpose, and choose the color that aligns with that vibe. Consider these ideas: Cellini Gold for the dining room, Almond Wisp for the bonus room, Maple Glaze for the guest room, and Jojoba for the bathroom. Any takers? The beauty is in the freedom. Your house, your choice. behr.com/consumer/ inspiration/2021-color-trends
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Keeping with the calm theme that seems to be a pattern across the board, AEGEAN TEAL is BENJAMIN MOORE’S choice for their color of the year. Noted for its qualities of “intrigue, balance, and soothing,” Aegean Teal encourages spectators to “settle in” and make themselves at home. This cozy, inviting quality is embodied by the other 11 colors in the 2021 palette line-up: Gray Cashmere, Atrium White, Muslin, Foggy Morning, Amazon Soil, Silhouette, Kingsport Gray, Beacon Hill Damask, Chestertown Buff, Potters Clay and Rosy Peach. Where do these colors look best? Think of the places associated with creature comforts in your life. What areas do you associate with warmth and joy? A classic cupboard? An eat-in kitchen with an accent wall? A fireplace frame? A living room with large windows that invite you to bask in the afternoon sun, while you curl up on the couch with a good book? These are all great places to start. benjaminmoore.com/en-us/color-overview/colorpalettes/color-of-the-year-2021 To round out all the feels, PPG PAINTS brings us balance through human connection, kindness and compassion with their 2021 palette. Combining warmth and calmness, PPG’s palette encourages us to transcend our current emotional limitations. Colors consist of: Big Cypress, Wheat Sheaf, Winter Peach, Heliotrope, Stone Quarry, Silver Leaf, Autumn Glow, Misty Aqua, Irradiant Iris, Salal Leaves, Midsummer’s Dream, Canyon Blue, Delicate White and Transcend. Each color has a visually specific distinction and purpose. Connect with loved ones in your Autumn Glow dining room. Sink into a relaxing bubble bath in your Irradiant Iris bathroom. Create art in your Winter Peach studio. Snooze the night away in your Silver Leaf bedroom of serenity. ppgpaints.com/color/color-collections
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Can we get a drum roll for some local colors? JAMES T. DAVIS PAINT AND DESIGN CENTER in Lynchburg has unveiled an inspired-by-nature paint palette that is bold, dynamic and playful, yet classic. Colors include: I'm a Local (yellow), Subway (deep bronze), Casa De Oro (orange), Mystic Fog (white), Metro (gray), and Blue Depths (blue). With such a wide variety of mood-enhancing shades, here’s an idea for some 2021 color therapy: Why not try a different spin on the 60-30-10 rule—not with the décor of a single room, but with emotional states as they relate to daily life in your home? To explore this idea, ask yourself what is your favorite mood? What would you like to feel, perhaps not daily, but in small spurts? If you wish to embrace playfulness for your family, consider I’m a Local for that 60 percent of your home that includes the living room, perhaps a sunroom, and a powder room. These are likely places where many waking hours are spent. But what about when it’s time to slip into slumber? Head to your Mystic Fog master bedroom and decompress from a day of sensory overstimulation. Clear the mind of clutter and thought loops and slide into a dream or simply relax on a Saturday afternoon for that 30 percent period of time. How about when you want to feel steady, anchored and comfortable? Sneak away to the Subway den, for a quick escape as you binge the new Netflix series or flip through a favorite magazine. This would be ideal for a 10 percent space intended for rejuvenation or a mental reset. jamestdavis.com/colors Whatever you choose to color your world in 2021, you can relax into fresh colors and projects that honor calm, creativity and freedom of choice. Cheers to tranquility! ✦
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LIVE cutting cable
cutting the cord WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS WITHOUT CABLE B Y PAU L A P E T E R S C H A M B E R S
In the beginning, “cutting the cord” literally referred to cutting the umbilical cord that connects a newborn to its mother. Later, the phrase was used colloquially to mean severing financial or emotional ties to an older child. In recent years, the saying has developed a whole new meaning: disconnecting television viewing from a cable company. While people might assume that cable companies are relatively recent players in the broadcast market, cable television began in the late 1940s to extend service to homes in rural and mountainous areas where broadcast signals didn’t reach. In the 1980s, federal deregulation allowed cable companies to expand, giving rise to a proliferation of more channels and options than could be accessed via a simple “rabbit ear” antenna. 5 8
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Thanks to the internet, there are new pathways for content delivery, and a host of “streaming” services can deliver that content. In many cases, cutting the cord will save money, but before you part ways with your cable provider for good, gather information and make some decisions. How do you get your internet?
For many households, internet is provided by a cable company that neatly packages internet, TV and a land line phone. Pricing structures typically reward bundling, discouraging people to purchase internet by itself. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible. BroadbandSearch.net is an online research entity, unaffiliated with any cable company, that provides information about TV and internet service providers (ISPs). Simply enter your ZIP code to see what ISPs serve your area. Pay careful attention to speed: The more you stream, the more speed you need. A typical family of four should look for at least 40 Mb/s (megabytes per second). Some ISPs (Cox, Xfinity and Verizon) are now offering 1G speeds. What kind of TV do you have?
TV technology has changed much in the past two decades, first with the advent of the flat-screen TV, which made a TV more of an appliance, not furniture. Samsung introduced a so-called “smart” TV in 2008, dramatically changing the landscape again. As the name implies, a smart TV is one that can do it all: access content through an antenna, cable line and the internet. It’s “smart” because internet access is built-in, so no additional hardware is necessary. Smart TVs come loaded with viewing apps—which ones depend on the TV manufacturer—and more can be downloaded as desired. The installation process is as simple as downloading a new app on a cell phone. Simply search for the network name and then follow the prompts. Another feature of newer (say, within the past dozen years) TVs is an HDMI—high-definition media input—port, usually on the side or rear of the case. Using an HDMI cord, a laptop can be connected to a TV, so what you see on the computer will be shown on the TV screen. Gone is the family huddle around a monitor. You can ditch cable without having a smart TV, but you’ll need a TV with an HDMI port. For TVs that aren’t smart, a set-top box or streaming stick is required to connect to the internet. Roku offers a variety of devices, some of which have voice command features and the ability to plug headphones into the remote, for private c vhomemaga zine .com 59
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listening. Google Chromecast connects to subscription services and has games and music. Amazon Fire sticks sync well with Alexa sound control devices; one stick also includes an HD antenna. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky, you already have a device in the house that will support streaming, such as a gaming system (Sony PS4, Microsoft Xbox), TiVo (depending on the version) and perhaps even your Bluray player. What do you like to watch?
Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the rubber meets the road. You need to identifyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and prioritizeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; what type of content you are most interested in and which networks (if any) you just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t live without. For an experience most closely mirroring a cable package, look to live TV streaming services, such as YouTubeTV, FiosTV, Sling, FuboTV, Hulu Live, and AT&T TV. These provide a channel line-up that includes local networks, some channels youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d expect from a cable provider (e.g., Bravo, TNT, Freeform) and often live sports. Live TV streaming services mimic the â&#x20AC;&#x153;feelâ&#x20AC;? of a cable provider for a lower price. TechHive. com, an independent website offering consumer advice, has charts with detailed information about which channels are found on the most popular streaming services. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to be done with irritating ads and make all your own viewing choices, on-demand streaming services will offer TV series and movies (both old and new), documentaries and even international programming. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Showtime and Starz have different content, including critically acclaimed original shows. Each service has its own monthly cost and may have limits on the number of screens that can be logged in simultaneously. Remember: If a child is visiting the grandparents but logged into the family Netflix account, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an active screen, which counts toward the total allowed. Same applies to a college-aged child watching from a faraway campus. The easiest, and least expensive option, is to use an antenna, which providesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for freeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whatever channels the antenna can access via the airwaves. The challenge here to find the best antenna for your particular location. If you crave a retro look, â&#x20AC;&#x153;rabbit earâ&#x20AC;? Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
antennas are still available, and can sit on top of or alongside your set. New designs resembling flat or gently curved tiles can be mounted on an interior wall, or sit on a shelf or windowsill and will likely access primary networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX). If your house is far from local broadcast towers or situated in a densely populated area, a rooftop antenna might be necessary to ensure a strong signal. Before you make any changes to existing service, take advantage of free trial periods. It’s likely that every streaming service will have one or two desirable programs; the challenge is to limit yourself to the most cost-effective services for your preferences. Most plans have monthly pay structures, not longterm contracts. It’s easy to add a specific service for a month or two, if there’s a show you just can’t live without. BroadbandSearch.net estimates that by 2030, nearly 50 percent of U.S. households will be using streaming services exclusively. Cable television has been available for decades, and likely will continue to be. But it’s not the only option. ✦
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WHEN A HOUSE TELLS A STORY
Generations of collections take residence in updated family home B Y C A R T E R H E A L D B E N DA L L Photography by Michael Patch
Tucked behind large boxwoods sits the Colonial-style home of Heather and Lewis “LH” Mundin. The Mundins moved into the house in 2000, but their appreciation for it goes back much longer—to 1992 to be exact. Heather’s parents, Louise and Buck Bradley, live next door, and hosted Heather and LH’s wedding at their house. During the reception, LH looked up from the festivities and was struck by the house next door, wondering “what if.” Eight years later when moving back to Lynchburg from Richmond, as luck would have it, this house was on the market, and it only felt right to take a look. Serendipity in full force, the couple bought the house. “The house met all of our needs,” Heather says. “We love old homes with character that sit out from the other houses in the neighborhood. Having family next door adds a fun twist on memories to share with the next generation.” 62
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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esigned by Everette Fauber, this stately home was built in 1940 by John P. Pettyjohn Construction Company for Mr. and Mrs. Clunet Pettyjohn, who also happen to be longtime family friends. A semicircle driveway directs guests to enter the house through a boxwood-lined front walkway of bluestone. Inside, the foyer features a red chinoiserie chest with two French chairs on either side, with artwork lining the walls of the foyer and up the stairway. The Mundins have a particular affection toward landscapes. “We like colorful artwork of landscapes in old frames, and we’ve enjoyed collecting them over the years,” Heather says. Off the foyer, a cozy pine-paneled library with a wood-burning fireplace is where the family likes
to read and watch sports. The Mundins’ fondness for historical memorabilia is felt most prominently in this room, with built-in bookshelves full of such artifacts. Both Heather and LH’s fathers share a love of military history and have given the couple historical pieces throughout their life as gifts, before and during their marriage. These gifts have led to another generation of history buffs and collectors. The fireplace showcases more of these collectables, with taxidermy birds, an antique pistol, and brass military trumpets adorning the mantel. An oil landscape in a thick gold frame hangs above the fireplace. A comfortable loveseat and two pale green leather club chairs invite guests to sit and stay a while. Heather says she has heard many sweet and often funny stories from her grandparents about the fun they used to have in the library having cocktails with the Pettyjohns, just after the house
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
was built. “I heard these stories as a child, and now I find myself thinking of them every time I sit and enjoy a drink in the room with my own family,” she says. The living room, just off the foyer, features another treasured landscape, this one by Oliver D. Grover called “Emerald Lake,” which hung in the Chicago Art Museum in the 1930s. Here as well as in the dining room, interior designer Leigh Giles helped Heather with the decor, highlighting collections and antiques while bringing in modern touches. A collection of Dresden plates and figurines sits atop the mantel and is also found on the walls, flanking some of the artwork. On either side of the mantel sits a pair of gray French chairs, and in front is a settee from Heather’s grandparents, recovered in a modern gray velvet. Above the settee is a painting by Frank Swift Chase, a student of Monet and great uncle of actor Chevy Chase, which was given to the Mundins as a wedding gift. “This piece of art is where it all started for us,” Heather says. “We wanted to add art to our house that complemented this piece.” A glass coffee table with gold accents houses a collection of antique wooden boxes, while groupings of
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Limoges boxes and Herend figurines are also found throughout the space. “I grew up surrounded by these collections at my parent’s house, and now we enjoy adding new pieces to our own collection,” she says. Additionally, an antique cabinet fashioned out of tortoiseshell and inlayed brass sits atop a tone-on-tone beige Greek key rug. Adjacent to the living room, the dining room features a large custom-made pedestal table with six claw-foot chairs. A crystal chandelier illuminates the room, while an antique sideboard 6 6
holds a silver service that was a gift from Heather’s parents. The gold mirror above it is flanked by a pair of Imari plates. And the sterling punch bowl in the center of the dining room table has a history of its own. Heather’s grandmother and seven siblings would all use the punch bowl for special occasions and holidays. Because there were eight of them, they called each other the “Eight Apostles,” so Heather refers to this bowl as the “Eight Apostles Bowl.” On the floor, a cheetah rug adds a dose of modernity and texture to the room. Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
The Mundins renovated the kitchen in 2003 and completed a two-story addition that included the family room, mudroom, sunroom, master bedroom and basement at this time as well. “The house was a typical 1940s two-story house without a lot of room for a large family to spread out, so we wanted to modernize it to today’s living,” Heather says. Now, a large table created from an old cypress train water tower anchors the breakfast room, with two white pagoda fixtures above it. A picture of Ivy Hill Farm, where
Heather’s mother was raised, hangs above the wet bar. Vintage Oriental rugs adorn the kitchen and breakfast room floors. The galley-style kitchen features white cabinets, brass cabinet pulls and black countertops. A large stainless-steel gas stove and hood are the showstoppers of the room. Above the sink, what used to be a window was turned into a pass-through into the sunroom. A brightly colored oil painting depicting a water scene with fall foliage brightens up the space with strong orange and blue hues.
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Flowing off of the breakfast room, the family room packs a punch with a stacked-stone fireplace. Charlottesville artist Steve Endres painted the portrait of the Mundins’ two boys, Lewis Howard “H” and Robert, featured here. “This painting is our absolute favorite in our house,” says Heather. Club chairs and a sofa, in modern tone-on-tone neutrals, provide comfortable places to relax. The vaulted 6 8
ceiling is highlighted by cedar beams accented with griffin plaques, while opposite the fireplace reside three family crests: the Bradley crest, the Mundin crest, and a combination of the two families. In the sunroom, tan leather club chairs and a sofa overlook the back yard. An Oriental rug adds dimension to the room and a collection of helmets sits on top of a geometric-patterned skirted Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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ottoman. The helmets have their own stories as well. The leopard-skin helmet dates from 1845 and was worn by a French elite cavalry guard. The gold helmet with a lion on top dates from 1880 and would have been worn by a Saxon Cuirassier cavalry officer for a parade, and the gold helmet with an eagle on top dates from 1870 and was worn by a Prussian cavalry officer. Like all rooms in the house, the sunroom gracefully blends antiques with modern touches. The sunroom leads out to what the Mundins deem their favorite of all the updated spaces: the covered porch, completed by Colin Anderson Construction with stonework by Land Tech reusing original fieldstone from the previous backyard 70
walkway. The Mundins’ sons enjoy having guests over just as much as their parents and have loved this space for hanging out. “The porch has added so much to our home in so many ways—a place for entertaining, relaxing and just spending time together,” Heather says. In addition to a dining table, two wicker sofas with plush white cushions flank a firepit that makes watching TV outside enjoyable in mild weather. The TV is hidden in a custom cabinet, rising up from its encasement for viewing. A treasured metal statue of Athena, goddess of war, stands guard of the TV, fitting for football games in which teams are waging battles. Concrete urns full of seasonal blooms dot the uncovered patio as well. Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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Famed landscape architect Charles Gillette designed the original garden. When the covered patio was built, some of his gardens were lost, but a few remnants of his design remain. Heather looked no farther than next door for help with the current garden. Her mother has helped install vitex bushes, hydrangea, Lily of the valley, and paper bush. Dependent upon the time of year, honeysuckle, daphne, rosemary, lavender, roses, peony, and camelias are also found. The Mundins hosted both of Heather’s sisters’ wedding receptions in this back yard, similar to their own wedding next door. Heather says, “It is so special that all of us share this common history of wedding festivities between the two yards.” A pebble pathway leads visitors back to the front of the home. With multiple generations of collectors at work, the family’s many treasured collections are combined in such a way that the house still feels modern. By incorporating modern lighting, fabrics and even art, the house is a beautiful mix of old and new. With a backstory straight out of a novel, it's no wonder that the Mundins have been happily living in this house for 20 years. ✦
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Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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LIVE single-serve dishes
aSingle-serve cozydishes dinner make great dinners to share BY MARSHA GALE
Though spring is just around the corner, there is still a chill in the air and we crave warm, comforting food. Sharing a meal with a small group of close friends or with a significant other nourishes not only your body but also your soul. Most of us have reached the limit of what we can draw from virtual happy hours and Zoom calls but still want social interaction. Buffets may be out for now, but individual-serving-sized portions are all the rage. You can make just about any large casserole and portion it out into ramekins or heat-proof bowls. And with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, what says “I love you” more than a romantic candlelight dinner for two at home? The following recipes offer easy but far superior alternatives to take out. 74
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
SERVES 8 2 sheets puff pastry 4 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped (or 2 cups frozen pearl onions, defrosted and patted dry) 2 carrots, chopped 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 large bay leaf 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups chicken broth or stock 1 cup milk or half-and-half 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 3-4 cups shredded, cooked chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested 3/4 cup frozen peas 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or thyme (optional) 1 egg
You will need 6 to 8 oven-safe (to 425 degrees) soup bowls. For larger portions, use bowls with an 18-20 ounce capacity; for smaller portions, use bowls with a 12–14 ounce capacity. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. For crust: Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour and place the puff pastry over top. Sprinkle the pastry with flour and roll to about 1/8-inch thick, smoothing the creases with the rolling pin at the same time. Using a sharp knife, kitchen shears or a pizza cutter, cut out 6 circles about 2 inches larger than the diameter of your soup bowls. (Alternatively, cut out 8 circles if making smaller portions.) You can get 4 large or 6 small circles out of one sheet of puff pastry. Place the dough rounds on the foil-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set oven rack to the center position. For filling: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and olive oil, then add onions, carrots, potato, celery, garlic, salt and pepper, and bay leaf. Partially cover the pan and sweat the mixture for about 10 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Add flour and stir to combine. Whisk in stock, milk, mustard and nutmeg and stir occasionally while it thickens,
about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken. Reduce heat to low/simmer and finish with lemon zest and juice, frozen peas, parsley and dill. Remove bay leaf. Divide filling into bowls, making sure they aren’t filled more than 3/4 of the way to the top of the bowls. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Remove the pastry rounds from the refrigerator. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash. Place the cold dough rounds over the bowls, pressing firmly around the edges so that the dough adheres. Transfer the bowls to the foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Using a sharp knife, make a 1/2 inch slit in the top of each pie. Place the bowls on the baking sheet and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is rich golden brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the hot bowls to serving plates. The pies may be assembled and refrigerated up to a day ahead of time. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash just before baking.
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Molten Lava Cakes for Two
SERVES 2 BUT CAN EASILY BE DOUBLED OR TRIPLED Chocolate is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and this is the quintessential romantic dessert. It’s also the easiest version I’ve ever tried!
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces 1 large egg 1 egg yolk 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 pinch salt 2 tablespoons flour If making and serving the cakes at once, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter two ¾- cup ceramic ramekins or ovenproof glass custard cups. Sprinkle granulated sugar in ramekins and swirl around to coat the inside. This keeps the cakes from sticking, and also adds a nice crunch to the outside of the cakes. In the microwave, on medium low setting (use the melt feature if your microwave has one), melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring after 30 seconds and adding time as needed until chocolate is completely melted. Stir to combine butter and chocolate; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk egg and yolk lightly, then add sugar and salt and whisk until blended and slightly paler and thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the melted chocolate, in a stream, then whisk in flour. Divide batter between buttered ramekins. At this point, ramekins can be refrigerated for a day if preparing in advance; cover them loosely with plastic wrap once they’re cool. Bake cakes on a baking sheet in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes if preparing immediately, up to 14 minutes if baking after refrigerating. Go by appearance, rather than time; the cakes should be firm on the outside and dry across the top, but the center inch or so should still be quite wobbly. Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute. Run a knife around the sides to loosen, then turn them out onto individual serving plates. Sift powdered sugar over them, if desired, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 7 6
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
2 DRINKS Pink and frothy, this is the perfect fancy cocktail for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. The combination of vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord, a black raspberry liquor with a complex flavor profile, makes a slightly sweet but refreshing sipper. The addition of sea salt may seem strange, but it will magnify the sweet and tart flavors in the drink. Just make sure to use fine sea salt, so it completely dissolves when you shake it.
4 ounces premium vodka 1 ounce Chambord 3 ounces pineapple juice Small pinch of fine-grain sea salt Raspberries or pineapple wedges for garnish Fill a cocktail shaker with ice until half full. Pour in vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice. Sprinkle in the fine sea salt and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a raspberry or pineapple wedge. â&#x153;Ś
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GARDEN best in houseplants
a foliage fancy BY MITZI BIBLE
ost of us have always had a few leafy roommates lounging about—a ficus greeting guests in the foyer, African violets basking in a windowsill, a philodendron cascading off a bookshelf—but there’s a new generation of plant lovers who are taking indoor gardening to a whole new level. Instagram is budding with accounts dedicated to whole-house collections (or “jungles” as many plant enthusiasts call them). Years ago, who would have dreamed that taking photos of your houseplants and sharing them with everyone you know would become a popular hobby?
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
In the past few years, the sale of houseplants has increased 50 percent, according to the National Gardening Association. Market researchers attribute this to an overall wellness trend among millennials who have an appreciation for the natural world and acknowledge the physical and mental health benefits of caring for a plant. But we can thank them for taking up their green hobby because the great houseplant revival has led to more accessible varieties than ever before. High appeal, low maintenance
You can’t leave a gardening store now without seeing families of succulents. They may well be the most popular houseplant today. Their thick, “succulent” leaves (the name actually means “juicy”) can store so much water that they require very little regular care; you might as well nickname such a plant “Miss Independent.” Though most are small and simple in shape, they come in just enough colors and varieties to pull off a beautiful potted bouquet. Customizing your own arrangements has become a popular pastime as well. A little chic “chick” here, a little pointy, prickly cacti there. Succulents are suitable for any design style. Succulents do have needs, though—and mostly that means sunshine. Some varieties need up to six hours per day. Direct sun is best, but like many other houseplants, rotating them often can help them maintain a sturdy structure. (Leaning is a telltale sign they need to be moved). Succulents require soil that drains, so cactus soil or a mix of potting soil with sand or pumice is best. Watering is the tricky part. Overwater and they will drown. You can test the soil about an inch deep on top; when that is dry, then you can water. It is best to water just the soil and not the leaves, as they can develop mold. Succulents are an easy starting point for a new indoor gardener whose thumb hasn’t turned green yet. And they
make great gifts, too, symbolizing an enduring friendship or celebrating a major accomplishment. Another hardy independent and a bit exotic plant is the Tillandsia; you may know this as an “air plant.” These little marvels are so independent they don’t even need a pot—or soil. They exist on the air around them and a simple misting once or twice a week. The largest genus in the bromeliad family, these plants enjoy bright light and thrive outdoors or indoors. Stand them among rocks or inside a seashell or glass ball, or dangle them from the ceiling in any number of makeshift plant hammocks. The display itself is a conversation starter. Off the beaten pothos
Today’s plant enthusiasts are collectors, too, constantly hunting for a new species to add to their leafy kingdom, or snagging that slight variation to more commonplace plants. Many people own a pothos (also called devil’s ivy), one of the most common and easy-to-care-for houseplants that can grow vines even in shady corners. But the silver pothos, with its striking white markings, is a great find. In brighter light, the markings become even more vibrant. Or take the long, spiky spider plant (Chlorophytum) for example, a plant that is easy to maintain and safe for pets. The basic green barbs are common, but to change things up a bit, search out a variegated spider plant featuring a white stripe down the center or even a “reverse variegatum,” with edges that are first yellowish, then turn white around their green center. Just as the houseplant craze keeps getting bigger, so do the plants themselves. The tropical monstera plant has a fitting name for its supersize nature, and when left in brighter sunny spots can really get to work showing off its big, green, heart-shaped leaves. If you’re looking for a plant to accent your larger furnishings, this would be it.
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Ask what your plant can do for you
We learned in elementary school science that plants produce oxygen, and we know oxygen is good for us, especially in a closed-off environment. Some botanists believe that plants are actually working more for us than we know; they can remove toxins and help purify the air, though some say you’d have to simulate a dense rainforest to see this gain. But while the jury is still out on just how effective houseplants are for cleaning our air, there is no doubt that owning a plant can have positive benefits. Some interior designers live by the rule that you should include something living in each room. Plants can remind us of the world alive outside our walls and help create the relaxed
environment we need in order to decrease our everyday stress and enrich our well-being. And in a very real though hard-toexplain way, just being close to another living thing can inspire and motivate, helping to increase our own productivity. Green thumb or not, most houseplants just seem to know how to be patient with us and forgive us if we miss a watering. There are so many hardy varieties that can become a fixture in our homes for years to come. So enjoy exploring the jungle of possibilities out there if you want to create a jungle of your own and literally “liven up” your home decor. ✦
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ur patios and yards have beckoned us throughout the COVID pandemic to safe yet intimate al fresco entertaining. Innovative outdoor heaters can upgrade your patio into a year-round oasis, infusing your outdoor space with style and cozy ambiance. Firepits, firepit tables, chimineas, patio heaters and outdoor fireplaces are surging in popularity, as we increasingly extend our living spaces to the outdoors. Of course, dress in layers, don hats and gloves, and keep throws handy to stay toasty on chilly evenings spent relaxing in your outdoor getaway. c vhomemaga zine .com 83
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When investing in outdoor heaters, consider the size of your outdoor space, the style and ambiance you hope to create, safety and environmental concerns, and your budget. Decide whether firewood, electricity or propane/natural gas is your optimal heat source, and, for electric and propane-fueled heaters, if infrared (radiant) or convection heat best meets your needs. Heating output, measured in watts for electricity and British Thermal Units (BTUs) for propane, indicates your heater’s strength while its heating range, measured in square feet, denotes its reach. Obviously, the greater your heater’s output and range, the better it will warm your space. Confirm that your outdoor heater is constructed with quality materials, such as stainless steel, to maximize its safety and durability. Whether freestanding or mounted, the model you choose is a determining factor in its heat source. For example, propane or natural gas can fuel standalone heaters but not mounted ones; electricity safely powers both freestanding and mounted models. Ensure your heater assembles easily, and identify the accessories (spark screen, pokers, covers, wheels) safety features (automatic shut-off), and the warranty and customer service agreements your purchase covers to get the best value for your money. Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
There are many vendors who manufacture popular outdoor heating systems. You can research and purchase them online or in big box stores like Home Depot, Walmart or Lowes. Amazon publishes their bestsellers as well as customer reviews ranking product features like portability and durability. Firepits, chimineas and firepit tables are ideal for heating smaller outdoor venues and fetch prices from $50 to over $1,500. Firepits and chimineas typically burn firewood while firepit tables generally run on propane. Install your wood-burning firepit in an open space, at least 20 to 25 feet away from any flammable structure—like wooden decks—or one prone to smoke stains. While picturesque, wood-burning firepits can billow smoke into your guests’ faces as they bask in its warm glow. Chimineas solve this problem by adding a chimney funnel atop the wood-burning base to direct smoke vertically, yet may eclipse a 360-degree view of the fire. Propanebased firepit tables create a warm and festive air, look great surrounded by cozy chairs, and are safer for patios and decks than wood-burning alternatives.
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Fueled by electricity or propane, patio heaters are excellent options for warming larger outdoor spaces and begin at a little higher price point of $250 to over $1,500. Many consider electric-fueled patio heaters as the safest, most versatile and eco-friendly outdoor heating alternative, though your electricity bill might spike. They don’t emit gases; can be freestanding, mounted, and used indoors; and deliver a steady heat supply without frequent gas tank refills. Electric heat warms by infrared (radiant) heat, which projects invisible energy wavelengths to nearby objects, not the surrounding air. Infrared heat is wind-resistant, economical and harmless. Research shows it can even boost our immune, circulation and metabolic system! In contrast, propane-fueled outdoor heaters generate convectional heat, which suffuses and warms the surrounding air. They deliver a remarkable heating range (think 18 square feet) and heat output (about 50,000 BTUs). Most propane heaters sport a 20-pound refillable tank, an easy push-button ignition system, and a safety cut-off valve. Unlike electric heat, propanefueled heat is vulnerable to the wind and can emit harmful residual gases.
Patio heaters embody the marriage of function and style, radiating robust warmth while keeping it chic. An electric patio heater attractively mounted within your pergola, coupled with a freestanding heater featuring Bluetooth speakers, will charm and warm your guests. Propane patio heaters, which feature an elegant pyramid shape with glass tubes illuminating mesmerizing flames and the unique cylinder and domed-top design, are on trend. Outdoor fireplaces graciously extend your outdoor entertaining season. Built from kits and often requiring professional installation, freestanding propane fireplaces are the most expensive outdoor heating option, with prices climbing from $700 to over $5,000. These sturdy fireplaces can weigh up to half a ton, radiate generous heat (nearing 65,000 BTUs), and start with a simple push of an ignition button— everything you need for instant and heartwarming entertaining. Whatever your budget, you can find an outdoor heating system that will make your patio and yard the perfect year-round retreat. ✦
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DESIGN mirror magic
CREATING A SPACE YOU CAN REALLY SEE YOURSELF IN BY AMELIA POORE
ometimes we love them and sometimes we don’t, but we always need them; mirrors are certainly functional in more ways than one. Not only can we use them to make sure we look presentable, but also to maximize the space, light and appeal in every room in our homes. There are no real rules for decorating with mirrors, aside from a few common-sense limitations, most
notably the proverbial “less is more;” the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles is world-famous and rare for a reason! Nonetheless, you really can put mirrors anywhere, on walls and furniture, from the bathroom to the living room. However, the way many designers figure out where to put a mirror is based on what else is in the room, namely windows, entries, and other focal-point decorations, like fireplaces and other art.
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Mirrors are frequently revered as the most efficient way to brighten a room because they reflect light. By placing a mirror opposite or next to a window, you can magnify the natural light in the room, regardless of how overcast the sky is outside. Alternatively, in a room with few or small windows, putting a mirror behind a lamp will brighten the room in a similar way. Many designers also suggest placing mirrors opposite the room’s entryway. This “greeting technique” is especially useful to expand narrow entries and hallways. Additionally, using a statement mirror is a simple way to add interest to the otherwise mundane transition area. And, of course, having a mirror in the entryway is practical for the last-second onceover we all do before we run out of the house. Fireplace mantels and statement furniture are common spots to place a mirror because, as the focal point of the room, they are the most logical place to put a complementary focal point such as a mirror. But even in rooms without such a focal point, using a mirror can still create the visual center of the room. Placing a statement mirror, such as a midcentury starburst or an antique convex Alice Goes Through the Looking-Glass-type mirror, above a sofa, or propping a floorlength mirror against an empty wall, creates a focal point all on its own. The best rule of thumb is to hang the mirror across from something you want to see reflected back, whether it’s natural light from the window or a piece of art on the wall. This can also influence the size and scale of the mirror you choose, as well as the frame style. To maintain cohesion across your decor, the mirror size and style should fit with the existing pieces in your space. For example, if your living room’s aesthetic is more classic and traditional, a sleek frameless floor mirror may stick out more than you might wish. This is especially true when using a mirror in a grouping, such as on a gallery wall. Once you’ve settled on a location for your mirror, the next step is safely securing it. Because mirrors are often heavier and more breakable than most decor, using proper security hardware is essential. If you choose to hang your mirror, a nail hammered halfway into the wall most likely will not be enough. Instead, invest in two wall hooks or picture hangers, using one on each side of the mirror to keep it flat against the wall. If the mirror is very heavy or valuable, you may benefit most by having it hung by professionals. 8 8
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
If you choose the trendy leaning method, one way to help ensure that your mirror wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slide down or tip over is to use furniture straps, like you would use to babyproof furniture around your home. To do this, secure one end of the strap to the wall and the other to the mirror. To keep a leaning mirror secure, use two straps, one on each side of the mirror. Alternatively, especially if you have a slick surface, you can put something underneath the frame such as a small rubber door stopper or a strip of anti-slip tape. Fortunately, after being secured against the wall, mirrors are very low maintenance. When a mirror gets dusty, simply dusting with a feather duster or using a small amount of window-cleaning solution on the glass if necessary is all the upkeep you need. Overall, mirrors are one of the most flexible and functional ways to decorate your home. No matter where you decide to place a mirror in your home, you will doubtless be able to find one in a style that suits your unique taste. From modern or midcentury to traditional or ornate, the possibilities are endless. â&#x153;Ś
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LOVING YOUR LOWER LEVEL
BY JANE RENNYSON
e all need a place to go once in a while to escape, especially these days when everyone in the family is spending more time at home and our favorite activities outside the home may not be available due to the pandemic. Your basement could be that escape, and now may be the perfect time for a basement renovation. Experts say renovating a basement will likely give you a 70 to 75 percent return on your investment. Not only will it be a sound financial decision, but the additional space may have a positive impact on you and your familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-being. 9 0
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
Get the most out of your remodel
The addition of square footage to your home is excellent for resale and a finished basement is no exception. In order to be considered a truly finished basement and increase your property value, certain guidelines must be met. The entire space must be completed in a similar fashion to the main living levels of the home. There must be a properly installed electrical system and a permanently installed heating and cooling system, such as an HVAC system or one powered by natural gas, propane or oil. Baseboard heating is acceptable for the distinction of “finished,” but a portable space heater or an air conditioning wall or window unit is not. Flooring in the basement must be carpet, wood, vinyl or tile; a painted concrete or plywood floor is considered unfinished. Likewise, the walls and ceiling must be drywalled and the ceilings must be level. Visible pipes and poles are not acceptable and neither are exposed beams unless they are decorative. Accessibility and safety are two things to keep in mind when finishing your basement. A basement that is only accessible from the outside is still considered unfinished. Stairs leading to the basement must be permanent and must have access from the inside. All safety codes must be met including the presence of smoke detectors and proper exits. The basement must have an egress window or door, defined as an opening 20 inches wide by 24 inches in height, and if there is separate room such as an office or a bedroom, that must have one as well. Of course you can still give your basement a facelift and make it a usable and enjoyable space even if you aren’t technically going to finish it according to these guidelines. Fresh paint, a new area rug and smartly placed furniture and lighting can go a long way when turning your forgotten basement into a new family room, home office or exercise space. Moisture and materials: not to be underestimated
DETAILS REGARDING CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN AND SAFETY ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT WHEN PLANNING A BASEMENT RENOVATION, BUT THE MORE EXCITING PART WILL BE DECIDING HOW YOU ARE GOING TO USE THE SPACE.
When remodeling or finishing a basement, there are important steps to take whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor, to make sure things are done properly. One of the most important things to consider when finishing your basement is moisture. Basements are prone to being damp, and this needs to be addressed at every stage of the remodel. The standard way to finish a basement is to build new walls inside the existing concrete walls, but first you will need to do a moisture test. Tape off a 12-inch-square area with a piece of plastic and duct tape and leave it for 24 hours. If there is condensation present, you have a moisture problem. If the walls are dry to the touch, you can simply paint them with a sealant. But if you have visible leaks and standing
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water, the walls will need to be waterproofed. Start by filling in any small cracks in the walls and gaps around your pipes with a concrete patching compound. Larger cracks can be filled with hydraulic cement that will expand. Be aware that any cracks larger than the width of a pencil should be examined by a structural engineer in order to ensure professional repairs aren’t needed. An interior drain that leads to a sump pump can be installed to remove standing water. These precautions may seem time consuming and costly but will save you time and money in the long run. You don’t want to skimp here and have to deal with water issues in the future. When it’s time to build the walls, use moisture- and rotresistant materials. Rigid foam board insulation is recommended over fiberglass because it is less likely to be damaged by moisture. Using treated wood is a good idea but make sure your nails and screws are compliant so they won’t corrode when they come in contact with the chemicals in the wood that protect it from moisture. Insulating the pipes and adding a vapor barrier to the walls will only add to your peace of mind during your renovation. Facts about flooring
Now that the walls are up, it’s time to move on to flooring. Sealing the concrete floor in the basement will prevent mold or mildew from forming and moisture from damaging the flooring you choose to install. Test for moisture the same way you tested the walls. If dark patches appear on the concrete, it will need to be dried before it can be sealed. For an older concrete floor, you can run a dehumidifier and a fan for a couple of days and it should dry nicely. A newer concrete floor will take much longer to dry—possibly up to four weeks or more. Caulking around the entire basement where the floor meets the walls will add an extra layer of protection from moisture trying to creep in. Once the floor is dry, prepare it for a coat of sealant. Vacuum up debris and scrape away any old paint that may be chipping or peeling. Make sure there isn’t mold or mildew growing at the base of the walls. If there is, use a fungicide to remove it before sealing. One additional step to take before you install your new floors is to make sure the concrete is level. If there is a slope of Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
more than a half inch in 8 feet, you will need to fill in the low areas with a self-leavening compound or you can rent a concrete sander for the high spots. Installing carpet, vinyl and engineered hardwood requires the floor to be mostly level, but if you are installing vinyl tile or ceramic tile, it must be perfectly level to keep the tiles in place and to prevent cracking. A subfloor can assist with leveling and adds an extra layer between the new flooring and the concrete for moisture protection and warmth. Backer board is generally used as a subfloor for tile, while plywood is acceptable for carpet, wood and vinyl installations. Choosing the type of flooring for your basement requires some thought. Carpeting provides a warm and cozy feel in an otherwise cold environment, but be sure to purchase moistureresistant padding for an additional safeguard. Vinyl, ceramic tile and laminate flooring all are good choices because of their durability and the variety of styles and colors from which to choose. Engineered hardwood is a smart choice because of its ability to withstand the temperature and moisture changes in a basement. Keeping things light and bright
The ceiling style and height will have the largest effect on the overall feel of your newly finished basement. International Residential Code, standard regulations for new construction and remodeling, requires the ceiling height to be at least 7 feet, but experts recommend 7.9 feet as the lowest possible height to avoid feeling too cramped. While a drywall ceiling and a drop ceiling are about equal in cost, drywall will look nicer than the system of grids and panels of a drop ceiling, and wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take up the extra
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room. If you are worried about accessing valves in the pipes above, install access panels in the drywall instead of opting for a drop ceiling. A low ceiling in the basement may be unavoidable; luckily there are design elements that you can use to make the space seem larger, lighter and brighter. Always use light colors for the ceiling, floors and walls. Hanging or pendant lights will make the ceiling seem lower; install recessed or can lighting instead. Use lots of additional lighting such as floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces. The lighter the better! Decorate with mirrors to reflect light around the room, and use colorful artwork on the walls to brighten up the area. If possible, install an exterior door with a large window to allow natural light to pour in. An open floor plan is best when it comes to design. It will make the basement feel bigger, especially if the ceiling is low. Using smaller-scale furniture can give the illusion of a higher ceiling, and keeping the basement neat and decluttered will give you that open and airy feeling you are trying to achieve. Endless entertainment possibilities
Details regarding construction, design and safety are extremely important when planning a basement renovation, but the more 9 4
Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
exciting part will be deciding how you are going to use the space. If a home office or school room is needed, the basement may provide a separate, quiet space to get work done. At the end of a long day you can return upstairs and leave work or school behind for the evening. A recreational room is definitely worth the money and can grow as your family grows. If you have small children, a basement is a great place for blocks, train sets, play kitchens and crafting. Older kids and teens will appreciate a place with a little bit of privacy to hang out with friends. If there is room, consider a ping pong or pool table, dartboard or indoor basketball hoop. There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to bring families together. Empty nesters will enjoy planning a basement all for themselves. Maybe now is the time for that art studio you have always wanted or a home gym to finally get in shape. Whatever you decide for your new basement, with the right materials, careful planning and smart design you will be able to enjoy your newly renovated space now and for many years to come. ✦
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Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021
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Central Virginia HOME Early Spring 2021