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SPRING 2015, vol. 8, No. 2

Capps is continuing to expand so we can bring you

More Home Choices & Solutions.

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Professional advice plainly spoken With our diverse experience and comprehensive services, Meridian Wealth Management can explore a range of highly personalized solutions tailored to your unique needs. Our team can work closely with you to develop a realistic and customized plan that includes all aspects of your financial life, including investments, retirement, estate planning, business succession, insurance and lending. Meridian Wealth Management UBS Financial Services Inc. 10 South Jefferson Street Suite 1050 Roanoke, VA 24011 540-855-3349 800-637-6385

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As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and Certified finanCial Planner™ in the U.S. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor any of its employees provides legal or tax advice. You should consult with your personal legal or tax advisor regarding your personal circumstances. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. ©UBS 2015. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. 31.00_Ad_8.75x11.125_AH0205_LinN 0414122 Exp. 4/30/16

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n editor ’ s note The reward for enduring a cold, gray winter is spring! Your outdoor spaces are certainly showing all the signs. It’s fun to watch the daily progress of our native ornamental trees and the perennials that grow in your garden (we’ve got news you can use about both of these in the Garden department). If you’ve been thinking about adding some extra curb appeal to your home, consider putting a design’s eye toward the front walkway and giving it a stylish makeover. Local experts weigh in on the best ways to do it. We’re proud to support Virginia’s statewide Historic Garden Week by sharing a preview of our area’s homes and gardens featured on this year’s tour—at Smith Mountain Lake on Friday, April 24 and in Roanoke on Saturday, April 25. Lest you think this edition is “just” about what’s going on outside—we’ve included several ideas to help you bring the outdoors in. Our feature article on sunrooms will shine a completely new light on the benefits of adding a four-season room to your home, and we’ll show you how to lighten up and dress your windows in an easy, breezy style. Does springtime put you in the mood to entertain? We’ve got the inspiration you’ve been seeking in our article about brunches—the loveliest of morning-time parties—and we have some fun ideas to accessorize your home with treasures you probably already own but haven’t been using lately. We made it—spring has finally sprung! Happy reading,







Volume 8 Issue 2 PUBLISHER


Laurel Feinman EDITOR

Meridith Ingram ART DIRECTOR


Rachel Beanland Mitzi Bible Becky Calvert Lucy Cook Laurel Feinman Patricia C Held Darrell Laurant Noelle Milam Ferrell Nexsen Rory Rhodes Deirdre Serio Spence Spencer GRAPHIC ARTISTS


Tiffany Allen Edwana Coleman Helga Kaszewski PRODUCTION COORDINATOR


Kevin Hurley KG Thienemann ADVERTISING SALES

Susan Creasy Liz Houhoulis Janet Lampman Anne Marie Poore SUBSCRIPTIONS

Roanoke Valley HOME is published five times annually by West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. For an annual subscription, please send $20 with your name, address and telephone number to: Roanoke Valley HOME 3831 Old Forest Road Lynchburg, VA 24501 For advertising information please call (434) 386-5667 or To discuss coverage of an event relating to home or garden, please contact Roanoke Valley HOME at

West Willow Publishing Group, LLC (434) 386-5667

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

R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

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contents Ro a n o ke Va ll ey h o m e S p r in g 2 0 15




12 40

features CHEE RY C O N S E RVAT O R I E S A N D S U N R O O M S

Rooms that bask in a sunny glow, year-round BY R o ry R h o d es

Family - focused Renovations Moderniz e a Colonial H O M E

Homeowners prioritize entertaining with backyard spaces and an open floor plan


BY Patr i c i a C H e l d

Decorating with portrait photography

Tips from the pros on creating the ultimate personal display BY Lau r e l F e i n m a n

Cover photography by Kevin Hurley at the home of Jenny and Chris John. Room styling by Cameron Harris. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HOME Magazine r vhomemaga zine .com


Ro a n o ke Va ll ey h o m e S p r in g 2 0 15

departments 36







30 T ray C hic New uses for beautiful trays and other pieces from your china cabinet

24 Walk this Way Adding patterns, designs to your front walk

36 Ornamental Eye candy Redbuds announce spring’s arrival

20 Best in B runch Lovely late-morning parties

BY Darr e ll Lau r ant

BY F e rr e ll N e xs e n

52 T he Bright S pot O verhead How the ceiling can become a focal point


34 Smart Appliances Everyday appliances go techno BY D e i r d r e S e r i o

66 H ow to Divide P erennials Hands-on gardening advice for yearly bloomers

BY M itz i B i b le

BY B ec ky Calve rt

71 S heer Pleasure Dress your windows in a breezy style

75 HOME & GARDEN T O U R Historic Garden Day in Roanoke Saturday, April 25

BY N o e lle M i lam


BY Lu cy C o o k

BY R ac h e l B ean lan d

57 T idy Riding Organize your car for smoother commutes BY S p e n c e S p e n c e r

Historic Garden Day at Smith Mountain Lake Friday, April 24


S pecial I nterest 8 2 Index of advertisers 10

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All About Sunrooms Find your place in the sun By R o ry R h o d es


R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

With spring’s fair weather and longer days, creatures of all kinds emerge from their winter quiet to begin the business of a bustling season. Birds build nests, bees build hives, and perhaps, humans are thinking about building a little something too—a little extra light-filled room in which to stretch out year-round. A fourseason sunroom is a great way to add both space and sunlight to your home, and it can be used for a variety of purposes. Sunrooms have been around for several centuries in one form or another, and can trace their earliest beginnings from Renaissance Europe, where a newfound expertise in glass-making techniques allowed the creation of “orangeries.” These south-facing greenhouses featured woodburning stoves and were used by the wealthy and fashionable to grow citrus trees in cold northern climates. The orangerie gradually evolved into the conservatory, a larger structure that also began as a way to grow exotic plants in Britain and northern Europe, but by the end of the 19th century had become an ornate, iron-framed edifice used by Victorians for social functions such as tea parties and receptions. Today, the terms sunroom, conservatory and solarium are often used interchangeably to describe a room made from at least 50 percent glass that is attached to the main house and accessed from inside the home. These spaces can be used for a variety of purposes, but all function as extra living space. The term “four-season sunroom” denotes a structure that is heated and cooled for year-round use. While you can certainly find lightweight pre-fabricated sunroom “kits” on the market, constructing a fully integrated sunroom can be achieved two ways: by enclosing an existing porch or deck, or by making a structural addition to your home. When adding a sunroom, the two most important considerations are location and desired use. If you’re starting from an existing porch, the location may well determine the usage. If, however, you’re starting from scratch, possibilities expand. r vhomemaga zine .com


A Smart Addition

If you already have a deck or porch attached to your home that you’d like to turn into a sunroom, its dimensions and location on your property will help define its future use. For example, if it’s off the kitchen or dining room area, you could create a sunny breakfast nook, a roomy dining space, or an adjacent seating area. If it adjoins the living or family room, a sunroom might simply expand your existing space for family or entertaining. It could also be used to create a separate area for a library, a children’s playroom, or an office. If the deck is on the ground floor, it might make a charming greenhouse and potting room. In a more private location, the sunroom can be a personal retreat for crafting, reading, painting or simply relaxing. Keep in mind that while an existing porch provides the outline for your new sunroom, it will need to be rebuilt from the ground up in order to be structurally sound. When designing a sunroom from scratch, you’ll want to take into account your property’s footprint and features. Besides choosing a location with adequate space, make sure it offers an attractive view of the garden, or privacy from neighboring homes. A sunroom brings the outside in by using expanses of glass, so be sure you like what you see. A large part of choosing the right location, and therefore the use, for your sunroom involves evaluating the sunlight. A sunroom with southern exposure will make the most of low winter sun, but might need some shade in the summer to be enjoyable. A sunroom on the eastern side of the house will provide morning sunlight that could make a cheerful breakfast nook, as long as the sun isn’t coming up right into your eyes. A 14

western sunroom will capture afternoon rays, but could heat up quite a bit on a summer evening if there are no trees or shade features. A sunroom with northern exposure may be shaded or partly shaded for much of the day, which could either defeat the purpose, or work well in a hotter location. Generally, sunrooms on the southeastern quadrant of the house are most popular, as they capture morning sun and avoid the heat of late-afternoon summer sun. If you’re working with an existing porch, you can manage the sun’s trajectory with both your building materials, and later decorative elements like shades and drapery. Don’t forget to take into account any deciduous or evergreen trees, because their shade will make a big difference to the end result. Building Materials, Creature Comforts

The materials you use (brick, siding, stone, etc.) will depend upon your home’s architecture and the look you want to achieve, but the glass must be tempered safety glass. Tempered glass is stronger than plain glass and, if broken, will crumble into small, smooth pebbles rather than shatter into dangerous shards. It’s used in automobiles and patio doors, and you’ll definitely want it here. You’ll also want insulated glass, which is double paned (sometimes triple paned) and usually filled with an inert gas such as argon to act as an additional buffer from outside temperatures. There are several glass coating options to be aware of. A “low-e” (for “emissivity”) coating uses a special metallic layer to filter UV and infrared rays. This prevents heat transfer without cutting down on light. A low-e coating helps block heat from entering in summer and escaping during winter, and also R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

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(540) 721-1329 • helps protect fabrics from fading. For a particularly sunny or exposed spot, tinted glazing might be helpful. With tinted glazing, glass is coated with a darker color, usually a neutral gray, brown, or blue-green. These colors won’t alter the view from the inside, but will reduce brightness and visibility somewhat from the outside. Some sunrooms—especially those where plants are grown—have segmented glass roofs, made from either glazed safety glass or polycarbonate, a tough, transparent thermoplastic. Often, though, a traditional roof is installed, which provides insulation as well as more options for installing light fixtures for nighttime illumination. If you do choose a standard roof, skylights can be added to increase daylight. Some skylights are operative, meaning they can actually open to release heat. This is a great option to consider when planning for year-round use. Ceiling fans are another handy way to keep air circulating in warmer months. But of course, in a sunroom, it’s all about the windows. Windows that open to catch cross breezes will do much to make sunrooms r vhomemaga zine .com

yOur SOurCe FOr SunrOOMS, DeCkS, ADDItIOnS AnD MOre

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pleasant in nice weather and reduce the need for supplemental climate control. Casement windows, which open on a side hinge, offer greater ventilation than sash windows, since 100 percent of the window area can be opened to the outside, versus only 50 percent with a sash window, where one window pane must slide over the other. Casements are also more weathertight than sash windows, because on a sash window the weatherstripping seal has to slide along with the window. In order to do this, the sash’s seal must be a bit loose. With a casement window, the weatherstripping is a stationery line, and the window can be sealed tightly when closed. Utilizing natural shade and breezes are great examples of passive cooling techniques for a sunroom, but during high summer, you may need air conditioning. Your builder may be able to extend your home’s existing duct work into the sunroom, as long as your system can handle the extra square footage. You might need additional duct fans, and you could even install a separate thermostat and valve system to control your sunroom’s temperature independently from the rest of the house if needed. By the same token, while sunny days will help warm up a chilly sunroom, a four-season space will need a little help in the heating department in order to be pleasant during Virginia winters. As with air conditioning, central heating can help you here if your current system will allow for it. Other heating options include installing a small gas wall heater, and radiant floor heating. Believe it or not, heated floors were invented by the ancient Romans in the form of a hypocaust, in which a wood-burning fire blew heated air beneath a raised marble floor. Today, most radiant floor heating uses electrical wires embedded beneath a R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

conductive flooring surface such as stone, concrete or ceramic tile. It’s not the best choice for all flooring, however; wood tends to shrink and expand too much with temperature fluctuations, vinyl and laminate floors have temperature limitations due to adhesives and materials used, and carpet’s insulation blocks too much of the heat flow. Having a heated floor not only gives a luxuriant feel to your space, it’s also more efficient. With forced air heating, warm air (plus allergens and dust) rises to the ceiling, where it cools and then sinks again. With radiant heating, infrared waves transmit heat to objects instead of the air, which produces a more even warmth. This means that you can actually feel warmer at a lower temperature. Anyone who’s ever wondered why they’re shivering when the thermostat reads 72 degrees may want to investigate this option! All the Extras

Radiant floor heating is a feature that needs to be installed during construction. Depending on how you’re planning to use your sunroom, other elements may need to be built at this time too. Will your sunroom need plumbing? In a greenhouse, for example, you might like a potting table with a sink, or perhaps a floor drain and waterproof materials. A kitchen extension could need water lines for a sink or the ice-cube maker in a refrigerator. If it’s living space, what about built-in elements such as bookcases or a banquette? This is why it’s important to have a clear vision of how you’ll use your sunroom before you begin construction. Also, if your sunroom will lead directly to the outdoors, decide whether you prefer the streamlined, modern look of a sliding door, or the more formal, charming look of French doors.

Grand Prices GrandSelection SelectionatatGrand Grand Prices Total Satisfaction Satisfaction Guarantee ••Total Guarantee

Within 30 days if you are not completely satisfied Within 30 days if you are not completely we’ll exchange your purchase or refund your money. satisfied we’ll exchange your purchase or Mattresses, adjustable refund your special money.orders, Mattresses, special bases and clearance items not included. orders, adjustable bases and clearance

Day Delivery ••Next Next Day Delivery Price Guarantee ••Lowest Lowest Price Guarantee items not included.

See store for delivery areas and times See store for delivery areas and times

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•Affordable Monthly Payments •Affordable Monthly


1945 Valley View Blvd NW | 540.563.2070 ROANOKE TANGLEWOOD | 4235 Electric Rd SW | 540.774.7004

ROANOKE - TANGLEWOOD ROANOKE VALLEY VIEW | 1945 Valley View Blvd NW | 540.563.2070 4235 Electric Road SW | 540.774.7004 LEXINGTON | 1 South Main St | 540.463.3121

CHRISTIANSBURG | 220 Laurel St SW | 540.381.4000 r v h memaga zine .com

LYNCHBURG | 5401 Fort Ave | 434.239.5900



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Call now for the best prices of the year. 540-389-8844 or 800-277-8845 625 College Avenue, Salem

BUILDING TRUST for 35 YEARS A sunroom that is an extension of an entertaining space might have a more formal feel than one designed to be a playroom or hobby nook. You could choose to make your sunroom a transitional space between indoors and outdoors, using indoor furniture that incorporates fabrics and colors echoing an outdoor palette.



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When construction is over, it’s time to decorate your new room. If sunrooms of old were outfitted with wicker Papasan chairs, today’s can be decorated to blend seamlessly with the rest of your interiors. The location and purpose of the room affect not only the way you use it, but also the style and tone of the furnishings. A sunroom that is an extension of an entertaining space might have a more formal feel than one designed to be a playroom or hobby nook. You could choose to make your sunroom a transitional space between indoors and outdoors, using indoor furniture that incorporates fabrics and colors echoing an outdoor palette. Adding a couple of potted plants is another great way to transition the space from inside to outside; one or two nice plants will do the trick without overpowering the space and detracting from the view. When outfitting your sunroom, don’t forget that sun exposure can fade furnishings and damage artwork. Glass coating and tinted glazing on windows help reduce this fading by blocking more UV rays, but you can also protect furnishings with other products. Awnings, shades, blinds, or louvered shutters will shield your décor, and have the added benefit of adjustable light and privacy options. Wood furnishings and floors can fade in varying degrees depending upon the transparency of the wood’s finish, its natural pigment and tannic acid, and how it R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

was processed, so it’s probably best to steer clear of wood in an area that receives intense sunlight. Mahogany, oak, and walnut are particularly susceptible to fading. Rattan, and painted wood (latex paint blocks UV rays) are a couple of attractive furniture alternatives to consider. Or opt for teak, known for fading to an attractive silvery gray. Finally, rearrange furniture when possible so that any fading that does occur is consistent throughout the pieces. In recent years, outdoor fabrics have expanded to include a sophisticated array of designs and patterns. Use them for seating, throw pillows and curtains to provide fade-resistant style to your four-season sunroom. If you’re considering a fabric that is not specifically designed for outdoor use, check that the label indicates the material is “UV resistant.” If using indoor fabric for curtains, make sure they’re lined with a sun-resistant fabric. A Room with a View

Last but not least, once settled into your sunroom, make sure you like the scenery. While you can certainly adjust the privacy with tinted glass and window dressings, don’t forget about enlisting Mother Nature. A strategically placed hedge, specimen tree, or trellis with wisteria or a climbing rose will not only screen your sunroom but provide an appealing view. Potted plants, garden beds with multi-season interest, and even a water feature or outdoor fireplace will help bring the outside in, no matter what the time of year. For centuries, people have used sunrooms to make the most of available light. With modern amenities and efficient climate control options, we can now extend our living space to enjoy the sunshine throughout all four seasons.

r vhomemaga zine .com



Brunch best in

By Lu cy Co o k

In the spring there are plenty of occasions for brunch; Mother’s Day and Easter are the two that come to mind, but there are always baby showers and wedding showers and birthdays that are fun to celebrate. I love the idea of a springtime brunch with friends. In my mind, we look like we’re straight out of the pages of a magazine: impeccably dressed, beautiful flowers on a rustic wooden table in my manicured yard… and delicious food that appears out of nowhere! Sounds good, doesn’t it? We can’t help with the outfits or the table, but we’ve got a great plan for a meal that is all but ready the night before! Our easy-does-it brunch menu includes homemade granola with Greek yogurt and berries, Praline Pull-Apart Rolls, a cheesy scrambled egg casserole, and a green salad of your choice.

Hosting a brunch is like having any other party: Invite guests, plan a menu and execute the plan. The only hitch is that with other parties, you have time during the day to execute! Having brunch before noon is a lesson in planning and organization, but with a little of both, it’s easy to do. Besides having the food almost ready, it’s important to set the table and set out serving dishes and utensils for all the dishes the night before. Label each serving dish with the menu item it will hold, and set up the buffet, so you can get a look at the finished arrangement. Do the same with the bar, making sure the glasses are polished and your ice bucket is clean. In the morning, your list is simple. Preheat the oven for the casserole and the rolls. Assemble a green salad. Put the rolls in about 95 minutes before you expect your guests. Then 45 minutes later, put the scrambled egg casserole in. Set out the granola, fruit and yogurt, and then the ice and drinks. The casserole and rolls will still be in the oven when the guests arrive, but it will give you 20 minutes to serve drinks and get everyone settled. Get everyone moving toward the table, then remove the rolls and casserole from the oven…and you’ve got it! 2 0

R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

Praline Pull-Apart Rolls (serves 8-12) Always a big hit, this recipe is like delicious sticky rolls, but much faster, easier and done the night before. Unmold onto a cake pedestal; the finished product is so beautiful that it will be the centerpiece of the table! 1 cup sugar 4 teaspoons cinnamon (divided) 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly 1 2-pound package frozen yeast roll dough (not to be confused with cooked rolls; we use Kroger-brand frozen yeast roll dough) 1 cup chopped pecans ¾ cup whipping cream ¾ cup brown sugar Mix sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. One at a time, dip rolls into butter, then coat in sugar. Layer them in a Bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle pecans on top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator (at least 8 hours, and up to 18 hours). In the morning: Preheat oven to 325. Whip the cream in a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer. Add the brown sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and beat to combine. Pour over the top of the rolls. Put the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet (you’ll thank me later!). Bake for an hour. Let rest for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a plate, scraping out all the extra caramel on top of the rolls.

r vhomemaga zine .com


Libby Collection

“My expert advice? Rely on an expert.â€? Granola (makes about 14 cups) Feel free to substitute your favorite dried fruit. Let cool completely before stirring in order to get big clumps. 13 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup honey ½ cup light corn syrup 1 cup apple cider or water AMY MATTHEWS

1 teaspoon cinnamon

TV Host and Licensed General Contractor

½ teaspoon salt 4 cups oatmeal (labeled old fashioned or rolled oats)

TV host and Licensed General Contractor Amy Matthews

½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

has built and remodeled lots of homes over the years. As an

½ cup pecan halves

expert, she knows better than anyone the value of working

½ cup whole almonds

with professionals – like the ones at Ferguson. Our product

Âź cup millet

experts will help you find the perfect products from the finest bath, kitchen and lighting brands in the world, so you can take pride in your home – on every level. Set up your

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1 pound dried fruit of your choice (mix and match; I like raisins,

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Visit and schedule your appointment today.

Preheat oven to 300. Grease a cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon butter. In a small saucepan, heat remaining butter, honey, corn syrup, water, cinnamon and salt.

Roanoke Lynchburg

(540) 345-2044 (434) 385-6600

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In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, nuts, millet, sesame seeds and wheat germ (no fruit yet!). Pour the hot honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat completely. Spread the mixture on the prepared sheet and bake, stirring every 15-20 minutes for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Add dried fruit and stir to combine. Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt, some fresh berries and a drizzle of local honey. Granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month. R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

Scrambled Egg Casserole (serves 8-12) I had a casserole like this at a friend’s house a long time ago, and I’ve worked to recreate it. I like serving this instead of Cheese Strata (see HOME’s Early Spring 2015 issue for that recipe) when I’m serving another bready item for breakfast (like the Praline Pull-Apart Rolls). It’s flexible too—you can substitute sautéed peppers and onions for the spinach and roasted tomatoes, and bacon or sausage for the ham. 5 tablespoons butter 5 tablespoons flour 3 cups milk (warmed in the microwave or on top of the stove) 2 cups cheddar 18 eggs Salt and pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup defrosted frozen, chopped spinach, drained well 6 plum tomatoes, cut in half, drizzled with olive oil and roasted at 400 for 35 minutes 1 cup diced ham 2 scallions, chopped

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Butter a 9x12 ovenproof casserole dish. In a medium saucepan, melt 5 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the warm milk and whisk until smooth. Cook another 4-5 minutes, stirring, until thickened. Add cheese and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter. When the butter is hot, add the eggs and reduce heat to medium. Scramble the eggs slowly, until barely cooked and still a little wet-looking. Mix in the cheese sauce, spinach, tomatoes and ham and stir gently, being careful not to overmix. Put in the prepared dish, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 10 minutes. Garnish casserole with chopped scallions and serve immediately.



P h ot o p rov i d e d by B ox l ey

WALK THIS WAY Decorative Walkways Say “Welcome Home” By Da rrell L aur a n t Once an afterthought for most homeowners and contractors, the path to the front door has increasingly turned into something to be admired as well as trod upon. From the suburbs to downtown in the Roanoke Valley, the familiar narrow ribbons of gray or white concrete are giving way to multi-colored paving stones, bricks and interlocking tiles that welcome approaching visitors to a home. The emphasis has gone from mere foot traffic to curb appeal. 2 4

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According to Brent Gleason of Boxley, Inc., one of the local pioneers in what has come to be called “hardscaping,” area builders and homeowners are waking up to the possibilities inherent in decorating not only walkways, but driveways and patios. In some cases, those three elements share the same design and actually flow together. “We’re doing them [decorative walkways] more and more,” says Ronnie Mitchell of Ronnie Mitchell and Son Landscaping in Rocky Mount. “The hardscape industry has been taking off for the past few years.” The trend began in Europe, Gleason says, and the U.S. is catching up. The trend is driven by word of mouth as well as the vast amount of information and media images available to inspired homeowners looking to add flair to their outdoor spaces. r vhomemaga zine .com

“People see it done with somebody else’s home,” Gleason says, “and they get interested themselves. It might not have occurred to them before.” Like home decorating customers armed with paint samples and fabric swatches, these newly sophisticated sidewalk shoppers now greet their local landscaper with their own ideas of color and style. “They have all kinds of choices now in colors and patterns,” says Mitchell. The colors in stamped concrete and concrete pavers come from dry pigments spread across the concrete and incorporated into it while it is still setting. Thus, the various hues are virtually fade resistant. A sidewalk could feature large individual flagstones set against a backdrop of aggregate gravel. Or inlaid brick. Or slate. Or paving stones presented in a chevron or herringbone

pattern. Or, perhaps, a parquet look. Such patterns, Gleason says, “soften up the landscape.” Some homeowners like the look of a walkway that curves as it approaches the house, an effect that can be difficult to achieve with a single uninterrupted sheet of concrete. Others prefer a wider surface than the standard 3 1/2 feet, allowing two people to walk up the sidewalk sideby-side. Stamped concrete, offering unique designs embossed into the surface, has come a long way in the past decade, and it is now possible to use concrete pavers that almost perfectly mimic brick or slate, but are less expensive. Installing such a walkway is not beyond the realm of possibility for do-it-yourselfers, but Mitchell advises caution. “It’s a lot harder than putting in a sidewalk the old way,” he says. “There’s a lot to learn.” 25

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Unlike the tile on a kitchen or floor, sidewalks have to be laid over ground that is never precisely level. The “fill” beneath the hard surface must be deep enough and even enough to keep the walkway from, as Mitchell puts it, “failing down the road.” “We use what’s known as ‘pugmill’ aggregate underneath,” he explains. “We get it from the Rockydale Quarry [in Roanoke], and it’s a system of adding moisture to a ground-up mixture of crushed stone. The moisture makes it harder and keeps it from settling.” Moreover, since paving stones obviously can’t be glued to the ground, they must be held in place by more subtle means, like paving sand in the joints and a taut edging that keeps the walkway firm by exerting opposing centrifugal force. Standard concrete, by contrast, remains in place simply by virtue of its own weight. All of these factors conspire to push up the cost of choosing a decorative sidewalk. From a labor standpoint alone, it is much more time consuming to match and carefully insert pieces than to simply pump out the appropriate amount of concrete and level it. Yet for those who might see a “designer sidewalk” as a frivolous expense, professionals like Gleason and Mitchell offer some compelling utilitarian arguments. “These types of walkways are a lot more durable,” says Gleason. “A typical concrete sidewalk might have a 3,000-4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) rating. Some types of stone can be as high as 8,000 psi.” Mitchell points out that with some of these more decorative options, “You get the rigidity of concrete, and the flexibility of asphalt.” R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

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Many hardscaping companies now offer anywhere from a 50-year to a lifetime warranty on walkways made of stone or concrete pavers. “The new ones are definitely more durable,” says Mitchell, “and they’re easier to repair. When you make a repair in concrete or asphalt, you can see the place where it was fixed. Now, you can just replace a couple of pavers, and you could never tell.” The cost currently varies from $8-$10 per square foot for basic concrete pavers to $12-$18 for more elaborate designs. Brick, slate and flagstones are more expensive, with prices going up to $30 per square foot and beyond. But what if you have grown tired of your old walkway and would like to get fancy, but cringe at the thought of jackhammers in the front yard? Most of these same designs are available in concrete overlays that can be put down over the old surface. With all these options, homeowners no longer have to settle for that boring gray perpendicular walk to the front door. The way has been paved for better, brighter paths. R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

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by F err el l N e xs en

When I got married some years ago, a favorite gift at the time to give the bride and groom was a silver tray. They came in all shapes and sizes, and I received quite a collection. At the time, I was under-impressed and did not see the use in them, but my mother assured me there would come a time when I would love and use each and every one. Whom and what would I serve using these trays? All I could think of was teatime and white-gloved butlers when it came to trays. But oh how the tray has transformed! No longer just functional vehicles on which to pass canapĂŠs, or objects with designs and materials dominated by silver, trays have become an integral and fun part of decorating and home decor. They are likely to be discovered in most any home today. Whether they are on a coffee table, ottoman, vanity table, or console, they can make quite a statement. Trays are suitable to put on practically any surface, and are particularly advantageous for protecting marble or other surfaces prone to distress. Trays can corral objects and keep them orderly, and create a nice place of interest in any room. r vhomemaga zine .com


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Ever the versatile piece, a traditional tray can be used in rather unique ways, or it can be devised and created from items never imagined. Take for instance your grandmother’s two- or three-tiered dessert tray that has forever found a home in your closet. It can make an excellent jewelry or perfume holder in your dressing room or bathroom, or you can display something interesting on it like a colorful collection of matchbooks or figurines. Don’t have a have a tiered dessert tray? Make your own using two or three china plates, some candlestick holders, and some good craft glue (experts recommend fast-drying epoxy). This is a great way to show off those antique plates you picked up at an estate sale or your great aunt’s china you thought you would never use or appreciate. And speaking of china, almost any piece can be used as a distinctive tray. After all, the definition of a tray is “a container used for carrying, holding, or displaying.“ For many, there is nothing more fun than hunting in an antique store, thrift store, or even your own basement for pretty plates, saucers, teacups, bowls and other porcelain pieces. The versatility of dishes can be amazing. Take a small plate or saucer and add a nice bar of soap, and you have an elegant soap dish. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a lovely ribbon, and viola! You have the perfect hostess gift. Teacups in a drawer or on a shelf make a simple organizing system for holding anything from earrings to cotton balls to those pesky elastic hairbands. The key here is to start looking at china in a whole new light! Crafting Fun Trays From Everyday Objects

Of course, when in pursuit of the perfect tray, don’t bypass old picture frames. There are some unique old frames out there to be found, and they can be turned in to a stunning tray, sometimes with the simple addition of a piece of plywood and some paint. You can also add your personal signature to any tray by covering the bottom with some good-looking fabric, wine corks, beer bottle caps, concert ticket stubs, travel mementos, stencils…or just about anything! You can also take this jazz-it-up approach to old trays, revamping them for a new look. Another easy and useful DIY project is to create a to-go tray made from the top of a sturdy cardboard box covered with cute wrapping paper or fabric. This project is a clever way to deliver a meal or take a dish to a potluck supper. Keep in mind that just about anything can be repurposed and used as a tray. You just need to view everyday objects with new eyes, and the possibilities become endless.

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Creating a Focal Point

Keep in mind that just about anything can be repurposed and used as a tray. You just need to view everyday objects with new eyes, and the possibilities become endless.

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And back to those silver trays‌ They can make a lovely and sophisticated backdrop for shelves when interspersed between books, porcelain figurines, picture frames, and other collectibles, or you can use a collection of trays in different shapes and sizes to fill the space and make a statement. Another option is to group silver trays together and hang them on the wall for an interesting and elegant look that creates a focal point in a room. After all these years, I have actually begun to use and enjoy all of my silver trays, whether in the bathroom as an elegant soap dish or to display perfume bottles, on a coffee table to hold our many remote controls and magazines, or as a backsplash for a bar. Looks like my mom was right after all! So next time you are in an antique or thrift store, an estate or yard sale, or even your own basement, get creative and let objects inspire you. You may find yourself with a whole new organizational system, a focal point for a room, or at the very least, a new conversation piece.




Our homes may not be as automated as The Jetsons, that childhood cartoon we remember from the 1960s (but set in 2064), but we’re getting closer with today’s “smart” technology. For years, consumers have enjoyed being able to set timers that automatically send their dishwashers, washing machines and ovens into motion at appointed times—making those homekeeping tasks occur at convenient times of day. But now, home appliances getting are even smarter.


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Some new appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers and ovens, can be controlled with a touch-screen interface on the appliance, or from your smartphone. These built-in apps can send you alerts, notify you when the washer is finished, or send you status updates of your refrigerator’s water filter. LG, GE and Whirlpool are three companies in the forefront of the technology, with new ones being introduced all the time. One aspect of smart technology in the home that’s gaining ground is the ability to check on and control multiple appliances and devices from a smartphone, tablet or computer. With an app, users can control a variety of devices while sitting at home, or at the beach: lighting, heating and cooling, appliances, and locks. The apps can also send an alarm when the power goes out, the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm goes off, an intruder sets off a motion sensor in your home, or the hot-water heater springs a leak. Long the vision of science fiction and World’s Fairs, smart homes have not completely reached the level dreamed of in the 50s and 60s, but we’re getting closer to that goal all the time. At present, there is no single standard technology to allow smart appliances to “talk” to each r vhomemaga zine .com

other, so the appliances in some smart homes will be hard wired, while others are able communicate wirelessly. These technologies also help make the smart house a “green” house that allows you to keep appliances, lights, and heating and cooling off during the day when no one is home. You can choose to run your dishwasher or washing machine during off-peak hours, generally at night, when electricity demand on the local power grid is light. Before you leave the office, you can set your home thermostat to slowly cool down as you head home so the temperature is comfortable when you arrive. You can turn the oven on to preheat while you’re still at the grocery store. When you pull into your driveway, you can pull out your phone to open your garage door, unlock the door to the house, and turn on the lights so you don’t have to fumble with a light switch when you have your hands full of groceries. Separate controls can replace your thermostat and can be installed to control overhead and occasional lighting or other home devices. From your easy chair, you can control your home theater system or control the volume of your favorite songs in each room of the house. Security measures may include magnetic contacts

that detect when a window or cabinet, like a gun safe or medicine cabinet, is opened; sensors for motion, smoke, carbon monoxide, and moisture (like a leaky pipe); window shades; automatic door locks; and cameras inside and outside the house. Individual modules can control separate devices such as table lamps, the coffee pot, and a crockpot. You can hire an expert to have home automation systems installed, or install them yourself. Prices for professional installation vary depending on whether you’re installing a system in a new home, or retrofitting an existing home with hidden wiring or wireless control. And it doesn’t take an engineering degree to control your home from your phone. Manufacturers have made sure that controlling their appliances by smartphone or tablet is easy by designing simple software to run the show. Designers and engineers of home appliances are constantly seeking new ways to help homeowners: refrigerators that scan food and send a shopping list to your phone; ovens that scan your food and offer recipe suggestions. Now, if they could just get the washing machine to load itself, and the trash to take itself to the curb, they may be onto something! 35





eastern redbuds take center stage By R ach el B e a n l a n d


R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

In Virginia, the flowering dogwood tree can get more than its fair share of the limelight. Its bloom is so beloved it was named the state flower in 1918. Almost a century later, the dogwood flower adorns license plates, roadway signs and bumper stickers across the Commonwealth. But there’s another native tree that deserves to see its name in lights. Gardeners who want to add an ornamental to their landscape this spring should look no further than the eastern redbud. Jim Monroe of Roanoke’s Greenbrier Nurseries is a fan of the redbud. “I tell people they’re going to have a much greater chance of success with a redbud, as compared to a dogwood,” says Monroe. He likes dogwoods, but says they have some inherent flaws—susceptibility to fungal disease and stem bores are two—that can keep gardeners from being successful with them. There are several different cultivars of redbud—all of which are members of “Fabaceae,” or the pea family. The eastern redbud (Cercis cannidensus L.) grows in the eastern United States and lower Great Plains, and does particularly well in Virginia’s soil. In the Midwest, Texas and Oklahoma redbuds are prolific, and there’s a western redbud that’s native to the western United States. Imported varieties, such as the Chinese redbud and the Afghan redbud, are non-native to the U.S. but popular cultivars too. The eastern redbud, like the dogwood, is a harbinger of spring. Its flowers—small and pinkish-red in color—bloom early, beginning in March, and long before its leaves come in. Early bloomers, or pollinators, are especially important to insects and birds that have survived a long winter and need to feast on the season’s first flowers. While the dogwood’s flowers bloom in sporadic clusters along its branches, the redbud’s flowers cover nearly every inch of its limbs, extending to its trunk and giving the tree the appearance of having been dipped in a pot of pink paint. For gardeners who like to have some color in their yard throughout the spring, a redbud can provide weeks of coverage while other trees, shrubs and plants ready themselves for their big debuts. r vhomemaga zine .com


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After the redbud blooms, small seed pods come in. Native Americans used to harvest the redbud’s flat, green seed pods as well as its flowers—both of which are high in vitamin C—to eat. They made use of the tree’s bark, too, concocting teas and astringents to treat whooping cough, fever, congestion and stomach problems. The eastern redbud’s nectar is a favorite of hummingbirds and its pollen attracts honeybees. Squirrels go for its flowers, bark and seed pods, and whitetail deer snack on its foliage. While some gardeners aren’t fans of the tree’s seed pods, it may be a reassurance to know bobwhite quail and songbirds love them. Only after the seed pods are in do the redbud’s leaves follow. Small and heart-shaped, the leaves are a dull, dark green that turn yellow in autumn. The eastern redbud can grow just about anywhere, which makes the tree a popular choice for novice gardeners who are afraid of getting something wrong. In the wild, redbuds tend to grow in the partial shade of the forest’s tree line, but it’s their ability to thrive in both full sun and full shade that makes them so versatile. “The redbud is a drought-tolerant tree once it’s established,” says Monroe. He advises giving the redbud about five gallons of water per week for its first year. After that, the tree should be able to get by on rainwater. Unlike comparable non-native ornamentals, such as the Bradford pear or crape myrtle, the redbud doesn’t require much in the way of pruning either. “If you want to lightly prune, you can do it any time of the year,” says Monroe. “But if you work with a landscape designer and choose the proper tree for the space, you can eliminate the need to prune.” A redbud that isn’t pruned will eventually grow to be about 25 feet tall, with a 25- to 35-foot spread of foliage. Understory trees like the redbud look great framing a house because their shorter stature accents the roofline without dwarfing it. Horticulturists recommend planting flowering understory trees like the redbud in clusters. When they bloom, it’s as if someone graffitied the landscape with a very big brush. Water and pruning aren’t the only things homeowners can go easy on when it comes to planting and nurturing redbuds. R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

Nurseries used to always advise gardeners to amend their soil with nutrient-rich potting soil and fertilizers, but some horticulturalists now say it may not be unnecessary. Eventually, all plants must adapt to their environment, and there’s evidence that the sooner this happens, the better. “The redbud is a very resilient tree,” says Monroe. “It’s less fastidious about having a specific kind of soil. It’s a tree that can do well, even when your soil is rocky or dry.” Despite that resiliency, Monroe warns homeowners to be careful planting any tree directly in the subsoil that is often used to backfill the foundations of new-construction homes. It lacks the nutrients found in native soil. Because the redbud is so low-maintenance, there’s almost no wrong time to plant one. Monroe tells people that as long as the ground’s not frozen, they can plant anytime. There’s no debating that a dogwood will outlive an eastern redbud. The average dogwood lives 80 years compared to a redbud’s 30-year lifespan. But the redbud’s blooms are so distinctive, it’s worth considering the tree as a complement to the dogwood, if not an alternative. In the past 10 years, there’s been an explosion of new redbud cultivars from which to choose. At most nurseries, shoppers can expect to spend about $125 for a six- or seven-foot tall tree. Redbud or dogwood, it’s important to remember that native trees, shrubs and plants matter. Choosing a native tree guarantees a habitat for local wildlife, reduces the likelihood of introducing a non-native invasive plant into the landscape, and requires less maintenance and water usage. And more and more homeowners are tuning into these benefits. “The interest in native plants is high,” says Monroe. “With native plants, you’re supporting ecology and getting a landscape that’s more natural.”

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Home, Reimagined Fresh and fun updates for one sporty family BY Pat r i ci a C H el d P h ot o g r a p hy by Kev in H u r l ey

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“Mark, fore, strike” …This may be a sporty expression for some, but it is a lifestyle for Jenny and Chris John and their three children. Both Jenny and Chris were swimmers at the University of North Carolina, where they first met. Still avid Tar Heel fans, the Johns and their children carry their sports enthusiasm even further. Their lives revolve around family, sports and competition of every kind, and their home is evidence of this zest for life. After graduating from UNC, and prior to moving to South Roanoke, the young couple travelled the first few years in conjunction with Chris’s medical education. While in Mississippi working on a fellowship, Chris and Jenny visited their best friends in Roanoke, and looked at property. They found their present house and bought it. “It was the yard that drew us to the property,” Jenny says. “It was huge and flat—perfect to play sports.” However, with only three bedrooms, the home was not big enough for a family of five. While still living in Mississippi, the Johns gutted their South Roanoke house. “We love to redo,” says Jenny. So it did not faze them to renovate from afar. 42

“When we renovated,” says Jenny, “we designed the home so that people of every age would come. I can have three children in different parts of the house doing their own thing.” One of Jenny’s goals was to provide a place for her children to be with their friends or work on projects, while still under her supervision. The shuttered Georgian colonial sits amid a neighborhood of older homes. The community conveys an air of simple elegance, while emitting hospitality. When Jenny recalls one of her first visits to the house, she says it took no time at all for the neighborhood children to befriend Chris and Jenny’s youngsters, noting that they all ran off to play right away. The front garden is designed for low maintenance, with a neat, uncluttered appearance. Landscape designer Chris Barlow of Roanoke’s Garden Arts created a formal entrance with pavers along the walk and driveway, and installed beds of evergreen shrubs and easy-care perennials. A pergola at the side of the home creates an inviting entrance leading to a mudroom that is more like the family locker and equipment room. Chris, Jenny

and their children have a convenient spot to unload the sports paraphernalia accumulated after a day of swimming, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, basketball, tennis or whatever other activity the day has offered. Built-in cubbies keep basketballs, lacrosse sticks and athletic shoes organized. “We even store our bathing suits and towels here,” Jenny points out. “The mudroom is my favorite room.” Jenny says she thinks of a dining room as wasted space, so they abandoned the idea of such a formal room and now use the area for this mudroom. According to Jenny, “Cameron Harris is my decorator and she has designed the whole house. This was her vision.” Harris understands how the Johns live and recognized how impractical a dining room would be for the family, so she transformed it into this hardworking space. Another room that gets a lot of mileage in the Johns’ home is their den— a mix of comfortable seating and other special pieces. Jenny says it’s where they go to relax after dropping the gear from the day in the mudroom. Tom Dorothy of Ghent Hill in Roanoke, which specializes in the design and construction of custom R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

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furniture and antique restoration, built several pieces for the John family, including a unique table for this room. Harris describes Dorothy as her “go-to person for all things wood.” She explains, “Tom and I designed a clean-line wood console with slab-leg sides.” To add interest and provide more stability to the piece, he added a custom metal support piece between the legs. Dorothy and Harris worked with artist Dave Wertz on this piece, and his contribution was to incorporate an old elevator pulleywheel into the support area of the table. The result is an eyecatching and useful side table perfect for this room. A selection of significant artwork decorates the walls, including a special piece commissioned by the Johns that depicts a magical spot near Falling Spring in Alleghany County. The couple asked Roanoke artist Nan Mahone Wellborn to create the landscape for this room. “The den is our happy place,” notes Jenny. And this painting carries the theme one step further. The den is another comfortable gathering space with an inviting brown leather L-shaped sectional, hefty ottoman and largescreen television. In their first renovation, while they were still in Mississippi, the Johns redid the kitchen, added the extra bedroom, and then stopped. In their rush to make the home habitable for their family, Chris and Jenny did a few things they wish they had done differently. They felt like their renovated kitchen was not large enough, that the family simply needed more space than they realized. So a few years after settling into their home, the couple called in their dear friend Robert Kulp of Black Dog Salvage and Blue Ridge Residential for his assistance to correct these issues. Kulp understood exactly how Chris and Jenny wanted to r vhomemaga zine .com


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enhance their home. “His vision is like ours, open and rustic,” says Jenny. The result of their collaboration is an enormous great room that extends from the back of the kitchen. Kulp has created a family-friendly space including a huge sunroom and outdoor entertainment zone. The John home is the neighborhood gathering place. As Harris says, “It is all about ‘come in, sit down and be comfortable’.” Thanks to Kulp and his vision, an expansive 500-squarefoot sunroom extends into their back yard. With three walls of windows, hewn beams and a high ceiling, the room is dramatic and perfect for an active family. With Kulp’s contacts in the salvage world, he was able to reclaim beams from an old barn and resurrect the floors from a Birmingham tobacco barn. The outer brick wall of the original home is now an inside wall. Oriental rugs cover portions of the floor to add warmth and style. A large table stretches across a portion of the room and is ideal for projects, homework or a holiday dinner. Jenny describes this as “the best room of the house.” It is a family room, a party room, an everything room. Kulp recognized the importance of entertainment space, and used this great room as the anchor. An area closest to the kitchen serves as a wet bar, complete with wine refrigerators, a sink and a small bar. An outer door leads to a side porch and an outdoor kitchen with a large grill, smoker, cooking area and fireplace. Nearby outdoor seating and a generous-sized patio doubling as a dance floor are ideal extensions of this new addition. The John home is the neighborhood’s first choice as a party spot. According to Jenny, whenever there is a big snow, their home is the central meeting place for children and their parents, R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

since nearby Stanley Road is often closed to traffic and open for sledding. While the local children gather on the road with their sleds, parents monitor their children’s sledding at the Johns’ home. The snow falling, a roaring fire, and friends sipping wine as their children sled nearby… “Nothing is more beautiful!” says Jenny. Although the kitchen is quite functional, it is long and narrow, and Jenny says it’s not roomy enough for a group to gather in what is often the busiest room of the house. Future plans include making this kitchen bigger and more commodious for family and friends. “I want people in the kitchen with me and I love to cook!” she says. Though the Johns want more space, the current kitchen features plentiful cabinets and counters for cooking and serving. A corner area offers a cozy sitting spot, and has evolved into a favorite place for the children to do homework. With a computer and small built-in desk, this area also serves as Jenny’s office. Jenny describes her basement as another goto area for all the children in the neighborhood. There is room to hang out and watch sports on television. A basketball net on the wall reinforces the kid-friendly atmosphere. Since their daughter is an artist, one room is devoted to crafts. Paints, brushes and papers are

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everywhere, announcing “artist at work.” According to Jenny, “We have non-stop kids here all of the time.” Each of her children has his or her own space to be with their friends, and this is exactly what Jenny wants. “My mom did the same thing,” explains Jenny. “Our house was the house that all of the kids could come to. And I have probably blown it up a bit!” A set of doors opens into a large underhouse patio area adjoining the backyard play area. “I can’t believe how much we use this,” says Jenny. “And I can only see us using it even more as the children get older.” With its protection from the elements in the spring and fall and cover during the heat of the summer, the area is in use three out of the four seasons. The back yard is indeed sprawling, a constant reminder of what drew the Johns to the home in the first place. A corn hole set, lacrosse net and other gaming gear are always at the ready for use. A picturesque back alley, so typical in many Roanoke neighborhoods, serves as a shortcut to reach friends in the neighborhood. Another portion of the basement area includes a guest bedroom suite and a large laundry room with plenty of shelves R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

and drawers. This area doubles as Jenny’s personal project room. An adjoining expansive storage area is perfect for fishing poles, golf clubs, bikes, scooters and assorted seasonal sports equipment. With so much space, the family can spread out. Back upstairs, the living room offers one of the more traditional areas in the home. Here much of the furniture can be traced back to family, including many pieces from Chris’s grandparents. Of special note is an almost-life-sized bronze of a hunting dog, reminiscent of a dog Chris and Jenny once owned. According to Jenny, this room serves as a quiet spot to read as well as the traditional room where the family hangs their Christmas stockings. Harris helped develop the home’s personality and described her approach as “combining and layering new pieces with family heirlooms, great original art and unique custom pieces.” Originally the second floor had space for three bedrooms. The addition of the great room on the first floor enabled the Johns to build up and create a master bedroom suite on the second level, resulting in enough bedrooms for each child to have his or her own.

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Jenny describes each of her children’s rooms as “all child,” designed to reflect their personalities. Each room has a multitude of shelves for them to store their treasures. Jenny’s daughter is forever redesigning her room. In contrast, the boys are content as long as they can hang their sports posters and Tar Heel banners. But Jenny points out, “They don’t hang out in their rooms as much as they hang out everywhere else. This whole house is theirs!” In the John home, there are no “off limits” areas. The master bedroom suite offers a peaceful respite in an otherwise busy home. Easy chairs at the foot of the bed face a large-screen television, creating a private lounging spot. The walls are decorated with a variety of art pieces sent to the family through Chris’s father. As an art dealer, he collected work as he travelled throughout the world. Jenny describes her family’s life in Roanoke in terms of being here forever. “We don’t see ourselves moving from here anytime soon,” she says. And if the house ever becomes too big and the Johns decide to downsize, their eldest son has already announced that he wants to buy it. “He loves this house,” says Jenny. And she proudly notes that all of her children prefer to be at home, which is exactly what Chris and Jenny had hoped for. “This is why we bought this house!”

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Look Up



R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

P h ot o p rov i d e d by Cl o set St o r a g e O rg a nize r s

We spend hours sorting through paint swatches for our walls, and then more hours choosing the best flooring. But what about our ceilings? Are there just as many options for this additional “wall”? From choosing a complementary paint color, to adding texture effects, to exploring alternative coverings, you may find that the view above could become your favorite view of all. Color it Up

One of the quickest, easiest, and most budget-friendly ways to liven up a room is to paint the ceiling. Isn’t it ironic that many of us settle for plain white ceilings throughout our house, while we will go to all lengths to find the right color for our walls? The fact is that the ceiling color can add that perfect finishing touch to your room. Experts usually recommend staying within the hues of your wall color for your ceiling, using slightly darker shades for smaller rooms or slightly lighter for larger rooms. Lighter, neutral shades can make a ceiling appear higher, while darker shades can make a room feel cozier. A room with all-white walls and light-colored flooring could benefit from a more vibrant color for the ceiling. If you have a particular ceiling fan or light fixture you’d like to draw focus to, r vhomemaga zine .com

consider painting the ceiling red, gray, or chocolate brown. The idea is for the eye to be able to make a smooth transition from the floor to ceiling, no matter the shades. Sometimes experimenting with a new finish on a plain white ceiling is all you need to give your room a new look. Although many paint manufacturers offer ultra-flat ceiling paint (which will reflect light and hide imperfections, and is specially formulated for less splatter), consider a high-gloss coat to shine things up. In a bathroom, for instance, a glossy white ceiling can create a mirror effect and make the whole room seem bigger and brighter. In a young girl’s bedroom, consider using a “glitter effect” topcoat for the ceiling (made by many of the top paint brands) to bring sparkle and magic into her world. Paint that comes in metallic finishes can also fit your fancy in

other rooms; add a high-gloss glaze over it, and your dining room ceiling could shine like the silver on the table below. Brush it Up

A textured ceiling can add a bit of personality to a room, but it can also cover imperfections, stains and cracks. Popcorn ceilings were popular a few decades ago (and if you own an older home, odds are you may have this style in many of your rooms), but there are more painting techniques that can add character to a room. You can “sponge,” “smoosh,” “stomp,” “stipple,” or “strié” your ceiling for a dramatic effect. That’s a lot of silly sounding “s” words, but these techniques each call for rolling a rag or other material on the paint, or using a glaze with different brushes and different strokes. Of course, these effects take even more care when you’re doing them overhead. Cover the floor and all furniture with drop cloths, and wear protective eyewear. While you could climb a ladder to sponge or stipple in small areas at a time, you can also use special rollers with your feet firmly planted on the ground. For a great strie effect, try using a whisk broom. 53

There are also paints that will add immediate texture to a wall, as they are infused with small, sandy particles that can create a three-dimensional effect; no need for a special spray gun or sponge to create the look of plaster or stucco. These paints come in an assortment of colors. Cover It Up

There are plenty of solutions for ceiling treatments that don’t come in a can. Create a one-of-a-kind design by using wallpaper, tiles, or even fabric coverings. Your home may not be the Sistine Chapel, but adding masterpieces to the ceiling will instantly cause your guests to look up in awe. One way of bringing art to the top is using wallpaper. Browsing wallpaper is like going to an art gallery; there are so many patterns and murals, with some just screaming to end up on a ceiling. Think baby blue sky with clouds for a nursery, florals for a sunroom, a sophisticated geometric to highlight a chandelier in the dining room‌the options are endless. Wallpaper can be as easy to install on the ceiling as it is on the wall, although it is usually a two-person job. If you have a drop (suspended) ceiling, a fun project could be decorating the panels one by one for a whole new look, especially if you harbor some artistic talent yourself. You can remove the panels, decorate them the way you like, then place them back (no straining your neck looking upward for so long!). Try painting the panels with textured paint or metallic finishes, or use two different colors for a checkerboard effect. Consider using wallpaper or fabric and your options expand even more. (Create a tufted look with fabric by stapling a fabric square in the center and covering the staple with a button, tucking the fabric loosely around the back.) Even the most upscale ceiling designs can be achieved by using creative coverings, such as tin tiles and leafing with precious metals. Ornate tin tiles, offered in nickel, bronze, and copper, among other metals, can give your rooms an Old-World style. Tiles are relatively low in cost and affix easily to the existing ceiling either by adhesives or by nails, which are built into the design. Pair tin ceiling tiles with coordinating backsplashes and you could change the whole look of your kitchen or dining room. Gilding your ceiling with any of a number of precious metal-looking leafing products can also create a luxury look. Leafing comes on rolls (called ribbon leafing) and can be applied fairly quickly. 5 4

Sometimes experimenting with a new finish on a plain white ceiling is all you need to add to change the entire look of your room.

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For a more contemporary look, choose wood ceiling planks, which also fall into the easy-to-install category. Ceiling products like WoodTrac by Sauder ( can be mounted onto an existing suspended ceiling grid or directly to the wall. Clips attach to the grid or the ceiling itself and molding is slid on. The ceiling planks fit easily into grooves in the molding. Wood finishes range from bamboo to oak to cherry, so you can coordinate with your furnishings and flooring for a cohesive, natural look. For ceilings with exposed beams, experiment with different stains and paint. Or for those without, add some rustic faux beams. For a contemporary, sleek look, attach metal beams to the ceiling and paint them the same color as the ceiling, or even a contrasting color. As with any home project, make your ceilings reflect your style. Don’t be afraid of giving your ceiling a new look. We spend more time than you think looking up at our ceilings—as we lie in bed, do curl-ups, or daydream on the couch. Raising this oft-forgotten space to the top of your list will surely take your room’s design to new heights.

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Buckle Up, Tidy Up Stay organized while living on the go BY S p en ce S p en cer

Each spring, we get to go to a convention for my spouse’s job. It’s always held at an elegant hotel, a few hours’ drive away. Upon our approach, we have the obligatory manners talk with the kids. Then, as we roll to a stop under the covered portico by the guest registration desk, a uniformed bellman extends a helpful gloved hand to assist us with the car door and welcome us to the resort. Inevitably, a soda can (or some other kind of backseat shrapnel) bounces out and rolls underneath the car. Yup. The Spencers have arrived, y’all! Whether you’re a carpooling suburbanite or a traveling salesperson whose “office” is in the backseat, keeping your car clutter-free and organized can help your daily commute from feeling chaotic (not to mention save you from the embarrassment of having the unruly contents of your car exposed for all to see!). After all, your car is really an extension of your home, isn’t it? The approach for setting up an organization system for your car is similar to setting up one for your home—but with one additional and unique challenge. In the car, your organizing will be affected by constant motion, acceleration and deceleration. Ever had everything slide off the passenger seat into a jumble on the floor because you slammed on the brakes? Yeah, that. So, are you ready to get rolling? r vhomemaga zine .com


Clean Machine

It all starts with a good cleaning and purging. Take everything out of the car (even the baby’s car seat!) and analyze it. Don’t forget the random places like the cup holders and door pockets. Sort through everything; decide what to toss and what to keep. What things do you use all the time, and what do you use only occasionally? Decide where they really go and put them there (especially if it’s in the house, or the trash). Some things belong up front, while others belong in the back or trunk. One of the best habits you can adopt is to gather the day’s wrappers and trash each time you arrive home. Do a quick seats-and-floorboard check and carry out that clutter! Additionally, any time you fuel up, do another spot check since you’ll be parked next to a trash barrel for a few minutes while connected to the pump. Integrating this daily trash-clearing habit into your routine will go a long way toward the goal of keeping an organized car. Many cars come with built-in hooks, perfect for holding an old grocery sack— just the thing to help gather the garbage. Not that automated? Pick up a package of adhesive hooks (like 3M™ Command Hooks) and stick one in each row of your vehicle, positioned where a buckled-in passenger can easily reach it. Store extra sacks in the glove compartment and your car’s trash problem could be solved. Corralling for Convenience

Sometimes, it feels like we live in our cars, so think about how you use your car (I mean besides “for transportation”). Are you a salesperson with a trunk full of manufacturer’s samples, a parent of sports stars, or a realtor who ferries prospective homebuyers from property to property? For many of us, our cars have to serve all those purposes on some level. There’s a fine line between being prepared for anything and using your car as a mobile storage unit. Only you can decide where that line is. When you shuttle kids all over town, with the backseat serving as a snack café between lessons and practices, and the front seat being the mobile office where you do work in your car between appointments—sometimes it just makes sense to keep certain things in your car fulltime (or at least throughout the season). Give these things an official home, because if they don’t have “a spot,” they’ll cause a mess. Though some manufacturers make organizing systems specifically designed for vehicles, they can be pricey and hard to find. With a little engineering, you can develop your own off-label uses on more-common organizing gizmos. Just remember that anything loose can become dangerous in the event of a sudden stop or a crash—causing damage your car or, worse, injury to your occupants. That’s why so many of the specialmade car organizers include straps, to keep things safely lassoed down. As with any organizational system, the trick to making a good supply kit is finding the right container and keeping it in the right spot. Convenience items are only convenient if you can reach them when you need them! Open-top containers are the best containers for things that anyone might need in a hurry. Keep them where they can be easily reached.

Front Seat Command Center:

the items you’ll want in reach at all times. ■ Notepad/pen ■ Sunglasses ■ Tissues ■ Lip balm ■ Hand sanitizer ■ Spare change, extra cash ■ Hair ties/hairbrush Clean-Up Brigade: items you’ll

never regret having in the car at all times, whether in your front seat command center or in a less-easy-to-reach spot like your backseat floorboard or trunk. ■ Paper towels/wet wipes ■ Stain-remover pads/pen ■ Trash bags In Case of Emergency

There are also items worthy of their own organizational systems, that you should keep in your car at all times, but not necessarily at your fingertips. It’s more important to keep them together, and know where they are. First Aid Kit: Keep this must-have in

an opaque, lidded box to keep bandages and ointments at the ready for the next monkey bar mishap. Stashing this in your trunk area, center console or glove box is probably an even better choice than up front in plain view, removing temptation from youngsters to who like to perform medical procedures on their dolls and other backseat buddies. Glove compartment docs:

Consider a sturdy laminate envelope that’s easy to find and grab. ■ Auto club membership info ■ Owner’s manual/service record ■ Proof of insurance/vehicle registration Roadside emergencies: A plastic

lidded box works well for these items. ■ Aerosol tire inflator ■ Jack/tools/flashlight ■ Jumper cables/towing strap ■ Roadside flares ■ B  lanket or extra coat/sweatshirt

(this will come in handy watching sporting events, too!)

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2015 Season

Hairspray April 29 - May 17 Finding a Niche for Those Oddball Items

But what about all those other “convenience items” we keep in our cars—you know, that stuff that’s “more convenient” to keep in the car than to run back home to grab or carry in-and-out every day? Closet organizers like soft-sided over-door shoe organizers, or even hanging toiletry bags, that install under your headrest to keep the backseat organized work well for these groups of items. Backseat nanny ■ ■ ■

Changing pad Diapers/wipes/ointments Spare change of clothes

Entertainment essentials ■ A  ■ ■

clipboard and doodle supplies (paper, crayons) DVDs/headphones Small books/games/toys

Mobile office ■ C  lipboard

(clamp it to the underside of the shoe organizer) ■ E  xtra wall charger for your electronic devices ■ O  ffice supplies (stapler, hole punch, paperclips, scissors, tape)

Summer skincare

Sunscreen Hats/visors Bug spray Soft-sided/expandable containers like mesh laundry hampers and “string bags” help control things that have odd shapes. These can sit nicely in your trunk or back floorboard. ■ ■ ■

Sports gear

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■ Cleats/uniforms/socks ■ Helmets/rackets/sticks/bats ■ S  wimming gear (goggles, towels,

pool noodles)

Snack attack ■ Bottled water ■ Napkins ■ N  on-perishable

42nd Street Dec. 2 - 20

snack foods (energy bars, nuts, plus a box of baggies for leftovers)

Just don’t fall into the trap of permanently storing your sports equipment in your car. Fluctuating temperatures aren’t good for them and they can put your vehicle at risk for burglary. When the season’s over, reclaim your trunk space! Remember, a huge part of “being prepared for anything” includes giving folks a ride to the airport with their luggage or making a weekly trip to the grocery store—so, try to keep as much clear space in your car as possible so you can readily transport people and their things from Point A to Point B. r vhomemaga zine .com

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Decorating with Portrait Photography DISPLAYING THE MEMORIES OF A LIFETIME BY L au r el F ei n m a n Po r t r a i t by N at a li e W hi t e P 6 0h ot o gr a p hy by KG T hi e n e m a nn

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he happiest homes seem to be filled with meaningful personal treasures— hand-selected for display, either by us or for us. They’re a tangible way of saying, “This is who we are and what’s important to us.”

Our family photos, whether they are carefully posed portraits or images caught during a memory-in-the-making, are perhaps the greatest treasures of all. Therefore, they are worthy of our consideration about how and where we should best display them in our homes. Kevin Hurley, a professional fine art and lifestyle portrait photographer, says that something is always the impetus that prompts the decision to have a portrait taken. There’s been a change, something new to celebrate, a special spot to fill in a special room. He says, “A professional photographer helps analyze a client’s needs and come up with a plan to meet them.” So, instead of haphazardly displaying your photographs along with the clutter of life (or worse, leaving them forgotten on a disc in the desk drawer), it’s wise to take the opportunity to plan and choose a method and a location to display them—thoughtfully weaving your portrait photography into your everyday interior décor. It’s because of that careful forethought and attentive planning that Hurley says professional portrait sessions will entail at least three separate appointments: the first one, to define and set the goals for the project; the second one, the photography session itself; and the third one, to preview and select images. He says that the difference between what he calls hobby photographers and professional photographers is often the depth of service provided; if you just do the step in the middle (the session itself), you’re missing out on the benefits of professional services. Hurley says that a besides lending an artistic eye to the subject in front of the lens, a professional photographer can also help you decide the best way to display your images. He says professional photographers can help you decipher which images look best hanging on a wall versus in a book, or which ones will look best in a frame on the desk or as a holiday card. r vhomemaga zine .com


Photography Geography

When his primary assignment is to provide a portrait to hang in a specific place in a client’s home, Hurley says he visits the home so he can see that spot for himself. He explains, “I will photograph the place where the portrait will eventually hang so that when we meet to review proofs after our photo session, I can show you exactly what your portrait is going to look like. I have software that I can use to mock it up. Then, we can play with layouts and try out different processing techniques to see what the final product will look like in your home.” Since certain settings—both the location where the portrait itself is staged and the place it will hang in your home—will convey certain feelings and meanings, Hurley advises clients to put some thought into where the portrait will eventually hang when choosing the photography session location and the attire to be worn. “That family beach portrait might be perfect for the family room, but not necessarily the formal dining room,” he explains. To ensure you’ll be pleased with the outcome of your photography session, planning and thinking through all facets of the project will be time well spent. Hurley says that when asked “where” a portrait should be taken (at a particular location or in the studio), his answer always points back to the original goal of the assignment: do you want a framed photo for your desktop or something large for the mantel? The photo shoot’s locale—the environment—might not be that important after all. He explains, “Unless your goal is for the environment to be the primary subject in the photo [instead of the people]—don’t worry so much about the pretty place.” Since most photographers charge additional fees for photo sessions taken outside of the studio, this might be an important consideration as you plan for your portrait.

P h ot o by M a r k T h o mp so n

Casual Arrangements

Unframed photographic display techniques, like “gallery wrap” prints (sometimes called “canvas wrapped” prints) offer a contemporary look that’s perfect for casual photos of children and families. Compared to matted and framed portraits hung under glass, gallery wraps are lightweight and easily moved. In fact, Hurley says he fulfills 75 percent of his wall portrait business through gallery wraps. When deciding where to hang a photograph, it’s important to think about the furniture and objects that will be around it—to anchor it, give it life and integrate it into its new setting. One nice effect is to hang accompanying “found” objects or a small painting related to the scene in the portrait, to bring the display to life and tell the story of your family’s memorable moment. For instance, a large family portrait taken by the seashore could be hung in a grouping that includes smaller, candid outtakes of individuals—plus a sand dollar, framed in an acrylic shadow box, found that very day. Casual arrangements like this thrive in odd numbers and a mix of textures and tones. A display like this would be ideal in the family room or kitchen—the family hub. Dorsey Taylor of LinDor Arts, a local art gallery and framery, knows a lot about hanging pictures. Hanging a single picture on the wall is easy, right? So, Taylor recommends approaching a group of pictures in the same way. He says, “Visualize an imaginary frame around the grouping. This imaginary frame can help you with the horizontal and vertical placement of all the photos and will ensure that your group has an organized, cohesive look.” 6 2

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When it comes to displaying fine art portraits, the same ideas for displaying photography will apply. Make your gallery wall your own! Hang your fine art portraits in a formal manner, in a floor to ceiling salon-style gallery. Or, display them in an unexpected, eclectic arrangement that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Before putting hammer to nail, Taylor suggests you should carefully work out your casual arrangement on the floor. Gather kraft paper, scissors, a pencil, a roll of painter’s tape (it won’t damage the finish on your walls), and a measuring tape. He says, “Trace and cut a template to the size of each photo and object. Shuffle them around until you find the arrangement that pleases you. Tape the templates on the wall and let the size and shape of your items determine the distance apart you should hang everything.” Depending on the amount of wall you hope to fill with your casual display, consider spacing your items anywhere from 1 to 3 inches apart. Taylor says, “Let your eye be your guide. When objects are different sizes and shapes, r vhomemaga zine .com



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uniform look, use identical frames. But if you want to embrace an eclectic look, you can mix things up by sticking with frames of a consistent material (wood or metal) and color (black, gold, silver, red or even natural wood), but allowing slight variations in style—beaded edges, scrolled edges, ornate frames, plain frames. Each image will dictate whether a thicker or thinner version of the frame will suit it best. As with the casual arrangement, it’s best to establish a layout for your gallery wall before you start hanging pictures. If you’re just getting your gallery wall started, find the focal point of the wall and start your arrangement there. Choose two, three or even five pieces to be the landing pads for your gaze and place them near the middle of the gallery. Over time, your gallery wall will Gallery Walls go With the Flow fan out from that point and eventually fill the entire expanse. A gallery wall is a look that homeowners can use with great effect on a large scale. Whereas a casual arrangement will be of a Remember, for most people, a gallery wall doesn’t happen all smaller scale and tucked in among your decor, a gallery wall can at once—it grows over time. But, you’ve got to start somewhere, consist of photographs hung virtually from floor to ceiling over right? So that you don’t end up feeling like you have a lone cluster an expanse. This arrangement is especially interesting because of activity on an otherwise big blank wall, find the most interesting viewers take in the entire effect, rather than focus on just one part of the wall to be your starting focal point. You might be living piece. Hallways and stairways are great places to set up a gallery with your gallery this way for some time, until you can add to it wall because these spaces tend to have a long run of wall that and expand it. Not sure where it is? Look to the landing area in the makes it easy to add more photos as life goes on. A gallery wall, in stairwell or that bit of wall you first see when you enter the hallway other words, evolves over time. and see if either of those spots beckons to you. Hurley calls black and white photography “the great unifier” Formal Looks for times when it’s difficult to coordinate people and their outfits—or if you’re taking a new photo that needs to fit in with When you have a particular theme you wish to uphold (or if you other photos that were taken at a different time, in different simply prefer a more formal look), have all the photos matted and locations or with different people—such as in a gallery wall. He framed in an identical style and size and hang them on the wall, says, “A storyline progresses so well through black and white evenly spaced apart. Whether you wish to display individual photography because the focus is on the faces.” portraits of your children, or a collection of wedding photos Because a gallery wall has a wandering nature, some people from several generations of family members, a symmetrical like to add to the contemporary vibe by mixing in paintings arrangement is the most formal display and perfect for a living and colorful prints with the photos. Doing so helps break up room or foyer. the sea of faces and allows the gallery to have a more organic, Your family’s portraits are works of art, and an at-home gallery freeform feeling. is sure to enliven your home with great personality and flair. After Taylor says that to stay in control of your gallery and create careful planning, perhaps even with the help of a professional, a sense of order, use plain, white mats (all the same width) and you can admire your family’s beauty on a daily basis when you similarly styled frames to unify the diverse group. For the most thoughtfully display their photographs throughout your home. there are no hard rules, but your arrangement will feel more cohesive if you select a width and remain consistent with it as you hang the other items in the group.” When hanging multiple pictures on an expanse of wall and contemplating the proper amount of space to put around each one, it’s always a good idea to let a little math into the equation, too. (Measure twice, hammer once...) You can use an oldfashioned measuring tape and a jot pad, or let an online picture hanging and gallery wall calculator do the math for you! The Internet is ripe with free online calculators; here’s just one:


R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

MARK YOUNG realist painter

Fine Paintings & Commissioned Portraits in Oil

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Local portrait artist Natalie White takes a final look at a child’s portrait before she installs it in a gallery wall at the home of her client.

BEFORE & AFTER TIPS FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION Kevin Hurley and Dorsey Taylor share their top tricks for family portraits Photo flatterers:

outfits simple (without patterns or logos) so the focus remains on your face.

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Hanging your portr ait: ■ U  se

a nail and a hooked hanger when items weigh between 1 and 5 pounds; use a nail that’s at least 1 ½ inches long and hammer it into the wall at an angle (the hanger will guide the nail for you).

■ U  se

a screw when the wall hanging is between 5 and 50 pounds. Starting at 15 pounds, that screw should also use a plastic wall anchor. The screw should be drilled in at an angle and should be at least 2 inches long.

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using a nail or a screw, it is always best to find a wooden stud to hammer or drill into because it will give you the strongest hold.

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By B eck y C a lv er t

Perennials are the backbone of many a garden because of their heartiness as well as their ability to reappear with new growth spring after spring. Once established, perennials need little attention beyond dividing and thinning every few years to keep them from getting crowded or tired. Perennials are defined as plants with soft stems that generally die down in the late fall and make a comeback with new growth every spring. They typically reproduce not through seeds but through vegetative means—which in layman’s terms means through their root systems. These systems tend to form clumps, with the offshoots forming around the outside, leaving the centers to become tired and bare if left unchecked. Thankfully, this is easily addressed by lifting these clumps out of the ground every few years and dividing them. r vhomemaga zine .com



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ividing perennials is best done when they are dormant. While there are some general rules about dividing springblooming plants in the fall and fall-blooming plants in the spring, most perennials will do just fine if divided in the early spring just as they are emerging. The worst thing that can happen to a perennial divided at the wrong time is that it will go into dormancy and not bloom that year. As long as a perennial is divided when the soil is somewhat warm, the temperature is moderate and water is plentiful, they will likely survive. Plants will let you know when they are in need of dividing: they will put out less blooms, or even smaller ones, with the center of their plot resembling a bit of a dead zone with foliage but no blooms. When you pull the entire clump out of the ground, you’ll be able to see why, with the exterior roots visibly healthier than the ones in the center. To divide perennials, take a shovel and dig up around the perimeter of the perennial patch you want to split. Remove the entire root from the ground, shaking out as much excess dirt as you can, which will make it easier to pull the roots apart. Some plants have root systems that pull apart as easily as a cinnamon bun, while others may require a bit more effort. Doing this task when the soil is soft and workable but not too muddy will help. Dividing some roots might require hand tools such as a garden trowel or knife, and using a small ax on some roots is not unheard of. Don’t be afraid to use a tool if necessary to separate the roots; most plants are resilient and this temporary stress will result in a much happier, healthier version. The tool needed for this is dependent upon the type of root system. There are several variations on root types among perennials, including tubers, rhizomes, surface roots, underground running roots, taproots, and roots that form clumps or offsets. Roots that form clumps or offsets will have small plants growing at the base of a larger one, like coneflowers and hostas; these can become dense and may need to be cut with a tool. To maintain a healthy plant, keep at least three growing points (they should be easy to see, protruding from the clump) when replanting. Taproots, which are deep and vertical, do not divide well and it is generally recommended they not be divided. These include plants like butterfly weed, false indigo and Oriental poppies. Plants such as plume poppies and hardy geraniums with underground running roots develop suckers—smaller plants that grow off the main one—as they grow beyond the shade of the so-called mother plant. If these suckers are overcrowding the bed, they can be cut away from the main plant without any digging, although you may want to dig them up to remove the suckers directly from

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the mother plant. Bee balm, black-eyed Susans and creeping sedums have surface roots, running on or just below the surface of the soil. As they reach an open space, they’ll form new crowns and roots. By cutting between the stems the way you would with sod on a lawn, you’ll divide a section with its own stems and roots that can be replanted elsewhere, to create some breathing room. Bearded iris are the most commonly known perennial with a rhizome root system—a healthy one will be about a thick as your thumb with healthy roots on one end and a leaf fan sprouting from the other. Though a rhizome only blooms once, because it reproduces itself at the root, it is considered a perennial. When dividing an iris bed, anything in the center that’s weary (from the parent plant) can be discarded. Tuber roots, such as dahlias, require what is known as an eye on each division. It is from this eye— often a visible and recognizable white or pink dot on a large tuber—that the next year’s stem will come, so be sure to leave one intact on each division. Tubers and rhizomes both are best separated with a knife.

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Replanting Your Perennials

Once you’ve pulled the roots apart, discarded the dead and/or diseased matter, get them back into the ground promptly to keep them from drying out. Before placing them back into the bed you dug them out of, replenish the soil with organic matter of your choice. Replenishing the soil boosts the health of your plants, and also takes up the space of the removed roots, helping the beds settle back into place. Perennials multiply exponentially; one stem this season is likely to turn into three or four next year, so keep that in mind as you divide and replant. The smaller the section, the more it will grow, so quartering (or smaller) your plant is preferable to halving it. Replant at the original depth in a hole that is as wide as its roots when spread out. Don’t try to squeeze a plant into a hole that’s not big enough because you’ll defeat the plant’s natural regrowth mechanisms. Spread your divisions out; the tops of the plants will be as wide as the roots at the time of planting. It can be helpful to place your plants with the roots spread out in the area you are replanting before completely covering the bed with soil, to gauge what the bed will look like when it blooms. You will probably have some leftover plants that you can use in another area or share with a friend. Dividing perennials is a great way to share part of your garden with friends. If not divided on a regular basis, some plants, like iris, will stop blooming. Division of perennials is necessary to their wellbeing, so while some root systems can be downright stubborn in staying put, the process is often more traumatic to the gardener than the plant. So be brave and take that shovel to that patch of perennials without fear. They’ll thank you for it with glorious blooms.

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SHEER GENIUS Updated drapery panels complement any decor By N o el l e M i l a m

When many of us hear “sheers” in reference to window treatments, our first thought is often a memory: those shimmery polyester curtains that hung under draperies in Grandmother’s living room. These billowy white sheers functioned as a petticoat of sorts, layered under a veritable coronation gown of brocade, with heavy full-length panels, swoopy swags, and billowy jabots spilling over the sides. Dressed like this, windows looked…impressive. And very, very formal. As kids, something about all that ethereal fabric was irresistible. We were repeatedly shooed away from draping those sheers over our faces like veils, pretending to be brides. The sheers let light into the otherwise dark and formal room, but also afforded some degree of privacy from the street. In the 1970s that window represented the height of style in formal window treatments, and for better or for worse, it’s what many of us think of when we think of “sheers:” “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”, the petticoat to the dress, the accompaniment but never the main show. r vhomemaga zine .com



h, but times have changed! Sheers are still prized for their ability to filter light and provide a modicum of privacy when compared to a bare window, but newer, smarter fabrics have given these old standbys much more of a starring role in today’s windows. Kristin Kopcial, interior designer and owner of Roanoke’s Decorating Den, describes the new look in window sheers as “modern romantic,” meaning a look that incorporates more pattern, layering and beautiful embellishments. People nowadays tend to shy away from heavily draped and decorated windows, preferring instead, cleaner lines and a lighter, airier feel in their homes. In addition to making most interiors look brighter, larger and less cluttered than their heavier drapery cousins, sheers help with thermal energy conservation, and screen furniture and flooring from damaging UV rays. Sheers don’t just have to be a petticoat layer. Sheers are ideal for many homeowners who love the finished look of window treatments, but don’t want to sacrifice a view, or have the window treatment compete with carefully planned architectural elements or other décor. Kathy Spark, a designer at Accents on Windows, a design firm that specializes in window treatments in Salem, says, “You do not have to have a dated look with sheers. Today, I see sheers used alone.” Though she says there are still 7 2

clients who prefer a little more layering, most often she sees sheers being used as stand-alone window treatments. “Sheers are beautiful in one layer on a decorative rod,” suggests Spark. The slippery polyester of decades ago has been updated to beautiful gauzy or linen-type materials for a more natural, neutral look, whether as a layered piece of a window treatment or simply hung alone. These new sheer fabrics come in an amazing array of colors, patterns, and textures. There are even brightly colored sheers. Kopcial describes her new favorite sheer window treatment as brightly colored floral that creates a beautiful watercolor effect in the room when light filters through it. “Used as a single layer window treatment, it’s amazing how a sheer can become the focal point of your room,” she says. At Accent on Windows, Spark has used sheers in a number of different ways. “They can be hung from rods, but I have also used them in Roman shades and they are beautiful.” She adds, “There are also many subtle textures or designs—even embroidery for that extra touch.” She explains that newer sheers also have all sorts of exciting features. These fabrics tend to come on the bolt in much wider widths (up to 118 inches, versus the standard 54 inches of most designer fabrics). So for clients ordering custom window treatments, creating a more generous, R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

voluminous panel is easier without having to piece widths together—minimizing unsightly seams that would be more obvious in this delicate fabric. There are even vendors who use a sheer material over shades with cloth tilt vanes inside, giving clients the function of a tilting blind combined with the softness and lightfiltering capability of sheers. Alternatively, many sheers can be lined for more privacy. Creative types rejoice! There are unlimited ways to dress a window with sheers, many so simple that you can do them yourself. Sheers are also widely available off the shelf in panels of varying lengths and widths. These versatile fabrics can be layered, with like, or contrasting patterns or hues. Two or three colors or patterns could be twisted, or draped, scarf-style along the top of a window, or sweeping gracefully across it. For a more traditional look, they can be placed under a valance or cornice. Sheers that will remain stationary (always open, or always closed) can utilize tab-top, rod-pocket, or the more flirty, feminine tie-top treatments. These are not generally recommended for sheers that will be opened and closed frequently.

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If functionality is a requirement, then consider attractive rings (which can be sewn on or clipped on) or, for a more modern look, metal grommets embedded in the curtain, which will smoothly slide along the rod. You can further customize the look of your sheer window treatments by adding trim (think bands of alternating color, stripes, ribbon or tassels) and other accessories such as rings, rods, and tie-backs. Because of their comparatively lower price point compared to drapery fabrics, and their ready-to-go availability off the shelf, sheers are an easy decorating tool for those who want to try their own hand at updating their window coverings. However, professional window treatment designers can help you determine the best way to use sheers to complement your home’s décor, update tired window treatments, or screen or enhance certain aspects of your home. Certain design challenges often require expert guidance, even with sheers. These include: extremely low ceilings or extremely high ceilings, baseboard heaters, radiators or forced air vents located in close proximity to the window, and asymmetrical or unusually shaped windows or doors (a half-moon shaped window, for example, or a door with an oval cutout). Using a window treatment specialist will often save money in the long run by helping you avoid costly mistakes. As we move into the lighter days of spring, it’s a popular time to think about ways to make our homes feel lighter and brighter. Now’s the time to rediscover sheers, for their remarkable versatility and great looks. With the abundance of fabric choices to suit any style, there’s no reason not to give them a starring role in your windows, and enjoy the—dare we say it—“bridal” beauty of windows dressed in sheers. 74

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HIST ORIC GARDEN DAY � Ap r i l 25, 2 015

Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during Historic Garden Week, which has come to be known as “America’s Largest Open House.” A beloved Virginia tradition, this 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Locally, Roanoke’s Garden Day will be held Saturday, April 25, hosted by the Roanoke Valley Garden Club and the Mill Mountain Garden Club. This year’s tour through the charming neighborhood of South Roanoke features homes with lovely gardens, serene water features and complete outdoor living spaces. Interior highlights include wonderful antiques and signature artwork. Nearby are Fincastle Presbyterian Church and the Beale Memorial Garden at Hollins University, both restoration projects of the Garden Club of Virginia using funds from past Historic Garden Week tours. Another special feature of this year’s tour is a “wildflower walk” at 8:30 a.m., during which a member of the Blue Ridge Wildflower Society will lead a mountain walk through the Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden. Advance tickets are available locally at various locations as well as online; tickets may also be purchased on-site on the day of the tour. Tour headquarters are at the Ronald McDonald House where visitors are encouraged to catch a free continuous-loop trolley to visit the tour; limited parking is also available at each site. Boxed lunches are available for advance purchase; light refreshments are included in the tour ticket, to be served at one of the featured properties (2731 Carolina Avenue) from 2 to 4 p.m., weather permitting. For more information, visit, or find “Historic Garden Week in Roanoke” on Facebook. Here, HOME offers a sneak peek at what this year’s tour has to offer.

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2802 Carolina Avenue (garden only) This English Tudor house, built in 1926-27, and the gardens are bordered on two sides by brick retaining walls. The wall along 28th Street supports espaliered euonymus, which provides the backdrop for mixed shrub and perennial borders. The wall along Carolina Avenue supports espaliered hollies; climbing hydrangeas drape over the far end of the wall. Below the wall are perennial beds shaded by two willow oaks. Once inside the gates, visitors will be treated to a flagstone terrace, two covered porches, a fountain, a fish pond, an herb garden, and a varied collection of garden art and artifacts. Above the detached garage is an apartment that serves as the art studio of Nan Mahone Wellborn, a plein air painter of landscapes. The homeowner is a Master Gardener and Virginia certified horticulturist, and her passion is reflected in the extensive plantings, one of which is perhaps the only pagoda dogwood in Roanoke. The Leitch family, owners. 7 6

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2731 Carolina Avenue Situated on a spacious corner lot, this 1936 painted Colonial with clapboard addition, is surrounded by boxwoods, yews, hollies, azaleas, cherry laurels, hydrangea, viburnum, peonies, daylilies, tulips, Japanese maples, Chinese fringe, weeping cherry, dogwoods, Kwanzan cherry and crape myrtles. During the 20 years the homeowners have lived in the home, there have been several updates with the most recent being an expanded family room, updated and enlarged kitchen, and a brick terraced patio featuring a wood fire pizza oven in 2013. Family antique pieces found in the home include a mid-19th-century corner cupboard, a mahogany dining table from the same period, and a walnut secretary from the latter part of the 19th century. Works by local artists Eric Fitzpatrick, Gari Stephenson, Mary Boxley Bullington, Tommy Lawson, Bonnie Burt, Mark Watts, Vera Dickerson and Diane Patton can be found hanging throughout the home along with works by regional artists including James Brewer from Charlottesville, Baxter Perkinson from Richmond and Ethel Ferrell from Lynchburg. The Irons family, owners.

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2626 Crystal Spring Avenue (garden only) Built in 1935, this red brick Tudor home sits surrounded by gardens. Flanked to the right by the home known fondly by neighbors as the “Dr. Pepper house,” the driveway features a shade border and a kitchen garden. The rear garden is a small courtyard-style garden with a central fountain. Shade-loving plants and bulbs grown among narrow garden paths invite garden guests to enjoy the small space. An original farm gate still stands and beckons to a hidden garden chair. The left flanking garden is a casual border garden which includes rhododendron, wild geraniums and fruit trees. The front garden is filled with old English boxwoods that share the space with peonies, lilies and iris. Two grape vines flourish, as well as two plum trees, and an apple and a peach tree. This yard is home to the family’s beloved St. Bernard, Fern, and in a twist of garden irony, ferns flourish in all of the gardens of this home. The Carter family, owners.

2525 Crystal Spring Avenue This Federal-style bungalow is a relatively recent addition to the neighborhood. Built in 1984, the one-story home blends in seamlessly with the older houses around it. Described by the homeowners as “efficient living,” this home exemplifies smallerscale living at its best. For instance, the see-through fireplace can be enjoyed by the homeowners in two rooms. Using the interior design skills of the homeowner, the eclectic interior combines old and new, and neutral tones with vibrant punches of color. On display is a collection of largescale international art and artifacts as well as an almost-life-sized bronze lion. Informal, low maintenance but structured gardens surround this red brick home. Exterior highlights include a large laurel hedge, a fern garden and a vegetable garden. A studio apartment sits above the garage. The Doherty family, owners. 7 8

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2530 Crystal Spring Avenue Affectionately called the “White House,” this 1910 classic features Queen Anne elements, but does not represent any one style. The evocative white-washed house is a corner landmark with a quintessential wraparound porch of almost 600 square feet encased by large, white columns. Azaleas surround the porch, which is also highlighted with a fall-blooming rhododendron. This home features some of the oldest and most matured Japanese maples in South Roanoke. The exterior flowerbed includes a perennial garden, and boxwoods and a row of dianthus can be found along the side of the house. The interior of the home features transitional décor by Richmond designer Tripp Longest. Ikat rugs are by London rug designer Luke Irwin. Original, local artwork hangs throughout the home with a display of the Roanoke Star in the home’s entryway. The remodeled chef’s kitchen features custom cabinetry which highlights the homeowners’ decorative plate and vase collection purchased on their travels. Additional noteworthy interior features include original heart pine flooring and coffered ceilings. The original carriage house has been converted into a livable workspace, and the back flowerbed marks the circle of the old carriage house turnaround. The Morris/Lee family, owners.

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2812 Rosalind Avenue Mature evergreens surround this white brick, Cape Codstyle home that was built in 1961. Among the mostly French and English furniture pieces, a vintage book collection from the homeowner’s great grandfather can be found in the den, and an antique harp played by the homeowner’s great-great grandmother sits in the living room. Other interior highlights include a childhood portrait of the homeowner, a framed antique map of Paris hanging in the living room and a unique kitchen table crafted by a local artisan. Adding to the exterior charm of the home are the serpentine wall, the trellis on the garage where wisteria grows, and the large magnolia tree in the back of the home that shades the stone patio. Ferns and rhododendron can be found in the yard as well as perennial plants that were moved from the homeowners’ prior residence. The Jaeger family, owners.


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Also happening during Historic Garden Day weekend… Open Studios of Roanoke presents SPRINGTIME IN SOUTH ROANOKE 15th Annual Tour of Artists’ Homes and Studios Saturday, April 25 - 10AM to 5PM Sunday, April 26 - Noon to 5PM

2951 Hemlock Lane This two-story white brick home with a charming screened front porch sits on an elevated lot. Simple, shaded gardens featuring hostas, azaleas, ferns, Japanese maples and herbs surround the slate patio and walkways around the house. The back patio and driveway are part of the exterior renovation the home has recently undergone. Likewise, the homeowner has updated the interior of this 1940s home by renovating the kitchen, adding on to the back of the home and screening in the front porch. The homeowner purchased the home from The Carter Burgess Estate. Mr. Burgess served as an ambassador to Argentina and worked closely with General Eisenhower. Remaining behind when the Burgesses left was a very old gilt mirror rescued from the garage where the previous owner had stored it. The homeowner had it repaired and it now hangs in the dining room. Artwork from the homeowner’s travels to Russia and France is on display throughout the home as well as works by local artists Eric Fitzpatrick, Miki Ballengee, Jeannie O’Neill and Greg Osterhaus. The front porch includes wicker furniture acquired long ago during a renovation sale at The Homestead. The Coleman family, owners. Chatham Garden Club Hosts Historic Garden Day At Smith Mountain Lake

This self-guided tour of artists’ homes and studios features eleven stops, including ten working studios and 29 artists. The route covers Raleigh Court, Southwest, South Roanoke, and Southeast studios located in Roanoke Industrial Park. The tour is FREE and children are welcome! An easy to print tour map and information about each participating artist is available at

The lower level houses a bar, European wine cellar and movie theater. Garden areas fill the waterfront, from dock to natural beach, and add to the stunning view of the lake from the home’s covered porches and French Country railings. The Ferguson house, 5 L ands End Road

T h e Le e h o use

For the first time since the early 1990s, Smith Mountain Lake will have homes and gardens on tour during Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. The Chatham Garden Club is hosting tours of three homes and gardens located in The Water’s Edge community in Penhook on Friday, April 24. House styles include an Old World farmhouse, a French Country house, and a river plantation house, each with magnificent lake and garden views. Here is a brief preview of what you can look forward to seeing on the tour. The Davenport House, 240 Isl and View Drive

This “Old World farmhouse” has a feeling of age and charm. The great room is warm, with light from lakeside floor-to-ceiling windows and heart pine floors. Artwork and artifacts collected from around the world contribute to the home’s Old World ambiance. r vhomemaga zine .com

This large white brick house, where magnolias and white crape myrtles line the approach, resembles a James River plantation home. English boxwood surround the gardens filled with peonies, hydrangeas, astilbe, hosta, sweetspire and daffodils. A stairwell in the foyer rises to a large loft consisting of four bedrooms that circle an intimate den overlooking the living room. Antiques with family stories combine with artwork and beloved toys to reinforce the feel of permanence at this gracious home. The Lee house, 15 L ands End Road

This French Country-style house offers beautiful lake views from the windows, covered porches, verandas and dock. Artwork— including French antiques, oil paintings, mosaic tiles, Limoges boxes, family portraits, and
a Chagall lithograph—graces the home throughout. A moss-topped stone wall and walkway leads to the dock and features gardens with Solomon’s seal, hellebore, hosta, jonquils, pachysandra and liriope. Beside the dock is a children’s minibeach with fire pits for s’mores, small Adirondack chairs with beach umbrellas, and stone steps leading to the water. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit 81





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Now Then and Again. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Decorating Den Interiors -Roanoke. . . . . . . . 73

Oakey’s Funeral Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Dodson Pest Control Services. . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Pella Windows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Drs. Moore & Stockstill, P.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Perry Pools and Spas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51




Accents on Windows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Apex Outdoor Living. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Aquarius Pools, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Embrace Home Loans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 F&S Building Innovations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Ferguson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Art & Iron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 General Shale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Astonish Antique Restoration. . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Potentially Chic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Protect Painters of the Roanoke Valley . . . . . 55 Reid’s Fine Furnishings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Roanoke Catholic School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Goldsmith Appraisal Service, LLC . . . . . . . . 32 Roanoke Symphony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Baron Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Grand Home Furnishings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Ronnie Mitchell and Son Landscaping . . . . . 39

B P Roy Construction LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Halifax Fine Furnishings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Seven Oaks Landscape Hardscape . . . . . . . . . 5

Ballyhack Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 HomeTown Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Southern Lamp and Shade Showroom . . . . . 48

Better Sofas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Hunting Hills Country Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Southwest Sunroom & Window Co.. . . . . . . 18

Black Horse Manor Antiques. . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Interiors by Kris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Smith Mountain Building Supply . . . . . . . . . . 8

Bob Riddick Roofing, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Jeannine Hanson, Realtor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Taubman Museum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Boxley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Kevin Hurley Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Brenda Tatum Portraits & Fine Art. . . . . . . . 65 Bush-Flora Shoes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Capps Home Building Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Carilion Clinic Cosmetic Center. . . . . . . . . . 69

LinDor Arts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6, 48 Magnolia Décor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Mark Young, Realist Painter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Meridian Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

The Cabinet Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Columns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Little Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Virginia Pools Sales & Service. . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Carter’s Cabinet Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Mill Mountain Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Whitt Carpet One Floor & Home. . . . . . . . . 77

Classic Floors of Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

MKB Realtors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

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

Closet Storage Organizers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

N-Hance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Wisler Plumbing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

CMC Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

National Pools of Roanoke, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 7

WSLS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

8 2

R o a n o ke Va l l e y h o m e S p r i n g 2 0 1 5

Make the VISION and DREAMS you have for your home a reality! Are you looking to improve your home? Whether you have been in your home for years or you are purchasing a fixer-upper — Embrace Home Loans can help! Our Full 203k Renovation Loan offers structural alteration and reconstruction, changes for aesthetic appeal, improved function and modernization, flooring, tiling, carpeting and much, much more! Call us for more details.

Call or stop by your trusted local Roanoke office today!


5044 Keagy Road, Ste. H100 Roanoke, VA 24018 Embrace Home Loans, Inc. NMLS ID#2184 ( is licensed in VA.

Roanoke Valley HOME Spring 2015  
Roanoke Valley HOME Spring 2015