Roanoke Valley HOME Magazine 2021 Jun/Jul/Aug

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CONTENTS Roanoke Valley HOME Summer 2021

18 30

67 18

IN LOVE WITH LOCAL ART Collecting works of area artists BY CHRISTY RIPPEL



MADE IN THE SHADE Shade structures to keep summer days cool BY PAULA PETERS CHAMBERS


MODERN LOVE Midcentury modern home gets new life BY NOELLE MILAM

67 FACEBOOK: HOME Magazine INSTAGRAM: @homemagva

HOME-GROWN BERRIES Learn how to grow your own fruit BY BECKY CALVERT

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S U M M E R 2021




Organize your next design project BY AMELIA POORE


Four area designers create practical, pretty looks BY ANNE MARIE POORE


Incorporating botanicals for fresh interiors




Keeping deer at bay in your garden BY KATE ERICSSON


Ceiling fans add function and style BY JANE RENNYSON





Simple steps we can all embrace BY KATHERINE FULGHUM KNOPF


Using foliage to create beautiful container gardens BY BECKY CALVERT


All you need to know about this stately tree BY MITZI BIBLE



Hot new cookbooks to take you on a culinary tour BY SLOANE LUCAS


Tips to amp up your summer parties BY JERRY HALE


Updated burgers for summer soirees BY SARAH NICHOLAS 1 2

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Live the Life!

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LOCAL EDITOR’S note At last, it’s the most agreeable of all seasons. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I hate summer.” Truly, what’s not to love? The days stretch seemingly infinitely. The temperatures soar, making any cool spot of water beckon. The grill is even hotter awaiting the sizzle of an easy dinner, followed by the twilight with nature’s own blinking patio lights—a.k.a. lightning bugs! Kick off your flipflops, grab a cool drink and read through our summer issue. Roanoke Valley HOME will have you and your home ready for the season of easy living! Being outside and surveying your yard, perhaps your organic persona is taking hold. Read about strawberries, raspberries and blackberries (oh my!) and growing these delightful fruits at home. If your outdoor area has a bit too much sun to enjoy any length of time outside, throw some shade: learn all you need to know about installing an awning, pergola or sail shade to solve the problem of too much sun. The magnolia is magnificent, and a staple in a quintessential Southern landscape. Learn about the many varieties and find out which magnolia is your favorite. Determined to discourage deer from feasting in your yard? We’ve got tips. Amp up your summer fun at home with the latest gear for the grill, patio and outside entertaining. Mood boards are terrific resource tools for professional and arm chair designers; understand how to create them and why they are indispensable. Our summer issue features an amazing midcentury modern home with a new lease on life. Joe and Nina Sweeney have

transformed their iconic 1953 stone ranch home into a 21st century gem with a minimalist aesthetic that embraces the great outdoors paramount for the couple. The view of the treetops and the birdsong belies the suburban location. The result of their vision and design is captivating! There is a lot to love about this issue of Roanoke Valley HOME. As we continue to make our way (tentatively) past the Year (+) of COVID, take time to enjoy summer in Southwest Virginia. There are 93 days of the sunny season—make each one count!

Stay well, and as always, thank you for reading, Anne Marie Poore

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EDITOR Meridith Ingram ART DIRECTOR Edwana Coleman LOCAL EDITOR Anne Marie Poore FEATURE HOME CONTRIBUTOR Noelle Milam CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mitzi Bible Becky Calvert Paula Peters Chambers Kate Ericsson Jerry Hale Katherine Fulghum Knopf Kendall Atkins Livick Sloane Lucas Sarah Nicholas Amelia Poore Jane Rennyson Christy Rippel

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PHOTOGRAPHER Kathryn Feldmann GRAPHIC DESIGNER Donna Collins OPERATIONS MANAGER Marianne Schatvet ADVERTISING SALES Julia Belvin Lisa Bowers 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 and your name, address and telephone number to: Roanoke Valley HOME 2003 Graves Mill Road, Suite B, Forest, VA 24551 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 Copyright 2021 by West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from West Willow Publishing Group, LLC. All pictorial material reproduced in this magazine, whether in a produced ad or by itself, has been accepted on the condition that it is with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer or the artist concerned. As such, West Willow Publishing Group, LLC is not responsible for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising out of publication thereof. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, West Willow Publishing Group, LLC makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.


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a love affair with local art bring color & personality to your home BY C H R I S T Y R I P P E L

When you find a perfect painting for a blank wall, or a sculpture that makes your shelf complete, it can bring enjoyment to your everyday life. Owning a one-of-a-kind piece is an investment, but once you’ve experienced the dimension and color of an artist’s original creation on your wall, you might never go back to mass-produced prints. 1 8

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“Once someone starts surrounding their living area or office area with original works they enjoy and that give them pleasure, they never stop,” says Dorsey Taylor, who co-owns LinDor Arts in downtown Roanoke with his wife, Linda. “I’ve had this gallery for 12 years but have been in the arts pushing 50 years, and some of my original customers are still collecting art into their 80s. It’s awe-inspiring...and even as I approach that age, my collecting has diminished because I don’t have the space, but I still have that urge.” If you are looking to start or expand an at-home collection of original works, the Roanoke region is bursting with talented artists in all genres, says Taylor. “I think Roanoke is just phenomenally filled with wonderfully good artists,” Taylor says. “It’s just amazing to me. I go into other towns and I see a group of artists in the gallery and co-ops and I think we can hold our own here with any big city there is. Even the artists that come in here that come from out of town, visiting family or whatnot, they come into the gallery and are just flabbergasted with the high quality of painting and sculpture. That’s amazing.” There are some rules to follow—and rules to break—when it comes to selecting art for a space in your home. There are also reasons to support local artists that may surprise you. Read on for advice on how to fill your home with beauty and never suffer from buyer’s remorse when you leave a gallery. Discover your likes

If you’re new to appreciating and purchasing art, the best way to discover what speaks to you is by viewing a lot of work, notes Taylor. Attend art shows, visit museums and galleries, and study the art at restaurants, shops and hotels. What subject matters speak to you? Do you favor a tight, realistic style, or a more loose, impressionistic style? Are abstracts for you, or do you like landscapes? “The more you look at art, the more you start to pay attention to details and you’ll begin to understand what you connect with,” says Lacey Leonard, who is one of six co-directors of a new artists’ co-op in Roanoke called The VALLT, which showcases emerging artists. “We all have a different way of seeing the world, and artwork resonates in different ways with different people.” When you discover an artist you like, follow them on social media, like Instagram or Facebook. Peruse the artist’s own feed, and you may discover other artists you like as well, and you can get a feel for the artists’ style and process from afar. When it comes to purchasing, a simple principle can help when deciding whether to bring a work home. If it’s something you never see again, how sad would you be? If you love a work that much, you’ll always find a place for it in your home. “I know some people who are big art collectors, and r vhomemaga zine .com 19

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the most successful ones only collect things that they like,” says Leonard, who, in addition to her role with The VALLT, is the assistant gallery director at Roanoke College. “It sounds simple, but be sure you really love it, and will want to hang it up.” Visit galleries and stores often, seeing new works and determining what you can’t live without. You might find that you gravitate to a certain palette, and you’ll likely find that you echo that palette in your other home decor choices, and even your wardrobe. Appreciating art is about pausing and noticing, and you may find that you begin to notice other details in your surroundings as well. The value of buying local

In the past several years, there has been a push toward buying local, and eschewing for supporting businesses in your area, which feed and strengthen the local economy. Art and artists are no exception. When you invest in local artists, so many of them give back to the local community through fundraiser donations of a painting or sculpture, and beyond the economic question of keeping money in the local economy, a vibrant arts community makes a place like Roanoke more attractive to newcomers. When people are considering a town, they might ask “What can I do culturally there?” A strong arts community includes artists, photographers, musicians and dancers, and shapes the cultural personality of a place. Buying art, just like buying tickets to a play, supports creativity and creation. While very established artists may command a price for work that is out of your range, many emerging artists’ works are more reasonable, particularly if you are buying an unframed watercolor or pencil sketch, which you can find for as little as $75 to $100 and can frame inexpensively with an off-the-shelf frame; great options are available at stores like Homegoods and Target. While the high cost of paint supplies and canvases can bump up the cost of a canvas piece, you may still be able to find an original painting from an emerging local artist for a similar Best rental experience ever. This place is amazing, everything cost to a mass-produced work. top notch and the personal touch was noticed. – Robert H. A surprising reason to buy local is that it creates a connection GUEST HOUSE EVENT between you and the artist. The artist created it, andVENUE you ROANOKE, VIRGINIA connected with the work in some way, which made you –––––––– RESERVATIONS –––––––– purchase it. Living in the same city or town means you have BLACKDOGSALVAGE.COM/THESTONEHOUSE an opportunity to continually connect with that person, either 540-400-8766 through local shows, open studio days or even Instagram live sessions where the artist lets the viewer in on his or her process.


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When that work hangs on your wall, the greater understanding of the artist behind it can increase your appreciation for the piece. Practically speaking on size and hanging



Yes, buying art is emotional, but choosing a place to hang it is a practical task. Most paintings will come with wire already attached to the back, but be sure you are using a hook that is rated for the weight of the piece to prevent any accidents or damage to your walls or the art. “People tend to hang art too high, but a good guide for a novice is that the center of the piece should be at eye level, approximately 56 to 60 inches [above the floor],” says Leonard. “Otherwise, you have to consider if a piece is hung over a couch, for example; don’t hang something tiny there because you’ll never be able to get a close look at it.” Leonard says you have to think about the piece and the attention it commands, so don’t hang a piece with bright colors or an intense subject matter where you can’t properly step back to view it. She says lighting is also key, so don’t hang dark pieces in, say, a hallway with no natural light. For the opposite issue, if your space gets intense sun exposure, you may need to consult with a framer about UV protection so the work doesn’t fade over time. In bathrooms, be mindful of constant moisture exposure, which can also degrade a work of art. A few basic rules aside, how you hang work is largely a question of your own style. Do you prefer a clean, spartan look with fewer, large pieces, or do you like the eclectic and collected look? There is no right answer. If you have a collection of works you want to hang together, framing them in the same material can unite pieces that don’t seem to have any connection. If you need assistance, gallery owners or interior designers can assist with choosing a piece or pieces that work in a room, and many galleries will loan out items for a few days so you can try them before purchasing. As to whether the palette of a painting needs to match the palette in a room, this is strictly personal preference. It’s fun to have some quirk here and there, so don’t be afraid to incorporate pop art with your landscapes. You are the one who lives in the space, and in the end, the only critic that matters.

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Another practical item to keep in mind as you expand your collection is to catalog it, and verify insurance with your carrier. If you rent, a renter’s policy, or if you own, a homeowner’s policy, should cover most collections. Catalog works by taking photos and scanning receipts, as well as recording the artist and title of the work. Forward the document to your carrier so in the event of fire or flood, your investment is protected. While art may appreciate in value if an artist gains prominence, no reputable art dealer would recommend a purchase as an actual investment, says Taylor. The payoff, he says, is the enjoyment of the piece, the beautification of your home, and the commitment to your community as it evolves. “Art holds such a special place in capturing a moment in time,” says Leonard. “The more people that pay attention, the better we are. The VALLT, for example, is allowing a space for marginalized artists, like transgender and artists of color, to express themselves and show their work. There are some beautiful things happening in Roanoke.” ✦

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GARDEN pollinators

Protecting Pollinators “bee” the solution in your back yard



nglish ivy cascading over old tree stumps and wisteria climbing trellises are both charming, hardy plants that seem to define the South in photographs and literature. But are they good for our landscapes? A recent decline in pollinators has scientists advocating for plants that encourage healthy habitats, and we are learning that some of our favorites are on the naughty list—invasive plants (like ivy and wisteria) that choke out native plants, aiding in this decline. Pollinators such as birds, bees, butterflies, moths and other small creatures are vital to our ecosystems. These small creatures need native flowers and shrubs to survive and thrive. 2 4

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Protecting pollinators is important. We need pollinators to grow our food and save the tree canopies. Many fruits and vegetables we eat require these insects to grow. It is not hard work; it is something everyone can do. In summer 2020, Mill Mountain and Roanoke Valley Garden Clubs, both member clubs of the Garden Club of Virginia, formed the Pollinator Protectors to educate the Roanoke community. Pollinator Protectors launched their campaign in spring 2021 with signs, handouts and bookmarks showing what you can do to protect pollinators in your backyard. Denise Revercomb, co-chair of the group, says, “We want to make this a civic effort and encourage others to join the cause.” Anyone can make a difference whether you are planting a community garden, flowers in your backyard or landscaping an office building. It is important to note that efforts to protect our pollinators extend worldwide, beyond the Roanoke area. An international organization, the Xerces Society, operates on a global level to educate about the importance of these insects and promote pollinator restoration. Across Virginia, local garden clubs, the Garden Club of Virginia, and other civic organizations like The Tree Stewards (trained volunteers who care for rural and urban forests) are working with cities to plant more native trees and flowers. These organizations promote similar principals that increase pollinator populations, so we protect our food supply and our environment.

Everyone can support the following simple practices that encourage pollinators in your yard and community.


Go native


Choose native plants whenever possible; every little bit helps. Now more than ever, getting outside gives us fun, healthy opportunities to enjoy our gardens; gardening is an activity for all ages and a good family hobby. Planting a variety of native plants attracts different species of pollinators and makes gardens more interesting. “Planting natives restores pollinator habitat,” Revercomb says. Bees, butterflies and humans are drawn to colorful, showy flowers in a garden. Consider planting two flowering natives each season so that there is always something blooming for the pollinators to eat. Accommodate them

Pollinators like things more natural and a bit messy. In a hidden spot or over near a compost bin, leave small piles of sticks and brush so bees and caterpillars have a place to build their nests. Chrysalis and cocoons like to attach to fallen sticks left in grasses; bees prefer to nest in bramble thickets, hedge bottoms or old rodent burrows. Many suburban lawns have eradicated old hedges. This causes habitat loss. Skip the perfectly tended garden; leave plants like milkweed and let things go just a bit wild.


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Provide water

Bees and caterpillars need a few amenities to stay in your garden and build nests. Provide a small saucer of water for them or install a birdbath or fountain in the yard. A water feature enhances any area; even a small patio can hold a fountain. Remove invasives

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Although it is best to pull out invasive plants and vines, it is not necessary to get rid of them all at once. Protecting pollinators can happen over time in our gardens. As we replace old, overgrown plants or worn-out areas of our yard, choose native varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees that attract pollinators. Revercomb suggests planting several of the same kind of flower in one area. Bees find one they like and return to it to gather the same nectar, so a patch of bee balm gets their attention more quickly than just one plant. Avoid chemicals

It is important to change our habits and discontinue using harsh chemicals in the yard. Use organic fertilizers and natural pest solutions rather than pesticides; these kill good insects. Look at local garden centers for safe products and ask your lawn service company to switch to natural ones. They are available and they are better for your family and your pets. Advocate & educate

Talk to friends, family and neighbors about the importance of pollinators. Ask them to take on these habits and spread the word about protecting pollinators. Sit still for a while in the garden or look for pollinators on a hike. You notice different varieties of moths, caterpillars and bees due to the plant selections in various habitats. Get close to observe but give bees space. Bees avoid stinging; they do it in self-defense when they feel threatened. Take pictures to identify them. Encourage children and grandchildren to learn about these vital insects.

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Local communities in Virginia are rallying to support pollinators too. The Pollinator Protectors eventually want to achieve “Bee City Designation,” for Roanoke, meaning it is a Bee Friendly City that safeguards its pollinators. This certification means pledging to uphold the practices that support pollinators as well as reestablishing their habitats. Part of this process is educating citizens about what we need to maintain a healthy environment. Garden clubs around the state as well as the Garden Club of Virginia are championing the cause and encouraging the conservation of our smallest creatures. Our ecosystem can be restored, and it is not too late to save these little bugs. We can do this! ✦ R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1

LIVE hot cookbooks

an armchair culinary tour

HOT COOKBOOKS THAT HELP YOU TRAVEL THE WORLD BY S LOA N E LU C A S With beautiful photos, personal stories from the author, and recipes that entice the home chef to stretch boundaries, a good cookbook can be as engaging, relaxing, and fun to read as a novel. With the pandemic curtailing our ability to slake our wanderlust, here we present cookbooks to provide home chefs and foodies with an armchair adventure. Begin with a domestic tour exploring African American cuisine. Travel onward to soak up the sights and staple foods of Asia. End your world tour amid the sweeping vistas and tantalizing tastes of the Mediterranean.

Close to Home: A domestic tour of African American cuisine

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson joins James Beard Award-winning writer Osayi Endolyn for The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, showcasing 150 recipes interspersed with profiles of top chefs, writers, and activists, all working to reclaim Black culinary traditions and energize a new generation of cooks. Most intriguing recipe: Ethiopian-inspired Ayib and Sweet Potato Ravioli with Berbere Spice Brown Butter

Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen from authors Alexander Smalls and Veronica Chambers views recipes through the lens of music. The Jazz chapter embraces improvisation to spruce up basics, while the Opera chapter, inspired by Porgy and Bess, features recipes drawn from African American

fishing communities. Most intriguing recipe: Pan-Fried Rabbit with Root Vegetables and Redeye Gravy

Bryant Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes is perfect for a home gardener about to enjoy a bountiful harvest. Terry likes to “emphasize ingredients, cooking techniques, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora,” but the cookbook also weaves in tastes from East and Southeast Asia, subSaharan Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South. Recipes require advance planning but yield layered, rich flavors. This book also features a playlist, to inspire as you cook. Most intriguing recipe: Barbecue Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans

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From Bangalore to Indonesia: Embracing Asia

Sambal is a chili sauce ubiquitous in Indonesian cuisine and one of the ingredients that informs and inspires Lara Lee’s Coconut & Sambal. Stories, vibrant photos, and Indonesian history are brought to life through recipes ranging from snacks to sweets. Most intriguing recipe: Lamb and Potato Croquettes


With high carb diets once again on-trend, Roxana Jullapat’s perfectly timed Mother Grains focuses mostly on baked goods and celebrates eight domestically grown and easily available grains. In Fuel Your Body, Angie Asche tells us what to eat for optimal athletic performance, with meal plans to gain, lose, or maintain weight and recipes like “AntiInflammatory Salad with HoneyLemon Vinaigrette” that are basic, easy, and focused on results.

Meera Sodha’s East offers readers a sweeping vegan and vegetarian culinary tour of East and Southeast Asia “from Bangalore to Beijing.” After stocking up on some special spices, herbs and oils, select chapters help focus on main ingredients, with primers on noodles, rice, and tofu. Most intriguing recipe: Smoked Tofu, Mushroom and Almond Keema

In Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore, author Elizabeth Haigh navigates a rich culinary tapestry featuring Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Dutch, Portuguese, and English cuisines. Haigh shares both complex traditional recipes and others

that, as long as readers have stocked the right spices and herbs, get dinner done in an hour or less. Most intriguing recipe: Steamed Mussels with Pancetta and Miso

Author Tim Anderson converts the unique flavors of a cuisine often associated with Wagyu beef and fatty tuna for plant-based eaters in Vegan JapanEasy. Once readers build a basic larder with seasonings and spices, he sets them loose on recipes from curry roux to yakisoba to sushi. Most intriguing recipe: Sweet Potatoes with Truffled Ponzu

Hooni Kim’s Danji earned the first Michelin Star ever awarded to a Korean restaurant. His debut cookbook, My Korea, offers 90 recipes, including “elevated classics” leaning on doenjang, ganjang, and gochujang (fermented soybean paste, soy sauce and fermented red chili paste) paired with stunning travel photography. Most intriguing recipe: Bulgogi Sliders

Keeping it Simple author Yasmin Fahr just does that, offering a creative array of approachable “Easy Weeknight One Pot” recipes with humorous chapter titles like, “Look More Impressive Than They Are.” The Lighter Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook offers an easy-toread, gadget-based compendium with a wonderfully helpful twist— each recipe flagged is by diet type, like Paleo, Keto, and Gluten free.

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The many meals of the Mediterranean

particular dish is significant to the region. Most intriguing

In Bitter Honey, author Letitia Clark takes us to Sardinia with “a distilled version of Italian food: simpler, more rustic, more wild.” Beautiful travel shots provide a backdrop for a range of recipes, some featuring unusual ingredients like mutton. The Verdure (vegetable) chapter dedicates seven pages to artichokes.

recipe: Spiced Cornbread with Feta

Sicily was occupied by Romans, Normans, Spaniards, French, Visigoth Greeks, Moors, and the Berbers. Those culinary legacies all come together in Ben Tish’s Sicilia. Many recipes lean heavily on hearty fare, including a “Fritti” chapter dedicated to deep-fried foods. Most intriguing recipe: Pork, Orange and Mint Ragù

Most intriguing recipe: Fried Sage Leaves in Beet Batter

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: Tuesday Nights Mediterranean offers recipes from Malta to Turkey to the Middle East to Morocco. The Fast, Faster, and Fastest chapters mean home chefs won’t sacrifice good food under a time crunch. Most intriguing recipe:

Amy Zitelman’s The Tahini Table is an homage to the delicious and versatile paste made from roasted and pressed sesame seeds that features heavily in Mediterranean cuisine. The cookbook features 100 recipes that promise to “Go Beyond Hummus”—although, ironically, it also delivers 26 pages of delicious hummus and dip ideas. The creativity is impressive, even working the ingredient into standbys like eggs benedict. Most intriguing recipe:

Green Shakshuka

Focusing on staples from Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, Yasmin Khan’s Ripe Figs features a backdrop of beautiful travel photos, personal memoirs from the author, and insights into why a

Creamy Dairy-Free Tahini Sorbet

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enjoy your outside spaces in the shade B Y PAU L A P E T E R S C H A M B E R S

When a sunny day is just too sunny—or when you need a break from the heat—it’s good to have a shady spot for relaxation or entertaining. If your yard doesn’t have a tree perfectly situated with bountiful branches, an outdoor shade structure may be just what you need.

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What’s available

Shade options run the gamut from freestanding umbrellas to full-scale outdoor rooms, tricked out with curtains, fireplaces and ceiling fans. Size can be whatever is desired, from a simple structure accommodating one bench to an actual outdoor room large enough to host a dozen people. In fact, you’re most likely to be limited by the space you have available: how much and how flat? If a patio or deck is already in place, leveling a site and pouring or building a foundation is already done. As with so many home projects, capable do-it-yourselfers can execute most additions. For more elaborate structures, be aware of required home-building permits, electrical safety, and structural integrity. Professionals can always be hired to create a turn-key experience, but they can also be used in more limited (and lower-cost ways), for guidance, technical support, and to handle issues that you simply don’t want to touch. Consider these options: Patio umbrella: Whether in the center of a table or freestanding with its own base, a patio umbrella is often the first line of defense against the sun. Large patio umbrellas can provide cover for a contained grouping, with people often sitting closer than six feet apart. When the sun moves, so will the shade, but cantilevered umbrellas can themselves be moved as needed. Even umbrellas in the center of a table can be tilted to create a wider shadow. Awning: Typically fabricated from sturdy material such as canvas, polyester, fiberglass or even aluminum, an awning is a flexible roof, able to block the sun’s rays and, perhaps, even some rainfall. By definition, awnings are attached to the house, and can be fixed or retractable, based on preference or need. Awnings are useful if you don’t have or want to add corner posts; they simply extend from the structure already present. They can also be larger than you might expect, able to cover a deck that is the width of your house. Shade sail: Imagine the sail on a boat. Now take that sail, twist and turn it so it’s mostly horizontal, and tether it to anchor points, on a wall, roof corner, or post. Voila! Shade. The simplicity of shade sails is appealing for those who don’t want to build a permanent structure or who may want to take the sail down in colder weather or winter months, when the sun’s rays are weaker. Because shade sails move with the breeze, pay careful attention not only to the dimension of the sail, but also the number and location of connecting points, so water can run off.

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Pergola: This open-air structure is characterized by corner columns that support a roof of beams or rafters. Often found over a patio or deck, a pergola can be erected on its own, creating a focal point in the yard. While naysayers might scoff at the protection offered by an open grid, shadows cast by the beams provide some cover while allowing those below to enjoy the openness of the sky above. Climbing vines can also be added to pergolas, making them a hybrid of nature and a built structure.

Help from the professionals

Gazebo: Since a gazebo is a freestanding structure with a full roof, people might expect it to be situated away from the house, perhaps as a focal point of a garden or landscape. But they can be complete outdoor rooms when built with generous dimensions. Whether round or square, gazebos may have interior benches on the perimeter, hanging swings, center tables, even a built-in firepit. Gazebo kits start around $1,500, but that doesn’t include foundation prep, which is essential for long-term stability.

Experts agree the first step to finding shade success is to be clear on the overall goal for your backyard space. “Is your vision to have a focal point, or do you already have a garden area, and you want to add an accent where you can go sit and relax and enjoy your garden?” says Jason Nuckols, owner of Vinyl Porch Rail Co. in Lynchburg. “Other issues to think about are what are you going to use it for—relaxation, a family dinner, entertaining?” Ashby Perrow, a design-build landscape professional with Southern Landscape Group in Evington, stresses the need for a deliberate plan. “A homeowner should take multiple things into consideration when thinking about a shade structure, including their aesthetic goals for the structure/space around it, how they plan to use the space in and around the structure, what activities are planned for the space, what furnishings will inhabit the space, and what size crowd will typically need to be accommodated,” he says. While nearly every shade option can be a do-it-yourself job—even gazebos and pergolas are available in kit form—



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homeowners have to realistically assess their ability to safely construct or attach their selection. “Obviously, an umbrella is a DIY addition, and there are some simple pergola and arbor kits available,” Perrow says. “It really boils down to a homeowner’s comfort level when it comes to undertaking the design and installation of a new structure.” Nuckols says kits can even be designed to meet customers’ needs. “We can design and put a kit together, and we are available for technical support,” he adds. “I want every project to finish nicely.” Hugh Powel, owner and president of Town and Country Renovations in Roanoke, says customers who think they have their minds made up often discover options they didn’t even know exist, especially when it comes to awnings. “Sometimes they come wanting a retractable awning, but most retractable awnings, if they don’t have a solid framework on the sides, really aren’t made to keep rain out.” Powel notes. “For not a whole lot more, we can help them add a permanent structure.” Powel also advises buyers to pay close attention to product workmanship, recommending manufacturer websites as a good source of information. “There are inexpensive awning products


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Smith Mountain Lake


that do not stand the test of time,” he says. “You have to look at the warranty as well as the size and strength of the support arms, and even the fabric itself.” Pergolas and gazebos may be wood, vinyl-clad, or aluminum, with each offering different aesthetics as well as maintenance realities. “Prefabricated options typically have an aluminum skin, go up faster and have less maintenance,” Powel says. “Wood has more character and a custom-finished look.” Perrow notes wood structures may require painting and staining, to maintain their durability and appearance, and occasional powerwashing. Nuckols says vinyl should be cleaned as often as a home’s exterior, typically every one to two years. “You can use a garden hose and dishrag to keep it clean,” he says, adding that in the two decades he’s been working with vinyl, he has not seen discoloration issues, thanks to the UV inhibitor embedded in the material. All agree that outdoor living is more important than ever.

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“In 2008 and 2009, when ‘staycations’ became a thing, we saw people putting in pools and decks and renovations so they could vacation at home,” Nuckols says. “Now we’re seeing home improvements that have been overlooked or set aside for years. People are trying to make improvements to their home because they have found they can enjoy themselves at home as much as they can elsewhere.” Powel adds: “As people are spending more time at home, they want to create a backyard environment that they can enjoy more; they’re putting their money into [where they live].” And don’t let a price tag scare you, Powel notes. “We can do staged projects,” he says. By building a structure with posts that is left open, the homeowner can decide later to enclose it, either with screens or glass. “It can be prebuilt with improvement in mind,” he says. Again, success hinges on those early design conversations, Perrow says. “The biggest pitfall is a lack of preplanning,” he says. “Think about why you want the structure prior to pulling the trigger, so that you can make sure what you decide on checks all of your boxes.” ✦

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DESIGN mood boards

in a mood CREATE A MOOD BOARD TO INSPIRE YOUR DESIGN PROJECTS BY AMELIA POORE When filmmakers begin to conceptualize how all the visual elements of a movie will come together, they create a storyboard: a concrete representation of all the scenes, angles and settings they plan to shoot. The storyboard is fluid: Pieces can come in, go out, and move from one spot to another as filmmakers work through exactly how their plan will come together. Sometimes, seeing something played out on the storyboard helps filmmakers realize it won’t work, so that element is erased.

Interior designers use a similar strategy for conceptualizing a space: a mood board. Like storyboarding, creating a mood board helps designers put all the elements of a space together, but you don’t need to have a design background to understand and use one. Mood boards are a great way for anyone to preview how all the colors, patterns and finishes in a space work together. With so many decisions to be made, using a mood board can be a great place to start and gather your thoughts.

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Historically, mood boards were crafted from magazine clippings, fabric and paint samples, or any other snippet of inspiration artfully affixed to cork or posterboard. Today, there are multiple digital options, such as Pinterest, Canva and Adobe to help build a digital mood board or locate and print images for a physical board more easily. No matter which medium you choose to create a mood board for your next design project, there are a few helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind. First, experts say that a mood board will be most beneficial if you think about the board as your actual space. Centrally placed items in the room, such as the dining room table or the bed, should be centrally placed in the mood board. Items should be printed to scale; larger items, like furniture, should be bigger than smaller items, like throw pillows. Light fixtures should be placed at the top. Big-impact elements, such as paint color, wallpaper, or a heavily-used fabric, should pop up a few times. Some mood board creators actually make the paint color the background of their mood board so they can see how it looks with every other part of the space. With these few pro tips in mind, you can select whichever version of a mood board works for you with confidence. Physical mood boards are considered old school, but are still a favorite of tactile learners and craft lovers. The act of finding, printing, clipping, and physically arranging pieces of the space is still a favorite for many people. All you really need is a good collection of design magazines, sharp scissors, tape (glue tends to make ink from the images run), and something on which to arrange these pieces. You can also incorporate fabric and trim, paint or wallpaper. The physical method allows you to experience the texture of these items as well—something digital methods can’t do. Putting together a physical mood board creates something you can see and feel, helping you visualize your completed project. Several designers use what they call the “file method:” they create mood boards for themselves using the inside of a file folder. This method keeps the board small, portable and easily accessible to show to their clients, contractors and vendors whenever they need it. For the amateur, the file folder method is still small and portable, but also allows for easy storage. Nonetheless, most designers advocate for digital mediums for modern mood boards. Boards created with free tools like

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Pinterest and Canva are easily created, shared and altered throughout the design process. Pinterest (which so many of us are familiar with) offers a free and intuitive way to create mood boards with very few limitations on content. With both a desktop website and a mobile app, Pinterest has the advantage of links attached to most of the “pins” on the site, making any discovery easier to track down for purchase. Though Pinterest has limited options for arrangement, it’s still a useful tool because it helps organize your thoughts and preview how elements of the space can work together. You can also rearrange the order of your pins to move certain images closer to others. Canva is another free option (although there is a subscription-only pro version available) with their Photo Collage creator. Unlike Pinterest, you’ll likely have to find your own images and there are no links attached unless you’ve taken note of where you found the images, but there are virtually unlimited options for arrangement, backgrounds, and even adding text to create captions or theme words. You can use one of their existing templates or create your own. Additionally, you can download and save your finished mood board as its own image, making it easily shareable. Whether you choose to make a physical mood board or use a digital tool, the most important consideration is to have fun with it. A mood board is a valuable tool for planning and executing a project. It’s easy to take shopping with you, to keep yourself organized, and even to collaborate with a designer or supplier. But even if the room you’re designing is more pipedream than project, creating mood boards is a low-risk, low-cost, useful and creative activity for everyone. ✦

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IMPROVE deer deterrents


outsmarting deer B Y K AT E E R I C S S O N


Bambi is cute in the Disney movie, but in your yard? Not so much. Nature has always kept animal populations in check, but the sprawl of the suburban environment has interrupted natural ecosystems. In 1930, the U.S. white-tailed deer population was about 300,000; today’s estimates range as high as about 30 million.

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Deer have become a nuisance to many homeowners because they feed on many plants and trees commonly found in the yard. Deer see gardens as an easily accessible source of culinary delight, and will munch on hostas, daylilies and English ivy like they stumbled upon an all-you-can eat buffet. They may also cause damage by rubbing their antlers against trees and digging up a lawn in search of grubs in the fall. Short of reintroducing the endangered grey wolf or assembling a deer hunting posse, there are many steps a homeowner can take to help prevent damage to landscaping. Physical deterrents

Walls and fences around your property are one way of keeping out wildlife, including hungry deer; however, white-tailed deer, the most common species in the area, can jump up to 8 feet high. Still, large shrubs around the perimeter of your lawn may obscure the view of enticing plants and flowers. Deer netting around vulnerable gardens, shrubs and young trees is another option, and is perhaps more budget-friendly and less obtrusive. Motion-sensing options

Electronic devices such as motion-activated sprinklers and lights are effective ways to scare off deer, but they rely on solar power, batteries or plug-in power. Alternately, ultrasonic devices emit a high-frequency sound that deters pests and is too high for humans to hear. Using highly specialized thermal sensors that recognize movement by picking up changes in heat, these devices annoy and disorient unwelcome guests. Additionally, never underestimate the power of a barking dog. Many homeowners with watchful dogs escape the hassle of deer. Chemical repellents

There are a variety of chemical repellents on the market. These come in concentrates, sprays and granulates and must be applied

directly to plants. They eventually wash off in the rain, so they need to be reapplied to dry plants in order to be effective. Read the label before deciding on a product. Some chemical odor deer repellents are noxious and dangerous for humans and pets. Chemicals to avoid include mothballs, lime sulfur, Thiram, creosote, nicotine, ammonia, and many others. Instead, look for natural taste- and scent-based repellent sprays. These organic products use smells that are unpleasant to deer but are tolerable and safe for humans, like peppermint or clove. Other ingredients might include putrescent egg solids, garlic oil and capsaicin. These products are usually biodegradable, making them an eco-friendly option. Home remedies

The smell of rotten eggs and spoiled milk are fragrant enough to keep deer at bay; however, they are also offensive-smelling to humans, so spray at the edge of your yard. To create this easy deer spray, start by beating an egg in a bowl. Use a small funnel to pour the beaten egg into an empty 16-ounce spray bottle. Then add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and a 1/2 cup of milk to the bottle. Fill halfway with water, then close the lid tightly. Shake the closed bottle to mix the contents together and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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For a DIY spray with a more pleasant aroma, use vinegar and herbal essential oils. Use a funnel to add 8 ounces of white vinegar to an empty 16-ounce spray bottle with 6 drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Tightly close the lid of the spray bottle and shake to mix the contents together. Never use any chemical or natural repellent on food that you plan to eat. The most effective strategies usually combine a deer repellent with other physical barriers, such as netting around shrubs or small trees or motion-activated sensors to scare deer off of raised beds or prized ornamental plants. Another method is to select plants that deer dislike, such as poppies, catmint, American holly, garden sage, iris, lamb’s ear, pachysandra, daffodils, butterfly bush and boxwood. Since deer love to dine on anything that’s smooth, tender and flavorful, outwitting them might involve sprinkling in some prickly plants like lamb’s ear, or adding patches of strongly scented herbs to mask the appealing aroma of nearby annuals. Experts also suggest using native plants whenever possible, noting that native plants have evolved and survived regardless of deer populations. With deer, it’s better to be on the offense than defense. Once they find a vulnerable garden, they will return again and again to forage. Start early in the season before plants leaf out and become even more attractive to the deer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to protecting a bountiful garden and healthy yard. ✦ R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1

LIVE summer fun


summer gatherings



hings are looking up for Summer 2021. It's a near-sure bet we'll have more shared good times than we did last summer. So whenever things open up for you—when you're comfortable hosting a gathering for family and/or friends— this is a great time to add some extra pizzazz. Here are a few suggestions for making your occasion extra fun and memorable.

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Drinks, anyone?

feels good

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Many of your guests will be eager to lubricate the long-awaited return to hugs and face-to-face conversation with an adult beverage or two. Go beyond serving the usual beer and wine by offering a signature cocktail using any of the wide selection of drink-mixing machines now available to help. For example, the Margaritaville frozen beverage maker blends ingredients with ice into tempting concoctions for around $270 while a lower-priced “Taco Tuesday” version makes slushies for $60 (both available at Kohl’s). Amazon claims a five-star rating from buyers of a Buffetbranded machine for $385 plus many other choices for making signature cocktails to perk up a party. Target says you'll get “perfect cocktails in seconds” using the Bartesian “Keurig for Cocktails” machine at $349. Regardless of how much you spend, having one of these machines on your counter or bar screams “Try Me!”

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Great grilling

Do your plans include outdoor cooking on deck or patio? While we've been laying low, manufacturers have been conjuring up more and more options for giving grilling tasty new dimensions. alone has some 30 different choices for electric, gas and charcoal cookers; they claim to “Smoke the Competition” with the largest online selection, all poised for free delivery. And local home improvement stores typically have big grill displays out front this time of year, so if your cooker needs replacing, you'll likely see something to catch you eye ... or nose if you have any olfactory imagination at all. lists trends for 2021, including much more grilling of vegetables, significant use of spice rubs popular in India, Egypt and other exotic geographies, live-fire cookouts that “turn a meal into an entire afternoon's entertainment,” and “mixed method” grilling. That means combining cooking methods, like slow roasting steak followed by a quick searing to give it a crusty surface char. Several manufacturers are now offering wireless thermometers, so you can check your phone for cooking progress while hobnobbing with guests away from the grill. Fun and games

How about backyard or driveway games? Cornhole is always popular, and you can spruce it up by organizing a tournament or offering prizes for special accomplishments—Payday candy bars for the winners of each match, maybe a bottle of Virginia wine (or if you wish to splurge, bourbon!) for anyone who throws three “holers” on a single turn. Modify the rules and prizes as you wish; just use them to amp up the competition. Are kids invited? offers a harmless axe-throwing target game youngsters might enjoy. CVS sells a cool wooden lawn bowling game for $33.95. 4 4

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Light it up

Nothing keeps guests from saying an early “Goodnight” better than an inviting fire. If you already have a masonry fire pit, you're set; if not, consider an inexpensive alternative that garners the same result. Many new configurations, some fueled by a hidden propane tank, can be found at local home improvement centers or online. Luminarios—votive candles in sand-anchored paper bags or perhaps sculpted milk containers—are normally used to make a driveway or sidewalk look extra inviting for holiday gatherings. But why not use them to give flicker to your back yard or patio once dusk sets in? Appoint a helper to light the pre-positioned candles (great job for an attending teenager!) and supply a fire-starting wand to make the job quick and easy. Outdoor lighting can also be a great mood-setter and magnet for after-dark lingering. Solar path lights and uplight floods or spots are easy for any homeowner to install (no electrician needed!) and will enhance the appeal of your outdoor spaces. Whether you're

shopping a home center's outdoor lighting aisle or searching online, the choices are extensive. Party favors

You've done folks the favor of inviting them to your soiree, and in most circumstances that would be enough. But you're celebrating a resurgence of socializing here, so maybe a parting gift will help ingrain great memories of the occasion for days to come. Send guests home with something to delight the palate during their recovery breakfast: a couple of buttery croissants from your favorite bakery, a pack of flavored coffee or even a container of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Include a note that says how delighted you were to enjoy their company and offer best wishes for an enjoyable day or week. And for those who really think ahead? Consider incorporating an invitation to another gathering, say, six months in the future, in your party favor note. “It was so great to be together; we want to etch another event on your calendar.” ✦

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BY NOELLE MIL AM Photography by Kathryn Feldmann


alking by the empty stone house in spring 2019, Joe and Nina Sweeney, a Roanoke couple with renovation experience, commented that it was ripe with potential. Only blocks away from their Roanoke home, the house had sat empty for many years, a faded “For Sale” sign in the overgrown front yard. Even in its run-down state, something about the 1950’s era ranch-style home built from sand-colored stone called out to them. “Each time we walked by, I’d say, ‘Someone needs to love that house,’” Nina says. “It had such great bones.”

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oth Joe and Nina grew up in close-knit families in Roanoke and attended Roanoke Catholic, where they were high school sweethearts. Joe pursued a career in education while Nina went to medical school and trained as a family practice physician. The couple returned to Roanoke in 1999, after Nina’s medical training, because they wanted to raise their children near their families. By 2019, when they were walking by the old house, Joe and Nina’s two kids were almost grown. They were thinking about the possibility of downsizing to a manageable-sized house that they could enjoy into their retirement. Perhaps this house was the place. The Sweeneys had restored a couple of other homes over the years, so they felt that they knew what they were getting into. They already had connections with several local builders and subcontractors and had the design vision to see what the house could be if it was restored. The Sweeneys bought the house in July 2019 and began a complete, to-the-studs renovation. It was such a big job that Joe retired from the classroom to manage the project. “I stopped teaching when we bought the house,” says Joe. “I was ready for a new challenge … and boy did I get it.” The vintage home, it turns out, needed a lot. Over the course of the next year, and with the help of a cadre of subcontractors, friends, and even family members, the house was restored: all new windows, doors and HVAC, new bathrooms and plumbing, updated electrical work, and complete reframing of the inside including the ceiling. The Sweeneys called in longtime friend (and fellow coach at Roanoke Catholic) Bob Price of RL Price Construction Working alongside these men and absorbing their know-how, Joe poured footers for an extension of the garage, replaced a rotten exterior wall, removed all but two of the interior plaster walls and installed a skylight over what would become the new open-concept kitchen/dining area/ living room. Brother-in-law Bob Flynn with Royal Construction along with Kenny Meador helped install the wood plank ceiling, door trim, and deck railing, while Jeff Smith from J and S Carpentry installed all new soffits, windows and doors. Nina, Joe and the kids worked for weeks to stain all the interior doors, a project so big that any friend or extended family member that happened to drop by found themselves with a paintbrush in hand. “It was definitely one of those projects that

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took a village,” laughs Nina. “We were blessed to have such talented craftsmen and willing family and friends.” Joe, always handy, was having a whole new education in home construction. Today the home’s façade has been rejuvenated without changing the unique midcentury features that initially drew the couple to it in the first place. A new walkway of sand-colored stone leads to a gracious hand-stained double front door. “Josh Leffell [owner of Perfection Masonry] is pretty much a genius,” says Joe. “Not only did he redo the driveway and build a new walkway, but he also reconstructed a retaining wall along the left side of the house. All of it looks so well blended that you’d never know what was or wasn’t original just looking at it.” The wooden front doors, selected by Nina at Capps Building Supply, have a vintage midcentury feel. The rectangular windowpanes and sidelights flood the home’s entry with light. Inside is a large oil painting of sunflowers by local artist Ann Janney-Schultz, commissioned by Nina. “I knew I wanted something large in this space and I love sunflowers,” she says. “I’m fortunate that Ann is a good friend and agreed to do this. It’s perfect.” The dark wooden credenza is one of many pieces in the home that Nina found at Black Dog Salvage. r vhomemaga zine .com 4 9

Initially the home was a veritable warren of small, tight spaces, dark rooms and a postage-stamp-sized kitchen. Nina and Joe’s vision of an open and airy floorplan now features few walls and large windows that take advantage of the home’s beautiful views and abundant natural light. The entire length of the house is now wide open, from the kitchen through to the living room, and beyond into Joe’s office alcove. “We knew we wanted things to feel open, but once we did it was just this long expanse of white ceiling and walls,” says Joe. “It was really Nina who thought of the wood ceiling as a way to 5 0

warm up the whole space.” In fact, the large windows that stretch nearly the entire length of the living room open accordion-style to the outdoors—truly a home in the trees. The stained ceiling was another project that would eventually involve the whole family. “Nina, me, the kids—even friends and family who came by to visit—ended up staining boards,” laughs Joe. The group project paid off. The wood in the ceiling and wood floors, and furniture, such as the giant antique armoire—a find from a trip to North Carolina—warm the entire living area. R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1

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The kitchen, once small and dark, has been brightened with the addition of a skylight. Bob Price’s top electrician, “Bim” Gardner spent weekends rewiring the kitchen and the entire house. Nina worked with Keith Whitt and his team at ProSource of Roanoke to choose navy blue cabinetry with classic white quartz countertops

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and a glossy subway tile backsplash installed by Keith’s son Nick. Floating wood shelves house family photos and artwork, including a pastoral Maria Driscoll with colors echoing the deep blues of the cabinets. The island seating boasts comfortable stools with low-profile backs with 1950’s flair, and soft leather seats.

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Nina and Joe sacrificed one of the home’s bedrooms to give the home a dining room area off the kitchen. Here the Sweeneys have a treasured custom-made dining room suite: chairs, table and sideboard that once belonged to Nina’s large family when she was growing up. The circular glass and chrome light fixture that hangs above came from Black Dog. Above the mirrored buffet hangs a colorful oil by Greg Osterhaus that Nina found at The Little Gallery, fortuitously, on her birthday. The artist happened to be in attendance that day, and Greg and Nina made a happy discovery. “Greg Osterhaus was actually in my brother’s class growing up, and once we made the connection, he wrote me a happy birthday message on the back,” says Nina.

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The home’s generous living room has the original brick fireplace surround, now painted white and retrofitted for gas logs. A leather couch and midcentury armless settee keep the retro vibe going. “I found that [settee] on the side of the road down in Wrightsville Beach,” says Nina. “I hauled it home and my mother-in-law recovered the cushions for me.” Her other favorite finds in the room are a large oil painting of flowers by Bridget DeCicco, and the giant painting hung alongside the fireplace. This painting, which stretches nearly from floor to ceiling, started its life as a set piece in a high school theatre production and somehow made its way into Black Dog Salvage, where the Sweeneys spotted it. “We had just looked at the house when we saw this painting, and Nina said, ‘If we get that house, I have to have that painting!’” Joe recalls. “So the very day we signed the papers, I went down to Black Dog and bought it.” The predominant colors are dark blue and orange—entirely appropriate, jokes Nina, for the home of a University of Virginia alum. Through a set of sliding doors is Joe’s office, decorated in soothing blue and gray tones. The desk is a find from the Sweeneys’ years in Colorado where Nina did her residency. The office enjoys beautiful mountain views, and for days when the 5 4

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view isn’t enough, Joe has framed photographs of many of the places he has visited in nearly 25 years as a guide for students exploring some of the country’s national parks from the Caribbean to the Grand Canyon. One of the things that Joe and Nina appreciated about the home when they first saw it was its firstfloor primary bedroom. This space, the Sweeneys reason, will stand them in good stead as they look ahead to retirement. The bedroom, like the rest of the house, is a blend of old and new; original hardwood floors and new hand-stained doors lend warmth, and beneath a new triple window, a fabulous midcentury bed with a shelf headboard once belonged to Nina’s parents. They’ve kept decor simple and streamlined in keeping with the architecture, except for the vivid blues and purples in the photograph of Provençal lavender fields taken by renowned photographer and Roanoke native Robert Hale. Nina is a self-proclaimed Francophile, and Joe bought the photograph for her for Christmas. The adjoining bathroom is tiled in blue hexagonal tiles that Nina spotted online and instantly fell in love with. “I had to track them down from the manufacturer in Valencia, Spain but they were worth it,” she says. She ordered enough for the primary bath as well as the landing coming in from the garage. Nick Whitt did the tile installation in addition to seamlessly blending brand new hardwoods with existing hardwoods in the kitchen and laundry room/half bath. “It was Nina’s sense of design that dictated putting the tiles in this pattern,” says Joe, with a touch of pride. “There are many ways to lay this tile pattern, and this one seemed so perfect for the age and style of this home.” The result—interlocking starbursts—is unique and utterly showstopping, with a fun, futuristic feel. The Sweeneys kept the rest of the bath more subdued: softly weathered wooden cabinetry under the double sinks, sleek hardware, white subway tile, and a large stepin shower with glass doors. Hanging just inside the door, where they can see it every day, is a panorama photograph of Wrightsville Beach, where the family has a beach house. The house boasts a large walk-out basement, home to bedrooms for both Sweeney children. There is a large open living area between the bedrooms, which provides a comfy hang-out place for teenagers and young adults, complete with flatscreen TV and ping-pong table. Because the home is built into a hillside, there are ample windows and doors to let in light and enjoy views of the wooded lot and mountains beyond. Joe installed the interlocking laminate flooring, and is understandably proud of the crisp and clean way this “basement” turned out. It gives the kids space of their own and also provides storage for his extensive collection of outdoor equipment. r vhomemaga zine .com 55

When they first thought of purchasing the home, Joe and Nina speculated that the overgrown place might, if uncovered, have a mountain view. Sure enough, as they worked to clear decades of overgrowth, they have opened up some pretty amazing views. Some of the clearing was done by Jay’s Tree Service, and some of the clearing was done by the Sweeneys themselves. “Bob Price has been very generous with loaning us lots of equipment and we love it out here now,” says Joe. The home’s original screened porch has been updated with new wooden furniture in Nina’s signature navy, with a navy geometric outdoor rug. “We actually decided not to put screens back up when we were restoring the porch,” Nina says. “We found we just loved having it completely open.” The open-air portion of the porch hosts a large dining table where the Sweeneys can enjoy meals under the stars. From the porch, it’s a few steps down to a large flagstone patio, laid by Andrew Kellinger of Appalachian Landscaping. The patio features another comfortable seating arrangement and a grilling area. The Sweeneys look forward to entertaining friends and family in their inviting outdoor areas— especially as so many of them made significant contributions to this renovation. It turns out that the once-deserted stone house really was just waiting for the right family to appreciate its aesthetic and put the time and effort into restoring it into a much-loved family home. The many friends and family who had a hand in the restoration make the finished product all the sweeter. It’s a stoneand-mortar testament to the love of friends and family. “It took so much work, but when we drive up to the house and look in, we fall in love with it all over again,” says Nina. “I’m beyond thankful for my amazing husband and his year of hard work on this house. He made my design ideas a reality and I thank him every day for our beautiful home.” ✦ 5 6

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The French Farmhouse offers a unique market shopping experience that focuses on the importance of home and creating spaces. Come browse our home decor, lighting and furniture that tastefully blends the past and present and is carefully hand selected. Introducing Rendezvous by The French Farmhouse. A historical 2000 sq.ft. event space for the community to gather for special events and workshops, and to serve as a studio space for photographers. We will also be offering unique event rentals.

OPENING JULY 2021 Downtown Roanoke at 9 Church Avenue SE @thefrenchfarmhousemarket and @rendezvousroanoke Home Decor at The French Farmhouse -First Floor Event Space / Photography Studio / Workshops / Event Rentals at Rendezvous -Second Floor r vhomemaga zine .com 57

GARDEN great greens

Foliage Container Gardens Just the leaves, please B Y B E C K Y C A LV E R T


hile flowers are lovely, have you ever stopped to think about what the real stars of your container gardens are? Consider the foliage—the plants that often get added as filler but really anchor the whole arrangement, adding contrast, texture and interest without offering blooms. This year why not skip the flowers and go straight to the foliage? Blooms come and go, often requiring deadheading, while leaves stay true all season long, making the case for a foliage-only container garden.

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When assembling your container garden, consider what look you are going for. Elephant ears are fabulous as the centerpiece in a container because of their large size, but they require a big pot. Fill in around them with more medium-sized plants, such as coleus or coral bells, then use draping plants like creeping Jenny or sweet potato vines around the edges. Caladium, available in shades of white, green, pink and red, are another excellent container centerpiece, as they grow to only about 18 inches instead of the 6 feet that an elephant ear can reach, creating a similar impact without the space requirements. Foliage-forward plants

There are a few well-known perennials in your garden that are excellent candidates for foliage container gardens, including coral bells and hostas. Both plants come in various shades, while hostas offer a variety of textures and shapes. A notorious favorite of deer, hostas are far easier to protect when planted in containers. Ornamental grasses and ferns are other plants to be considered for foliage container gardens. Grasses in particular can add the element of height, while the plethora of ferns available (over 12,000 varieties!) suggest one could have numerous fern-only planters. When considering plants with interesting or colorful foliage, coleus is at the top of the list. The sheer number of varieties available with different leaf shapes, colors, textures and sizes is hard to keep track of, making it one of the most versatile plants out there. Speaking of colorful leaves, rex begonia also comes in a wide array of shapes, patterns and colors. Then there is the show-stopping Persian shield with its iridescent purple leaves as well as the lacy, silver-leaved dusty miller. Often added as background in container gardens as contrast to blooming annuals, these plants can anchor a foliage planter on their own with their dynamic appearance. For trailing plants with color, the purple heart (setcreasea), with its distinctive purple blade-shaped leaves, adds instant punch to any container, r vhomemaga zine .com 59

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offering a small pink bloom upon occasion. The golden leaves of creeping Jenny or the various shades of sweet potato vine, available in golds, browns, burgundy or variegated, are other colorful trailing options, helping to soften the edge of your container while adding some punch and depth to it. Foliage container gardens don’t just have to be pretty; they can be useful too. Why not add some herbs or other edible plants? Ornamental kale is a popular cool-weather container plant, but other types of edible kale are also incredibly interesting in appearance. Dinosaur kale, which is slightly blue, or Redbor kale, with its frilly magenta leaves, make for good-looking edible additions, while Swiss chard, particularly the rainbow cultivar, is another. Herbs are another consideration for edible additions in a foliage garden. Purple sage, parsley, rosemary, chives, and golden oregano are just a few of the many herbs that are as easy to grow as they are attractive. Many gardeners consider containers the only way to grow mint and many of its relatives, as the hardy herb is known to be slightly invasive when it has found a happy spot to grow. Chocolate mint, with its brown stems, has a darker green leaf than most mints, and features the aroma of chocolate. Pineapple mint, with its variegated leaves, is another interesting addition to a container without fear of it overtaking your garden. When assembling your foliage container, keep in mind where it will live. If you are looking to put a foliage container garden on a front porch that gets afternoon sun, avoid including ferns and other shade-loving plants. The ferns will do much better in a container garden on a screened porch that gets indirect light all day. Consider the scale as well; dwarf ornamental grasses will not require as big a pot as larger varieties or even elephant ears. You’ll want to provide space for your plants to spread out over the season, so plan accordingly. Many of these plants can be grown both as perennials or as annuals, so with a bit of extra care, your foliage container garden can last much longer than one growing season. A container garden that lasts year in and year out with minimal effort seems too good to be true, but it might just be one of the best-kept gardening secrets. ✦ R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1

LIVE upscale burgers

backyard barbecue soirée



BY SAR AH NICHOL A S Picture this: Flowers in bloom, vaccinations in arms, and your loved ones gathered around you. Can you feel it? Maybe we took those things for granted pre-quarantine; I know I did! But this summer is shaping up to be better than the last with the eventual return to rubbing elbows with friends and family—possibly with more appreciation for togetherness! I love to take food that holds a special memory and recreate it for my loved ones. It sounds cliche, but food is a multi-sensory experience. We experience the obvious—see it and taste it—but I passionately believe that food is memories. Burgers on the grill, I venture to say, hold a good memory for most, and we all need that nostalgically wonderful feeling of “rubbing elbows” again in 2021. Take the humble burger and elevate it with fancy (but simple) accoutrements and sides to wow faces you have been missing and delight the ones you already spend a lot of time with.

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Make it with chorizo or beef; you can’t go wrong with these toppings! TOMATO JAM 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/3 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon kosher salt BURGERS AND TOPPINGS 4 pounds ground chorizo 8 cheese slices 8 brioche buns 24 strips bacon, cooked and crispy 8 eggs, fried 4 avocados, sliced

To make jam, add tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and salt to a sauce pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring often. Do this until the mixture reduces and thickens, about 1 hour. Make 8 burgers, 1/2 lb. each. Set aside. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill until cooked through. Turn off heat and add cheese. Allow the cheese to melt. Smear the brioche bun with 2 tablespoons tomato jam, add burger with cheese. Add bacon, fried egg or avocado or offer as additional accoutrements.


This would be fabulous atop a burger with sharp cheese or as a side. 1 pound broccolini 7 lemon slices 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt and black pepper DRESSING 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano, grated 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon olive oil Pine nuts for garnish (if serving as a side)

Heat grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss broccolini and lemon slices in oil, salt and black pepper. Grill until charred, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove the lemon slices and set aside. If using as a burger topping, transfer the broccolini to a cutting board and chop. Return to bowl. Whisk together Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and olive oil and add it to the broccolini and toss. If serving as a side, top with grilled lemon slices, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and pine nuts.

LUDEAN’S CORN PUDDING (serves 10–12) This recipe is named after my grandmother, whose idea of dinner was toast with syrup. She loved my cooking, but she loved this recipe the most! It goes excellent with all things grilled. Sweet, savory and nostalgic! 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoon salt 6 eggs 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup salted butter, melted 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 cups corn kernels (8 ears) 3/4 cup vidalia onion, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped, for garnish Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs, cream and butter in another bowl. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add corn and onion. Cook until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add thyme, then stir. Once cooled, mix flour mixture and corn mixture with egg mixture. Place in a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish and bake until set and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions.


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Grill a donut: yes, you read correctly! It is unforgettable, decadent and totally worth it! 6 glazed donuts 3 ripe peaches, halved Cooking spray Vanilla ice cream Mint, optional Heat the grill to medium-high and grease grill grates. Place donuts and peaches on the grill. Grill donuts for no more than 30 seconds per side, flipping them once until grill marks appear and the glaze is caramelized. Transfer the grilled donuts to a plate. Continue to grill the peaches for about 3 minutes total, until grill marks appear, and the fruit begins to caramelize. Transfer the grilled peaches to plate. To serve, place a grilled peach on a grilled donut, top with ice cream and garnish with mint.


I created this cocktail during quarantine, when I lovingly called it “The Fiesty Homeschooler.” Time for a name change, thank goodness! 6 strawberries ¼ cup water 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 sprigs mint Champagne or Prosecco 1 sprig mint and dash of cayenne, for garnish Wash and core strawberries. Combine strawberries, water and sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in vanilla and add 2 sprigs of mint. Reduce heat to a simmer, for 15 to 20 minutes until strawberries are soft. Strain and cool. Add champagne and 1 tablespoon of strawberry syrup to a champagne glass, no stirring, and garnish with mint and dash of cayenne. ✦



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DESIGN sofa style



BY A N N E M A R I E P O O R E P hoto gr a p hy by K at hr y n Fe l d ma nn

our home, as mine does, probably has more than one sofa— the bastion of the family room, den and living room. Let’s see what four of Roanoke’s top designers do with one sofa and the console table behind it. Styling and layering can take us in many directions; find out what works in your home and be inspired!


Ellie Proctor and Meredith Draper of Ellie Proctor Antiques and Fine Things love the neutral fabric on this sofa. “It’s like an empty canvas really,” says Proctor. This English arm sofa upholstered in black and ivory ticking stripe provides a neutral background to give new throw pillows center stage. Front and center is a Dhurrie rug lumbar pillow with a Greek key motif. The soft browns, coral and icy blue embrace the same color scheme found in the abstract oil on canvas behind the sofa. The Matouk throw in champagne works well with the ivory in the sofa and background of the large toile pillows. The assortment and various sizes and shapes of the pillows add interest and composition to the tight-back sofa. “Layering and mixing contemporary pieces with vintage objects gives the comely sofa added intrigue,” says Draper. The silver leaf faux bamboo buffet lamps juxtaposed with the brown obelisk give the vignette a contemporary feel. The cowhide rug not only reflects the honey tones in the bamboo window shades, but lends a hip vibe as well. Proctor adds: “Keep in mind the decorative objects you already have and add new pillows; a new piece of artwork and viola, you’ve completely changed the space and mood of the room!” 64

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Elaine Stephenson Interiors works with clients to use their favorite objects and art to create unique and exquisite spaces. The antique Chinese roof tiles representing different animals are a rare find. Stephenson says, “The glazes in primary colors are so pretty!” The large acrylic painting by Courtney Cronin depicts a beloved marsh scene. Buffet lamps frame the painting and their classic and simple lines are timeless. The vivid colors in the marsh scene are also present in the throw pillows. “The colors and painterly design of the Thomas O’Brien fabric on the pillows are a favorite of mine,” says Stephenson. The pillows work well with not only the painting but also the Persian rug. Adding a luxurious fringed throw blanket along the back of the sofa makes the sofa even more appealing. “I wanted to create a warm and welcoming space where anyone can curl up with a good book, a cup of tea and spend time among their most favorite things,” she says.


This vignette designed by MaryJean Levin of Halifax Fine Furnishings demonstrates a play of textures. A pair of neutral pillows with an arabesque design flanks print pillows in a timeless chinoiserie design. Behind the sofa, a pair of porcelain lamps in a deep blue brings together the color scheme. “The monochromatic artwork— charcoal sketches from the early 1900s—interplay well with the ticking-striped sofa and the intricate textures and patterns of the pillows,” says Levin. The uniformity of the lamps and pillows gives the vignette symmetry. An ebony box offers hidden storage for remotes and small accessories. Levin added a sumptuous deep blue chenille throw, left casually at one end of the sofa. “The single off-center throw relaxes the total look and welcomes the sitter,” she says.

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Interior designer and Magnolia owner Jessica Durham creates a look with intrigue, accentuating the dark and light contrasted in this sitting area. The dark rug is lightened with the ivory and black ticking-striped sofa. The Kilim stool blends with the rich hues in this space. The pillows with earthy tones of terracotta, clay and coral add warmth. “The House of Cindy pillows are organic and made with one-of-a-kind vintage fabrics,” says Durham. The vertically oriented oil painting by Charlotte artist Lauren Bolshakov creates a mood of serenity, capturing the contrast of dark and light. The tall iron lamps on either side of the painting are transitional and can be styled in both modern and conservative spaces. The soft loose cable throw with playful pom-poms infuses coziness and a bit of whimsy. Durham suggests “including a live plant with delicate and feathery fronds to add life and texture.” Fresh greenery enhances the earthy tones and organic feel of the space. ✦.


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home-grown berries the best part of summer B Y B E C K Y C A LV E R T

Nothing says summer like a fresh berry, and there is no better berry than one that is freshly picked from the garden. Thankfully, a backyard berry patch is a highly attainable goal for any gardener, for berries can easily be worked into your existing landscape. Strawberries can be a border, while berry bushes like blueberries, raspberries and blackberries can be hedge-defining areas in the garden. Known as “small fruits” for the size of the fruit these perennials produce, these plants require less space than fruit trees while also maturing faster, allowing the gardener to reap the rewards of their labor within a year or two of planting. For the most part, small fruits grow just fine in sunny, well-drained but average soil. Particular plants will need some soil amendments, but overall, these plants are fairly low maintenance once established. r vhomemaga zine .com 67


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The first small fruit to ripen in the spring are strawberries. A plant that can be used as a ground cover and a border, strawberries also do well in container gardens. There are both spring (June) bearing and everbearing strawberry plants, although the recommended varieties for our area are primarily June bearing. June-bearing plants are short-day plants, forming blooms when there is less than 12 hours of sunlight a day. Recommended June-bearing cultivars include Sweet Charlie, Chandler, Flavorfest, Camino Real and Camarosa, while San Andreas and Albion are some everbearing varieties that do well in our region. Strawberries grow best in a sandy, loam soil, but they will grow anywhere in well-drained soil that has been well supplied with organic matter. They’d prefer to not be near members of the nightshade family like eggplants and tomatoes, and they generally aren’t fond of being planted in southern-facing slopes, as too much sun can stymie the berry harvest. Strawberries need to be weeded regularly, as they don’t like being crowded. Plant strawberry rows 3 feet wide, with plants 1 to 3 feet apart. Strawberry plants produce both berries and runners—baby strawberry plants connected via a long stem—during their productive season; pinch the runners off to ensure better berry production. Strawberries should be planted in the early spring with the crown of the plant level with the soil surface. Pinching off blossoms the first year of planting helps ensure a better crop the next year. While the “mother” plants last only a few years, careful managing of mother plants with the “daughter” plants produced via runners ensures a healthy strawberry patch for years to come. When planting strawberries in container gardens, the pyramid shape is one frequently used. It is an excellent method of maximizing limited space while ensuring a bountiful harvest. Whether you go with a clay strawberry pot or build a bed in your garden, containers are an efficient method of growing strawberries without needing a lot of space.

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Kiowa: thorny, produces the biggest berries Natchez: thornless, produces large, sweet fruit

mid-to-late-season bearing Navaho: thornless, medium-sized berry

late-bearing Chester: thornless, yields medium-sized fruit

primocane/everbearing Caneberries

Caneberries, also known as brambles, are a relatively easy small fruit to grow in the home garden. Caneberries include raspberries and blackberries, named because of how they grow; their roots and crowns are perennial, shooting up canes that produce fruit. These canes only last two years and come in two fruiting types: primocane and floricane, otherwise known as everbearing and summer bearing, respectively. Primocane will bear fruit in the fall of the first year of their cane growth, then again the following June, although the fall harvest is more plentiful. These particular plants can be mowed down to the ground after the fall harvest and will pop back up next spring. Floricanes produce fruit only in their second year of growth. Brambles do better when trellised; there are some relatively simple ways to do this, including a method involving wire strung between posts. Posts can be as far apart as 30 feet, with wires strung between them about 18 inches apart at heights starting at 3 feet above ground. Caneberries can be planted in the fall or early spring, in rows 8 feet apart or more, with 3 feet

Prime-Ark 45: thorny large berries Prime-Ark Freedom: thornless, large fruits


floricane/summer bearing

Killarney: red, high-yielding Latham: red, medium-yielding Nova: red, midseason, slightly acidic tasting fruit New Logan: black, heavy producer, drought-resistant Jewel: black, high-yielding Cumberland: black Royalty: purple, high-producing, thorny Brandywine: purple, large, late-ripening

primocane/everbearing Caroline: red Heritage: red, can be susceptible to late leaf rust Himbo Top: large fruit Joan J: spine-free red

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between plants, working the soil as you would the vegetable garden (well-drained soil rich in organic matter). Caneberries need regular pruning at several points in the season, in what is called dominant and summer pruning. Dominant pruning—which removes all the dead, weak and damaged canes and selecting the canes that remain for fruiting in the coming season—should take place in spring, after the threat of severe cold has passed but before the buds begin to swell. Summer pruning—removing the top few inches of new shoots—takes place when the plants begin to reach particular heights (5 feet for blackberries, 3 to 4 feet for raspberries). Blackberries offer thornless varieties while raspberries come in a range of colors—red, black, purple and yellow—that differ in flavor as well as production levels. While it may be tempting to interplant several colors of raspberry varieties in one area, it’s important to note that different colors need to be planted several hundred feet away from each other to ensure each variety is properly pollinated and to avoid spreading disease. Additionally, black raspberries ripen before any other varieties and are the least cold hardy of all the raspberries. Yellow raspberries are the most delicate and not as widely grown, but are typically primocane berries and can be cut down to the ground each winter like the red varieties. Blueberries

Perhaps the easiest of all the small fruits to grow in your yard are blueberries. Not only are blueberries an edible landscaping feature, they offer spectacular fall color. They grow best in areas where azaleas, mountain laurel or rhododendrons grow, preferring more acidic soil. Similar to brambles, they require a good deal of water to help establish them their first year. Beyond that, blueberries are shallow rooted and like a steady amount of moisture, but they don’t tolerate saturated soils, so they must have adequate drainage. They prefer sunny, gentle slopes with a soil pH level of at least 4.5 to 5.5. Blueberries don’t like to be fertilized when being planted, so it is best to amend your soil a few weeks before planting. Once established, they will need some light pruning to remove dead and broken branches between the autumn leaf drop and spring growth. There are three types of blueberries that do well here in Virginia: rabbiteye, Southern highbush and Northern highbush. Rabbiteye and Southern-highbush-type blueberries are bestsuited for climates with hotter summers, with lower winter cool temperature requirements. Two or more varieties that bloom at the same time should be planted to provide adequate cross-

Thank you for voting for your favorite local stores, service providers and businesses for all things home improvement, design and garden in HOME’s annual Readers’ Favorites Awards. The winners in each category will be announced in the September/October issue of HOME magazine and on our website.


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pollination, ensuring a good crop of fruit, while also allowing one to extend the harvest. Among the rabbiteye varieties, there are the early-season types: Alapaha, Climax, Titan and Vernon; the mid-season varieties: Brightwell, Powderblue and Tifblue; and the late-season varieties of Centurion and Ochlokonee. Planting a variety of early, mid- and late-season rabbiteye blueberry bushes will allow you to harvest berries well into July and even August. Southern highbush varieties are the most susceptible to late frosts, as they bloom early in the season, but they are also the variety most recommended for Central and Southern Virginia. Early season Southern highbush varieties are Suziblue, Palmetto and O’Neal while Camellia, Jubilee and Magnolia are the recommended midseason Southern highbush varieties for our area. Southern highbush varieties are also very popular with birds and deer, but the plants are easily netted to save your crop from passing wildlife. Birdnetting is a well-known approach, but bridal tulle is an excellent alternative to use as well. It still allows light to get to the plants, but because the construction of the fabric is finer, birds are not as likely to get tangled in it, which also makes it easier to use, as bird netting is easily tangled by humans as well. Northern highbush blueberries are self-fertile, although larger and earlier ripening berries can result if several varieties are planted for cross-pollination. They do better in the mountainous and more northern regions of Virginia. Duke, Earliblue, Patriot and Spartan are good early season Northern highbush varieties while Bluecrop, Blueray and Legacy are hearty midseason varieties. Elliot and Jersey are good late-season Northern highbush blueberry bushes.

Before choosing which small fruits you’d like to add to your edible landscaping, it is always advisable to do some research on the different varieties available, for just as there are a range of harvest times, there is a range of individual sizes and flavor profiles. Purchasing your berries from a local nursery can help ensure you are planting something that will do well in your garden for bountiful harvests in years to come. With a little planning, you can be assured that freshly harvested home-grown berries are just a few steps into the garden away. ✦

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IMPROVE staying cool



Small upgrades make a big difference when redecorating your home. A fresh paint color, updated kitchen hardware, even a new rug can breathe life into an otherwise tired space. Ceiling fans are no exception, while adding a measure of utility to boot. The days of clunky traditional ceiling fans in uninspired finishes are gone, giving way to beautiful accessories that can add style, sophistication and comfort to any room in your house.

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Supreme functionality

If you’ve never had a ceiling fan, you may not realize its numerous benefits. A ceiling fan provides even distribution of air throughout your room, and the continuous counter-clockwise breeze will keep you cool in the summer months. During winter months, the fan can be used in reverse and at low speed, drawing cool air up and pushing warmer air down, keeping you warm and cozy. Because most fans use only as much energy as a 60watt lightbulb, they are extremely energy efficient. The use of a ceiling fan in the summer or winter reduces the strain on your heating or air conditioning systems, and using them in the fall or spring may eliminate the need to use those systems at all. This not only saves energy, but reduces your heating and cooling costs. A ceiling fan saves space in your room, omitting the need for a fan on a table or in the corner. It also can be a way to introduce more light into the room as many models come with the added feature of a light kit. If the light is on a dimmer, it can be used for illumination and dimmed to soften the mood.

Find the right fit

Maximizing the efficiency of your fan requires choosing the right size for your room and installing it properly based on your ceiling height. Fans are measured by the blade span or the blade sweep, which is the diameter of the circle you see when the fan is running. First, find the square footage of your room by multiplying the room’s length by the room’s width. Then use this chart to find the best size for your room: ROOM SIZE Up to 75 square feet 76–144 square feet 145–225 square feet 225–400 square feet

FAN SIZE (DIAMETER) 29-39 inches 36-42 inches 44 inches 50–54 inches

For a room with ceilings taller than 10 or 12 feet, or vaulted ceilings, choose a fan with a down rod. When installed, the fan should hang down 8 to 10 inches from the ceiling and ideally

8 to 9 feet from the floor. Smaller rooms with ceilings between 8 and 9 feet are best suited for a low-profile fan or a flush-mount fan, which hugs the ceiling. These fans are known as huggers or snuggers, and should be at least 7 feet from the floor for maximum safety. Refined and well-designed

Adding a ceiling fan is an easy way to make an impact when creating the look of your home. The evolution of fans from simply functional to aesthetically pleasing has occurred over the past few years, and the results are stunning; no matter your style or taste, there is a fan to match. You may think a ceiling fan in a dining or living room won’t work, however designs have been elevated to match the formal or upscale feel of these rooms. There are numerous fans to choose from, including fans adorned with crystals or ornate light fixtures; some appear to be chandeliers, but have blades that retract when not in use or completely hidden to disguise its true identity. Modern designs

include fans with acrylic blades, curved blades or even a single blade. If you are looking for an industrial feel, consider one made of metal in black or pewter, or with a metal cage around the fan and that uses Edison bulbs in the light fixture. Trendy ceiling fans come in lots of colors either on the fixture itself or the blades. Even traditional fans have changed, providing many more options for blade color, style and finishes of the wood and metal accents. An increasing popular and budget friendly way to add flair with a ceiling fan is to make changes to your existing fan. DIY projects include adding a ceiling medallion, stenciling or wallpapering the blades, and even painting the entire fan. So whether you are looking to increase your comfort level, add interest to a room or tackle a fan improvement project, these long hot days of summer are the perfect time to do it. ✦

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turn on the Southern charm in your yard BY MITZI BIBLE

When it comes to the most popular flowering trees of the South, there’s nothing that tops the magnolia. This landscape staple has it all: good looks with its glossy leaves, colorful, cupped blooms, and a pleasant, sweet fragrance that lulls you into summertime.


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There are now more than 200 species of magnolia, according to Magnolia Society International. Some are evergreen and others are deciduous. While most people rave over the trees’ iconic flowers and use them for ornamentation, they also make great shade trees, shrubs or hedges. If you’ve never explored the magnolia plant family, the word magnolia may only conjure images of large, creamy-white blossoms in flower arrangements, or of leathery, deep green leaves that deck the halls and many a fireplace mantel over the holidays. Yes, you would be picturing the Southern Magnolia, the quintessential southern big-blooming tree. This large-and-in-charge native evergreen is often the center of attention in a yard or park. Depending on the cultivar, it can grow from 20 to up to 80 feet tall (30 to 40 feet is more common for our area). The tree takes a pyramid shape as it grows. The Southern Magnolia is certainly the showstopper of the magnolia family, claiming the title of state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi. But many people may not know that 100 cultivars of the Southern Magnolia have shared the stage. One is Bracken’s Brown Beauty, a nod to the rusty copper-colored underside of its leaves. It is favored for its dense, compact growth and cold hardiness. If you’re a sucker for big, classic magnolia blooms but have a smaller garden, there are space-conscious varieties too, such as Saint Mary or Little Gem Dwarf. To plant a Southern Magnolia, the Virginia Cooperative Extension recommends selecting a site with wind protection (a more wooded area or the corner of a back yard) and a spot with good soil drainage and plenty of room for the plant to develop and spread. Patience is needed, too, as it can take up to five years or more for blooms to appear. Caring for the tree is not intensive. Pests aren’t attracted to its tough, rubbery leaves, and that includes deer. However, with the tree shedding its leaves over a long period of time, and the leaves taking much longer to decompose than other leaves, expect to do some cleanup throughout the year; rake them closer to the trunk to hide the leaf litter and use as mulch. Branching out

Beyond the familiar Southern Magnolia is a whole other magnolia world with a vast array of blossoms that promise to dazzle. Star Magnolia: Like the Southern Magnolia, this variety also features a white flower, but with layers of narrow petals that flair out, resembling a starburst. Native to Japan, this deciduous tree is a favorite because it is cold hardy and can bloom when it is still small. It will ultimately reach 15 feet tall or more. r vhomemaga zine .com 75




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Saucer Magnolia: These trees probably caught your eye in the spring. At first glance, you may have thought, “There are tulips growing on that tree.” (Or at least that’s what my kids said on a walk around the neighborhood). If so, you’re right. Its common name is actually “tulip tree” and its blooms are look-alike tulips, coming in white and hues of pink and purple. According to Magnolia Society International, flowers range from 3 to 12 inches in diameter, and some cultivars will surprise you by producing flowers randomly throughout the summer and fall. The flowers, with their alluring perfume—most describe it as a lemony scent—open before the foliage comes. Sometimes you’ll see one color on the outside of the bloom and another color inside. “The Girls” Magnolias: Some special magnolia hybrids from U.S. National Arboretum have made their way to garden centers. An eight-plant selection given all girls’ names resulted after a cross with the lily magnolia (a popular miniature variety with purple or pink flowers that look like lilies) and the Star Magnolia. The most common are “Jane,” “Ann,” and “Susan,” and they’re known for blooming up to one whole month later than their parents, escaping frost’s wrath and extending their show throughout the summer. Flowers display a variety of colors, from reddishpurple to pink and white. These hybrids require little maintenance and have become a perfect fit for the average-size garden. Cucumber Tree and Bigleaf: These varieties would fit into the more “oddball” category, perhaps better known for their leaves than their blooms like most magnolias are. The Cucumber Tree is one of the most cold-hardy types of magnolias, with greenish-yellow blooms shaped like tulips and fruit shaped somewhat like a cucumber. They are most known for their ability to show off some fall color; their leaves turn gold. Popular varieties are “Elizabeth” and “Yellow Lantern.” The Bigleaf Magnolia can put on a spectacle with leaves growing up to 32 inches long and 12 inches wide. The leaves are bright green on the top but silver/grey underneath, making for a neat effect when the branches sway in the wind. Its ivory-colored blooms have a reddish tint at the base and grow from May to July. “Palmberg” is a popular cultivar. ✦ R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1






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DESIGN using botanicals


INCORPORATE BOTANICAL LOOKS FOR FRESH INTERIORS B Y K E N DA L L AT K I N S L I V I C K As humans, we are inextricably part of nature, and our eyes are attracted to shapes and colors that make us feel alive. This is one of the main reasons that most experts recommend bringing the outdoors in when creating a well-designed room. For the same reason that hospital patients can recover more quickly in a room with a view of nature, we can rest our eyes on a symbol of nature and receive the benefits of botanicals in the form of color therapy and nature immersion. 78

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On the wall

On fabric and accessories

Florals look great on surfaces, both horizontal and vertical. From granny chic to just plain unique, flowers on your walls can make an instant statement. Botanical garden designs and tropical vibes abound in 2021, whether in art or wallcoverings. For extra whimsy, prints can include birds that live among the plants on which they appear—think hummingbirds for English garden style and toucans for a more exotic feel. Play around with scale to suit your taste and the room. A tiny petal pattern could be ideal for a guest bathroom, whereas large blooms could create an optical illusion, enveloping the living room to amplify drama. You can even mimic this look by designing a floral pattern painted with your own hand or hiring a mural artist. For something even less permanent, you can frame pressed botanicals straight out of the garden and hang them on your wall. There are a variety of methods to pull this off, so watch a video tutorial, and proceed with caution. Choose a fern for some greenery or a favorite summer flower with a beautiful, colorful shape, like cosmos, dahlias, zinnias or marigolds.

For an extra touch of comfort, florals are a timeless favorite for fabrics and other home accents. Whether bold and colorful or sleek and subtle, you can choose how rosy you want your fabric posies to appear. Choose bright pink rose-patterned drapes that look straight out of Granny’s cottage, or more sheer window treatments with fine-lined florals that invite in the sun. Throw pillows featuring botanical prints can help highlight a favorite accent color, and a flowery upholstery project can be a fun way to give an old chair or couch a makeover. Botanical fabrics also pair stylishly with contrasting stripes or geometric patterns in rugs, pottery and other furniture pieces. As the real deal

The most obvious use of florals is pretty straightforward—house plants and colorful blossoms placed throughout your home as accents or centerpieces. Find them at the farmer’s market, grocery store, local nursery or your homegrown garden. You get bonus points if you understand the hidden language of flowers and use them strategically. Try a bouquet of sunflowers on the

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dining room table if someone in your family is going through a hardship, to offer encouragement that things will soon be looking up. Roses in the bedroom set the mood for romance, and you can make your company feel like royalty by placing purple asters on the nightstand in the guestroom. But what if you don’t want the hassle or maintenance for caring for plants? Summer blooms like globe thistle, baby’s breath and larkspur look stunning in a dried arrangement. Read on for some fun ideas for infusing botanicals into popular home decor trends. Coastal Boho: For a bohemian beachy look, botanicals simply belong. Think live ferns in baskets hanging from the ceiling or on floating shelves, or dried palm leaf fans in a large vase or as a wall embellishment. These add the perfect nod to nature, amidst woven baskets, cane furniture, and driftwood and shells placed thoughtfully around the room, along with a funky Moroccan rug. 8 0

Granny Chic: This fun and feisty style is all about mixing old and new. Let your boldly printed floral wallpaper set the scene, and don’t be afraid to complement or even match with floral curtains. Embellishments like shag fringes, ruffles and lace add to that over-the-top feeling of comfort. If you have any special floral needlepoints or hanging tapestry projects that have been stowed away in the attic for safekeeping, now is the time to pull them out. The only reminder that you’re not actually in Granny’s house will be the ultramodern accent lamp, faux fur throw pillow, or neon chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Cottagecore: In the spirit of rural romance, cottagecore embraces a “back to basics” freedom by celebrating things that grow wild. With untamed flare, let the room be what it wants. Floral wallpaper looks striking with a rustic wood table, topped with wildflowers in a simple glass vase. Muted greens, greys and other neutrals are R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1




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the perfect hues to pair with soft linens and china tea sets. Throw in some layered textiles, vintage rugs and a gallery wall of botanical prints, along with windowsills of dainty flowers in repurposed antique floral teacups. You’ll bask in this cozy femininity, as if immersed in the countryside, barefoot and fancy free. Maximalism: Maximalism—as a rebellion to minimalism, but with joy at its core—is all about “go big or go home.” Think crazily intricate wallpaper patterns with large-scale botanicals, neon hues, playfulness with size and scale, and contrasting patterns and colors. Imagine a wallpaper featuring palm trees with colorful fruit and toucans perched atop the branches, paired with a bright pink couch and black and white geometric floor tiles. All styles are subject to individual preference. Like the flower needs the rain, we all need natural beauty to color our days on this wild and wonderful planet. ✦ R o a n o ke Va l l e y H O M E S u m m e r 2 0 2 1

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Find the right mortgage

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