From the northeastern window of the Sparling family’s fifth-floor Charlottesville apartment in the 90-year-old Altamont Circle building, you can see rooftops, steeples and the gray-blue edge of the mountains. The approximately 750-square-foot space is home to 7-month-old Arlie Pearl, her parents and two medium-sized dogs. What this cozy and stylish residence doesn’t contain are all of the baby accoutrements that have become de rigueur in the homes of many new parents.
“A big thing for us is that we don’t have a lot of space, so a lot of toys are not in our future for her,” Anna, Arlie’s mother, points out. “She’s going to need more stuff (as she grows) but right now I don’t think she’s under-toyed.” (Anna laughs and her daughter follows suit.)
The Sparlings moved to Charlottesville two years ago from Portland, Oregon, so that dad, Chase, could pursue a Master’s degree in architecture at UVA. Leaving behind a much larger living space, the couple had to significantly pare down their belongings to maintain a harmonious lifestyle (and without closets!). Chase’s woodworking tools are in storage, along with books and a few other odds and ends but, in the apartment, what you see is what they’ve got.
Arlie was, in fact, born in this very apartment, and she and her accompanying toys, books, diapers, and so on have been seamlessly folded into the aesthetic of her parents’ home.
“I like to reuse older things. I don’t like new things, I guess,” Anna explains. “I like things that have a little bit of character to them: a table that has been worn and has some love in it, as opposed to something that’s brand-new.”
Not too shabby chic
Want to keep storage cost-effective, earth-conscious and simple? Take a cue from the Sparling family: Line an old wooden crate ($7.50 and up, Circa) with some vintage fabric (prices vary at Antics) or even remnants of new fabrics from Les Fabriques. Stack a couple for salvaged shelving with a story.—C.B.
In the family bedroom, each person has a chest of drawers. Just like in the children’s story, Papa’s is big and tall, Mama’s is medium-sized and sweetly painted, and Baby Bear’s antique oak chest (which doubles as a changing table) is the smallest, with a tiny mirror perfect for practicing silly faces. The only evidence of baby gear is the hand-me-down crib that has become necessary for Arlie’s midday naps, because she is, as Anna puts it, “movin’ and rollin’.” At night, the family shares a bed (there’s also a futon available in the living room, if need be).
A few delightful objects are arranged here and there, functioning as playthings for Arlie as well as pleasing curios for her parents. This pattern of multiple-use items is essential for living in tight quarters.
Smiling and crawling around the fluffy body of Layla the dog, Arlie’s eyes shine with curiosity. She giggles when she finds her favorite toy, an abalone shell that sparkles in the sunlight streaming through the windows. Later she moves on to the old weathered crate that houses her books, selects one and sits smiling as she examines the cover, simply content with the world.
In The Foodie’s Beer Book, Horse & Hound co-owners Brooke and Luther Fedora say that when you’re cooking with beer, remember the rule, “one for you, one for the pot.” This is not meant to be taken literally, unless you want to be face down on the travertine when the oven timer goes ding.
Park it in Belmont It’s no secret that the lack of convenient restaurant parking can make dining in Belmont a little less than desirable, especially on the weekends. Now, on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 6pm, drivers from Southern Star Valet are on hand outside tavola and The Local to
On Fridays we feature five food finds selected by local chefs or personalities. This week’s picks come from Doug McLeod, chef of Duner’s. McLeod’s picks: 1) Chicken and Waffles at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. “One of my guilty pleasures, best Southern food in town.” 2) Dried Fried Eggplant
Pick your pasta, pick your sauce. It’s a simple concept, and one that Morocco native Karim Sellam hopes will bring more life to his Venetian-inspired restaurant in the Ix building. Introducing Al Dente Pasta Café, a classic Italian restaurant that’s open for lunch, dinner, coffee breaks, and
I’ve done this several times, all with the same result. I hand a patron a translucent, orange-tinged beverage. They look at it curiously and shrug, and I wait for them to take their first sip. First their face wrinkles in confusion. Then there is cautious enjoyment. Then, even more intense
Charlottesville food is hot. In the last year alone, our area’s food has won praise from national media outlets dozens of times, culminating with a recent nod in Wine Enthusiast as one of “America’s five new foodie cities.” For one of our restaurants, though, national attention is nothing new.
It’s 9:30pm on a Thursday. Mono Loco is finishing up dinner service. But the kitchen crew is just getting ready to start things up. They change into their street clothes and head over to Mas. It’s 10am the next day. The Hamilton’s staff is walking toward the Downtown Mall spot for lunch
New pizza joint in the making Did you know that “Neapolitan” is not just a type of ice cream? Turns out it’s also a regulated, highly-structured way of making pizza, and it’s coming to Charlottesville. Tavola sous chef Loren Mendosa just announced the plans for Lampo, a Neapolitan pizzeria
Nobody really likes to bring their cats to the vet. Unlike dogs, who are typically excited to do anything at all, cats can smell a hospital visit from miles away. While most are easy enough to catch and corral, others go DEFCON 1 as soon as they see that carrier come out of the closet. […]
While some of us were glued to the TV last Sunday as Costa Rica defeated Greece in a nail-biting penalty shootout, one of Charlottesville’s own was showcasing his skills in a slightly different arena. On Sunday, June 29, Flora Artisanal Cheese owner Nadjeeb Chouaf competed in the fifth annual
Restaurant Week is just around the corner For the second time this year, Restaurant Week is almost upon us! More restaurants than ever are participating this time around, so go ahead and start making your reservations and loosening your belt. Beginning Saturday, July 19, and continuing
I never liked babysitting. Kids tend to be sticky. And loud. I couldn’t get them to do what I said, or go to bed. On the rare occasion I actually managed to get my charges to sleep, I would invariably find their parents didn’t stock good snacks. I wanted to want to be a mother one […]
Making only 12 delicious sandwiches a month for an entire city is just plain cruel. And Hamiltons’ Sandwich Lab isn’t likely to stop the torture any time soon. The first elusive Sandwich Lab sandwich was announced on Facebook on April 3. The guys in the kitchen of Hamiltons’ at First &
Bye, guys Five Guys Burgers and Fries is down to two Charlottesville locations. The Downtown Mall spot, which was often bustling with lunch breakers and bar-goers, closed its doors for good earlier this week. The restaurant’s owner did not return calls for comment by press time. Lettuce
On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. This week’s picks come from Spencer Crawford, sous chef of Palladio Restaurant, which was recently invited to make yet another appearance at the James Beard house. Crawford’s picks: 1) Virginia Apple
Gears are changing when it comes to our awareness of what we’re putting into our bodies. The local food movement is making us increasingly cognizant of where food comes from and how it was produced, and there’s been a recent shift in the booze world, too. We’ve seen a drastic move toward local
Hot diggity! C-VILLE Weekly’s having a photo contest, and we’re looking for high-quality images of your pooch enjoying the dog days of summer. Some submissions appearing in the August 6 issue of C-VILLE, and prizes will go to the top three entries: 1st place: $200 gift certificate at Animal
Outdoor construction barriers enclosed the building at the corner of Fourth and East Main streets on the Downtown Mall for weeks. The temporary walls kept the elusive project under wraps, and even if you could sneak a peek around, you wouldn’t see much through the paper-covered windows. You may
On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. This week’s picks come from Virginia Wineworks’ Michael Shaps, widely regarded as one of Virginia’s top winemakers. Next Thursday at The Ivy Inn, Shaps’ wines will be part of a very special wine dinner, featuring
A 9-year-old Rottweiler I’m examining is clearly having trouble lifting her hind end off the ground. And once she does, it’s obvious that she’d just as soon lie back down. It’s been getting worse for a few months, and I can see that the muscles of her rear legs are withering from disuse. “I’m