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.
It’s been eight months since Arch’s Frozen Yogurt on Emmet Street closed up shop. Now, the owner of another yogurt company is gearing up to reopen the space, but the cups of ice cream, cookie dough bites, and whipped cream will be replaced with noodle bowls, Chinese broccoli, and kimchi. Owner
Farm fun Charlottesville City Market is a Saturday morning tradition as throngs of locals flood the Water Street parking lot downtown to peruse meats, fruits, veggies and more. On Labor Day, Monday, September 1, those crowds have the chance to see where those yummy local treats come from and
The clock is ticking for C’Ville-ian Brewing Company. Business has been slower than expected during the summer months, and if things don’t turn around by the end of the year, owner Steve Gibbs said he’ll have to think hard about changing his model, looking for a buyer, or shutting down
A wise man once wrote: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” And that’s not a bad thing, especially when it comes to drinks. The classic mixed drinks, concocted in the American Golden Age of Cocktails (roughly […]
Take it to go The wait is over. Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie chef-owner Michael McCarthy is finally letting people into the newly-constructed space next to his North Garden cult favorite pizza joint, and it’s a completely different concept. Giddy’s Good Fortune Take Away, a counter-service spot serving
Movies make it easy. Their rating system provides a pretty good suggestion for the appropriate age for kids to see certain flicks. Real-life? Not so much. Which is why it can be challenging for parents who are trying to determine if their child is old enough to, say, walk alone to the school
On Fridays, we feature five foods finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Mitchell Beerens, co-owner of Lampo, the much-anticipated new restaurant to open this fall, with partners Loren Mendosa, Ian Redshaw, and Andrew Cole. Beerens has spent time in the
How meaningful is an invitation to cook at the James Beard House? The question has come up more than once since news broke that Parallel 38 had been invited to do so just months after opening. Given the prestige of the James Beard Foundation, the New York-based nonprofit that hands out the
Annie Eplee spent the first 18 days of her life in the NICU. After suffering in utero blood loss and a brain injury, Annie was diagnosed early on with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and cognitive developmental delays. The second daughter born to Susan and Kelly Eplee, she “set a new normal” for her
On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. This week’s picks come from Dean Maupin, chef-owner of C&O restaurant. Maupin’s picks: 1) French Macarons from Albemarle Baking Company. “They are just so well done, as is everything they bake there! They
In May of this year, Mark Weber was diagnosed with cancer, and the prognosis was not good. Two and a half months and several rounds of chemotherapy later, he’s doing so well that he’s gearing up to open a new restaurant. In the middle of an intensive treatment regimen for a stage three
By the slice Everything’s bigger in…Virginia, apparently. As of last Monday, Charlottesville is home to the newest location of Benny’s, a southern Virginia restaurant chain that serves up slices of pizza roughly the size of a small child. According to local co-owner Nick Stancampiano,
It’s here. After a slow but productive spring and a gorgeous early summer, we’ve hit the gardening doldrums. The heat and humidity are stifling and it’s tempting to give up until September returns with cooler weather and a whole new harvest. But don’t give up yet! The tomatoes are just coming
Summer camp. The very words spawn olfactory hallucinations of mildew, and a paralyzing fear that someone will make me play tetherball. For although I went to a popular girls’ camp every summer ages 9-13, I hated summer camp. For the purposes of this piece, the camp in question will remain the
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.