Abode



September 2011: Top of the Heap

September 2011: Top of the Heap

Props to you Seems to us that a bit more couch time might be in order now that summer’s winding down. We’ll take a cold drink, please. And, um, some reading material. And where are we supposed to put this clicker/rest our feet/show off our art books? On one of these locally sourced coffee tables, […]

September 2011: Green Scene

 Shake it up Don’t forget to toast the autumn equinox on September 23. The season changes and finally the planet tilts to our advantage after a relatively brutal summer, though compared to our fellows in Texas who are enduring historic drought, we really can’t complain. Cooling temperatures, and perhaps rain from Atlantic storms, give us […]

August 2011: Green Scene

 The cable box power drain What’s the biggest energy hog in the house? You might guess the fridge, the dryer or the hot tub, but the New York Times reported in June that in many homes, the little boxes on top of the TV are actually the largest electricity users. They’re running even when not […]

August 2011: Top of the Heap

 Fetching In the dog days of summer, we all need a cool drink of water. Make sure your pooch’s water bowl adds class, not clutter, to the floor: Choose one of these tail-waggers from a local shop.    

August 2011: Your Kitchen

 There is a tiny agent of good at work in the world. In the orchard, in the vegetable patch, and in the flower border on the roadside, each day the honeybee is up with the sun (of course) and out the door without benefit of coffee or shower. It works selflessly alongside its comrades, forming […]

August 2011: Rental Rescue

 Working for the University, I often catch myself reflecting on my own days as a college student. These days, I have a little less hair and a little more money, and my china collection has expanded beyond red plastic Solo cups. But I still have a soft spot for my former life. Most homeowners and […]

July 2011: Green Living

July 2011: Green Living

What’s that smell? The air has been heady with fragrance. Last May, I found myself intoxicated beneath a musky sweet full-blown privet, strewn with honeysuckle and climbing roses, wafting about like an olfactory Disney movie. Scent in the garden is best in early evening when the air is still warm and each plant pregnant with […]

July 2011: Rental Rescue

July 2011: Rental Rescue

 In first grade, I grew a bean sprout the size of my hand using nothing but a dry bean, a wet paper towel and a plastic cup. Needless to say, when a renter says “I can’t garden in my apartment,” I don’t buy it. Whether because of space restrictions, a landlord with two brown thumbs […]

July 2011: Your Kitchen

July 2011: Your Kitchen

 No vegetable has a perfect reputation, and zucchini—the summer’s most abundant cucurbit —is no exception. From the moment the weather warms in June to the moment nighttime temperatures plunge in October, the zucchini is omnipresent for the farmer, the shopper, and the eater. Is a zucchini a squash? Yes—the immature fruit of a squash plant, […]

July 2011: Top of the Heap

July 2011: Top of the Heap

 Once upon a time there was a person with lots of cool drinks to share with guests. We’re talking everything from mint juleps to acai smoothies to fresh-squeezed orangeade. Only problem was, this person had nothing in which to serve these refreshing libations. Luckily, a bunch of local shops came to the rescue with a fine […]

July 2011: Your kids

July 2011: Your kids

 Corinna Coffin’s high school diploma sits in a place of prominence on the fireplace mantle in one corner of her tidy, bright room. Various athletic awards and team photos surround this new addition to her display of accomplishments during her time at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. Framed family photos, mostly of Corinna and her brothers as […]

June 2011: Top of the Heap

June 2011: Top of the Heap

What do you need for the perfect outdoor meal? (Aside from the food, that is. And the wine. And the bucolic setting, charming company, and carefree schedule.) We’ve got your recipe for a satisfying summer nosh right here, with the ingredients supplied by local shops. Dig in! Wall Art ($10.95 from Fifth Season Gardening Co., […]

June 2011: Rental Rescue

June 2011: Rental Rescue

Whether you simmer and sauté or microwave and melt, chances are, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. The heart of the home is also one of the most expensive rooms to renovate—therefore, the one that stumps renters who wish they could make some changes.   As a renter, you can’t replace countertops, […]

June 2011: Your kids

June 2011: Your kids

  Problem: Making room for an unusual hobby In a far corner of the Schneehagens’ backyard, hundreds of bees are buzzing in and out of their bright yellow hive. Henri Schneehagen, 9, and his parents, Loreena and Jason, are the keepers of the bees and other living things that thrive on this Charlottesville city homestead. […]

June 2011: Green Scene

June 2011: Green Scene

Energy house opens to the public If you’ve been following the news about LEAP (the Local Energy Alliance Program), you probably know about its new offices in the ecoREMOD house. Even if you haven’t, chances are you’ll recognize the house. The 1922 dwelling sits at the corner of Ridge and Cherry. A few years ago, […]

May 2011: Green Scene

May 2011: Green Scene

LEAP talks the talk… The scope of the Local Energy Alliance Program just keeps growing. This year, the energy-efficiency partnership brings you a wealth of green-home information via a series of free events—think water savings, insulation, real estate and more. Each month, LEAP offers a free talk on a different topic. May’s is “Conserving and […]

May 2011: Your Abode

May 2011: Your Abode

What are you doing sitting on that couch? What’s with the overstuffed chair? who do you think you are, parking yourself at the dining room table? Get outside, for crying out loud! It’s springtime in Central Virginia, and it demands to be enjoyed. You can still sit down, we promise. And with one of these […]

May 2011: Rental Rescue & Toolbox

May 2011: Rental Rescue & Toolbox

Rental Rescue New leash on life In 2008, I went to the Barracks Road Harris Teeter on a mission to buy some milk and fabric softener, and instead, came home with a 4-month-old puppy. Congratulations to whoever developed the pet-adoption marketing strategy of placing cages of cuteness between people and their Saturday morning errands—it works. […]

April 2011: Your Kitchen

April 2011: Your Kitchen

For at least the past 9,000 years, the humble goat has been mankind’s companion and provider. As evidenced in their respective mythologies, both Greek and Roman armies utilized this hardy animal as a self-propelled food supply for far-flung borders—regardless of terrain, goats will find their own food and produce milk and fiber while they live, […]

April 2011: Rental Rescue & Toolbox

April 2011: Rental Rescue & Toolbox

There’s nothing quite like spring in Charlottesville. As the days grow longer and the weather grows warmer, our homes beg for fresh air, friends, and some good ol’ Southern hospitality. Whether it be selecting an open floor plan perfect for a party, or choosing furniture, flooring, and finishes that can stand up to red wine […]

Better World Betty

Better World Betty

Our ability to think creatively is essential for these personally and planetarily challenging times. This month Betty has inventive ideas for saving money and resources, including gas. Beyond the clothing swap Bring some clothes to the party, take some home. Easy and fun, right? Why not try a book swap, a DVD swap, a CD […]

April 2011: Green Scene

April 2011: Green Scene

Spring break For over 70 years Virginia has celebrated spring the third week in April with Historic Garden Week. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia (vagardenweek.org), tours raise funds for statewide restorations. It’s surprisingly easy for old gardens to disappear—a blink of the eye will do it. The gardens of Monticello and the University […]

March 2011: Green Scene

March 2011: Green Scene

 Smaller farming Do you have a small plot and an intense desire to grow lots of food on it? If so, SPIN (small plot intensive) farming might be your ticket. Proponents of the method say that a half-acre of land can yield $50,000 of produce a year! We say, just squeezing more veggies onto your […]

March 2011: Your Kitchen

March 2011: Your Kitchen

 Across the northern hemisphere a journey begun at the winter solstice finally comes to light in early spring: Longer days and stronger rays coax onion bulbs out of dormancy, and pull their brave tips skyward (even if they are stored in a dark drawer, or a cold refrigerator). While it can be frustrating to find […]

March 2011: Real Estate

 In real estate, less is really more, especially if you are talking about how long a house has been up for sale. Days on the Market (DOM), a number that is often used when devising a pricing strategy for both sellers and buyers, has its fans and detractors. Some real estate agents use it to […]

March 2011: Your Abode

March 2011: Your Abode

 Couched in better terms What does your couch say about you? Upholstery rubbed thin on the arms and seat: “I’m getting by on hand-me-downs.” Sitting up on wooden legs with inches of clearance below: “I have nothing to hide.” Festooned with pillows: “I’m detail-oriented.” What if you want to say “I know style when I […]

March 2011: Your Kids

March 2011: Your Kids

 Problem: Getting kids to bed, and to sleep   The plan was simple: Olinda, 1, would share a room with her brother Shepard, 3, thus freeing up a guest room for their grandparents’ frequent visits.   The Davis family—despite the togetherness in evidence here—found that 1-year-old Olinda sleeps best by herself (just like big brother Shepard). After […]