Abode



File photo.

November 2009: Green Scene

The latest buzz Most morning routines hinge on that first hit of liquid sanity known as coffee. If you have a regular habit, even with a downgrade from Starbucks to 7-11, your fix can end up costing you. If you brew at home, the cost of the machine, paper filters, and energy used to crank […]

File photo.

November 2009: Your Kitchen

What to bring home It’s the smell that brings vegetarians back to the Meat Side; that, and the promise of a crispy yet succulent strip of pork, hardly begun and yet devoured already. Bacon is pork belly that is cured, smoked and usually sliced for easy peeling, although it is possible to purchase slab bacon […]

November 2009: Your Garden

November 2009: Your Garden

Bless this mess There are many parallels between gardening and housekeeping. Each is a commitment that never ends. You need to keep a regular schedule and find ways of maintaining interest and regenerating enthusiasm. Things get out of hand sometimes, but often enough you feel you’ve been part of creating something beautiful (which will perish […]

November 2009: Around the House

November 2009: Around the House

Leafy greens A set of modern, nature-loving vases, $17.99 each at Hedge, proves that the bouquet itself is not the only place where the intricate grace of flora may be found. Petite in size, they’d do well cradling bold, single blooms, or even paintbrushes. Future forward Let’s take a few steps back…into the future? Donna […]

November 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

November 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Sunny side  The home of Spackled Egg receives a sunnier, satin-finish outlook. We’d been wanting to paint our house for a long time—ever since we painted the roof red, which made a comical combo with our medium-blue exterior. After a couple of years with a flag-themed home, we finally executed the plan we’d had all […]

October 2009: Signals of interest

October 2009: Signals of interest

The Albemarle home of Rob Capon looks perfectly ordinary—until you notice the 30-foot radio antenna in the backyard. Together with the small astronomical observatory on the other side of the house, the antenna is a clear sign that someone of a technical bent lives here. And inside the house is another giveaway: an entire room […]

October 2009: Toolbox

October 2009: Toolbox

Saws, y’all!   You know you’re a true DIYer when you’re ready to move on from mere paintbrushes, hammers and screwdrivers to the really fun stuff: power tools. One power player that you’ll need for doing serious business such as cutting into plaster, drywall, wood and metal is the hand-held electric reciprocating saw, commonly referred […]

October 2009: Instant Decorator

October 2009: Instant Decorator

All good things come in threes. The Dixie Chicks, tennis balls, SweetTarts, and this month’s project: decorative mirrors. Of course, you wouldn’t have to make only three of these. We have visions of filling up an entire wall with them, each covered in a different pattern. And, for less than $3 each (what’d we tell […]

October 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

October 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Front porch blues A front porch is a wonderful piece of civilization, but not if it threatens to dump guests onto the ground when the framing underneath it finally gives way. This was the unpleasant prospect that drove us to renovate our little veranda. What drove us to do it on a sub-freezing January weekend, […]

October 2009: Your Kitchen

October 2009: Your Kitchen

Preserving warmth for winter Summertime swaddles September in sunshine, goldenrod and a dappling of apples, but October edges into autumn, with cooler nights and crystal clear days that are perfect for “working” outdoors. With an average last frost date of October 15, in Central Virginia this is the time to harvest and preserve the last […]

October 2009: Your Garden

October 2009: Your Garden

The flowers of fall Like a dusty hen rustling down onto her nest, trees, shrubs and perennials are settling into fall. Many are going dormant early, yellowing and shedding leaves. This is a natural defensive process (don’t we all shrivel a bit when abundance is not forthcoming?), allowing them to conserve as much energy as […]

October 2009: Around the House

October 2009: Around the House

Chair fair A really well-chosen stuffed chair can be nearly as important as your bed: It’s the place where you spend the last hours of the evening, reading, swirling a snifter, or pontificating to your dog in total comfort. Here are our favorites from local stores.   Patterned Pearson wing chair from The Second Yard, […]

October 2009: Green Scene

October 2009: Green Scene

Better bathrooms Taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth—conserving water doesn’t require gadgetry, but eco-minded technology  can save you both money and resources. According to the EPA, toilets account for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption, and a leaky toilet can be a major source of wasted water. Does […]

September 2009: Green Scene

September 2009: Green Scene

Energy info coming in your mail, online   Doug Lowe, left, and Scott Elliff show off insulation added to an attic panel in a public building at Forest Lakes. Remember the Buy Fresh, Buy Local guides that have shown up in area mailboxes the last few years? This fall, the Piedmont Environmental Council, which produces […]

September 2009: Around the House

September 2009: Around the House

  The one decor book to buy Standing tall at 464 pages, House Beautiful’s The Home Book is a big, hefty beauty full of practical advice suitable for both newbies and old hand home professionals. Jargon gets translated, designers consulted and quoted, and color broken down into paint swatches and playfully pinned fabric squares. With […]

September 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

September 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

When we first bought the house, we went for full protection, as above. As the months went on, though, we got slightly more lax about it. Close shaves “Safety first,” is what we always repeat to each other, my husband and I, as we set up circular-saw cuts and position ladders and don safety goggles. […]

September 2009: Instant Decorator

September 2009: Instant Decorator

One-of-a-kind welcome It’s that time of year again: new pencils, new books, and a welcoming doormat to usher in chilly guests. This month’s project leaves you with just that, only completely personalized. Paint on your favorite shapes, your initial (as we did), or even your house number for a more contemporary twist. You could paint […]

September 2009: Tool Box

September 2009: Tool Box

Finding your level The most bizarre iPhone app, I think, is the virtual spirit level. Call me “old school,” but I’d rather rely on an actual tool to hang stuff—one that I can drop from a ladder and splatter in paint with impunity. It might be made of modern plastics these days, but the spirit […]

September 2009: Living with memories

September 2009: Living with memories

Andrea Copeland puts it best herself: “You can turn on the TV every day and see me doing something different.” The host of three ongoing shows on Charlottesville Public Access Television (Channel 13), she has a platform to talk about all kinds of things that interest her—from local nonprofits (on “Inside Nonprofits”) to breast cancer […]

August 2009: Around the House

August 2009: Around the House

Fab under feet Shopping for rugs is the home-decor equivalent of shopping for shoes: so much fun that it veers toward the addictive. Maybe that’s because what lies beneath has the potential to kick a room into a higher gear. Consider laying down one of these beauties on the floor of your choice. Cow-hide Duke […]

August 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

August 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Adventures in trim Top: Painting the trim pieces was half the fun. Bottom: The results made us feel all finished and stuff. We were very happy to get to the stage in our renovation where we could focus on trim. Nonessential, almost purely aesthetic, trim was a sure sign we’d made progress from our early […]

August 2008: Toolbox

For pain-free painting Think you’re good to go with a gallon of paint and a roller brush? Think again, my painting friend. Here are a few extra tools to help smooth that paint on and save you money in the long run: 1. Painter’s tape. Run this along the tops and bottoms of your walls […]

August 2009: Instant Decorator

August 2009: Instant Decorator

  Tray chic If you’re a true Recessionista, you know the benefits of repurposing. This month’s project, then, is tailor-made for you. What was once an old tray now becomes a kitschy—yet chic—bulletin board, complete with magnets, for all your last-minute reminders. The best part? It’s almost embarrassingly easy.—Caite White Materials: One metal tray (found […]

August 2009: Family food

August 2009: Family food

No surprise: Lynsie Steele, who owns the Waynesboro-based gourmet ice cream business Perfect Flavor, is a foodie. She owns four copies of Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking—including one signed by Child. “I cried when Colin gave it to me,” she says. That would be Colin Steele, Lynsie’s husband. Their shared passion […]

August 2009: Green Scene

August 2009: Green Scene

Don’t bug me Not that I would know from experience (wink, wink) but if you’ve got unwanted guests like ants, mosquitoes, gnats and flies in your kitchen, there are some ways to evacuate the varmints without using hazardous pesticides.  One more use for Dr. Bronner’s: deterring pests. The simple solution: sanitation. You may not want […]

July 2009: Green Scene

July 2009: Green Scene

Really? Free? In the spirit of freecycle and freesales, here’s another national trend that’s easy on your wallet: Really Really Free Markets. They’re events held in cities across the country where folks can show up with their excess belongings, and other folks can browse and take what they want—no bartering, payment, or haggling necessary. We […]

July 2009: Around the House

July 2009: Around the House

Color cups Need some indestructible cups, for kids or clumsy guests? Want to make sure your style’s equally unassailable? ’50s-vintage melmac cups and saucers from Antics bring cheery hues and retro flair to your kitchen, all mid-century-like.       Smart reductions Little books for little spaces: Mimi Zeiger’s Tiny Houses is seven square inches […]