Abode



July 2009: Get Real

July 2009: Get Real

Remember the olden days when people used to drive around neighborhoods with their real estate agent in tow looking at properties? So 1992. These days, the only real way to search for homes (as with everything else in life) is online. And real estate blogs and search engines are making it easier than ever. Following […]

July 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

July 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Now we’re rolling   Plenty of projects are more important than a toilet-paper holder, but we still gave it a place on our big list of things to do. (This is notwithstanding my husband’s claim that the back of the toilet made a fine toilet-paper holder.) Of course you can buy these things in all […]

July 2009: Toolbox

July 2009: Toolbox

A hammer for every task When it’s hammer time, choose wisely. If you think the concept of using a hammer is pretty easy, well, you’re pretty right. Depending on the task, though, there are specialized hammers on the market that can make your job-at-hand an error-proof breeze. When you just need a household hammer for […]

June 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

June 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Moving day One of the more ridiculous projects we’ve ever done at our house: moving an old wooden shed to a new spot, 30 feet or so uphill. Why? you ask. Well, we were supposed to tear it down altogether for insurance reasons—its stone foundation was beyond precarious—but we liked the building, knew we’d make […]

June 2009: Get Real

June 2009: Get Real

In today’s buyers’ market, you hear stories of $500,000 homes selling for as little as $250,000—a buyer’s jackpot by any standard. Price reductions are everywhere—so how can a savvy homebuyer make the most of them?   Searching for discounted properties is easy enough. Log on to realcentralva.com for an up-to-date list of price-reduced or foreclosure […]

June 2009: Around the House

June 2009: Around the House

Connect four Here, the cheese factor’s a good thing: A set of four serving plates from The Happy Cook brings vintage labels from European cheeses to your table. Are you daring enough to serve Gruyere on the Emmenthaler plate?               Hyper-local food When times get tough, get foraging. Edible: […]

June 2009: Green Scene

June 2009: Green Scene

Bring your own bag The way things are going, the question “paper or plastic?” is really on its way out. We’ve all heard the stats (Americans use 380 billion plastic bags every year; each ton of paper thrown away represents 17 trees) and we all know the solution: reusable bags. Still need a reason to […]

May 2009: Around the House

May 2009: Around the House

The space in between Looking to rev up that patio? Inside meets out in Stephen Crafti’s Courtyards for Modern Living, a tribute highlighting the potential of courtyards to connect yard and home in creative, personal ways. It’s all about functionality, baby: Crafti shows us how it’s done with pages of inspirational outdoor living set off […]

May 2009: A hyper-local wine

May 2009: A hyper-local wine

The younger Staffords, Elizabeth and William, are getting an early education in small-scale viticulture. When they talk about the vineyard in their front yard, Philip and Martha Stafford—he a C&O founder and Michael Shaps’ partner in Virginia Wineworks; she the Charlottesville Cooking School proprietor—show an appealing mix of seriousness and self-deprecation. “I do think of […]

May 2009: Eyecatchers

May 2009: Eyecatchers

Main Street USA   Location: Gordonsville Price: $199,900 MLS#: 464380 Within walking distance of downtown Gordonsville, this 2,000-square-footer shouts “Americana!” Maybe it’s the blooming backyard camellias and magnolias—maybe it’s the stained glass windows and 1935 bungalow-style chic. Either way, we can totally see Ma, Pa and the kids sitting down for dinner in the big […]

May 2009: Green Scene

May 2009: Green Scene

Buy green, borrow green So, you’ve greened your utilities, duds, and diapers, but what about your mortgage? Green banks such as New Resource put an eco-minded spin on your finances. More than going paperless, these banks offer options such as equity lines for solar homes and a concern for the environment as well as the […]

May 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

May 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

What’s the hatch? What’s going on here? A door is repurposed as the centerpiece of an attic hatch. Watch your step. Though we dream of converting the attic in our house to a master bedroom, for now it remains an officially unfinished space. Therefore, our renovation loan required us to close off the attic with […]

May 2009: Toolbox

May 2009: Toolbox

The drill of it all If you’re hanging a picture, changing out a switchplate, or attempting any sort of carpentry, it’s likely you’ll be reaching for a power drill. Since the drill itself is basically just a motor that makes things rotate, you can use it for lots of different tasks depending on what bit […]

April 2009: Around the House

April 2009: Around the House

Come over for coffee Looking for the best coffee tables in town? We’ve done the hunting for you. Put on a pot of joe and dust off the biggest, glossiest book you own. Double coffee table from The Second Yard Hello, storage! With book and coasters tucked on the bottom shelf, the top will stay […]

April 2009: Get Real

April 2009: Get Real

Plummeting home prices, low interest rates, foreclosure properties galore—if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the opportune time to buy a house in this otherwise scary economy, the current tax season may be the perfect time (that is, assuming you still have a job). The federal government’s newly signed stimulus package has expanded […]

April 2009: Chamber of the heart

April 2009: Chamber of the heart

A lot of couples—80 couples last year —see Claire Goodman as the figure who presides over one of the most important moments of their lives. She’s an interfaith minister who officiates at their weddings, and it’s up to her to not only blend various family and religious influences, but to lend an air of holiness […]

April 2009: Eyecatchers

April 2009: Eyecatchers

High above it all Location: Charlottesville Price: $385,000 MLS #: 463056 Sixth floor lofty enough for you? How about the most pristine historic block in the City? This three-bedroom condo occupies a prime spot in the Court Square building, and for most of us, living two blocks off the Mall would be enough of a […]

April 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

April 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Our house had been the victim of some puzzling attempts at renovation before we bought it. For example, one of the two windows in the bathroom had been removed and a storm window tacked into its place. We wanted the real window back, but—alas—it was long gone. Knowing that, if we ordered a brand-new window […]

March 2009: You, me and green

March 2009: You, me and green

What it comes down to is marriage. That includes the kind with rings and honeymoons. When Sara Dexter and Koli Cutler exchanged vows last May, the newlyweds chose to nix the limo and reception hall, instead leading their wedding party on an exuberant march from the steps of the Woolen Mills chapel down the road […]

March 2009: Green Scene

March 2009: Green Scene

Harmony garden   It’s been three years since Marlene Condon, who lives in Albemarle, published her book Nature-Friendly Garden, but her wisdom only gets more relevant with time. If your urge to dig in the dirt is waking up with these longer, warmer days, but you’re not too thrilled about fighting off aphids and groundhogs, […]

March 2009: Around the House

March 2009: Around the House

Ready, set, grow If April showers bring May flowers, March is the time to get prepared for all that growing. Repotting your plants before the onset of spring gives them a fresh start and encourages more vigorous growth; however, uprooting is undoubtedly traumatic for even the most patient of plants. To make the ordeal easier […]

March 2009: Eyecatchers

March 2009: Eyecatchers

You’ll be comin’ o’er the mountain   Location: Waynesboro Price: $154,900 MLS #: 461036 And this is what makes Waynesboro great, my friends: A four-bedroom house, dripping with character, will cost you under $160K. We’re not saying you won’t want to take out the wallpaper borders—you will—but the double porches are sweet, there’s an outdoor […]

March 2009: Get Real

March 2009: Get Real

Say the word “foreclosure property” to a prospective homebuyer, and watch her eyes light up as if Apple just announced 75 percent off the iPhone. The deals are out there, even in a place like Charlottesville where foreclosure rates are actually very low relative to the rest of the country (though they’re expected to rise). […]

March 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

March 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

  When we bought our house, the steps to the front porch were a crumbling monolith of concrete. We didn’t want to keep them, but removing them would have been insanely difficult, so instead we decided to build new wooden steps right over the concrete.     This project was a family affair, and also […]

February 2009: Around the House

February 2009: Around the House

Worthy of your best clock We love this old mantelpiece we spotted at Partridge & Grace—it’s got a massive feel that would bring gravitas to any room. Display only your most flattering family photos on this baby. Not your mother’s how-to Are you “sophisticated froufrou”? “Rustic zen”? Whatever, baby, come on in. Open up Domino: […]

February 2009: Green Scene

February 2009: Green Scene

  The fruits and the bees February and March look like great months for those of you who like raising food in all its forms. First of all, there’s a beekeeping course through the Central Virginia Beekeepers Association, February 5, 12, 19 and 26, from 7-9pm. You pay $25 for lots of apicultural wisdom, plus […]

February 2009: Get Real

Nice and roomie For many of us, the word “roommate” was weaned from our vocabularies some time after college and before marriage. But thanks to the housing crisis and job layoffs, some homeowners who thought their roomie days were long behind them now find themselves considering such an arrangement in order to keep up with […]