Abode



October 08: Your Kitchen

October 08: Your Kitchen

  Pump it up The sun may be shining and the chiggers still biting, but when the hard squashes start to show up at City Market, get ready for the curtain to fall on the summertime show. While it’s true that squash will store over the winter (ideally at a dry cellar temperature of about […]

October 08: Your Living Space

October 08: Your Living Space

  Flood relief Question for Debbie Halhoun with Floors are Us: What should you do if you spill water on a wood floor?   Answer: “Get it dry, get it quick,” should be your motto, says Halhoun. While damage is preventable, a speedy response is your best chance at saving your hardwood floor from tragedy. […]

September 08: Design, living a trends for home and garden

September 08: Design, living a trends for home and garden

  Buh-bye, brand names Your bathroom’s an eyesore. You’ve got that unavoidable array of brightly colored plastic bottles, with a hoorah to every hygienic brand out there. And that Dial Vanilla Honey Body Yogurt? It’s a body wash, not a snack for the shower. Fortunately for all us brand name stockpilers, debrandedhome.com offers us a […]

September 08: Your living space

September 08: Your living space

  Simply slip it on Question for John Floyd, designer at The Second Yard: How do you pick the right slip cover for your couch? Answer: “You know you’ve got the perfect slip cover when it looks like upholstery,” Floyd says. Whether you choose to have a slip cover custom made for your sofa or […]

September 08: Your kitchen

September 08: Your kitchen

  Virginia is for tomato lovers If there were a seasonal state slogan, in late summer Virginia would be for tomato lovers. Can’t you see the heart on the t-shirt replaced with a hunky heirloom?  Hot, humid summers and acidic, red clay soil combine to produce a jungle of hairy vines and a staggering array […]

September 08: Your garden

September 08: Your garden

  Do no harm You can make a lot of mistakes in the garden this time of year: broadcasting 10-10-10 fertilizer over a parched lawn, chopping back hydrangeas from a walkway along with next summer’s bloom, whisking away valuable leaves, weeds and clippings during fall clean-up as though they were dirt on a carpet.   […]

September 08: Hot House

September 08: Hot House

  A façade of wood shingles and white siding makes this Dairy Road home stand apart in its brick-laden neighborhood. A rock wall traces the steep driveway, which leads up to a gorgeous Japanese maple tree. And it may be close to busy Rte. 250, but you wouldn’t know it thanks to huge shade trees […]

August 08: Design, living a trends for home and garden

August 08: Design, living a trends for home and garden

  Basket cases Although we might not be as resourceful as Depression-era grandmothers with hand-made flour sack aprons, we love the feeling we get from reusing things that look like trash. Baskets and containers from the farmers’ market are a pretty way to organize in the kitchen, bath or office. You’ll find your berries and […]

August 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

August 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

  Max out your miles Yeah, this is a house and home publication, and your car isn’t part of your house. But, for one thing, lots of us practically live in our cars, and for another thing, most household budgets have been getting heavier in the “gasoline” column lately, and therefore lighter in the “cool […]

August 08: Hot house

August 08: Hot house

  Nestled in the woods east of Charlottesville, this stone house says sweet relaxation. Check out that wide front porch (complete with rocking chair) and that lush wooded view. Any double-wide might boast those goodies, but this place has style too, in the brick accents hugging the windows and the substantial flared porch columns.

Purple coneflowers. File photo.

August 08: Your Garden

Summer afternoon Henry James once said that these—“summer afternoon”—were the two most beautiful words in the English language, and with the weather we’ve been having, who could disagree? Timely rains since February have produced “significant improvement in drought conditions throughout the Commonwealth,” according to the U.S. Geological Service. The skies have been powder puff pictures […]

August 08: Your Kitchen

August 08: Your Kitchen

  Cucumber Salad This summery salad recipe, courtesy of the Indian restaurant Milan, has one possibly hard-to-find ingredient: the Indian spice powder Chat Masala. If you can’t find it to buy, directions are available online for mixing your own.   1 cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces 1/2 small onion, cut into bite-sized pieces […]

August 08: Your Living Space

August 08: Your Living Space

Small bath blues Question for Kelly Pfeffer, partner and senior designer at Fifth Wall Design Group: How do you make a small bathroom feel bigger? Answer: Less is definitely more, says Pfeffer: “Keeping out the clutter by limiting the amount of stuff that is around your vanity top or on the back of the toilet […]

Style File: Design, living a trends for home and garden

Style File: Design, living a trends for home and garden

I sink so It was one of those ideas that grabs you and won’t let go: Instead of buying a boring sink vanity for the bathroom we were building, we decided to make our own using an antique piece of furniture. We can’t take credit for the concept—I’d seen a similar vanity in another house—but […]

July 08: Hot house

July 08: Hot house

We like this Belmont place for its lush look. Its vine-laden walls and portico are bordered by a spacious yard (evening mojito? Yes, please). The round window-and-pillar combo makes this home stand out among its neighbors, and even as the greenery says, I’m mysterious, the bright red door says, Come on in.

July 08: Your garden

July 08: Your garden

  Hot enough The full sun of summer wilts plants and people. Faced with a southwestern exposure, most living things welcome the relief of afternoon shade—our “Elysium,” according to the little mountain’s favorite son. Large trees like red maples and willow oaks cast canopies that lower temperatures 20 degrees. Dogwoods and redbuds suit smaller spaces […]

July 08: Your kitchen

July 08: Your kitchen

  The Spring Street cocktail Created several years ago by Cynthia Schroeder and Blue Light Grill’s Remington Donovan in honor of Schroeder’s boutique, Spring Street, this cocktail’s personality is “effervescent, happy and lively,” in Donovan’s words. And it’s pink as a summer sunset. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries or mixed berries 1 Tbs. sugar […]

July 08: Your Living Space

July 08: Your Living Space

And this one’s just right Question for Zeke Cox, owner of The Mattress Gallery: How do you select the perfect mattress? Answer: First of all, test it the way you use it. You’d be surprised how many people just come in and flop down on their backs, says Cox. “If you’re a side sleeper, you […]

June 08: Design, living and trends for home and garden

June 08: Design, living and trends for home and garden

  Pink: the new blue Shoppers who recently said au revoir to the French antiques and homewares shop 2 French Hens at 100 South St. (a.k.a. the “pink building”) can soon say buongiorno to the Italian ceramics and farm tables shop Verity Blue. Mark Cave, who owns Verity Blue along with his wife, Victoria, tells […]

June 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

June 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

  Chilling out on A/C Cranking the central air yet? We all know it’d be better not to heat up the planet just to cool our houses. Here are the best strategies for minimizing your house’s solar gain in summertime, courtesy of Reed Muehlman, a designer with Bushman Dreyfus. This way, you won’t need to […]

June 08: Your Living Space

June 08: Your Living Space

  Clear the decks Question for Bates McLain, general manager of Spray and Wash: What are the best ways to maintain a wooden deck? Answer: The biggest mistake people make when cleaning a deck is using bleach, says McLain. “It breaks down the lignin, which holds the wood fibers together, causing the wood to fall […]

June 08: Your Kitchen

June 08: Your Kitchen

  Spring chicken If you want to feed yourself and your family, reduce the number of bugs in your yard, and find a good home for your food scraps, consider the humble chicken as a backyard pet. Chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, and whether bred for meat or for egg production, they […]

June 08: Your Garden

June 08: Your Garden

  Summer’s easy Now that daffodils have faded we are faced with the telling dilemma of what to do with all that lush foliage. Whack it down immediately? Twist and tie it into cunning little braids or loops? (Gardening personality hint: If you have the time and patience for this, you might also enjoy training […]

June 08: Hot House

June 08: Hot House

You’ve probably seen this house; it begs to be noticed by drivers coming down the steep bend on W. High Street. The stucco exterior is a break from your more typical brick and vinyl, and it gives the place a slightly Old World vibe. (Prosecco, anyone?) Everything stands out here—from the carefully groomed plantings to […]

May 08: Your Living Space

May 08: Your Living Space

Hey, neighbor Question for Josh Blanthorn, co-owner of Out of the Box: What are some inexpensive ways to make a porch or patio more private?Answer: Start by thinking about screens and shades, says Blanthorn. They come in every material from fabric to teak, from bamboo to woven wood, and your choice will determine your cost. […]

May 08: Design, living and trends for home and garden

May 08: Design, living and trends for home and garden

What’s on your browser? This month’s surfer: Peter Loach at the Piedmont Housing AllianceWhat’s on his browser: hud.gov What it is: The official site of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Why he likes it: Although Loach admits it can be a fairly “cumbersome” site to negotiate, it has everything under the sun […]

May 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

May 08: News and ideas for sustainable living

Get on board as local eating picks up speed By the time you read this, Earth Day will be over and three new “green initiatives” will have been launched by our local Earth Day organization. One of these, “Growing Food and Community,” involves promoting the local food scene in Charlottesville—a vibrant cause, and getting more […]