Erika Howsare



Though the home's exterior is quite different from those of the older homes on Ninth Street, there are nods to the vernacular, namely the front porch. Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Beautiful timing: A new city house makes a couple’s dreams come true

The first time Staci Vinson and Robyn Templeton walked into their house—even though it was still under construction—they had the feeling they’d been there before. “We’d been drawing this house on napkins at happy hours for 10 years,” says Templeton. The serendipitous part was that Jason Roberson, owner of the design-build company Builderbeast, had independently […]

Photo: Paul Whicheloe

Heaven on earth: A sophisticated farm samples many styles

It’s quite a new house—finished less than three years ago—but the home of Monique Maniet has a settled quality, as though it’s perched on this Rappahannock hillside for a long time. A collection of buildings, more “related” than “matching,” snuggles into the slope, looking like a European village. They’re accompanied by plants of many types, […]

To improve traffic flow, designer Amy Hart exchanged the kitchen's peninsula for an island. Photo: Caleb Briggs Photography

Catching up the kitchen: A renovation for looks and flow

A kitchen can get outdated while you’re looking the other way. Beth and Greg Morris built their house south of Charlottesville in 1999, and lived there for many busy years as their son was growing up. And although they made a couple of cosmetic changes to the kitchen during that time, it essentially remained the same. […]

Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Blooming bountiful: In a magical Ivy garden, change is a constant

Thirty-six years is long enough to watch a forest grow. And it’s long enough to establish an enchanting garden beneath the tree canopy—a magical realm on what was once considered a neighborhood’s least desirable property. “It was the cheapest lot,” says Fran Boninti of the two-acre place she and her husband, Andrew, bought in 1981. […]

On the exterior, details of the original home informed the new designs. Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Park place: A North Downtown house takes a step toward the present

A historic house on Park Street—one of the first ever built in this genteel Charlottesville neighborhood—is certainly a prize. But it comes with some baggage. When Ariana and Greyson Williams bought their home, built in the 1850s by a Virginia Supreme Court judge and listed on the National Historic Register, they knew they wanted to do […]

The wildfire, which started on Rocky Mount April 16, 2016, burned for 14 days. Photo courtesy Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah wildfire highlights changing views of the forest

“This is going to be catastrophic.” That was Jeff Koenig’s thought on the second day the fire burned, last April 17, in Shenandoah National Park. Koenig had first laid eyes on the flames the day before, when he pulled his truck up to Two Mile Run Overlook. It was a Saturday afternoon. A fire had […]

Piedmont Place, which combines two-bedroom apartments, restaurant, a yoga studio and more, promotes a communal experience. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Piedmont Place merges many functions

The idea of a “new downtown” in Crozet has been in the air for years. With the opening of Piedmont Place—a lively, mixed-use building just across the street from the Crozet Library—it is suddenly looking like a reality. “My wife Michelle and I moved to Crozet in 2011,” says developer Drew Holzwarth, who manages residential […]

Photo: Isaac Miller

Latitude 38 experiments with the horizontal

You can often spot a Latitude 38 house from a block away. The Charlottesville company, owned by husband and wife team Jeff Erkelens and Joey Conover, has tended to build tall, vertical structures, with a fresh, quirky asymmetry. But one Latitude house, found in the Riverside neighborhood adjacent to Riverview Park, breaks the mold. More […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Mix & match: A rustic house gets a modern update

Kristi Williamson’s house in Ivy is one of those that has evolved with the times. Built in a rather rustic style in the ’80s, the original, Williamson says, has a DIY feel. “There were lots of funky doors and different kinds of trim,” she says. Subsequent owners made additions; Williamson and her husband, John, bought […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

A big addition stays under the radar, and welcomes the neighbors

It’s not easy to nearly double the square footage of a house without bulking up its street profile. But that’s just what happened at Mike and Karen Ball’s North Downtown home. Not only did the couple, and their three young children, gain a lot of living space with the renovation/addition designed by Bushman Dreyfus Architects, […]

An original log cabin with later additions, the Ivy cottage stays true to its rustic nature but layers in a restrained, Scandinavian aesthetic at the hand of interior designer Yvette Freeman. Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Timeless style: An Ivy cottage gets ready to welcome guests

When Justin Rood went house-hunting in Charlottesville, he looked really hard. Many dozens of properties into his search, he still hadn’t found just the right place—but not because he was picky. Intending to create a vacation rental in an older house, he needed to find a rare combination of location, character and function to serve […]