Erika Howsare



Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Shuffle the deck: Changing up rooms refreshes a Rugby kitchen

A stone house looks very permanent from the outside, but big changes can occur within. Though the Rugby neighborhood house that Hyam Hosny and Eric Spooner bought in 2009 was stately—and its location couldn’t be beat—it needed to be brought into the modern era. “The kitchen was a servants’ kitchen,” said Hosny, relating that the […]

Southern bells: The woodlands contain a colorful understory of ferms, Solomon's seal, Virginia bluebells, foam flower and English bluebells, among others. Photo: Cole Burrell

Through the hedge: A Charlottesville garden embraces a woodland

“An unfolding story” is how one Charlottesville resident describes her collaboration with landscape designer Cole Burrell. That’s apt —their work together has logged nine years and counting. But it’s also a fair description of what happens when you walk through the garden. From the street to the rear property line, the landscape here reveals one […]

Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Art underfoot: Two city bathrooms get a colorful treatment

What’s an art collector to do about the bathroom? You can’t hang valuable paintings in there. But Don and Allison Innes—who own an impressive collection of American representational art—found a way to bring their passion into even the smallest rooms of their home. The couple, whose 1949 Rugby neighborhood home was due for a double […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

High on the hill: A house prizes flow, along with the views

Robin and Mary Felder like to call their place Monte Piccolo, meaning “tiny mountain.” That’s in deference to Thomas Jefferson, whose home was, of course, the “little mountain.” And while it may not be Monticello, there’s nothing small about the view from this elevated site in Ivy; you can see all the way to Wintergreen, […]

Photo: Susan B. Collins

Perfectly Victorian: Rooms with a view in historic Staunton

Anyone with a fondness for Staunton—its well-kept, homey neighborhoods, walkable and engaging downtown and intact historical fabric—can appreciate the appeal of living a couple of blocks uphill from the center of town. Imagine it: You emerge from your house on foot and all but roll down to Beverley Street to partake of whatever pleasure (cappuccino, […]

Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Subtle and simple: In neutral shades, a kitchen for the moment

Buildings reflect priorities. In 1949, when Jennifer Greenhalgh’s house on Park Street was built, kitchens were not the centerpieces they’ve become today. She and her husband Blake bought the colonial-style dwelling in 2008 and immediately set about making the kitchen more relevant to their contemporary lifestyle. “The kitchen was much smaller,” she remembered, standing with […]

Architect Jim Rounsevell captured square footage from the existing dining room to create two separate dining areas—one formal and one informal—in his minimalist kitchen remodel. Thus, the space is flexible for family dinners or parties with friends. Photo: Courtesy Jim Rounsevell

First and last: A well-used kitchen gets its due

The earliest image Jim Rounsevell and Carol O’Connor have of their house, from shortly after it was built in 1920, includes food. The aerial shot shows chickens and pigs behind the house, along with rows of garden veggies. Almost a century later, the current owners love cooking and entertaining; food is important in their lives. […]

Photo: Courtesy Carter + Burton Architecture

Old world, new views: On a venerable farm, a house for today

It’s appealing to imagine building anew on open land—making one’s mark on untouched acreage. But one couple in Rappahannock County took on a more unusual challenge. Lynn and Pam Pittinger bought a 93-acre farm and set about adding a modern house to an existing cluster of buildings. In the midst of this timeworn set of […]

Photo: Michael Bowles

Mix and serve: Scaling up history in a salvaged house

Everybody talks about marrying old and new, but there are different ways to do it. You’ve got your fixer-upper farmhouses, into which you can insert contemporary elements like stainless steel dishwashers. You’ve got your new builder homes that nod to tradition with way too much crown molding. Here is something totally different, and very unusual. […]

Jen Fariello and Chris Conklin wanted a bigger, better farmhouse kitchen that incorporated the patio. Conklin did most of the work himself, including milling the window trim and building the poplar and birch pantry hutch. Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Up and out: A tall, spacious Albemarle kitchen takes in the view

“This was a poor man’s farmhouse,” said Jen Fariello of the classic 1890 abode she shares with her husband, Chris Conklin, and their 5-year-old son. It’s a far cry from that now. Ten years after the couple bought the place, they’ve just completed their second major update, and the house is looking polished and modern. […]

Photo: Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Permission to dream: Visitors reach new heights at Monticello

What could be loftier than Monticello? Well, at least physically, Montalto is—by 410′. The neighboring mountain was once part of Jefferson’s holdings, and these days, after decades in private ownership, it’s returned to the fold. In 2004, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation bought the mountain and the grand house, called Repose, that sits atop it. To […]

Photo: Mycaar.com

Intelligent design: A mid-century Rugby home defines true class

We might have found the exact opposite of a McMansion. It’s upscale, not showy. It’s stylish, not trendy. It’s anything but gauche. It’s just a well-designed, beautifully-built home that has stood the test of more than six decades in ways that are kind of astonishing. Meet 2016 Spottswood Rd. Let’s bypass, for now, the white […]

Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Clean slate: Taking a kitchen from flood to flow

There’s nothing like a flood to rearrange priorities. Soon after Andrea and Brian Hubbell closed on their Rugby neighborhood house last March, the supply line to their kitchen sink gave up the ghost, spraying a geyser at the ceiling. Because the Hubbells weren’t yet living in the house—a 1950s brick structure—they didn’t discover the problem […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

The new traditional: A fresh farmhouse updates an American classic

Sometimes, choosing an architect isn’t just business; it’s personal. That’s how Emily Umberger and Pradeep Rajagopalan felt when they met the folks at Wolf Ackerman in 2005. “We really got along with those guys personally,” said Rajagopalan—crucial when embarking on any project, but especially the design and construction of a new house. The feeling was […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Scene setter: The curtain rises on a fresh Live Arts

More than a decade ago, three of Charlottesville’s signature arts organizations got a beautiful new home—the City Center for Contemporary Arts, housing Live Arts theater, Lighthouse Studio, and Second Street Gallery. Yet, since 2003, the lobbies of the building—on floors one, two, and three —have been unfinished. “It was an awesome achievement—a very, very ambitious […]