Erika Howsare



Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Set in stone: An heirloom wall defines a grand exterior

The more dramatic the house, the more challenging it is to create an appropriate landscape surrounding it. When Jim and Cynthia Stultz built their Western Albemarle house in 2000, architects Daggett & Grigg drew them a plan for an imposing Palladian-style home, including an ambitious hardscape that featured a high semicircular stone wall along the […]

Photo: Patti Dixon Lillard

Second life: A Madison property ready for the next act

What do you want with a big old house in the woods? This listing, a 4,000- square-foot home outside Madison, seems to invite far-flung ideas. Sure, it could be a family home, as it has been since it was built in 1986. But something about it suggests that it’s ripe for repurposing. We’ll muse on […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Back to school: A converted house keeps a foot in the past

Wend your way through quirky, loveable Batesville, and you’ll spy plenty of historical properties. The heart of this quintessential Albemarle village is loaded with timeworn buildings, but one of the most interesting residences isn’t quite visible from the road. Ecole—that’s French for “school,” bien sûr—is a onetime schoolhouse dating to the early 1920s. Those were […]

Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Bigger and better: The sweeping upgrade of a simple Cape Cod

Even in a well-loved city like Charlottesville, there are still hidden gems. Lynn Valentine had her eye on one that was just three blocks from her home on Park Street. “I’d walked by this property for years,” she said. It wasn’t the house—a modest brick Cape Cod overgrown with ivy—that attracted her. It was the […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Fitting in: A Glenmore house teases tradition, quietly

A neighborhood like Glenmore exerts a powerful force on everything within it. The gated golf community east of town is one of those places understood to be more than a collection of houses; there is also a social and aesthetic norm here that can hardly be flouted. Aesthetic conservatism is the byword. Perfect appearances abound as […]

Though they were interested in renovated much of the home’s exterior, Schmalzbach and Forsberg wanted to preserve the wall of the windows that face the lake. Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Lake new: A second life for a home on the water

You’d never know that Ken Schmalzbach and Karol Forsberg’s house isn’t brand new. It looks as up-to-the-minute as anything Wolf Ackerman has recently designed to be built from the ground up. In fact, this home on Lake Monticello is 31 years old, and the architects are responsible for transforming it from a near-eyesore to a […]

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, […]