Erika Howsare



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. […]

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

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 […]

Photo: James Ewing/Otto

Up river: In Scottsville, a pared-down weekend home

With a weekend house, showiness is not the point. Take, for example, the big island in the kitchen/dining room of Danny and Katie MacNelly’s Scottsville getaway. Deceptively simple, it provides workspace, eating space, and enough extra room for a puzzle in progress. It’s a focal point, but its materials are not luxurious. “We talked about […]

"The garden grows from the home," said landscape designer Cole Burrell about this Albemarle County project. Photos: Simon Holt

Parts and whole: Design makes this property bloom

To Cole Burrell, landscape designer, a garden is an extension of a house. “There’s a million styles and a million vocabularies,” he said, “but none makes any sense unless it makes sense with the house.” One of his Albemarle projects illustrates that principle with a garden that seems to spring organically from the spirit of […]

When it came to the interior of Red Pump Kitchen, owners Dean and Lynn Andrews were inspired by their frequent trips to Europe. Photo: Meredith Coe

Pumped up: Downtown eatery samples Euro design

Red Pump, one of Charlottesville’s newest restaurants, carries the tagline “A Tuscan Kitchen,” and its menu—bursting with pizzettes, bucatini, and salumi misti—certainly bears out that designation. But when it came to the interior, owners Dean and Lynn Andrews drew upon a continent’s worth of influences. A Tuscan fire breathes at the back of the restaurant […]

Cory Spencer Partners updated and transformed a Free Union property into a playground where owners and guests alike can play while surrounded by archetypal Albemarle scenery. Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Come play: A horse farm gets a fun-loving update

It’s a luxury to imagine, then create, a playground—not only for children but for adults of many recreational persuasions. That is just what Brooke Spencer and her partner, Kim Cory, did at a Free Union property whose 97 rolling acres include mountain views, mature oak trees, and a spring-fed pond. Its present owners bought it […]

A Staunton company wanted architectural firm Shank & Gray to provide a connection to the outdoors from nearly every workstation. Photo: Philip Beaurline

Around the edges: Views light up a Staunton blade factory

Innovative companies may start in garages—or, in the case of one local concern, an old dairy building—but the successful ones will eventually need a proper home. Cadence is a Staunton company that manufacturers blades, needles, and other sharp components for medical instruments. Since its founding in 1985, it has graduated several times to larger workspaces. […]

Mossy Rock, Sue Sargeant's home, was designed by Bushman Dreyfus and built by Dammann Construction. Photo: Stephen Barling

Prairie home: A new home harkens back to big sky

Albemarle County and northwest Iowa wouldn’t seem to have much in common. The vast, table-flat spaces of the Midwest are utterly different than the private, wooded coves formed by Central Virginia’s endlessly rolling topography. But at Sue Sargeant’s home, Mossy Rock, the feel of her native Iowa is palpable. The house, designed by Bushman-Dreyfus and […]