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10 free home classes in NoVA for real estate novices

Westlake Legal Group Home-Buying-Feature 10 free home classes in NoVA for real estate novices Things to Do Realty real estate homeowners Home Resources home buying Home & Design Events
© Natalia / stock.adobe.com

Contacting realtors, researching neighborhoods and finding your dream home has never been easier thanks to a few internet searches and the power of social media. But when it comes down to signing your name, are you truly ready for owning a home?

No matter what question, doubt or worry you might have, or if you’re looking to pick up and move elsewhere, there’s a local professional in the DMV willing to help. Here are a few of the free, informative classes they have coming up in NoVA.

Fairfax Home Buyer Seminar
Sept. 14, 11 a.m.
Keller Williams Capital Properties is ready to help you land your dream home. At this seminar, expect to learn about winning your home in a highly competitive market like the DMV, how to calculate your budget in the right ways, how to find hot properties (and stay on top of those that could sell quickly) and how to leverage your equity. // Keller Williams Capital Properties: 4031 University Drive, Suite 500, Fairfax

Home Seller Seminar
Sept. 14, 11:30 a.m.
Take one hour out of your Saturday to learn about the steps it takes to sell your home, and enjoy light breakfasts and mimosas with Tina Schellman, associate realtor with Re/MAX. Have a notebook full of questions? Don’t worry, she can answer all of those too. // 710 W. Broad St., Falls Church

Buying a Home with No Money Down
Sept. 16, 7 p.m.
This 30-minute session with local realtor ReShawna Leaven of Keller Williams Realty Kingstowne informs guests on the steps of buying a home, mortgages and what’s included, the roles and types of real estate agents, as well as information on financing programs for down payments. // 5791 Kingstowne Village Parkway, Alexandria

Coffee & Home Financing
Sept. 17, 5 p.m.
Grab a cup of coffee and learn the ins and outs of home financing. If you already have a home and are looking to refinance, or if you’re looking to buy your first home, Clay Sweet can help build a total cost analysis so you can have an estimated look at monthly costs, total investments and more. // Starbucks: 8381 Leesburg Pike, Vienna

Home Seller Seminar
Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.
Selling a house isn’t just about where you’ll go next, or knowing the best places to find your next dream home. There are also common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid throughout the process, and if you don’t know about them, how can you know what questions to ask? Learn from Kay Houghton and Associates (with light refreshments!) about all you need to know when it comes to selling a home in the DMV. // Fairlington Villages Community Center: 3005 S. Abingdon St., Arlington

First Time Home Buyers Seminar
Sept. 19, 5 p.m.
You’re taking a big step toward property ownership and management, but what might you not have considered? Hear from a local realtor, home mortgage lender and a home inspector about the first-time homebuying process on everything from school districts to home appraisals. // Keller Williams Reston/Herndon: 11700 Plaza America Drive, Suite 150, Reston

Home Buying: Discussion with the Local Pros
Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m.
Arlington can be an intimidating housing market. Attend this discussion with Rebecca Nelson of Keller Williams and CJ Ward of PrimeLending to learn about everything from first-time homebuying and the benefits of owning versus renting, to down payment assistance and the impact of Amazon’s incoming HQ2 on the market. Plus, there will be giveaways from local businesses, too. // Walter Reed Community Center: 2909 16th St. S., Arlington

Home Buying Seminar
Sept. 21, 1 p.m.
The team at Long & Foster Tysons is looking to help any interested homebuyers (even if you’re looking ahead for up to two years) about the steps to buying and selling your first home in the DMV, current market trends in the area and potential financing options. // 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons

Downsize or Age in Place?
Oct. 12, 10 a.m.
Finding out what your next steps should be beyond your current home can be difficult. This seminar is designed to teach you about how to modify your home if you plan to stay and how much it will cost in the future, as well as how to get your home ready to sell if you’re deciding to move on. Attending vendors will also offer services such as junk removal, home inspections, organizing specialists, moving companies and more. // 1508A Sadlers Wells Drive, Herndon

Home Selling 411
Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
Getting your home staged is hard enough with all of your stuff. But what else truly goes into getting ready for the market? Find out at this one-hour seminar, where Stephanie Callaghan of Keller Williams Realty will inform guests on how to prepare your home, maximize profits from the sale and connect you with local services for staging, financing and more. // Broadlands Community Center: 43008 Waxpool Road, Ashburn

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

7 home decor events coming to NoVA this fall

Westlake Legal Group chairs 7 home decor events coming to NoVA this fall workshops woodworking Things to Do painting interior design home decor Home & Design Home fall workshops fall decor Events diy design decorations artistry
© Halfpoint / stock.adobe.com

The start of fall symbolizes a time of transition. Whether that be something simple like adding a couple of layers to your wardrobe or drastic like cutting your hair, we tend to alter the appearance of the things as seasons change. 

The same can be said of our homes’ interior decor. While we tend to spend most of our time outside in the summer, the cooler months are when we embrace the comfort and warmth of the indoors, which calls for the addition of decorations that reflect the season. 

For more Home & Design content, subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.

Whether you are a self-identified craftsman or want to try your hand at a new hobby, here are home-related DIY workshops coming to NoVA this fall. 

Anders Ruff Workshops

While this company was started by two designers who ran a DIY blog, it has since become a franchise with over 100 locations in the country, including four here in Northern Virginia. Each week, the expert staff will lead you in a designated project that teaches a new skill, ranging from woodworking to pillow making. While there are about four classes offered each week at the local locations, here’s a list of a few upcoming lessons, below: 

Fri-Diy Night Workshop
Sept. 20, 7-9:30 p.m.
At this weekly course in Old Town, you’ll have the chance to choose from 10 plank wood projects, including a Lazy Susan, pedestal tray, porch sign, a wooden clock and more. Whether you choose to create a plaque with your family’s name on it or a centerpiece box for the dining room table, staff will be there to guide you throughout the night. Plus, each registration ticket comes with a complimentary glass of wine or beer for you to enjoy while you craft. // AR Workshop Alexandria: 1212 King St., Alexandria; $49.50-$84.50

Chunky Knit Blanket Workshop
Oct. 5, 4-7 p.m.
Get cozy this Saturday night as the experts of AR Workshop teach you how to knit your very own blanket, perfect for the cooler days ahead. Upon arrival on the day of the event, you’ll receive chunky chenille yarn to make a 40-inch-by-50-inch blanket, as well as first-hand instruction. // AR Workshop Fredericksburg: 1015 Caroline St., Fredericksburg; $85

Halloween DIY!
Oct. 30, 6-8:30 p.m.
This year, celebrate Halloween a day early at the Loudoun location of AR Workshop. Guests will have the chance to make a canvas pillow cover with the first letter of their name, a rotating jewelry keeper and so much more. Plus, be sure to wear your very best costume for a chance to win a gift card for your next visit to the shop. // AR Workshop Loudoun: 1601 Village Market Blvd. SE, Suite 116, Leesburg; $45-$89.50

Other Classes

Hand Build a Ceramic Wall Pocket
Sept. 15, 2-4 p.m.
Interested in adding more plant life to your home? At this one-of-a-kind event, you’ll learn how to craft your very own ceramic porcelain wall pocket, perfect for holding air plants, succulents or dried flowers on your walls. Hosted by an instructor from Persimmon Street Ceramics, you’ll practice various techniques, include textures and glaze your masterpiece however you see fit. // Botanologica: 817 W. Broad St., Falls Church; $30

DIY: Ombre Painted Basket
Sept. 18, 6-8 p.m.
Add a little color to your storage spaces at this unique workshop located at boutique homegoods store Boxwood, located in Old Town. Upon arrival, you’ll choose the two to three colors you like the best and then learn firsthand how to create the ombre look you desire on baskets for the home. Whether you choose to use it for blankets in the living room or shoes by the front door, it’s sure to add a pop of color this fall. // Boxwood: 128 S. Royal St., Alexandria; $75

Paint a Project
Oct. 13 & Nov. 10, 5-7 p.m.
Have you had the same wooden chairs in your kitchen for over 10 years? If it’s time to switch them up, head over to The Back Dorr this autumn for its Paint a Project event, giving you the chance to restore an old piece of furniture in your home. Whether you choose to bring a nightstand or a large decorative frame, the staff will supply all paint, paintbrushes and guidance as you bring your used pieces back to life. // The Back Dorr: 2711 Dorr Ave., Fairfax; $80

Everlasting Autumn Wreath
Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-noon
Come October, it will be time to decorate your home to match the season’s hues of orange, yellow and green. At this event hosted by Botanologica in Falls Church, you’ll create a handmade autumn wreath using a 12-inch wooden or brass hoop, fresh flowers that will dry in place and mixed foliage for some extra embellishment, perfect for the front door of your abode. // Botanologica: 817 W. Broad St., Falls Church; $60

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity

Westlake Legal Group house1_3 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
The ceramic backsplash and range wall tiles are from the Stellar Collection of Sonoma Tilemakers through Architectural Ceramics. (Photo by Robert Radifera)
Art and Craft

When architect and interior designer Charles Almonte remodeled a dated Vienna kitchen for Eben and Jen Darling—and their two little boys—his primary goal was to create a functional, comfortable kitchen for the whole family. “I wanted to design a welcoming space for them to gather as a family, an inviting kitchen where they could enjoy cooking, eating and spending time together,” he says.

The home’s prior kitchen had an impractical U-shaped layout, with a cumbersome peninsula cutting into the space; it was also sealed off from the adjacent dining room.

This post was originally published in our September 2019 issue. For more Home & Design content, subscribe to our monthly print magazine and weekly e-newsletters.

Westlake Legal Group house1_2 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
Inset paneled cabinets are from Mouser Cabinetry. Their aged bronze hardware complements a stainless-steel apron sink from Signature Hardware fitted with a Kohler faucet. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

“It was very difficult for us to be together in the kitchen,” says Eben. “There was ‘dead space’ in the middle of the room and limited counter space around the edges. It was impossible to make more than one dish at a time, much less space to eat in.” He pauses and adds, “The kitchen was literally walled off from the rest of our house. With a toddler and preschooler in our home, this arrangement was simply not practical for our lifestyle.”

Almonte began by rearranging the floor plan around a large multipurpose island for food prep and other uses, including a breakfast bar and appliance storage. He also opened up the dining room to the kitchen, with a short hall between them, containing a wall of built-in china cabinets to one side.

Westlake Legal Group house-1-_1 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
Jen’s father handcrafted the beautiful bar chairs, which pull up to the new island. The matte black finish metal chandelier above the island is ‘Fainlight’ by Currey & Co. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

“Jen’s father is a skilled woodworker, so the family leans toward the artisanal arts and crafts style, so I opted to design the kitchen in a transitional style, with detailed and crafted touches,” adds Almonte.

Throughout the process, he collaborated closely with builder Jason Denny of Denny & Gardner, who helped with the installation of everything, including a full-height ceramic-tiled range backsplash, as well as a wall of tall cabinets, serving as dish storage, food pantry and wine refrigeration.

Westlake Legal Group house1_4 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
The built-in china cabinet has large, glass upper cupboards for display, and lower closed cabinetry for storage. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

The counters blend a moodier gray-green ‘Taj Mahal’ quartzite for the island top with a lighter, brighter quartz for the peripheral countertops. Hardware is oil-rubbed bronze on two shades of cabinetry.

“We now have everything we need. Space, storage and clean sight lines,” adds Eben. “Jen and I can cook together, while having sufficient counter space for the boys to eat at, or do art projects, without getting underfoot.”

Westlake Legal Group house2_2 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
The island base features Shrock Cabinets in a darker gray ‘Forest Floor’ finish. Triple pendants from Pottery Barn work well with the new stainless appliances. Maple perimeter cabinetry from Decora Cabinets in ‘Confection Twilight’ finish goes up to the ceiling to maximize storage. (Photo by Robert Radifera)
Found in Transition

The wish list was in place when Vienna-based interior designer Andrea Maaseide of Studio 320 came on board to remodel a small, dark, builder-grade kitchen in a suburban home in Herndon.

“We wanted to expand the kitchen by removing a wall between the living room and the old kitchen,” says the homeowner, who shares the 15-year-old house with her husband and 4-year-old daughter. “We also wanted to update the colors, finishes and appliances in favor of a modern, softer, clean look.”

Westlake Legal Group house2_4 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
A Bernhardt dining table and two Lazar dining chairs upholstered in a treated Kravet fabric pair well with a blue tufted settee in the eat-in area. The drum-shade chandelier is from Visual Comfort. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

For three busy months in 2018, Maaseide collaborated rapid-fire on the project with her colleague Phillippa Baker, as well as with Chris Ham of Stonegate Remodeling. Efficiency is tantamount when renovating such an important room.

“Taking down that wall opened everything up, allowing us to increase the kitchen’s footprint, improve storage and add a larger island,” says the homeowner.

Westlake Legal Group house2_3 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
“I had really wanted a larger and lower sink to make dishwashing easier,” says the homeowner. An undermount apron sink by Kohler does the trick, with a Newport Brass faucet. The Tortora ceramic tiles in a glossy finish add a soft palette and reflective quality to the backsplash. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

New inset-paneled cabinetry in a creamy hue replaced dark cherry wood ones, and in place of black granite countertops, there are now warm, white quartz ones. Though the sink’s location remained the same, the new bank of larger windows increased the flow of natural light into the room. Dated tiles gave way to hardwood floors finished to blend with existing flooring in the now-great-room’s sitting area.

“Being able to do a larger island was key for the family,” says Maaseide, “not only because it provided the extra storage beneath that the family wished for, but it’s also the perfect spot for entertaining, working and eating casual family meals.”

Westlake Legal Group house2_1 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
A bar area was created in a dead space, with plenty of storage. Glass-fronted cabinets provide display space. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

The great room also has access to the grill and patio outside, which was created via an added door.

“We use the kitchen daily for breakfast and dinner, as we love to cook on our new gas stove,” says the homeowner. “It’s really become the gathering place it should always have been.”

Westlake Legal Group house3_1 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
A mix of solid and striped linen pillows in soft neutrals provide comfort on the banquette. (Photo by Robert Radifera)
European Gem

Our galley kitchen was so tight and cramped before the remodel,” says homeowner Christina Ledbetter, who loves to cook for her husband, Jared, and three children, ages 4 to 11, and hated her dated galley kitchen in the Burke home. “The backside of the hall closet took up half its footprint, storage was limited and there was only one dim overhead light in the whole space!”

Also based in Burke, interior designer Alison Giese embraced the challenge of updating the kitchen in 2018, enlisting the help of Jason Holsey at Bedrock Remodeling.

Westlake Legal Group house3_2 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
The new L-shaped banquette provides plenty of seating at the marble-topped dining table. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

In addition to reclaiming the hall closet’s space, Giese replaced a small single window above the sink with a large double one, which not only brought more natural light into the kitchen, but also added visual balance to the existing bay window in the eat-in area. The latter is now home to a custom-designed eat-in banquette.

“Our overall concept was to maintain the galley footprint, but make it feel more visually open and European in style,” says Giese of eliminating all the crowded upper cabinets, except for a custom counter-height hutch designed for large appliances and everyday dish storage.

Westlake Legal Group house3_3 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
An enlarged double casement window above the sink brings in natural light, while a pair of scones provides additional task lighting. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

“I love the look and function of the new marble ledge that runs across the top of the new backsplash,” says the homeowner of the beautifully veined Calacutta Vagli marble that makes up the double feature.

Brand-new, mostly below-the-counter cabinetry from Unique Kitchens & Bath are finished in greige with aged brass hardware. This collaboration was so successful that Giese is now curating a line of custom colors and stains for UK & B. Counters are practical quartz throughout in a high-contrast charcoal hue.

Westlake Legal Group house3_4 These 3 remodeled kitchens in NoVA bring style to necessity modern style kitchen decor kitchen interior design House Home & Design Home European look Details decor
An enlarged double casement window above the sink brings in natural light, while a pair of scones provides additional task lighting. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

“It’s a highly personalized space that isn’t cookie-cutter,” adds Giese.

Another special feature is the plaster hood that is finished in a lime wash, imparting an aged ‘Old World’ vibe. Though the sink’s location stayed the same, overlooking the backyard, the new apron sink is larger and deeper.

“I get my greatest sense of accomplishment daily from making a scrumptious healthy meal for my family. The kitchen is the heart of our home and the remodel allows us to use it to its fullest potential,” says Ledbetter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August

Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-10 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

10) 9248 Wood Glade Drive, Great Falls

Price: $1,062,500
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4.5
Square Footage: 4,649
Year Built: 1977

Amenities:

  • Open floor plan
  • Large windows
  • Two-car garage
  • Spacious backyard
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-9 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

9) 4412 17th St. N., Arlington

Price: $1,341,500
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Square Footage: 2,589
Year Built: 1936

Amenities:

  • Renovated with open floor plan
  • Custom gourmet kitchen
  • Two-car garage
  • Two-sided fireplace in master bedroom
Westlake Legal Group Expensive-Home-8 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Redfin

8) 1932 Summit Terrace, Alexandria

Price: $1,345,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,599
Year Built: 1931

Amenities:

  • Premier location
  • Hardwood floors
  • Two-car garage
  • Screened porch
Westlake Legal Group expensive-home-71 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

7) 1634 12th St., Arlington

Price: $1,385,000
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6.5
Square Footage: 5,600
Year Built: 2019

Amenities:

  • Spacious open floor plan
  • En-suite bathrooms for every bedroom
  • Chef’s kitchen
  • Finished basement with wet bar
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-7 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

6) 6530 Dryden Drive, McLean

Price: $1,500,000
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 5.5
Square Footage: 5,684
Year Built: 2011

Amenities:

  • Two-story entrance foyer
  • Gas fireplace
  • Two-car garage
  • Antique soaking bathtub
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-5 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

5) 833 Golden Arrow St., Great Falls

Price: $1,675,000
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 7
Square Footage: 8,401
Year Built: 2019

Amenities:

  • Six en-suite bathrooms
  • Custom hardwood floors
  • Multipurpose recreation room on lower level
  • Wet bar and pre-wired home theater
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-4 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

4) 3305 N. Ablemarle St., Arlington

Price: $1,780,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 5
Square Footage: 5,184
Year Built: 2003

Amenities:

  • Spacious, covered front porch
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Two-car garage
  • Custom closets
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-3 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

3) 3207 N. Trinidad St. , Arlington

Price: $2,045,000
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6.5
Square Footage: 7,250
Year Built: 2019

Amenities:

  • Gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry
  • Mudroom with half-bath and lockers
  • Security cameras
  • White quartz countertops
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-2 Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

2) 7008 Churchill Road, McLean

Price: $1,875,000
Bedrooms: 7
Bathrooms: 8
Square Footage: 7,266
Year Built: 2019

Amenities:

  • Private backyard
  • Oak hardwood floors
  • Heated floors in the master bathroom
  • Finished walk-up basement
Westlake Legal Group EXPENSIVE-HOME-FEATURE Here are the 10 most expensive homes sold in NoVA this August real estate Home Resources Home & Design Home arlington alexandria
Photo courtesy of Zillow

1) 7008 Churchill Road, McLean

Price: $2,266,570
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6.5
Square Footage: 6,800
Year Built: 2010

Amenities:

  • Walk-up lower level with wet bar, temperature-controlled wine cellar
  • Two-story deck and screened-in porch
  • Two walk-in closets in master bedroom
  • Close to downtown McLean with easy Metro access

Sources: Zillow and Redfin

Want more home and design content? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Twig’s 78th Annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour returns this month

Westlake Legal Group Alexandria-Homes-Feature The Twig’s 78th Annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour returns this month Things to Do Alexandria old town alexandria interior design homes home tours home and design Home & Design Historic Homes Events Architecture alexandria
© Bram / stock.adobe.com

No need to knock, you’re welcome to visit a handful of Alexandria’s historic homes on Saturday, Sept. 28, during The Twig’s 78th Annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour.

The five-hour walking tour will take place for a majority of the day, starting at 10 a.m. and concluding at 3 p.m., and guests will get to explore homes from the 18th and 19th centuries that have evolved to withstand the growth and change of Alexandria.

Home highlights include special place settings in dining rooms, original and preserved structures in certain homes, as well as curated artwork and special guests. The tour is also designed for guests to enjoy the autumn weather and views while walking from home to home.

Tickets are available online or in-person at the Ramsay House Visitors Center and The Twig Thrift Shop. There will also be raffle items and prizes that are given throughout the day, and all proceeds from the event benefit Inova Alexandria Hospital. // The Twig Thrift Shop: 106 N. Columbus St., Alexandria; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; $40 advance tickets, $45 on-site

Want to fill your calendar with more home and design events? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters. 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Designer digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1111 Designer digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home renovation interior design interior decorating houses home experts Home & Design Home designer digs design decor
Casey Sanford (Photo by Krisztina Thorsen)

Just over a year ago, interior designer Casey Sanford pulled up stakes in Alexandria for Warrenton’s wide-open spaces. Trading postage-stamp backyards for the bucolic, rolling green hills of Fauquier County, she and her husband, Houston (who is also her business partner), wanted to begin and end their days with sunrises and sunsets. Now, their front porch and backyard deck serve as perfect perches for both.

In the year they’ve been in the Cape Cod-style home, built in 2016, they’ve put in some sweat equity: painting doors a striking Sherwin-Williams Greenblack, swapping out hardware, hanging stunning new lighting and turning the living room fireplace into a showpiece. A kitchen redo is on the to-do list: the native Mississippians brim with Southern hospitality and love to cook and entertain.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-124 Designer digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home renovation interior design interior decorating houses home experts Home & Design Home designer digs design decor
Designer Casey Sanford and her husband, Houston, created a serene space in their master bedroom and bathrooms, with a soft palette and rustic touches. (Photo by Krisztina Thorsen)

But the soothing master suite is Sanford’s favorite. She opts for white bedding for practical reasons: It’s easy to mix and match and easy to clean. The bed is topped with gray, green and cream throw pillows in soft fabrics and serene patterns—layering “is a nice way to bring a room together,” she says.

A collection of four framed cotton botanicals by an Alabama artist and friend hang on either side of the window, the silvery gray drapes pull back to reveal the verdant front yard. Twin white dressers spotted at High Point, North Carolina perform double duty as storage and nightstand, and are topped with bedside reading lamps and vases of fresh flowers. A sideboard sits opposite the bed, treasured because it was the designer’s first antique purchase.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-136 Designer digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home renovation interior design interior decorating houses home experts Home & Design Home designer digs design decor
Photo by Krisztina Thorsen

The chair in the reading nook is precious, too. It was a piece Sanford fell in love with while working in Mississippi; her colleagues gifted it when she got engaged and moved to Northern Virginia. It, too, has followed her from home to home, and “it will probably be recovered five times,” she laughs.

Design Philosophy
“Green has become a neutral for me,” says Sanford, who favors earth tones. “I think it’s the landscape around us; green is a very soothing color.” Every day, she is inspired by their move to the country, and that’s evident in the master suite. The couple says their first year in Warrenton, surrounded by nature and the outdoors, has them thinking bigger when it comes to projects.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-144 Designer digs: Casey Sanford takes a clean approach to her new home renovation interior design interior decorating houses home experts Home & Design Home designer digs design decor
Photo by Krisztina Thorsen

Renovation Frustration
Although no walls came down, Sanford said there were “things we needed to do initially to set a good foundation.” There are hardwood floors throughout, but in the master the couple chose an off-white and taupe wool carpet for comfort and durability. They wrapped the suite in crisp shiplap paneling to add depth and texture, and serve as a coastal-vibe memento of their beloved Nantucket vacations.

Favorite Feature of the Room
“The chair nook is one of my favorite places to sit down and grab a book,” says Sanford, who always has three in rotation: mystery novels, business and motivational books. Thanks to a talented friend, the chair’s cushions were recovered in a luxe olive green leather. Beneath the window’s natural light and the lamp’s soft glow, Sanford loves to settle into the “quiet little space” with a title that suits her mood. Their playful puppy, Odell, finds himself at home there, too.

This post originally appeared in our September 2019 print issue. For more Home & Design content, subscribe to our newsletters. 

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9 fall floral arrangement workshops in NoVA

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1110 9 fall floral arrangement workshops in NoVA workshops Things to Do Features Things to Do seasonal design Home & Design garden flowers floral arrangement diy design Bouquet autumn arrangement
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It’s a a statement we all know to be true: Flowers make people happy. Whether they are given to you as a gift from a loved one or they grow in your garden, the bright shades, decadent smells and vibrant presence of a well-crafted bouquet is a welcoming one.

And with the cooler weather rolling in, there are plenty of opportunities for you to warm up the place with a pop of color in the form of this season’s most popular flowers. Here, we share exactly where to go for a DIY lesson on floral arrangement in NoVA.

Want to know of more ways to decorate your home this fall? Subscribe to our Home & Design e-newsletter. 

UWIB DC Presents: Make Bouquets and Sip Rosé
Sept. 4, 6:30-8 p.m.
Following Labor Day, continue to relax with this evening bouquet-making class that serves as an ode to the end of summer. While you learn from florists of local shop Little Acres, you can sip on some of the season’s best rosé and chat with other female entrepreneurs from NoVA. While you don’t get to keep your creation, you can feel content in the fact that each bouquet will be given to a woman at the Mary Marshall Assisted Living facility. // MakeOffices – Clarendon: 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 200, Arlington; free

Back to School and Blossoms at Blend Coffee Bar
Sept. 5, 6-9 p.m.
With the start of school and new daily routines, it becomes more challenging to find time to go shopping for flowers to fill your home with. Not to worry, though, because for one night only, you’ll have the chance to make your own bouquet to take home, all while snacking on some light bites from Blend Coffee Bar in Ashburn. // Blend Coffee Bar: 43170 Southern Walk Plaza, Suite 120, Ashburn; $64

“Fall” in Love with Flower Arranging at Calico – Arlington
Sept. 7, 11 a.m.
Head over to the furniture store Calico in Arlington for a morning of learning, fun and great results at this floral arrangement course. There’s no need to bring anything, as the folks from Alice’s Table will provide all necessary materials to help you create a beautiful arrangement that reflects the spirit of fall. // Calico: 6400 Williamsburg Blvd., Arlington; $65

Summertime Wind Down with Athleta and Alice’s Table
Sept. 8, 6-9 p.m.
Held within Reston Center’s Athleta, this floral arrangement course will serve as an ideal introduction to autumn. Come with friends or family and be ready to organize some of the season’s most durable and beautiful flowers in a three-hour evening class. // Athleta: 11923 Market St., Reston; $65

Coral: Pantone Color of the Year
Sept. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
While coral is a common color on the ocean’s floor, Helen Olivia Flowers is here to help you bring the bright, welcoming shade to your table this September through this workshop, in honor of the tone being chosen as Color of the Year by The Pantone Color Institute. Can’t make this one? No worries, this shop in Alexandria is hosting several other workshops this month. // Helen Olivia Flowers: 1519 Leslie Ave., Alexandria; $105

Wine and Design – Arranging Florals in Glass Vase, Lacing Style
Sept. 12, 6-8 p.m. & Sept. 29, 2-3 p.m.
Hosting a dinner party? This time, you’ll be able to skip the market and make your own arrangements, thanks to this extensive course hosted by floral designer Carol Caggiano. By the end of the evening, you’ll know how to properly handle flowers and foliage, understand basic design principles and create a lace layering in a vase to make the arrangement stay beautiful for longer. Plus, refreshments will keep you motivated all night long. // Metro Flower Market: 4151 Lafayette Center Drive, Suite 110B, Chantilly; $65

Fall Blooms at Ridgetop Coffee and Tea
Sept. 14, 1-4 p.m.
Some Saturdays call for a few hours of girl time, and this September it’s time to gather your closest friends for an afternoon tea time followed by a floral arrangement course at Ridgetop Coffee and Tea. Come hungry, as there will be pastries, hot sandwiches, soup and more for your enjoyment before class begins. // Ridgetop Coffee and Tea: 21631 Ridgetop Circle, Sterling; $64

Early Autumn Bouquet
Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m.
Three days after the official start of fall, head over to Boxwood in Old Town for an evening of floral design. Staff from the neighboring business, The Enchanted Florist, will be on-site, sharing their knowledge on how to craft a cohesive arrangement that reflects the bright colors of the new season. // Boxwood: 128 S. Royal St., Alexandria; $95

Fall Floral Arrangement Workshop
Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m.
Come the end of September, the plants from local gardens will be more than ready to be transferred into a decorative container for your enjoyment. With this afternoon workshop hosted by the experts at Merrifield Garden Center, you’ll learn how to create a fresh floral arrangement using garden-sourced, seasonal blooms that add a little life to your kitchen counter. // Merrifield Garden Center – Fair Oaks: 12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax; $60

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How to get your home ready for entertaining this fall

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-55 How to get your home ready for entertaining this fall trends style interior design interior home decor home and design Home & Design Home Details design decor accessories
Kjos suggests staying away from the traditional orange and navy tones of fall, and adding something new with a similar feeling, like an accented lavender. (Photo by Christy Kosnic for Grey Hunt Interiors)

The way we dress ourselves tends to reflect the seasons. In the summer, it’s all about shorts, tank tops and sun dresses, whereas when the weather cools down, jeans and flannels become the new go-to. 

Our houses aren’t much different. When the weather changes, it’s important to feel comfortable in your space—much like feeling comfortable in the clothes on your back—and decorating for the colder months is an important aspect of that overall aura of your home. 

“When you’re going into fall, you really want to create a feeling of warmth,” says Sallie Kjos, owner of Grey Hunt Interiors, a design company with clientele throughout Northern Virginia. “You’re creating a hibernation cave, so your home is hugging you visually.” 

Transitioning the interior design of your home doesn’t have to be drastic, rather it can be done quickly and cost-efficiently. We spoke to Kjos; Sara Raak of Alexandria-based company SKG designs; and Asha Maxey of Asha-Maía Design to find out their tips and tricks for curating a fall-ready home. 

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-77 How to get your home ready for entertaining this fall trends style interior design interior home decor home and design Home & Design Home Details design decor accessories
Photo courtesy of Sara Raak

It’s all in the details
Transitioning the feel of a room isn’t as hard as it may sound. Instead of swapping out pieces of furniture, our experts suggest changing the little things, such as candles, throw pillows or coffee table books, to match the darker theme of fall and winter.

“If you compare it to a human with style, you wear the same outfits a lot but you can change little things, like the color of your jewelry or add a scarf,” says Maxey. “That’s what this transition is like, too.”

Maxey also suggests going even further by purchasing candles that radiate iconic fall scents, such as pumpkin spice or magnolia, which ultimately creates a feeling of relaxation throughout the space. 

Not looking to purchase new accessories? According to Kjos, the best add-on for your dining room or coffee table can come from your front yard. 

“Get outside and cut some branches off your trees and throw them in water,” Kjos explains. “It’s an effective and beautiful centerpiece that is not expensive.” 

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-67 How to get your home ready for entertaining this fall trends style interior design interior home decor home and design Home & Design Home Details design decor accessories
Photo by Christy Kosnic for Grey Hunt Interiors

Bring in the warmer tones
While summer is bright and light, autumn and winter reflect a darker, cooler feeling, which should be accentuated throughout your home.

“I think bringing the colors you see outside into your home is really key,” explains Raak. “I tend to go with oranges, navy blue and different shades of yellow. You can incorporate those through things like plates or candlesticks to bring your eye to all the other fall colors that are incorporated throughout each room.”

According to Maxey, even if you enjoy a brighter aesthetic, you can still add warmer tones like deep purples or burnt oranges to embody fall and change the mood of the space.

And while the typical trend in home goods retail reflects orange pumpkins, green trees or other traditional elements of both fall and Halloween, Kjos suggests trying an atypical approach. 

“You don’t have to turn your house into an orange pumpkin, so long as you stick to color gradation,” Kjos explains. “So if you’re working with taupes and purples, you could add pumpkins or other thematic patterns in those colors.”

Throw on another layer
According to all three experts, adding texture to your home through layering is an essential aspect of interior design, especially in fall. 

Simply adding a throw rug to a larger carpet within a living room, for example, can serve as a base for the new color palette you are going to experiment with, Raak explains.

The layering extends beyond the floor, too. 

“To create that warm feeling, you really want to layer up by using thicker fabrics like velvet chenille or fur with your throw blankets and pillows,” says Kjos. “One trick I do is drape really thick, long scarves on either the corner of a bed or over a chair in the dining room. It’s a good cheat because it adds visual interest and comfort to a room with little to no cost.”

As this summer fades into the past, it’s time to look ahead and think of the mood you want to portray this fall. 

“Fashion and the home always go hand-and-hand,” says Kjos. “Layer up and think outside the box.”

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