A 1.35 million-square-foot development project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station has been recommended for approval by the Fairfax County Planning Commission, leaving the final decision up to the board of supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
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The initial proposal was submitted in April of 2017 and since then, the applicant—New York-based development company TF Cornerstone—and Fairfax County have revised the project proposal to better balance overall design, transportation improvements and residential and non-residential use, according to a recent county addendum. The entire project is designed by architect Cunningham Quill and landscape architect LandDesign Inc.
The mixed-use property, entitled Campus Commons, consists of two existing six-story office buildings that will remain part of the development, as well as the addition of two residential buildings and one new office space. Between the two residential sites, there will be a total of 655 dwelling units available.
While 59% of the property will be residential, 41% will go toward office space and retail. At the private residences, amenities will include a rooftop pool, cabanas, outdoor grills, a dog run and several other recreation areas. As for the nearby offices, there will be outdoor work spaces available, as well as event and meeting space within the buildings.
The site also includes five publicly accessible park spaces integrated into the design, each serving a different purpose, such as a public art space and sports recreation.
According to the Sept. 25 county meeting document, “The Wiehle Station TOD District is envisioned to evolve into an educationally focused urban neighborhood with residential areas that are well-connected to transit via multiple new pedestrian-oriented streets.”
This piece will be updated following the Tuesday, Oct. 15 meeting held by the county’s board of supervisors.
Rugged. Bohemian. Masculine, with a feminine touch. These are the adjectives that come to mind when you walk into Brick and Mortar, a downtown Leesburg shop, created by Ben and Tara Wegdam, that opened its doors in late spring.
The husband-and-wife team knows a thing or two about retail. They’re the masterminds behind West Federal Retail, the parent company of Lou Lou Boutiques, Crème de la Crème and Zest, totaling 35 stores across the East Coast (with a second Brick and Mortar opening in Frederick, Maryland in October).
Brick and Mortar is the newest addition to the company’s lineup, located on King Street. “It’s an entertainment store,” says Ben. “It’s not a store where you go to buy 12 of something that are the cheapest. But if you want to see something fun, you have to come to the store.”
This post originally appeared in our October 2019 issue. For more shopping, style and home content delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.
At Brick and Mortar, the entertainment the Wegdams are promoting comes in the form of interactive experiences. There’s a piano, propped open to encourage guests to play, a record player (feel free to bring in your own vinyl), a leather bracelet-making station where you can create phrases on the bracelet, and, if you come in at the right time on a Friday night, a beer upon entry.
“Everybody’s on their computers, their phones, but after a while they close them and say, ‘Let me go somewhere,’” Ben says. “We needed to be where people are, in the entertainment district, and we couldn’t have a boring store to fit that demographic.”
Ben and Tara choose each item in the store (which sells none of its products online—a true brick-and-mortar) themselves to ensure that none of them are mundane. “Our products are just fun,” Ben says. “They’re American-made, some are international, some are local, some are name brands people recognize. And it’s always rotating.”
At the local level, the store hosts trunk shows each week where a vendor comes and sells their products, with Brick and Mortar typically taking none of the profits, but, “if the response is good from people, we will consider carrying their product in the store,” Ben says.
Products at Brick and Mortar range from your typical home decor (candles, signs with fun phrases on them, artwork) to unique finds you likely won’t see elsewhere, like speakers made out of guitar cases, leather koozies, whiskey-flavored toothpicks and funny books with titles like, Why Do Men Have Nipples?.
“We try to bring high energy into the store,” says Ben. “Every item, Tara and I bought ourselves. For us to select products, it has to be good quality, it has to give back to charity or it has to have a unique aspect. It’s also about the packaging. It’s my intention to put things that we think are cool, that we think are worth buying.”
And, after finding those cool items to take home, don’t be startled if you hear a little tweet when checking out at the register. That’s just “Brick” and “Mortar,” the store’s pet parakeets, giving you one more fun experience before you go. // 34 S. King St., Leesburg
This One’s For The Boys
Although all products available at Brick and Mortar can be gender neutral, the store definitely has a man’s touch. Here are our top picks for incorporating its masculine energy into your own space.
Besides country music, there’s usually one other thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Willie Nelson. His coffee, Willie’s Remedy, is reminiscent of that, infused with certified organic, full-spectrum hemp oil grown in Colorado. // Willie Nelson “Willie’s Remedy” organic hemp-derived CBD whole bean coffee $30; CBD double-strength whole bean coffee; $35
The peace sign? Fingers crossed? One not-so-classy finger in the air? Whatever your vibe, these intricate candles, which come in a multitude of colors and hand signals, are a sure way to add a unique aesthetic to your home. // Candle Hand; $49
Ben is originally from The Netherlands, and it’s also where Ben and Tara spent time together when she was living there in her 20s. This bracelet pays respect to their roots, as it’s made in Holland and comes packaged in small cigar boxes well-recognized by the Dutch. // Pig & Hen Amsterdam sailor bracelet; $89
We know, we know … another candle? Really, you can never have too many, especially when they are handcrafted grenade oil lamps. // Piet Houtenbos grenade oil lamps; $75
When working on the redesign of a 4,000-square-foot Warrenton house for an international hotel executive, interior decorator Erika Bonnell took her cues from her client’s passions.
“He loves cars and planes, travel and, of course, cooking and wine. [Food and wine] are a big part of his life and he wanted to have some kind of a wine storage integrated into his home,” says Bonnell.
Beneath the staircase leading into the basement, where the temperature remains consistently cool throughout the year, Bonnell saw an opportunity to design a small wine cellar.
“It could’ve been a closet or simply dead space. Instead, we chose to build it out and give it some character,” she adds of the custom nook.
Working with Cornerstone Kitchen & Bath, Bonnell designed a system of open shelves, storage cupboards and wine racks (both X-shaped and cubbies) for storing wine bottles and related paraphernalia.
“We gave it an Old World feel, with weathered gray cabinetry, and used reclaimed wood for the ceiling. There is an old wine barrel in there, too, as well as counter space, to serve as surfaces for opening and pouring wine,” she adds.
The cellar, however, is not humidity or temperature-controlled, and is best used for shorter-term wine storage.
“The intention was easy dry-bar storage,” says Bonnell. “It’s a place where he can open a nice bottle and enjoy good wine with his friends.”
To that end, there is a nearby wine tasting room, with four club chairs set around a drum table.
This post originally appeared in our October issue. For more home design stories, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
“We also wrapped its walls in reclaimed barn wood for continuity with the wine cellar and added some merlot red accents,” she shares.
f budget is not an issue, and the love of wine is strong, there is a trend in larger homes toward installing wine refrigeration feature walls.
“These are integrated into architectural plans from early on,” says Patrick Cooke of Thomson Cooke Architects. “They can serve as spatial dividers in an open floor plan or serve as an actual room ‘wall’, as is the case in this home,” he continues, speaking of a recent Mclean project that incorporated a wine refrigeration wall into its dining room.
“When you have a front-and-center wine refrigeration wall, you need to be sure your other design elements are dramatic enough to stand up for it.”
Of course, serious oenophiles will also have humidity, light and temperature-controlled below-ground wine cellars for the appropriate storage and aging of their finer wines. The wine refrigeration wall feature, by contrast, becomes part of the home’s overall decor. It is ideal for storing and displaying everyday drinking wines, as well as for rotating wines out of the wine cellar.
“Pulling a ready-to-drink bottle out of a wine refrigeration wall is also much more social than going into someone’s basement,” says Cooke of the breezy ease with which homeowners can share their collections with their guests.
This particular custom unit was installed by builders Peterson & Collins. It features one-bottle depth and has integrated LED lighting, as well as a dark back wall, to display the collection at its best.
“When you have a front-and-center wine refrigeration wall, you need to be sure your other design elements are dramatic enough to stand up to it,” says interior designer Martha Vicas, who also collaborated on the home project.
Here, the other three walls are finished in a textured Phillip Jeffries wall covering in a charcoal-gray herringbone pattern, with a metallic sheen, and the ceiling holds a distinctive, yet ethereal ‘halo’ light fixture.
“For the dining furnishings, we added clean angular lines in furniture, and the hand-knotted rug in a merlot plum color also has strong presence,” adds Vicas.
As hard as you may try otherwise, kitchens tend to be the go-to gathering place during parties or get-togethers,” says Anne Marie Hauer of Choux Designs, which is based in The Plains. “Even if you have a small kitchen, it’s not hard to carve out a bar area, either as a designated or dual-purpose spot.”
In her own family’s farmhouse, when remodeling the 160-square-foot U-shaped kitchen, Hauer set aside a countertop—adjacent to the open dining area and above the microwave oven—for just such a purpose.
“All you need is a small counter area and a shelf or two for glasses,” she says, adding, “Of course, if you have the extra space, a wet sink, built-in bottle storage and a beverage refrigerator always make the bar area more official.”
In Hauer’s beverage bar, an antiqued brass sconce (for task lighting) and a poplar wood shelf (for glass storage) nestle against her kitchen’s painted shiplap walls, but what really creates the bar area’s spatial definition is a pair of wall-mounted vintage wine barrel taps. She found them on Etsy.
“My husband is a home brewer, so his only ‘ask’ when planning the renovations to our farmhouse was an area to have his beer on tap,” she adds of the unusual feature. “What’s even more fun about the taps is that they can also be used for root beer (for the kids) or even wine during parties; it’s all a matter of changing the pressure gasses used to push the liquids.”
Hauer says the space can easily double as a coffee station during the day, but most importantly, it gives a focal point for sharing wine or beer, with nibbles, for when they have friends or family visit.
For many Americans, buying a home is one of the largest, long-term purchases you can make.
Whether you settle into a property from a young age or decide to wait until you start a family, it is common to live in the same home for years to come after the purchase. But as the years go by and the seasons change, the key aspects of the property you first fell in love with will most likely diminish, such as the heating system, plumbing and roofing.
That’s why it is essential to keep an eye on the functionality of your home on a regular basis. The most popular time for checking everything is fall, according to many insurance companies, due to the upcoming colder temperatures and potential storm damage.
While most maintenance service companies have their own checklists to assist you in proper care methods, we chatted with Chris Pauly, owner of local, family-owned company Gutterman Services, Inc., about what it takes to maintain Northern Virginia homes, specifically. Highlights from our conversation are below.
Why is October the best time to start winterizing your home? October has some of the best weather of the year. It’s not too hot or too cold, and often provides very dry weather, enabling you to get things done outside the home.
What are the five most essential things people should do to properly prepare their home for the cold season?
Inspect roof and flashings as early as possible. It’s too late once it’s too cold because the roof and flashing will become brittle and not easy to work with.
Make sure your gutters and drains are clear.
Clean and inspect your chimney.
Drain your sprinkler system and winterize your outside water faucets.
Change your furnace filters and smoke detector batteries. Personally, I like to do this twice per year as a safety precaution.
What is the most common problem your company faces with home repair during the winters here in NoVA? Shingle roofs are brittle and hard to work on when it’s below 40 degrees outside, and roof flashing and gutters are metal, making them hard to manipulate in colder temperatures. Our workmen are all bundled up and therefore it’s harder to negotiate safe work practices on ladders.
Is there a trend you see with the homes here in NoVA that makes them vulnerable to winter weather? Our roofs in the region are definitely getting taller and steeper, which makes them hard to navigate in any season, but winter is by far the worst.
Draft from windows and doors is a common problem. Are there any easy, DIY solutions to this? Laying towels down at the thresholds of doors can keep the wind out. Another trick is if you can’t open old windows anyway, then caulk them shut!
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From life-sized inflatables to scene setters for your upcoming party, here’s how to get your home ready for Halloween this fall. Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com
There’s something so beautiful about a home that is well-built and designed with passion. Maybe it’s the paint colors that draw you in or the way the furniture is arranged. If you get joy out of architecture, interior design and home goods, then mark your calendars for the DC-Metro Modern Home Tour.
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Held by The Modern Architecture + Design Society on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven home projects will be showcased throughout neighborhoods in the DMV, including Tenleytown, North Kensington, Garrett Park, Takoma Park, Arlington, Vienna and Fairfax.
The self-guided event boasts not only sightseeing and open house visits for the public, but also opportunities for attendees to understand the reasons behind the designs, and ask questions to the architects, designers and home builders.
Expect to see a modern upgrade at a 1950s midcentury home in North Kensington; a renovation of a 1957 Garrett Park home that now has age-in-place features; an addition to an Arlington 1950s brick rambler; a sleek kitchen with European features in Vienna; a brand-new home in Fairfax; and much more.
Buy your tickets online here, and 24 hours before tour day begins, check your email for a printable map and any last-minute instructions. Guests may visit the homes in any order they wish and at their own pace.
Architects and designers featured include KUBE architecture; interior designer Jill Joseph; McInturff Architects; Paola One Design LLC; Hyun Kim + KCI Design Build; Travis Price Architects; and listModern.
There will also be a post-tour gathering hosted by listModern at 5359 MacArthur Boulevard, located in Timberwood. For more information on the tour, designers, architects and the after-party, visit mads.media/2019metromod. // $40 in advance, $50 on the day of tour