Our beautiful local landscape captured the heart of Thomas Jefferson and continues to impress us today with Blue Ridge Mountain backdrops and luscious green rolling hills. Cathy Purple Cherry, founder of Purple Cherry Architects—a high-end residential local architecture firm in Charlottesville, VA—shares how you can create meaningful places by fusing architecture and nature together…
“By the title of this blog, you would initially think that I might write about landscape architecture because this is where nature traditionally meets architecture [similar to these images of Purple Cherry Architects’ award-winning Harness Creek Pool House]. Instead, I want to focus on how nature can be brought into architecture and how the visual connection to nature through architecture can influence our emotions… most significantly moving us to experience joy, awe, humbleness, faithfulness and peace.
In the mountain landscape of Austria, the family chapel Maria Magdalena is, in my professional opinion, one of the best examples of how architecture and nature can combine to inspire self-reflection and elevate the visitor to a higher level of emotional thinking. This human connection with nature is known as biophilia. It is our fundamental human biological inclination to connect to elements within nature, and biophilic design is the method of bringing nature into the built-environment. From studies, it has been learned that biophilic design can reduce stress, increase creativity, improve our well-being and expedite healing. This whole experience is heightened with the overlay of related sounds and smells… rushing water, blowing winds, wrestling leaves.
There are many ways that nature can be brought into architecture from the simplest step of a large window with an incredible view to an interior garden space within four walls. Patterns within architecture that reflect the structures found in nature can further connect us to natural elements as well. However, what is undeniable is that spaces created to engage surrounding nature into the architectural experience are, by far, the most successful spaces in making us really think way beyond our own small world. The emotional feeling is undeniable. And it is a really happy feeling.” — Cathy Purple Cherry, Principal and Founder of Purple Cherry Architects
Keep an eye out for Cathy Purple Cherry’s article on UVA’s architecture inspired by Thomas Jefferson in Book 6 of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living!
In Orange County to the northeast of Charlottesville, The Inn at Willow Grove, a luxurious boutique hotel, makes for the perfect getaway. The historic property, once a plantation, was listed in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 “10 Best Resort Hotels in the South” and was rated as a 4-star hotel by Forbes Travel Guide. The Inn at Willow Grove offers guests the opportunity to stay in the manor house or one of the stunning cottages on the property.
The Inn also houses an award-winning restaurant—the Vintage Restaurant—on the ground level of the manor. From Sunday brunch to tapas Wednesdays, the restaurant offers gourmet farm-to-table dining to ensure guests remain well fed during their getaway. In addition, guests can take a short scenic drive into Downtown Orange and visit Forked on Main, the Vintage Restaurant’s sister restaurant, and the boutique Objects on Main, which is also owned by the Inn at Willow Grove family.
The property’s lush 40 acres are full of gardens, walking paths and history. Water fountains, sculptures and sitting areas welcome guests as they stroll the grounds.
Soon, guests will be able to stay at two new additional guest houses, as well as indulge in the Mill House Spa (below). The spa will offer not only relaxing services but also a fitness and yoga facility and an outdoor salt water pool. (Below, bottom left and right photos courtesy of The Inn at Willow Grove)
With the project set to finish next month, in September, we cannot wait to break out a bottle of divine local sparkling wine and indulge in the new Inn at Willow Grove experience.
Whether complementing a space or serving as a dramatic centerpiece, decorative lighting is an essential style element of a room. Beyond illumination, lighting fixtures can instantly change the ambiance of a room from classic to contemporary and everything in between. Planning a remodel? The lighting experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery share four on-trend styles to consider for your next project!
Jewelry – Lighting is often referred to as the jewelry of the home. Fixtures that incorporate sparkly jewels delicately strung along intricate metal framework, as showcased below in the Crystorama “Mercer” chandelier, elegantly make that statement quite literal. Whether used as a centerpiece for the dining room or to create a jaw-dropping experience in the entryway, this fixture design is a great conversation starter.
Pendalier – This new lighting design trend features a chandelier inside an oversized pendant—also known as a “Pendalier.” The Crystorama “Sylvan” chandelier by Libby Langdon Lighting below is a classic example of this design. This daring fixture can enhance a room without overpowering it. Adding a Pendalier to your home gives any space a dynamic and dramatic feel.
Crystal – The use of crystal elements in light fixtures creates instant glamour and casts a wide array of dazzling prismatic colors. Crystal can be incorporated in any fixture—from classic to modern—to complement your space. Known for their dramatic and elegant designs, Crystorama Lighting, like the Crystorama “Hollis” Pendant below, offers a wide array of fixtures with modern crystal expressions.
Mid-Century Modern – Clean angles, sleek form, simple yet beautiful geometric designs are characteristic of Mid-Century Modern. These lighting fixtures like the Crystomara “Bleeker” chandelier below can be used to brighten your living room, add a glow to your spa bath and illuminate your entryway without compromising style.
Whether you decide to take a chance on a new lighting trend or stick with a tried and true design, decorative lighting fixtures that illuminate your space and reflect your personal style are always on trend!
In 1966, French clothing designer Yves Saint Laurent designed Le Smoking—the first tuxedo suit for women—a move so bold for the time that most restaurants did not allow women to wear the tuxedo suits, or any pants for that matter, when dining in their establishments. Le Smoking was just one of the designer’s memorable legacies. Saint Laurent’s influence on the industry is still seen today as his ingenuity lives on in modern fashion. In a rare opportunity, lovers of fashion can view Yves Saint Laurent’s most groundbreaking work on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) until August 27th.
The exhibit, Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, features 100 examples of the designer’s garments and accessories, some of which have never been seen before. The VMFA is the only venue on the East Coast to house the exhibit, which has been organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy is visible throughout the exhibit, starting from his first design as a teenager, including his work that challenged gender norms in the ’60s, and culminating with a runway of the icon’s most spectacular evening gowns sorted by color.
Local Charlottesville artisan, Liz Hanson created jewelry pieces honoring Yves Saint Laurent’s distinctive style for the exhibition’s gift shop. An artist who strives for “depth and simplicity” in her work, Liz Hanson created a beautiful and bold jewelry line that echoes one of the dresses on display from Saint Laurent’s Mondrian Collection. Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian Collection, an homage to the work of Piet Mondrian, featured what Mondrian called “The Trinity”—primary colors red, blue and yellow—and geometric shapes. Hanson created bangles, cuffs and chandelier earrings using those primary colors and the geometric shapes that were distinctive of Mondrian’s work and Saint Laurent’s following collection. In addition, she used hand-cut ovals to create necklaces featuring the primary colors that would add a softer element to her line.
Metalsmith Liz Hanson’s jewelry displayed at the VMFA and jewelry in her Yves Saint Laurent and Piet Mondrian inspired collection.
Another feature of the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition is the inclusion of sketches and notes that offer insight to the fashion designer’s creative process. On a wall display are color swatches from 40 years of pioneer work in the fashion industry.
Yves Saint Laurent officially retired in 2002 with his final runway show, just six years before his passing at the age of 71. His character and legacy live on today in the many designers he has inspired.
Once you have completed walking through the exhibition, be sure to browse the gift shop’s carefully selected items that speak to the exhibition and show the many ways in which Yves Saint Laurent’s style and work is still influencing new works today, including Liz Hanson‘s jewelry.
Looking for a new go-to summer drink? Consider the Virginia Distillery Co.’s Shenandoah Peach—a fruity cocktail that is perfect for summer entertaining! You can try it yourself while it is featured this month at the Virginia Distillery Co.’s Visitors Center, or make it at home. The Charlottesville area offers many local farms, perfect for picking your own peaches for this seasonal treat.
Shenandoah Peach(Makes One Cocktail)
What You Need:
1½ oz. Virginia Highland Malt Whisky
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. peach simple syrup (recipe below)
Slice of fresh peach to garnish
Optional mint sprig to garnish
How to Prepare:
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass.
2. Add ice to the glass and stir.
3. Garnish with peach slice and sprig of mint.
Peach simple syrup: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 3 cups of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat, add 4 peach tea bags and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags. Good to store for up to two weeks.
The Farms of Turkey Run offer a unique enclave of 40 private country estates within an 800-acre haven surrounded by the 5,000 acres of protected rural splendor, which is the Mount Ida Reserve. This private community, located in a lovely and historically significant district of Albemarle County, is situated along Blenheim Road just 12 miles south of Charlottesville. The Farms of Turkey Run offer spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, flowing streams, quaint ponds, beautiful rolling pastures and country-wooded areas perfect for hiking and horseback riding. Set among some of the most prestigious and historic estates in the greater Charlottesville area, Turkey Run is within minutes of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe Highland, University of Virginia (UVA), Keswick Hall, Lake Monticello and Dave Matthews’ Blenheim Vineyard, and Trump Winery.
The Farms of Turkey Run seeks to offer residents the combination of convenience, privacy, natural splendor and investment protection. Each of Turkey Run’s 40 estate parcels provides a minimum of 21 acres. Whether one enjoys mountain views, ponds, streams, large open pastures or manicured forests, Turkey Run has a plethora of sites from which to choose. With offerings of 21–50 plus acres, each property owner is guaranteed a private retreat to enjoy outdoor activities such as farming, horseback riding or walking the miles of trails traversing the 800-acre sanctuary and the adjacent 400-acre Farms of Lower Sherwood.
Blenheim Farm, an all brick Georgian style 5,400-square-foot estate, is located within the Farms at Turkey Run subdivision. It is privately situated on over 25 acres of open and manicured wooded land, complete with a creek and pond site. The property is lined with a three-board fence and includes a wrought iron gate. This upscale home includes 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, and a top-of-the-line kitchen with quartz counter-tops, stainless appliances, a breakfast bar and custom cherry cabinets.
Blenheim Farm is currently for sale. You can join The Farms of Turkey Run for an open house every Saturday and Sunday from 9am–5pm.
On Saturday, May 20, we were pleased to attend Forage’s “A Garden Party at Estouteville.” Hosted at the beautiful home of Beatrix Ost and Ludwig Kuttner, the garden party began in late afternoon. As ladies and gentlemen wandered the lush grounds in hats, sundresses and summer suits, they conversed with other guests and sipped cocktails made with foraged mulberries, and rosemary and roses from the Forage garden.
The evening’s hostess was none other than Beatrix Ost, a noted artist, philosopher, author and paragon of style. Coordinated by the talented women of Forage, Megan Kiernan and Kate Lynn Nemett (pictured below, top left: Nemett, Ost and Kiernan), the evening affair was a splendid gathering. Forage Founder and Chef Megan Kiernan created a delicious seasonal menu with food foraged, as well as from local farms. Forage Designer Kate Lynn Nemett styled the garden party with charming tea cups, floral arrangements and seasonal decor.
As twilight settled over the garden, Kiernan (below, bottom right) prepared wild nettle & feta tartlets from foraged nettles, tea sandwiches and beet cured trout for appetizers. Kiernan, having worked under both James Beard Award Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard in California, embodies the farm-to-table movement with her love for local and quality fresh ingredients. She showcased expertise with her menu, from her foraged appetizer to her garden-fresh dessert.
During cocktail hour, host Ludwig Kuttner (below in the striped jacket) mingled with his guests. Kuttner, a venture capitalist who continues to be a leading figure in the development of Downtown Charlottesville, was also a developer and founder of IX Art Park.
The venue, Beatrix and Ludwig’s Estouteville, showcases the couple’s love for the arts with historic charm. The home, built in 1827 by Thomas Jefferson’s master builder James Dinsmore, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The beautiful home is not only surrounded by but also filled with striking sculptures and art, including many works by Ost.
Over the course of the evening at Estouteville, guests were able to wonder the unique grounds and enjoy dinner in the beautiful foyer.
The table settings featured seed paper welcome cards that were handmade with wildflowers and overflowing bouquets of herbs and freshly picked flowers. An eclectic collection of vintage candle holders lit the tables as the sweet scents of the garden made their way to the guests through opened windows. The first course was a richly flavored beet and goat cheese amuse bouche with citrus tones.
The guests chatted about the season, the venue and the food as they made new acquaintances amongst their table companions. Across the table from us, Beatrix struck up conversation with Donna Tartt, Pulitzer Prize Winner for her coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch.
Just as in the tradition of the European salon, Ost (below, left) captivated guests by reading aloud an amusing selection of poetic prose about the changing seasons from her new book The Philosopher’s Style before the party adjourned to the porch for dessert.
For dinner, guests enjoyed delicious Thai crab cakes with avocado, Thai chili aioli and garden greens, and bacon-wrapped trout with asparagus soubise, roasted asparagus and sorrel stuffing. The greens, cilantro flowers and nasturtiums for the crab cakes were all sourced from the Forage garden, while the sorrel for the trout was foraged.
Known for their community involvement and arts-related gatherings, including regular salons and bringing together local artists and philosophers for discussion, Kuttner and Ost were the perfect pair to host this lovely garden party.
Conversations flowed at each table, as guests learned about the local origins of the ingredients in their dishes.
Following dinner, an array of desserts were served on endearing mismatched china on the front porch. Guests enjoyed financier, strawberry cream tartlet, lemon & wild mulberry tartlet, salted chocolate caramel truffle, chocolate hazelnut truffle and canele.
The evening concluded with conversations spilling into dusk and new friendships forming under the stars at Estouteville.
We asked Purple Cherry Architects to share a little about their award-winning work. This high-end residential local architecture firm, established in 1996 by Cathy Purple Cherry in Annapolis, Maryland, specializes in custom, luxury residential projects. Here is an inside look on how this architecture firm beautifully works to capture and showcase our spectacular local landscape…
“Where else can you imagine wanting to frame the most breathtaking views than in Albemarle and the surrounding counties? Capturing the layers of hills and mountains in their various shades of green. The rising sun. The setting sun. The picture always changes thanks to Mother Nature but the frame remains the same. That’s why it’s so important to get the frame right. And that starts in the early design stage with an architect before building a new home or addition.
As the new owners of land in Afton with incredible 180 degrees views, east to west, of the Blue Ridge Mountains, my husband and I have the great opportunity to frame many views. When determining those views, I am looking from the east to west as well as from the ground to the sky. In understanding how various architectural elements can affect view, my specific homesite is informing my desired floor plan and elevation elements. In specifically desiring a southwest ground-to-sky view, I know my porch cannot be in the same view, as the roof would cut off the sky view. In my desire to go 12 feet high with glass to get that full ground-to-sky frame, the porch will slide to the south face providing shade from the mid-sun. It will also slide towards the east corner to allow the southwest corner of the main great room to have the most powerful framed view. The porch itself will have three open walls capturing the full 180 degrees panoramic live picture.
As a custom high-end residential design architect, my responsibility to our clients is to create incredible spaces. This includes determining important connections to the surrounding landscape. In polar opposition to the mid-twentieth century speculative home design approach that looked inward more than outward, the twenty-first century custom home client is wanting to bring nature inside. Biophilic design strives to connect architecture with nature for the known health benefits of stress reduction and increased healing, productivity and learning. Natural light and visual connections to nature feed our souls and lift up our spirits. I can’t imagine anything better than a home that supports our emotional well being.
Views can be captured in a variety of ways. Interior windows can be used to transfer outside views to interior corridors, or they can create clear through views from front yards to back yards. The beauty in nature can be framed through a variety of architectural shapes creating different ‘paintings’ on our interior walls. Each framed view is unique and should be treated as such.
In creating the right design, we may ask our clients if they like to sleep in or not. If they do, then we wouldn’t place the master bedroom on the east or rising sun side of the house, but rather we would put it on the west side of the house. We would frame the sunset for those summertime evenings reading in bed. If our client is an early riser, we might do the exact opposite, flooding the master suite with incredible sunrises. For each and every client, the framed views are different and are unique to that client’s home. With the development of new residential products, operable glass panes are getting bigger than ever, window walls are sliding away, window frames are getting narrower, screening is becoming relatively invisible and bronze interior frames are trending. All of these options are inviting the views to come to the foreground of design, and allowing incredible projects to happen and inspirational spaces to come alive.” — Cathy Purple Cherry, Principal and Founder of Purple Cherry Architects
Are you still looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Browse this chic selection from Keller & George highlighting the beautifully designed LAGOS jewelry. Founded in 1977 by Steven Lagos, LAGOS is inspired by the elegant, virtuous, passionate woman.
Classic pendants (below, top left) make for a timeless and fashionable gift idea. Or, consider a beloved White Caviar piece, like the bracelet, ring and earrings below (bottom left). Featuring the stunning caviar beading, a signature design of LAGOS, Caviar jewelry is bold and iconic.
Consider a stylish bracelet stack (below, top right). Mix and match some of the lovely LAGOS collections, like the Maya, Diamond or White Caviar styles for a unique look. For an eye-catching gift, browse the Caviar Spark collection for jewelry that fuses the classic diamond with the Caviar style (below, bottom right).
The diverse and unique patterns of the LAGOS collection at Keller & George ensure that you can find the perfect style for the mother(s) in your life, even yourself! The collection can be browsed online or in person at Keller & George’s Millmont Street location.
Charlottesville Wine & Country visited The Farmhouse at Veritas for a lovely Mother’s Day breakfast! As we admired the beautiful Chardonnay vineyard just outside the porch window, we were served Veritas’ beautiful Scintilla sparkling wine made from the grapes from that very same vineyard block we were admiring. Made in the methode champenoise, Scintilla is made using the same method as in France to produce the world famous sparkling wines of Champagne. The French use Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to make this lovely cuvee base wine, whereas winemakers Emily Pelton and Elliott Watkins use Chardonnay and either Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
As Pelton, the Virginia Wine Person of the Year according to the Virginia Wineries Association, notes, “Scintilla is pale lemon in color with a persistent mousse. The wine is kept on the lees for two years before disgorging. Chardonnay usually dominates the blend, giving the nose a citrus character; and because of the long time on the lees, the wine has a brioche note with hints of almonds. Characteristically, the wine is made in a Brut style (less than 12g/L). Fresh bubbles of Meyer lemon fill the palate with a delicate mousse that fades into a lasting finish.”
As we enjoyed our fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, we were offered delicious fresh croissants and fruit to start.
Our breakfast was prepared in the open family-style kitchen of The Farmhouse using beautiful fresh ingredients. We had one savory and one sweet option. The sweet dish was wonderful buttermilk pancakes with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The savory dish was a frittata made of local sausage, egg and asparagus with radish top pesto, and topped beautifully with fresh pea shoots.
Afterwards, we explored the lovely kitchen garden just outside our window where the Chefs at The Farmhouse tend to and harvest some of the ingredients we enjoyed.
The Farmhouse at Veritas is a six room bed and breakfast on the Veritas Vineyards and Winery property in Afton. The Farmhouse, built in July of 1839, was a private family home for the Hodsons until being transformed into an elegant B&B in 2012. From tea cups to the trellis’, the lovely decor and charm of The Farmhouse exudes the English flare of the Hodson family. The family built Veritas Vineyard and Winery from the roots up in the spirit of their own British heritage, and this is no better showcased than through the beautiful Farmhouse. See the newest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living to learn more about Veritas Vineyard and Winery and the Hodson family.
Charlottesville offers a plethora of stunning locations for the perfect Mother’s Day celebration. On Sunday, May 14th, Veritas Vineyard & Winery is hosting a Mother’s Day Winemaker’s Brunch at Saddleback Hall at 12:30pm. Click here to see more Mother’s Day events that will be taking place around Charlottesville next weekend!