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An Inside Look at Purple Cherry Architects’ Gorgeous Waterfront Home


March 6, 2017 | Ivy Publications

Purple Cherry Architects is an award-winning high-end residential architecture firm that recently opened an office in Charlottesville this past fall. With Best of Houzz awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as winning the Designer’s Choice Award for Local Traditional Architect/Home & Design this year, Purple Cherry Architects is pleased and excited to be able to share an inside look at one of its private waterfront residential projects—the Duvall Creek Home.

The owners of the Annapolis home desired a traditional, turn of the century, Georgian home with symmetrical, flanking wings. Leading up to the house is a tree-lined, meandering driveway and a parking court at the front. The symmetry of this 10,000 SF home lends to its classic appeal.

The formal entry was designed to ensure that upon opening the door, the waterfront view would be seen. The traditional look and feel of the home is emphasized throughout the interior with raised paneling, heavy mill-work, traditional railings and wide-wood strip flooring. The backside of the house explodes with the connecting rooms, opening up to reveal a 180-degree full view of the waterfront. The spacious, open floor plan communicates between all three floors without going back through the formal area.

The design of the home provides a first floor casual entertainment area with a connected kitchen, dining and living room spaces.

This inside, large entertainment area connects to a large, screened-in, green-blue slate porch which leads to a waterside entertainment area featuring an outdoor cooking kitchen and in-ground pool.

The kitchen connects to a wine cellar and a large mudroom, supporting a family of five. Two staircases lead to the second floor which provides five bedrooms and a large laundry area. An extensive infusion of organizational strategies was incorporated to support a household with three children who are heavily involved in sporting activities. These organizational strategies can be seen throughout the home.

The house and surrounding hardscaping levels were designed to accommodate large family and social gatherings. Additionally, the house includes a four-car garage—two-car garages in each flanking wing. To maximize space, a workshop / home office is located above one of the garages while the top of the other garages houses an independent in-law suite with a separate entry for privacy.

Purple Cherry Architects’, an architect firm in Charlottesville, is responsible for this beautiful Duvall Creek Home among other projects.

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Advice on Choosing Your Investment Advisor for 2017


February 15, 2017 | Ivy Publications

When we asked Sean Miller, Investment Advisor of Miller Asset Solutions, for advice on choosing an investment advisor for 2017, here is what he said.

“I do not have any faith in economic or investment outlooks. None – zero. No one knows the future; it is as simple as that. What I do know is that investors can gain an advantage by choosing an investment advisor who has the following objective attributes:

  • LOWER FEES AND PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES: Fixed Fees below 1%, or fees below 1% including a performance-based fee, are the fee structures that absolutely align the mutual interests of the client and manager. Many folks too often forget that a dollar saved in costs or fees is actually worth more than a dollar earned from investment returns (thanks to taxes). In addition, investing in cost and fee reduction can provide far greater returns per unit of risk than anything else an investment organization can do. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that cost and fee savings represent risk-free returns to investors.
  • SMALLER IS BETTER: Larger firms have unnecessary administrative layers. Each layer has a cost, and the presence of each layer is disproportional to clear communication. Administrative layers are much like a placebo – present but offering no efficacy or value. There are fewer layers, if any, at smaller investment firms. Greater, direct access and seamless communication will be yours at a smaller firm, versus a larger firm.
  • ALIGNED INCENTIVES: Typically 100% of an investment manager’s personal capital is invested in the same positions as his clients. In this way, they act as a true fiduciary steward of shared capital. Often referred to as having “skin in the game,” advisors with skin in the game perform better and are more accountable. What is good for the advisor or manager is good for the client. This eliminates conflicts of interest. Aligned incentives are a very good thing, not just in investing but in life. The more aligned interests are the more you can base a relationship on trust. The optimal outcome is a more seamless web of deserved trust.
  • ABSOLUTE LIQUIDITY: Choose an investment manager who invests simply, preferably one with no proprietary products with hidden fees. Investment complexity is usually costly, unnecessary and results in your investments being illiquid [not easily converted into cash]. Liquidity is essential during times of severe market stress.
  • SAME INSURANCE PROTECTIONS AS ANY MANAGER: Many folks do not know that their investment account insurance protections are similar – regardless of the manager. For example, all investors have $500,000 for each account provided by SIPC (Securities Investors Protection Corporation) and then their investment custodian usually provides coverage for amounts exceeding the SIPC limits. This means all investment managers generally have the same insurance protections against fraud and malfeasance.”

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Choosing Land to Grow Grapes


May 23, 2016 | Ivy Publications

By Gayle Harvey of Gayle Harvey Real Estate

Virginia’s reputation as a wine state continues to rise, so now is the time to buy in before the boom really gets going. According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Virginia is currently the 6th largest producer. The region’s terroir—the French word for the combination of climate, soil quality and elevation—is more like Southern Italy’s than California’s. Specifically, Virginia’s terrior is suitable for the production of full-bodied, fruity wines higher in alcohol content, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Vermentino. In these general regional conditions of sloping uplands and a warm, robust climate, each farm and even each field offers its own unique terroir, “so it’s essential to examine every aspect when choosing your property.”

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Fancy yourself as a vintner? As you can see, “it’s important to know exactly what you want your land to do before you start shopping. We can help with our extensive knowledge of farming and the Virginia farm market to find you the best piece of property. We’ll partner with you through all of the steps and considerations necessary to foster success, no matter what venture you have in mind.” For example, many of the same terroir conditions that can make or break a vineyard operation also apply to orchards. With both crops, you need a certain amount of elevation, good air circulation and excellent drainage. You would also have to think about road accessibility for incoming or outgoing deliveries and foot traffic as well.

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With the growth of the industry, the natural growing conditions and beautiful views, it’s easy to choose Central Virginia for your winery or vineyard location. With our knowledge and expertise of the area, we can help make your dreams a reality. —Gayle Harvey Real Estate

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Design House’s Kitchen Before & After


May 12, 2016 | Ivy Publications

By Victoria Pouncey

Have you visited the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) Design House 2016 in Keswick Estates yet? The Shelter is our area’s most important resource for providing services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence, most importantly operating a temporary emergency residential facility. Two tickets to visit the Design House provide a night’s shelter for someone in our community. Not only will you be supporting a fantastic cause but you will also see how a group of talented local designers transformed an empty house into a stunning home. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these ideas in your own home.

The best way to understand the transformation is to look at before and after photos. My partner at Folly, Beth Ann Kallen, and I are the designers of the breakfast room. The Shelter also asked us to help stage the kitchen. Below are the before photos.The space had nice bones, beautiful hardwood floors, and high end appliances, but looked dated and lacked character.

Our first step was to paint – you can’t underestimate the power of paint. We selected a soft white for all of the trim and Sherwin Williams Snowy Owl for the walls. Luckily, the homeowners agreed to paint the cabinets as well, which made a huge and immediate impact on the space. We also removed the ornate carved details above the range and on the front of the island. Suddenly, it was fresh and light.

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The next step was to change out the builder grade light fixtures. Over the kitchen island we hung black drum shade pendants to coordinate with the existing countertops. In the breakfast room, we initially selected an open iron and brass fixture. However, after discovering the ceiling would need reinforcement to hang the fixture, we changed tactics and specified a large custom made drum pendant in the green and white leopard linen that matched the cushion cover fabric we used on the kitchen stools. Green was our accent color, and helped to make the breakfast room feel open and connected to the outdoor patio designed by the Market at Grelen.

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Next came the fun part– setting the table with an eclectic mix of placemats, china, linens and accessories, and hanging works of art. Our favorite piece is a map of London, framed in 18 sections, that measures about 10 ft. wide and 7 ft. high. I found the map in a shop in London– a city that both Beth Ann and I love. Beth Ann lived in London for a few years and I traveled there often when I worked for Christie’s auction house in NYC.

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Gather your friends, have lunch at nearby Keswick Hall and definitely visit Design House 2016. Tours run daily May 7–22, 2016 from 10am–4pm with extended hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays to 7pm. During your visit, look for the before photos displayed in each room– you will be amazed and inspired!

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Buying a Farm in the Charlottesville Area


March 22, 2016 | Ivy Publications

By Gayle Harvey of Gayle Harvey Real Estate

Identifying the right farm property for your needs could be one of the most important decisions of your life. With Gayle Harvey Real Estate, “you’ll have access to the full complement of farm listings in the area from Culpeper in the north to Amherst in the south, and from Louisa in the east to Rockbridge and Augusta Counties in the west.” 

Georgian House Gayle Harvey

The area around Charlottesville is extremely desirable for agricultural ventures, in part because of the ideal growing conditions and partly thanks to the ready-made market of local restaurants and grocery purveyors who emphasize locally-sourced products and farm-to-table dining. In a history that dates back to early Colonial days, “there’s probably never been a better time than now to be a farmer in Virginia: there’s both plenty of land available and a growing, eager customer base.”

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Central Virginia’s climate and topography is ideal for any agricultural specialty. Want to raise livestock? Cattle, sheep, horses and more exotic animals love the lush, open pastures and abundant waters; there are a number of prize-winning operations already located here. For more horticulturalists, the fertile soils, relatively mild climate and choice of elevations let you pick a perfect locations for every crop—from vegetables, grains or fruits.

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Distribution is easy in Central Virginia as well. One interesting option is community supported agriculture (CSA), which lets you sell directly to consumers. Another is the Local Food Hub, “a non-profit organization that connects Virginia farmers with distributors, schools and restaurants who want ultra-fresh local food while offering farmers support services and pre-harvest revenues.”

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If you’re thinking about buying a farm in central Virginia, you’ve made a wise choice in considering one of the most versatile, multi-faceted agricultural regions in the nation. Now all it takes is fine-tuning your vision and selecting the plot of land that will make that vision a reality. “And you don’t have to do it alone.” —Gayle Harvey Real Estate

For offerings, start here, here or here!

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Investment Advice from Sean Miller


December 10, 2015 | Ivy Publications

sean

“I have worked for both a very large global investment management firm (Sanford Bernstein) and a very small local firm. The single most important item for both the investment firm and the investment professional is to be transparent. Transparency truly spans several important areas, including fees and products.

When it comes to fee transparency, the client should know 100% of the fees they are being charged. On a quarterly basis, the manager should disclose the fees in a dollar amount that the client paid to the manager, as opposed to a percentage. This should be done in a separate document from the client’s statement to enable the client to see exactly how much they are paying. When the client has fees automatically deducted out of their investment assets, it is harder to keep track of the true cost. Trust me when I tell you that many, many banks and brokerages actively thwart fee transparency in the name of pushing their products with hidden and excessive fees. I welcome fee transparency as I have no products, and my fees are likely 50% lower.

With product transparency, many banks and investment managers invest their clients in products that are simply not suitable for the client because they are not individually tailored. Conscientious investment management should provide a tailored, individual security solution portfolio for each client, and not a bunch of mutual funds or proprietary products that benefit the institution at the expense of the client. Think of it along the same lines of a doctor taking the Hippocratic Oath to “First, do no harm” to their patients. Investment managers should abide by a similar mantra, by not investing their clients in inappropriate, proprietary products.

Many years in the investment business have illustrated to me that transparency is the best path. Clients should know 100% of what they are being charged and 100% of how their assets are invested. If you are 100% knowledgeable about the fees you are charged and your investment manager has helped you understand your investments, then you have found the right firm and person to help you with your wealth. If not, I would love to be that person for you!”

Sean Miller, Miller Asset Solutions LLC

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.