RVA Spaces: Barry & Sue’s Byrd Park Garden

“In The Garden The Answers Come.”

I see a lot of houses in Richmond.  Last month, while helping some friends of mine with their search for the perfect house, I stumbled across Barry and Sue’s house in Byrd Park.  I have probably driven by it a hundred times, but never realized that on the other side of their pine fence (hand-crafted by Barry) there was a beautiful back yard oasis in the middle of Byrd Park.  I asked them how they created their back yard oasis:

******

Me: How does your yard compare to when you bought the house?

Sue: We moved to Richmond in August of 2001 from Sarasota, Florida. We both enjoy outdoor living and fell in love with the house because of the double lot and the potential it had. Initially it had an old deck with walking stones to the deck, a chain link fence, old broken storage shed, weeds, weed trees lining the sidewalk and lots of ground.

Me: Who is the master gardener in your house?  How did you come up with what we see today?

Sue: We decided to consult with Sneed’s Nursery and with our input they came up with a design. We used that as a basis for the development of the retaining wall, brick patio and design of the deck. We made some changes in adding a pond and a storage shed.

 

Barry is a carpenter by trade and was able to build the fence, pergola entry, deck and pergola over the deck. He also installed the wall and laid the patio and sidewalk.

Me:  Any projects or plants you want to highlight?

Sue:  The plantings of the garden have evolved over the years. Initially Sue worked at Richmond Hill Retreat Center in Church Hill and was inspired by their gardens and used them as a place for meditation. I found a little statute that stated “In The Garden The Answers Come.” I envisioned the garden as a place for people to sit and find peace in their lives. Richmond Hill was also going through a major renovation so I was able to acquire some of their plants they needed to get rid of in order to renovate. That was the beginning of a continued process of getting plants from friends, Ginter Botanical Gardens Fall and Winter Sales and the continued
process of process of transplanting. The focal tree in the middle of the garden, which is a curly willow, was purchased for the purpose of floral design which I use in designing for weddings, etc.

 

Me: How do you use your garden space and how does it shape your life?

Sue: Our garden and deck have been a place of recreation for our family, neighborhood and friends. We love to entertain and what better ambiance to refresh the senses than the beauty of seasonal flowers and plants, deck lights, waterfalls, fish and smells of smoked pork on the grill which is a favorite of all.

 

Looking for your own Byrd Park garden?  Barry and Sue are currently selling their home.  Their address is 2202 Maplewood Ave.  The current list price is $289,900.

 

RVA Spaces is a place for Richmonders to share their design triumphs with each other.  A kitchen redo, a beautiful bedroom, an inspired yard, any small space of your Richmond home that you are proud of.  Want to share your RVA Space with Richmond?  Contact me on the Hire Me page for details!

 

Jay McGee used to live in Southeast Asia, doing language research and literacy development. Now he’s a Real Estate Agent with Compass Realty. He gives a microloan to somebody in a developing country every time someone in Richmond buys or sells their home with him.
Contact: jaymcgee.kw@gmail.com

RVA Spaces: Anne’s Byrd Park Kitchen Makeover

RVA Spaces is a place for Richmonders to share their design triumphs with each other.  A kitchen redo, a beautiful bedroom, an inspired yard, any small space of your Richmond home that you are proud of.  Not million dollar houses in California with one hundred thousand dollar remodels- real Richmond neighbors, real Richmond homes.  Would you like to share your RVA Space with Richmond?  Write in to jaymcgee.kw@gmail.com for details!

 

 

Anne lives in Byrd Park with her husband, Philip, and their two young children.  She confesses to spending more time on design websites than she ought to.  She blogs about life, faith, and learning how to be a mom at worthingtonwords.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

When my husband and I bought our first home, our kitchen and dining space was one of the first things we set out to change. The sellers had renovated the space, so it was fitted with most modern conveniences, but the aesthetic just didn’t suit us. It felt a bit too plain and generic for our taste, so we set out to make it our own. We placed importance on making changes affordably and with relative ease. We really wanted to avoid hiring outside help as much as possible, so we put on our “handy hats” (these were new “hats” to both of us!) and went to work.

Here’s a photo of the space as it looked when we bought the house:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of our space as it looks today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three years later, we’ve made quite a few changes. Some occurred in the weeks immediately following closing on the house, and others as recently as last night (ie. The chalkboard wall!) For us, one of the biggest tools in our arsenal for making quick, cheap changes was paint. I really cannot underscore how great of an impact a couple gallons of fresh paint can provide! We painted over the wood paneling in our dining room which instantly lightened the space and made it feel much less like a depressing cave (generally a good thing!). We also painted our kitchen cabinets with white semi-gloss paint and added new, brushed nickel hardware from Home Depot. A can of paint  also came to the rescue in transforming the child’s table and chair set and the tall open shelf , both found on Craigslist (Behr paint from Home Depot is my favorite, and they can match any color from any company for you). I even used some leftover paint on the interior doors in our kitchen and I have to say that this was one of my favorite quick changes we made! I love the depth and dimension the color adds to the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We changed out the laminate flooring in the kitchen for black and white vinyl tiles. We considered putting in hardwoods or ceramic tile, but for a variety of reasons we went with this very economical option. We like how it gave us a bit of vintage appeal for around $200! We did have a little outside help last summer when we replaced our laminate countertops with inexpensive butcher-block ones from Ikea. During this time we also switched out our stainless steel sink for a ceramic, farmhouse style sink, also from Ikea. The new white sink really brightened things up and actually made this part of the kitchen feel much more spacious. Our faucet (from Overstock) is another favorite feature of mine—I love its industrial feel. We also added white subway tile with gray grout, which we cut and laid ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back room has become a great spot for our kids to play while we work in the kitchen.

Here it is when we first bought the house:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The addition of a soft rug, a chair, and of course a spot for toys was essential to achieving this function. We chose inexpensive bamboo blinds (on clearance at Target.com) to add texture, while custom Roman shades (graciously made by my mom!) bring in a pop of whimsy and color in the dining room.  Here’s the back room afterwards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aesthetics aside, our kitchen was also a bit lacking in terms of the amount of storage it offered. I wish I could tell you that that closed door leads to a pantry, but it does not (it’s a half bathroom in case you’re curious). To remedy this, we added a tall cabinet (found on homedecorators.com) and changed out its hardware to match the rest of the kitchen. Philip also built the open shelving unit where we’ve chosen to conveniently house our very breakable glass collection out of our children’s reach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few more of my favorites from this space include our “new” kitchen pendant-style light, which I found at the Habitat Re-Store and spray painted, the gallery of bird prints, which are straight out of a calendar that I had matted and framed, and the vintage Persian rug (I love its soft, aged feel!). What I appreciate most, however is that this space has developed into a place that feels like us; all of our time and energy has paid off and it really feels like home.

 

Have a question or comment for Anne about her makeover or the products she used?  Share your thoughts!

Jay McGee used to live in Southeast Asia, doing language research and literacy development. Now he’s a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty. He gives a microloan to somebody in a developing country every time someone in Richmond buys or sells their home with him.
Contact: jaymcgee.kw@gmail.com

 

 


HOPE International