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Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 | 1 comment

Studio Tour: Painter Remy Lavelle

Studio Tour: Painter Remy Lavelle

You are bound to meet Remy if you’re in town and find yourself in UpCycle Creative Reuse Center (CRC) in Alexandria, where she is store manager. Remy is a recent graduate of the Corcoran School of Art & Design. When she invited us out to her studio for a tour, we were eager to see her finished work and works-in-progress. Remy mainly works in oils and acrylics, but also mixed media to add texture and to accentuate the deeper meaning in her work. “I try to recreate a memory that will fade in time,” she says. “This is an attempt to document my own memories with respect to the memories of objects that came before me. Through the simple act of stitching, knotting, and applying paint, I attempt to weave these materials together in a way that respects them and the time we share together.” Since graduating, Remy’s work has evolved to a more sculptural surface. She’s working on new work in her studio that is more layered, constructed...

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 | 1 comment

Mary’s Del Ray Remodel Part 2

Mary’s Del Ray Remodel Part 2

Last year we took you on a tour of a house in dire need of major renovation. The ugly duckling house left little to be desired, but Mary Denby of MHD Builds saw past the dingy peach exterior and dilapidated interior. Nine months later we’re back to give you an update on this massive makeover project. Unfortunately, luck was not on the ugly duckling’s side. During demolition, it was discovered that the foundation and walls were too unstable and sadly the house that was to be renovated is now no more. But, the story is not over yet. Mary still believes. She has already designed a new house to rise where the ugly duckling once stood. Located on a deep lot, steps from Mt Vernon Ave., the new home will boast over 3,000 s.f. of living space on three levels, five bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. She envisions the new house will look something like this: Permits are in place but construction has not begun because Mary is planning to...

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 | 1 comment

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

The Canel Family’s Modern Backyard Guest House

We first met the Canel family when their home was a stop on the 2014 Del Ray House and Garden Tour. Their handsome farmhouse, completely renovated with personal touches throughout, was a standout on the tour. But the Canels had more in mind for their home. If you were lucky enough to participate in the 2016 tour, you got to see the unexpected structure in the backyard. Just this past year, the Canels finished building a modern guest house/office/garage, the work of architect Robert Larson of Larson, Koenig, Hendricks and interior designer Lindsay Boudreaux of Shotgun Double, LLC. The style is completely different from the main house, but it’s complementary and we were thrilled to get a second private tour. The Canels love to throw big parties – they often set up another long table on the patio – so it’s great when they can use their outdoor kitchen, which also now serves as a convenient spot for kids to fill their Nerf spray guns. The main living room...

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Posted by on May 16, 2016 | 1 comment

Studio Tour: Luis Fernández de Córdoba Guitars

Studio Tour: Luis Fernández de Córdoba Guitars

What does it mean to be a true artisan? Spend some time with Luis Fernández de Córdoba and you will understand. Luis is a skilled luthier, or stringed instrument maker, who handcrafts classical and flamenco guitars in the tradition of the great European master luthiers in his workshop in Alexandria. To Luis, making a guitar isn’t just about creating something functional, or even something visually stunning, it’s about creating something that inspires people, both the musician and the listener. Growing up in Panama, Luis was drawn to the alternative lifestyle of the artisans he’d see selling their crafts in the market. He came to the United States and started experimenting with building guitars. As a bass player, it seemed like a natural route to take. Soon, he realized that he had a skill for this type of work. He went to a school in Arizona, received his guitar-making certificate and then started an apprenticeship. He’s met fellow luthiers from across the world, constantly studies new techniques to perfect his...

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Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 | 8 comments

Flip or Flop? Mary’s Del Ray Remodel Part 1

Flip or Flop? Mary’s Del Ray Remodel Part 1

If you enjoy those TV shows where a reno team takes the ugliest house on the block and turns it into the best house on the block, you’re in luck, we have the Del Ray version right here. Mary Denby of MHD Builds bought this ugly duckling last month and she’s got big plans to restore it to its former glory. No one has lived in the house for quite some time, for years it was used as storage for an antiques store. It was listed as “un-inhabitable” on the MLS and sold as-is. Just steps from Mt Vernon Ave., however, it sits on a deep lot in a prime location, and has some unique original architectural elements. Still, Mary has her work cut out for her. Her crew is cleaning out the house and after careful inspection of the foundation, she’ll be able to make a decision about what can actually be done inside. The process has uncovered some interesting treasures: Circa 1976 newspapers hidden in the walls,...

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