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Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 | 2 comments

Progress Report: Raised Bed Gardening

Progress Report: Raised Bed Gardening

Back in April I purchased some cedar raised beds for my backyard garden. I’m pretty pleased with the beds and I wanted to share a quick update on how my garden is doing. Here were the two 3×8 beds when I assembled them in April: And here’s the same shot today: Unfortunately, from my original seed planting (arugula, kale, lettuce and broccoli rabe), only the arugula survived. The rest of the seedlings were washed away during the May monsoon season. I got about a month’s worth of enjoyment from the arugula before it bolted last week and had to be pulled up. However, after originally going MIA, the red leaf lettuce recently came back to life and is holding steady even after being picked for dinner a few times. (This is about a bite’s worth of lettuce, but it’s something!) Despite my seedling fails, I’ve had success with other vegetables. In this bed, zucchini, basil, tomatoes and cucumber are thriving. My second bed has herbs and jalapeno peppers (not...

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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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Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 | 0 comments

Looking Back: Home Tours 2015

Looking Back: Home Tours 2015

Home tours and room renovation stories are our favorite part of writing this blog. Who doesn’t love visiting other peoples’ homes and seeing how they decorate and make the most of their space? Today we’re compiling a list of all the homes we visited in 2015 and encourage you to contact us if you’d like to share your home on this site! Justine and Jonathan’s Art-Filled Home Every piece of art in Justine and Jonathan’s home has a meaningful back story. Mark and Sally’s Modern Basement Makeover See how the couple turned a former music studio into a cozy and comfortable living and guest space. Matt and Angela’s Howell Avenue Taphouse Local home brewers Matt and Angela have taken their craft to a new level renovating their basement to include a 3-tap kegerator and lounge area. Christina and Brad’s Del Ray Rowhouse Remodel: Part 1, 2 and 3 We were thrilled when blog reader Christina contacted us about her upcoming rowhouse renovation and offered to let us track the...

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 | 5 comments

Renovating a Vintage 1940s Home, Part 2

Renovating a Vintage 1940s Home, Part 2

Earlier this year, we took you on a tour of a vintage 1940s home that had barely been touched since it was built 70+ years ago. Now, several months later, this diamond in the rough has received a complete makeover and we’re back to share its stunning new look, the work of local contractors Mary Denby of MHD Builds and Kyle Blaylock of Blaylock Design and Build. If you remember from part 1, the outside of the house was hidden from view by overgrown shrubs and ivy. Now with those shrubs gone, the vintage architecture is on display — and the fresh exterior paint, bright red door and new stone walkway complete the curb appeal. Inside, the plan was to restore many of the home’s original features, overhaul the HVAC and electrical, modernize the bathrooms and kitchen, and put an addition onto the back creating a large open concept living room and second-floor master suite. Here was the inside when Mary gave me a tour in February. And now,...

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