With First Friday fast approaching, we are taking time to highlight the rich history of our gallery space. Before The Depot was “The Depot” it was The Chesapeake Western Railroad Depot and was constructed in 1913 to rival other railroad companies in a location that blocked off possible expansions. It’s no surprise that a building constructed out of spite would house some of the hardest working railwaymen in Virginia. This summer we had the privilege of hosting a bench dedication for Walter P. “Tinky” Bryan and took time to honor his legacy with his family.
We invited several members of the community to come and speak about the history of the building and the similarity between the strength of the building itself and the railway workers that made it what it is. Our very own Charles Hendricks discussed the power of the Depot in the Harrisonburg community and how it functions as a symbol of resilience, history, and restoration.
Walter P. “Tinky” Bryan, was a man dedicated to his work, and his family, making sure to reserve Sunday mornings for taking his family to church. His goal in life was to go out with his boots on and sure enough, his wish was granted. We are incredibly honored to share The Depot with Tinky’s family and share the historic relics that live here. We are even more thrilled that Tinky has his very own bench at his favorite place for friends and family to enjoy and remember his strength, resiliency, and passion for his work.
Whether we notice it or not, art will always have a seat at the table in every community. Art has been used as not only a form of self-expression but a form of communication that can convey more than words ever could. When speaking about art in the context of community it isn’t just paintings, drawings, or even photography – it can be found inthe design of our homes, the ingredients of our food, and even the fabric of our clothes. Art also brings us together, whether it be at a gallery or sitting at the kitchen table staring at doodles on the fridge, it always finds a way of drawing us in.
These elements are all similar to those in our community, but not exact – we are united yet we are individuals. We can find the same way of thinking in the way spaces are designed. Every home we create is unique, while there might be elements that are common for the surrounding area, each plan is designed for the specific family that will be living there. While homes are mostly stagnant we understand that the inhabitants definitely aren’t, we design with your future goals, hopes, and aspirations in mind so we can create a space that encourages your plans for the future.
An example of this is a home we designed (built byBeck Builders) for a family that understands the value of children playing and exploring. They requested to create spaces their kids could hide and open floor plans for plenty of family space, ultimately we were asked to create a home where their children could enjoy childhood to the fullest. This resulted in creating a unique hidden room behind a bookcase, along with plenty of other secret hiding spots and passages.
These custom creative details not only allow us to design beautiful homes, but allow us to create spaces that encourage playfulness, growth, and memories for families. A custom design is one that facilitates the life you want to live. Your priorities, beliefs, and focus all come into the design to shape space or place. A house is the most complicated machine you will ever own, so this customization is critical to living fully. A custom design is more than just selecting colors or finishes, it is a process to understand you and your family and reflecting that in design. We infuse fun, creativity, tranquility, comfort, energy efficiency, durability, function all into the design solution. If you are looking for a custom home solution, reach out to us for a conversation, we would love to help.
When remodeling your kitchen it’s common to arrive at the dilemma of who to trust. The kitchen can be viewed as the “heart” of a home, it’s where most people spend a large portion of time whether cooking or helping their kids with homework. So it makes sense to be critical of who you are entrusting with helping you to create a more functional space. Hiring an interior designer or architect might not be your first thought for a kitchen renovation, but it is probably the correct solution. This is a crucial piece of your home and there is more to it than just replacing cabinets and putting in a new counter.
While a kitchen designer specializes in cabinetry and the function of the kitchen, an interior designer/architect is an individual trained to redesign every piece of the home. Interior designers and architects don’t just focus on the kitchen but evaluate how it will interact with the home as a whole. In fact, good interior designers and architects usually work with a kitchen designer to create the right cabinet solution for your space. Aside from looking at the bigger picture, interior designers and architects work as an advocate for clients to make sure the solution meets the need. The goal is to make the design process as stress-free as possible by listening to the challenges and wishes of the client and finding the best solution for the budget. The process could also include taking out a wall to allow for a more open concept, creating a more cohesive space, replacing flooring, and adding a pop of paint color or rather a holistic approach to the design solution. Renovating a kitchen could also include creating a lighting and electrical layout to optimize the space foraging-in-place, another design concept that should be considered. Interior designers and architects can do all of this and more while blending with the existing style of your home or updating the look to a new aesthetic.
To reference the before and after photos, that is exactly what we did here. The kitchen was secluded and outdated and after a conversation with our clients, we suggested taking out the wall dividing the dining room and kitchen while reorganizing the appliances to maximize their space and storage to best fit their lifestyle. We also brought in new flooring and reworked the lighting layout. All elements of the solution now work to complement each other while maximizing the functional space.
Interior design and architecture are more than just making a room look pretty. It’s about how you feel and function in the space you inhabit. There ispower in design, this is what an interior designer and architect can bring to the project. This creates something special – focusing on what you need by asking questions while hearing your answers and converting that into a holistic solution.
I have been accused many times of not sleeping in order to do the amount of work that I accomplish each week. I promise you that while I am involved in many activities, events, and efforts, I do get plenty of sleep. I do worry though that I am sacrificing things in my life that I will regret later. I worry about the little things that I don’t spend time doing, like attending social events to better get to know people in the community. Anyone that has seen me knows that I have not given proper attention to being healthy. While I don’t have many of the vices that one may suffer with in modern society, I do have a lack of desire for exercise and eating healthy and I worry what this will result in over the coming years. However, My biggest fear is that I am not spending enough time with my family. I struggle with balancing life: being Dad.
Over the past several weeks there has been a change in the normal pattern that I hope to continue. I have worked hard to get the garden set up. The girls have helped me with the process, sometimes actively, sometimes taking breaks, sometimes forgetting completely about the garden and just running around the yard. We have also enjoyed several family outings these last several weeks that were focused on my daughters. Last Saturday, the girls dressed up like Thing 1 and Thing 2 and we drove 1 1/2 hours to Hooville (Charlottesville) to meet the Cat in the Hat and watch a 30 minute cartoon on the big screen at the Paramount Theater. A couple of weeks ago we attended Annie at Four County Players, staying up very late for the girls and also me, but I will never forget the way they both had their eyes glued to the stage the entire time. Even better, thanks to our friend, Tracie Skipper, the girls got to meet the amazing actress that played Annie after the play. (by the way, I highly recommend making a trip to Barboursville to see a play at Four County Players, they do an incredible job). It is hard to find balance in life to be the best dad, best architect, best husband, best committee member, but that is my goal. While I know something always has to give, I can assure you that I will never give up trying to be the best.