When I moved into a townhouse in Charlottesville Virginia
fourteen years ago, I hit the next-door-neighbor lottery. When I moved in, little did I know that the cool chick next door was scheming to open her very own shop on The Downtown Mall, or that she was constantly rotating her possessions around and constantly purging them and that I'd be a beneficiary.
Suzannah has run some form of O'Suzannah
or another for over a decade now. It started with a small gift store that started to accumulate clothing, then the clothing got to be so much that she moved into another space, then it got even bigger than that so she opened a second location, then she fell in love and wanted to spend more time with family and less time on NYC buying trips, so the shop moved again and she was able to concentrate on her true love, gifts.
Suzannah is probably the best merchandiser I've ever seen, so I've included a few shots from her shop that I snagged when I visited in October 2008. As for the log cabin in the country that she and her husband Todd bought, it is a home unlike any other. They lovingly and painstakingly restored it themselves. Todd spent night after night on his back peeling all kinds of disgusting crud off the kitchen ceiling (check out the result - it's gorgeous!), and they put in special efforts to repurpose materials like pine boards (check out those counters!). Later, when they found out that little Redford was on the way, they added on to their one bedroom
, one bath cabin. With Suzannah's mad merchandising skills and collection of antique furniture, paintings, pottery, show-stopping lamps and whimsical doo-dads, the result is that perfect mix of contemporary and antique, and spare yet warm. For this leg of the home improvement journey, their priorities changed drastically. They went from obsessing over the perfect faucet the first time around to running to IKEA and scooping up every fixture they could get their hands on the second time around. The result is a seamless transition from the old part of the house to the new addition. It turns out they were naturals at this stuff all along.
The property also holds significant acreage, a potting shed
a studio, and the airstream trailer that they love to take up into the mountains. I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of that Hable Construction-bedecked trailer interior right now. Unfortunately for Suz and her family, the drive from Greene County to downtown C-ville is too long when you need to go back and forth several times per day, so they are looking to move closer to town. Fortunately for some lucky buyer, this means this house is on the market
. It also means someone who is much better at taking pictures than I am provided some really good shots for me to share with you. I hope you enjoy the tour!