Made in Virginia Awards 2021: Home & Lifestyle

From lamps to candles, here are our Home & Life category winners.

Linen Towels and Aprons

(Blue Skies Workroom: in Providence Forge)

In her kitchen and studio, Alyssa Salomon always relied on simple linen towels for cleanups and wipe downs. So in 2016, after founding her Blue Skies Workroom project in Providence Forge, she decided to design and print her own line of linen towels for the kitchen, table, and bath. “Linen is a fantastic material—durable, naturally stain resistant, washable, absorbent, and satisfying in hand,” Salomon says. The towels ($25) measure 26 by 16 inches and are available in six designs. Blue Skies’ coordinating, cross-back aprons ($175) are hand-sewn with French seams and a shaped patch pocket and come in three sizes. The towels and aprons are printed with eco-friendly, water-based, upholstery-grade ink.

Hidden TV Credenza

(Spugnardi Furniture: in Arlington)

Jeff Spugnardi designs and builds gorgeous custom furniture from his Arlington workshop using sustainable East Coast hardwood. His mantra? Authentic. Functional. Furniture. “I combine classical and modern woodworking techniques to ensure lifetimes of form and function in these pieces,” he says, adding that his use of local hardwoods gives trees “a second life as functional art.” Take Spugnardi’s Hidden TV Credenza. Its cantilevered sides and louvered doors give it a mid-century vibe. Inside, the rear of the cabinet is fitted with a lift, which raises a television when needed, then lowers to store it discreetly out of view.


Porcelain Pendant Lamps

(Parlour Pottery: in Copper Hill)

In 2020, Parlour Pottery owner and ceramist Josh Manning designed lamp shades to hang over a client’s dining room table. Soon after, he began making pendant lamps, which mimic Song Dynasty dinnerware, as one-offs of the initial commission. “These are semi-transparent drop pendant lamps that are hand-cast and fired to extremely high temperatures, which helps achieve both the strength and translucency of the shade,” Manning says. Fully wired and ready to install, the lamps come equipped with a 16-inch nickel-colored cord with an on-off switch three-feet from the plug. No chain support is needed—just knot the cord to hang the pendant from a hook.


Items Made from Recycled Skateboards

(Scene 3 Designs: in Lynchburg)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Downtown Lynchburg’s Scene 3 Boardshop has been selling and repairing bicycles and skateboards since 2001. There, artist Jeff Gray upcycles scraps from old boards and bikes to handcraft everyday pieces, like his minimalist slim wallet ($25). A band on the wallet, made from bicycle inner tubes, keeps cash and credit cards secure. After sanding with strips of leftover grip tape, Gray applies a coat of clear protective enamel to bring out the former skateboard’s vibrant colors and provide a protective finish. Gray also offers a money clip ($23), match striker ($24), bottle opener ($14), and more from his Etsy shop.

Virginia Mammals Home Fabric

(Sara Hillery Interior Design: in Richmond)

(Photography by Fred and Elliott)

Since opening her interior design firm in 2011, Sara Hillery has delighted clients with her family-friendly spaces that also feel elegant and timeless. Over time, Sara—a mother of three whose clients are all over the country—has also launched a series of products, including her Virginia mammals line of home textiles. Available in a range of colors, the fabric features the Virginia black bear, rabbit, deer, beaver, fox, and others. Both playful and classic, the toile-like patterns are perfect for children’s as well as grown-up spaces. Since its launch in 2018, the fabric has been featured in the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League’s Designer House and countless other inspiring spaces.

$90 per yard

27 Cigar Box Candles

(Sweet Heat Candles: in Sandston)

For Shannon Bragg, candle-making is soul-soothing. So, in 2016, she decided to turn the craft she learned in Girl Scouts into a business. She repurposes used and vintage cigar boxes for her candle vessels, transforming them into gorgeous works of wax and wood that do double duty as beautiful pieces of home decor. Bragg then hand pours, hand scents, and hand wicks each candle in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Customers can even pick their scent of choice: Her signature scent, “Pipe Dreams,” is a luscious blend with notes of vanilla, cherry, and tobacco. Bragg also offers succulent peach, lemon pound cake, honeysuckle jasmine, and lavender chamomile.


This article originally appeared in the December 2021 issue.

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