Historic Garden Week Comes to Richmond April 23,24,25

Historic Garden Week Comes to Richmond April 23,24,25

The spectacular properties featured during Historic Garden Week have been prepped for a year or more for their time in the spotlight. Participating homeowners know that hundreds of people are eager to see meticulous gardens and plantings as well as pristine interiors filled with floral arrangements created by the state’s garden club members. Nearly every year, H.J. Holtz and Son helps to ensure those spaces look their best by providing interior painting, exterior painting, custom cabinetry, and cabinetry painting. 

“We’re always happy to assist an existing or new client who’s getting their house ready for the tour,” says company president Rick Holtz. “Sometimes, it’s a small project, like painting the front door and shutters, but other times, the homeowner realizes that they want a full interior refresh.”

Timing is everything when it comes to getting ready for a big event, whether it’s Historic Garden Week, or any special event. “We always encourage people to call us as soon as they have a date in mind,” Holtz says. “Our calendar typically fills quickly, but we want to help repeat customers when we can, and sometimes we have an unexpected opening. And we’re diligent to make sure we hit deadlines.” 

Crews have been hard at work for weeks to ensure Holtz client homes are ready for this year’s Richmond dates: Tuesday, April 23, in Windsor Farms-Nottingham; Wednesday, April 24, in River Hill; and Thursday, April 25, in Windsor Farms-Coventry. Visitors will see Holtz handiwork in homes on both the April 23 and 25 tours.

Tuesday, April 23

Windsor Farms – hosting two tours this year – was envisioned in the early 1920s as an upscale residential neighborhood away from the grittiness of the city. Designed in an English garden style popular at the time, the carefully plotted area features many historic homes that have been thoughtfully modernized. 

At 209 Nottingham Road, Holtz & Son team members painted cabinets in advance of Historic Garden Week for a new client. At 4601 Lilac Lane, where only the exterior gardens are open for the tour, the Holtz team did exterior painting on the pool house and main residence shutters and doors.

Thursday, April 25

On this second day in Windsor Farms, visitors will encounter varied architectural styles, including English Tudor, Storybook or Cotswold, and European Revival.

At 4300 Dover Road, Holtz team members painted both the dining and living rooms as well as two interior fireboxes with high heat paint. At 4500 Coventry Road, the team hung new wallpaper in the den and painted several chairs in the shop. Projects at 109 Nottingham Road included painting the front door, crown moldings, windows and trim. Holtz craftspeople also installed wallpaper in both the living room and family room, and painted in those rooms as well. The living room also features a Holtz Built cabinet.

Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, Historic Garden Week dates to 1929, when it began as a way to raise money for historic Kenmore, the Fredericksburg home of Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s sister. Since then, the tour has been canceled only twice: once during World War II and in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic. Funds raised support the ongoing restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens and landscapes across the state as well as a research fellowship program in landscape architecture. 

For more information about Historic Garden Week or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.vagardenweek.org/.

Fresh Home for New Organ at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Fresh Home for New Organ at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

The H.J. Holtz & Son team believes that every structure, no matter what its use or purpose, deserves to be cared for and painted well. So when officials from Richmond’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart called with a significant painting and restoration need, it was easy to say “Yes.” 

The company recently repainted theMhistoric church’s choir loft, a commanding space that overlooks the sanctuary below. Soon, a new organ from Canada-based Juget-Sinclair Organbuilders of Montreal  will be installed, and the church wanted the space to be ready.

“We learned a lesson” years ago, after flaking ceiling paint threatened to damage the pipes of another Juget-Sinclair organ at the front of the church, says John Marike, the church’s facilities manager. To remedy that problem, the organ manufacturer added fine wire mesh coverings to the pipe openings.

Seeking to avoid a similar post-installation fix for the new organ at the rear of the sanctuary, church administration hired H.J. Holtz & Son following a competitive bid process. Using a framework constructed by Scaffolding Solutions to reach every inch of the curved ceiling – which peaks 34 feet above the balcony floor – up to five Holtz team members could work at the same time. The team repainted the loft’s plaster walls and ceiling, and also repainted the wood of the choir loft railing, banisters and half the wall paneling.

Selecting colors for the choir loft was a critical element of the job, as they needed to match the remainder of the sanctuary, which will be repainted in the future, Marike says. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is more than 100 years old; it’s recognized as a Virginia Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. With an Italian Renaissance Revival style, the cathedral’s interior is impressively ornate. Its soaring ceiling has many architectural elements for visual interest – rosettes, scrolls, faux mirrors, etc. And there are multiple paint colors, including a shiny faux gold leaf, for added impact. 

“The Holtz team’s attention to detail was great,” Marike says. “The colors were so hard to match, and they really worked hard to get them right.”

Marike credits the team’s determination to stay on schedule, even with interruptions for regular midday church services and funerals that naturally occur without much warning.

“Even with interruptions, they still managed to finish ahead of schedule,” he says.

Next up on the schedule: the new organ!

Holtz Built Custom Cabinet Adds Elegance and Function to Basement

Holtz Built Custom Cabinet Adds Elegance and Function to Basement

Anne Pulliam, principal of Anne Pulliam Interiors in Richmond, knows she can turn to H.J. Holtz & Son when she wants something done right.

“I’ve been burned before, so it’s worth waiting for Holtz,” she says.

Last year, while visiting the company’s offices for a project, Pulliam happened upon the carpentry shop. Noticing work in progress, she realized the Holtz team could fashion a custom cabinet for her parents’ home.

Pulliam’s parents last renovated their house 25 years ago. With the passage of time and changes in how they use the space, they needed a refresh and asked their daughter to help. The lower level was a particular challenge because there were differences in opinion over how the space could be best used.

“The basement was cheap and cheerful, with wall-to-wall carpet from when we were little,” Pulliam laughs. “It was functional but not aesthetically pleasing; it had served its purpose. [In the recent renovation], Mom wanted it to become a welcoming space where the grandkids could play and keep their toys. Dad wanted it to be clean and masculine, where he could play pool or watch football games with friends.”

Pulliam’s solution was to fill a full wall – nearly 25 feet long – with Holtz Built cabinetry designed to accommodate the twin goals of being both attractive and functional. The base cabinets were built in sections, so they could be easily moved into the room. The top, face frames, and waterfall side are oak. The doors are solid poplar with a V groove cut to match the tongue-and-groove wall paneling throughout the room. The upper towers are plywood and poplar.

Pulliam says her parents weren’t sure the basement warranted the effort.

“They wanted something nice, but wondered if they really wanted to do something this unexpected,” Pulliam says. “I assured them that to get the look they wanted – for the space to not look and feel like a basement – that a little visual interest and a little more character can go a long way.”

The details are essential, she adds, pointing to the toe-kick front base, the “waterfall” oak end, and how the oak was stained to match the vinyl flooring that has the look of hardwood. “This feels like a furniture piece, not just a box that sits on the floor,” Pulliam notes.

Now, her parents are enthusiastic about the custom cabinet unit, which offers both storage and display space for college yearbooks, memorabilia, and toys, and provides an appealing surround for a wall-mounted television.

“Initially, I didn’t know who to turn to for the cabinet construction,” Pulliam says. “But the Holtz team said they could do it, and they solved a lot of problems I didn’t anticipate. All of the craftsmanship really makes a difference.”

Custom Cabinetry Helps Homeowner Make the Best Use of Space

Custom Cabinetry Helps Homeowner Make the Best Use of Space

As a designer, Emily Wood knows the value of built-in custom cabinetry. “It makes rooms more usable, it adds interest,” she says. “And if you want built-ins, don’t sacrifice on quality.”

So when a client asked Wood to help her make the most of her new home, Wood knew who to call for a variety of cabinetry needs: H.J. Holtz & Son. 

“They are the best,” Wood says. “The Holtz team built everything to our specifications. Josh Hastings was amazing and made our requests a reality.”

The client, a single woman in her 20s, had just purchased a ranch home that had been gutted and updated. “As a first-time homeowner able to make all the decisions herself, she was really ready to explore all her options,” says Wood, principal of Wallace Wood Interiors. “She wanted the spaces to be welcoming and lasting, able to roll with life changes.”

Together, Wood and the client talked about practical uses for all the rooms, and eventually called in the Holtz team to create built-ins for three rooms: the sitting room, the laundry room, and a room that is both office and guest bedroom. 

“We’re both very big on multi-use spaces,” Wood laughs. “We kept going back and forth between the use for that room. We ended up with a happy medium. 

In that bedroom, open shelving hangs above the desk and wraps around a corner to another wall. A shelf was added next to the bed, to eliminate the need for more furniture. In the sitting room, the Holtz team built a banquette with drawers underneath that hugs one wall. “Wall space was at a premium in that room, with two wide door openings, plus windows,” Wood says. “The client isn’t a formal entertainer, so she didn’t want the typical loveseat and two armchairs configuration. This banquette balances the sofa on the opposite wall and provides functionality to an otherwise dead corner.”

Another creative approach is evident in the laundry room, where a waterfall countertop was built to create work space above the washer and dryer then drops to become a bench that can hold a laundry basket and hide a litter box below. Two additional cabinets on the wall complete the look. “There’s nothing better than having good storage in your laundry room,” Wood notes. 

The process of working with the Holtz team was excellent, Wood says, noting that Hastings also worked with an electrician to install custom sconces in the bedroom, adjacent to the new shelves. “The communication was clear and efficient,” Wood says. “It makes for a seamless process from start to finish.”

Both Wood and the client are thrilled with the outcome. “I make the cost clear to clients up front, and she didn’t flinch,” Wood says. “Especially after everything was installed, it was very obvious it was worth the cost.”

Mission accomplished.

Fredy Vigil, Foreman, Reaches 10-Year Anniversary

Fredy Vigil, Foreman, Reaches 10-Year Anniversary

Fredy Vigil came to H.J. Holtz & Son 10 years ago at the suggestion of his friend Juan Villanueva. Both are still with the company.

“He told me there was a lot of work here, and everyone was treated well,” Vigil says.

Vigil already had plenty of experience; he had been working as a painter for nearly 10 years when he switched employers. He says the most compelling reason offered by Villanueva was the assurance that at H.J. Holtz & Son, he wouldn’t face random days off without pay because of erratic work load. Instead, he would be guaranteed steady work.

Once he joined the Holtz & Son team, Vigil spent a few years learning the Holtz method, then became a foreman, leading project teams. He enjoys that role, he says, because he can run the job using his approach, which includes plenty of communication.

“At the end of the work day, I let everyone know what we’re going to do the next day,” he says. “That way, they know what to expect.”

Vigil has also enjoyed the chance to develop his painting skills. He is now one of the Holtz painting team members with extensive experience in working with the Fine Paints of Europe (FPE) product line. When painting with FPE coatings, the environment has to be carefully controlled – to prevent dust and other particulates from marring the surface – and the application has to be deliberate and precise.

“I liked the challenge of learning something new,” Vigil says of working with FPE, adding that he enjoys talking with people about that paint line. “We have to educate customers about what’s needed.”

When he’s not in a customer’s home, Vigil can often be found in the spray booth, an enclosed space where furniture and other objects are painted in a climate-controlled environment. “I really like being in the booth, because when I finish, I can see the good quality of the paint job,” he says. “And it’s nice to be on my own sometimes.”

Vigil also appreciates the family atmosphere of the company, noting that he was able to get to know current president Rick Holtz’s parents and sister when they were working with the company. “That makes me want to stay,” he says.

Happy 10th anniversary, Fredy!