By Rasheda Tripp, AIA
April 28, 2021

If nothing else, the pandemic has altered the way we view our homes. We have spent the better part of a year constantly re-evaluating what’s necessary. We’ve turned bedrooms and unoccupied corners into makeshift offices, bought new plants, ordered new furniture, and replaced old decks.  These minor upgrades brought joy during the most trying time in recent history. Still, at some point, we all dreamed of what our non-negotiables are in our next home or how we can make more substantial modifications to our existing spaces.

One day I received a text “Do you know anyone who could do plans for a house addition?” My response – a simple “me!” It is not too often that I get to merge my professional life with my personal life. It’s even rarer to have personal memories of the spaces I help design. My family moved to Charlottesville in 2018 for my husband’s job. We had been here for over a year, and it still felt like an odd extended vacation. We met the Kidds, who co-led a community group that met once a week through our church. Pre-pandemic, we spent every Wednesday evening enjoying meals standing around their kitchen. The older children chased each other throughout the house while the infants floated between available arms. After dinner, we crammed into their living room to enjoy faith and fellowship. Most of my fondest memories of Charlottesville involve the Kidd house.

Getting the opportunity to work with friends through the design and construction of their home addition was extremely inspiring.  The completed project includes a laundry/mud room, den, master bedroom suite and 2-car garage. In true pandemic form, I have seen pictures and virtually watched them use their space on our weekly zoom meetings. There is no better feeling than hearing your friends turned clients express how much they love their completed space. They were a huge part of why Charlottesville now feels like home for me, and I am grateful that I helped make their house feel more like home. In the craziness that was 2020, upgrading the Kidd’s residence stood out as one of my favorite and most rewarding projects to date.

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