Back to profile

Marilyn Campbell

Stories by Marilyn

Tease photo

Remodeling with Pets in Mind

Keep pets safe during construction projects created for man’s best friend.

While the end result of a remodel is often a new, updated or enlarged living space, the road to that improvement is often filled with dust, debris and inconvenience — which can be upsetting and even dangerous to dogs and cats.

Tease photo

The Power of Friendship

Local group pairs teen mentors with special needs children.

One of the highlights of 8-year-old Sophie Gottfried’s week is spending time with her 17-year-old friend Allie Wiener. Despite their age difference, the two girls have an extraordinary bond.

Financial Education for College Students

Local experts offer budget tips to keep students out of debt.

As the summer wanes, many recent high school graduates are preparing to head to college. For those who are living away from home for the first time, this means newfound independence. But that freedom brings responsibility — especially when it comes to money.

Bathrooms of Bliss

Potomac architect creates luxurious lavatory retreats.

From skylights to illuminating floor tiles, the options for transforming a boring and outdated bathroom into a serene oasis are seemingly endless, but one local architect melds creativity and craftsmanship for dramatic results.

Tease photo

A New Work Order

Local designers help create organized and stylish home offices.

Whether it’s a nook, in the kitchen or a designated room, a home office is the place were ideas come to life. Local designers dish about the secrets to creating a workspace that is organized and functional yet stylish. “You’re going to spend a lot of time in it so aesthetics do matter,” said Patricia Tetro of BOWA in McLean.

Tease photo

Creating Collages, Crowns and Even Dresses

Local artists turn paper into art.

Combining antiqued sheets of music and type-faced book pages with vibrantly hued paper, artist Brook Mowrey creates three-dimensional works that range from crowns and ball gowns to dolls and floral dresses. Her work shows that the use of paper can be varied and diverse.

Halting the Summer Slide

Local educators offer suggestions to keep children learning through the summer.

Wendi Taylor, North Potomac mother of three, isn’t vacationing, however: She’s helping her three elementary school-aged boys keep their academic skills sharp.

Tease photo

Summer Health and Safety Hazards

Keeping danger at bay during warm weather months.

Summer comes but once a year. From picnics and days at the pool to backyard barbeques and day-long hikes, many people spend the season outdoors.

Tease photo

Gifts for New Grads

Local tastemakers offer suggestions from the sentimental to the practical.

After the tassels have been turned and the diplomas received, it is usually time for a graduation celebration. Whether you’re shopping for someone who is heading to college or venturing out into the workforce, choosing a present for the graduate in your life can be perplexing, but local tastemakers are here to help, offering suggestions for graduation presents that range from the practical to the sentimental.

Avoiding Awkward Conversations with New Graduates

Suggestions for conversation starters for talking to new graduates.

Lisa and Erik Brown beamed with pride after their oldest son graduated from high school in Northern Virginia. They hosted a post-ceremony soiree and invited a host of family and friends. The celebration was dampened somewhat, however, when a family member made an innocent, but still critical remark about the college their son had chosen.

After Graduation: Dorm Room Set-Up

Local organizers show how to maximize storage in small spaces.

After graduation comes off-to-college season. Often this means parents making design choices for their children or parents and their soon-to-be-college freshmen searching for supplies that will serve dual purposes, particularly when it comes to storage. For those who find themselves in a dorm room design conundrum, local organizers offer tips and tools for creating stylish yet space-saving designs for new college students.

Tease photo

A Porch with a View

When a Great Falls homeowner decided she wanted to breathe new life into her large covered porch after a long, cold winter, she called on Anna Kucera, owner and principal designer of Gracious Living by Design in Alexandria, Va., to give the space a fresh look in time for warm-weather gatherings.

Tease photo

Creating Private, Restful Retreat

Designers offer suggestions for decorating the perfect bedroom.

While most people crave a good night’s sleep, it remains a dream for many. A bedroom that is both chic and comfortable can help the overworked find that restful slumber.

Healthy Cooking with Children

Local foodies say cooking with children can establish a lifetime of healthy habits.

From creating dough for freshly baked bread to squeezing lemons for a neighborhood lemonade stand, Michael Roll enjoys spending time in the kitchen with his children transforming ordinary food into nutritious culinary creations, particularly during the summer. He says that when parents cook healthy meals with their children they model behavior that can last a lifetime.

Tease photo

You’re Never Too Young for Poetry

Local educators say exposing children and even babies to rhyme and rhythm can help develop reading and language skills.

Though Keith Ward's son is still a baby, the young child is already being exposed to exposed to not just silly stories, but poetry, and a variety of poetic forms at that.

Tease photo

Outdoor Entertaining

Local style gurus offer tips for alfresco soirees.

The mild temperatures that usher in late spring and early summer beckon many outdoors for alfresco parties. Whether held on a patio, deck or veranda, the necessary logistics for coordinating even a simple gathering can be daunting.

Tease photo

Hearing Loss Doesn’t Have to be Life-changing

“What?” May is Better Hearing and Speech Month.

On any given workday, you might find Arlington resident Erin Weiner sitting in a family-friendly restaurant causally coloring or playing games with a young child. At first glance, she might be mistaken for any young mother entertaining her offspring while they wait for a meal. In actuality, Weiner, who is a speech-language pathologist, is employing what she describes as an innovative approach to therapy that involves working with a child in his or her natural environment.

Tease photo

Going into Business with Mom

Mother-daughter Realtor teams say working together can work.

Allison Goodhart has a vivid childhood memory: pulling a wagon filled with pumpkins and her younger sister around her family’s Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, helping to promote her parents’ real estate business. Today Allison Goodhart works alongside her mother as part of Old Town Alexandria-based Goodhart Group of McEnearney Associates Inc., Realtors.

Tease photo

Local Farm Provides Fresh Food for Underserved Populations

Arcadia hosts mobile market and camp for children.

For many, spring symbolizes fresh flowers, new beginnings and baseball, but for those who work at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, located on the grounds of the Woodlawn Estate in Mount Vernon, spring means another season of working to ensure that all members of the community have access to fresh, healthy food.

Tease photo

Summer Learning Activities

Local educators offer tips to keep children learning during the summer.

When summer vacation begins and school ends in a few weeks, learning doesn’t have to take a hiatus. Students can keep their academic skills sharp without entering a classroom or even sitting down with a pencil and paper.

Tease photo

Choosing a Summer Camp

Camp experts offer advice on selecting a camp, but now is the time to register.

Many families with school age children will plan to have their children spend some of the much-anticipated summer season in camp. If you haven’t yet selected camps for your children, now is the time.

Tease photo

Many Ideas for Summer Activities

Avoid those dreaded words: ‘I’m bored.’

Molly McAlister enjoys the freedom of summer, but there are three words she dreads hearing: “Mom, I’m bored.” Creating activities to keep her three children busy during the summer is a task she enjoys, but it isn’t always easy.

Tease photo

Historic Potomac Home Goes on the Market

The house’s origins date back to late 1700s, say owners.

Adam Garfinkle and Scilla Taylor are aficionados of historical architecture, particularly when it comes to their homes. They enjoy restoring and uncovering the hidden stories of bygone eras, and they found a wealth of inspiration in their Potomac home at 9901 Glen Road.

Tease photo

A Picture Perfect Home

Tips from the pros on boosting a home’s curb appeal.

When Realtors Marsha Schuman and Betsy Schuman Dodek drive up to a home to show it to a prospective buyer, they know that they have only one chance to make a good first impression. Potomac-based Dodek and Schuman of the Schuman Team of Washington Fine Properties say a home’s curb appeal matters. “When we think of curb appeal we think of the lawn and landscaping, front door, windows, roof and how it all looks,” said Dodek.

Del Ray Realtor Honored for Community Leadership

Jen Walker receives the Marguerite Payez Leadership Award.

When Jen Walker moved to the Del Ray section of Alexandria in 1997 she received a warm welcome and felt an immediate sense of community.

Tease photo

What to Expect

Real estate experts offer a forecast for spring.

Real estate agent Joan Caton Cromwell says she lost a home bidding war last week in Falls Church even though her client was a strong contestant.

Tease photo

Realtors: Great Kitchens Help Sell Homes

Real estate experts offer tips for creating an appealing kitchen.

Designer Jacquelin Lluy, of Nicely Done Kitchens and Baths in Springfield, recently transformed the kitchen of a home in Mantua, in Fairfax, from a small, dark space to a light-filled, free-flowing culinary oasis.

Challenging A Child’s Mind

Experts say reading is critical to cognitive and emotional development.

Arlington mother Holly Karapetkova reserves time for reading in the schedules of her two young children. It has become such an important part of their daily routine that it is a treasured family activity. It is also vital to her children’s development says Karapetkova.

Tease photo

Herald Spring with Fun Patterns and Bright Colors

Lively springtime accessories and flowers can make a room seem more cheerful and seasonable.

With yellow and blue flower buds starting to poke their way through the ground, you might be forgiven for believing that spring is actually coming this year. Even if your yard still looks like a winter wasteland, however, one place to make spring a reality is on the home front. Designers say there is fun to be had. Use bursts of bright colors, energetic patterns and spring accessories to create a seamless transition into the new season.

Tease photo

Clean for Spring

Local organization experts offer tips to help with spring cleaning.

Betsy Fein found herself in the middle of a spring fling in Fairfax recently. She wasn’t at a festival or involved in a new romance, but in the midst of organizing a cluttered bedroom that was littered with piles of shirts, pants, shoes and books. Spring often means renewal and local organizers like Fein are offering suggestions for clearing out winter clutter. From closets that are overstuffed with wool sweaters and down coats to kitchen drawers overflowing with batteries and appliance manuals, they offer suggestions for getting organized without getting overwhelmed.

Tease photo

Local Designer Honored

Alexandria tastemaker blends a variety of styles.

Old Town Alexandra-based interior designer Anna Kucera has a knack for helping her clients turn their fanciful ideas in to concrete realities.

Local Farm Provides Fresh Food for Underserved Populations

Arcadia hosts mobile market and camp for children.

For many, spring symbolizes fresh flowers, new beginnings and baseball, but for those who work at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, located on the grounds of the Woodlawn Estate in Mount Vernon, spring means another season of working to ensure that all members of the community have access to fresh, healthy food.

Tease photo

Keeping up with Neal Gillen

Potomac attorney, open-water swimmer doesn’t slow down.

The fog was thick in San Francisco as waves crashed against the rocks in the Pacific Ocean. It was a cold morning and 73-year-old Neal Gillen found himself fighting against the current, gulps of salt water burning his mouth. Far from his Potomac home, he was heading for Alcatraz.

Tease photo

Seniors Rush to Yoga

Yoga teachers, research point to health benefits for seniors.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, 84-year-old Lola Wulchin can be found slowly stretching into a downward facing dog pose or lunging into a warrior one posture. The Vienna resident has been a yoga devotee at East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna for slightly more than two years. In fact, she credits twice-weekly, gentle yoga practice with boosting her health and improving her quality of life. "I had been bothered by a lot of neck pain from arthritis," said Wulchin. "I had seen a pain management doctor who gave me shots, I had physical therapy, but I still had neck pain and very little range of motion."

How to Age in Place Safely

Local experts suggest techniques and programs that can help seniors stay in their homes longer.

The AARP reports that nearly 80 percent of adults age 65 and older want to remain in their current homes as long as possible. That population is growing. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the population 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009. By 2030, that number will grow to about 72.1 million. While people are living longer and healthier lives, there are still barriers to aging in place, including medication management, self-care, socialization and transportation. But there are innovative strategies and initiatives to help combat these roadblocks.

Tease photo

New Food for Spring

When Dara Yaffe Lyubinsky was growing up in Potomac she always enjoyed cooking, whether it was with her family and friends, or for her synagogue. Today, she’s passionate about cooking fresh, seasonal meals. Lyubinsky, like many chefs and culinary enthusiasts, is looking forward to strolling through farmers markets and creating fanciful spring dishes with the season’s freshest bounty, especially as she prepares to return to D.C. from New York. However, she and other chefs are making the most of the available spring produce even if warm weather seems a like a distant dream.

Tease photo

How To Prepare for New SAT

Local experts say working hard in class is the best way to be successful.

Linda Mitchell and her 15-year-old daughter, Alexis, say they don’t really know what to expect when Alexis sits for the SAT college admissions exam in 2016, but they’re not too worried at this point. Two years is a long time.

Tease photo

Art Educators, Galleries Celebrate Youth Art Month

Experts say art can teach valuable life skills.

Brightly colored self-portraits, landscapes dotted with spring flowers and hand-carved sculptures fill a gallery at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean. All of the art was created by local school children. Meanwhile, in Alexandria, parents and tots dip their fingers in glue, clay and paint to create collages, sculptures and paintings.

Tease photo

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Experts suggest a yearly spring maintenance check-up.

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to focus on your home.

Tease photo

Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring

Local experts tell you what you should do now, in spite of the cold weather.

It doesn’t feel like spring. Last week’s snow made it seem like warm weather might never arrive, so planting a garden might be the last thing on your mind. However, local gardening experts say this is the ideal time to start preparing your landscape to yield colorful spring foliage. Bill Mann, of Behnke Nurseries in Potomac, Md., said spring garden preparation plans differ from year to year. "It depends on the landscape beds you have and whether or not you’re planning to put in a vegetable garden," he said.

Tease photo

Whimsy Meets Elegance

Potomac designer creates playful yet polished home for family of five.

When an active family of five approached Potomac interior designer Sharon Kleinman and asked her to give their home a makeover, they wanted a whimsical yet polished space.

Tease photo

Kitchen Confidential

From light-filled to dramatic, local designers create dream kitchens.

When Allie Mann of Arlington, a designer and senior interior specialist at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. was tasked with giving the first floor of a McLean, Va., home a face lift, she had to think free-flowing and airy.

Tease photo

Arlington Family Outgrows Home but Stays Put

Family builds addition to accommodate their growing needs.

When a family of five realized that they’d outgrown their home in the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington, they pondered two options: purchase a new home or build an addition onto their existing home. They decided to stay in their home.

Tease photo

The D.C. Design House Designers Announced

Some of the area’s top designers competed for an opportunity to donate their talent to transform a local, grand home into a showcase home. Local designers chosen to help transform the 2014 DC Design House include:

Local Author Turning Book Into Screen Play

Great Falls Writers Group: Evening with the Authors.

A local author is planning to put the story of her life on the silver screen. Sixty-one-year-old Mindy Mitchell of Reston is writing a screenplay based on her book, "Lube of Life: A Tribute to Sex, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Boomer Age," which she released last year along with her co-author, 63-year-old Edward Land of Hampton, Va. "The content [and] energy contained in our book, ‘Lube of Life,’ would adapt easily to film: a comedic yet poignant tale of late-in-life love," said Mitchell. "A ‘When Harry Met Sally’ all grown up."

Tease photo

Creating a Harmonious Family Life

Local experts offer tips for keeping your family happy.

As Elizabeth Rees drove her daughter and two of her daughter’s friends to a library reading group recently, the Alexandria mother of three admits that she felt like a chauffeur at first. But she had a change of heart after hearing sounds of laughter.

Incorporating Math and Science Into a Child’s Day

Simple suggestions for supporting math and science learning.

Maria Kennedy was driving her 5-year-old son to pre-school when he asked a question that stunned her. "Mommy, why is the sun following us?" Kennedy, who says she was stuck in rush-hour traffic and running late for work wasn’t sure how to respond.

Celebrating a Second Lifetime

Local doctor undergoes second bar mitzvah at the age of 83.

When Dr. Scheldon Kress was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah 70 years ago, some important family members were missing from the coming of age ritual: his parents. Last month, Kress, who never knew his father and whose mother died when he was 8, had a second bar mitzvah. This time, family surrounded him: his wife of 59 years, Rose; his three children; their spouses and his seven grandchildren. The ceremony was held at Har Shalom, a Potomac synagogue. “It was thrilling to see my children and grandchildren contribute and realize that the event was so meaningful for them. [It was] something that they would remember through their lifetimes, and it would inspire them,” said Kress, who is a physician and still practices medicine. Boys become a bar mitzvah when the reach the age of 13. Because Jewish tradition says 70 years is a lifespan, the age of 83 is an opportunity to celebrate another bar mitzvah, though not everyone chooses to do so.

The Secret to Lasting Love

Three local couples share their secrets to a happy marriage.

Valentine’s Day is two days away. During this time filled with love and romance, three Potomac couples reflect on their relationships and what has kept their marriages strong.

Tease photo

Home Design: What the Pros Know

A look inside the homes of some of the area’s top builders.

Remodeling industry professionals spend their days helping clients create dream homes, adding quartzite counter tops and outdoor, stacked stone fireplaces, turning ideas and photos into functional, chic living spaces.

Prev