Halloween Fun in Hampton Roads

There’s a nip in the air, and it’s finally beginning to feel like Halloween. Hatchett Design Remodel is in the spirit, and we’re here to help you get into your ghoulish groove with a few fun ideas for kids of all ages.

Halloween Decor Jack O'Lantern Eating a Smaller Gourd

No Halloween is complete without a proper Jack O’Lantern, but we know it can be a lot of work. Save yourself time and hand cramps by cleaning the inside of your pumpkins with a drill.  This how-to video breaks it down step by step. Simply use a beater from your mixer as the drill bit. You’ll be amazed how well this works – adults only though! Once you’ve got it cleaned out, the next step is carving. Check out this link for ideas that you can copy and ones that may inspire an original design.

Halloween Pumpkin Patch You-Pick Farm Hampton Roads

Picking out the perfect pumpkin can be as easy as hitting your local grocery store, but you can make it more of an event by visiting a pumpkin patch near you. From Williamsburg and Newport News down to Norfolk and Virginia Beach, here’s a list of local farmers’ markets, pumpkin patches and u-pick fields and farms that offer the full Hallo-experience. Make a day of it with hay rides, corn mazes, concessions and great photo ops! Be sure to check dates and times at the location near you.

Halloween Decor Curb Appeal

Outdoor decorations don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. All you really need are a few bags of cotton spider webs, dried corn stalks and an assortment of pumpkins and gourds to create curb appeal that is sure to attract the cutest trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Eyeball Party Punch with Ice Hands

Having a halloween party? Then you may want to whip up a signature cocktail. Tasty produced this video that gives you the recipe as well as step by step instructions for their Eyeball Halloween Party Punch. We must say, the ice hands are a very nice touch!

Halloween Appetizers Prosciutto Wrapped Skull will Olive Eyeballs

You’ll also need to serve up some food for the ghouls and goblins, so check out these gruesome apps by Buzzfeed Nifty. The Guac O’Lantern and Prosciutto Skull are sure to be party pleasers; but host beware, your guests may lose their appetites!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Hatchett Design Remodel – we hope it’s a SCREAM! Get creative, be safe and have fun!

Tips for After the Storm

Being prepared for the storm is really all we can do as a hurricane approaches. However, it’s also important to know what to do AFTER a storm passes. From Virginia Beach up through Newport News and Williamsburg, it looks as though we are going to be spared from the worst of Dorian, but we are still facing strong winds, excessive rain and tidal flooding. If your home is damaged by Dorian or any future hurricane this season, Hatchett Design Remodel wants you to know what to do next.
Stay Tuned
Governor Northam has not issued mandatory evacuations for Virginia, but municipalities may be ordering evacuations if storm surge predictions worsen. If you are evacuated from your home, stay tuned to local news channels for updates on when it’s safe to return.
Wait for Daylight
It appears that the worst of Dorian will blow through our area Friday evening. Whether you evacuate or bunker down at home, wait until daylight to venture outside to assess the damage. Some damage like roof damage may be difficult to see from the ground, and we do not recommend climbing onto your roof. Try the view from your neighbor’s yard or house – or look for signs of leaks on the ceiling or in your the attic.
Document Damage
Be sure to take your phone with you in case you need to take pictures.
Avoid Flood Water
Avoid walking through flood waters without protective clothing, such as hip waders and water proof gloves. Flood water is contaminated and may lead to illness or disease. For this reason, do not allow children to play in flood waters.
Do not drive through water, especially if there are downed power lines present. Even if there are no power lines, there is a high likelihood of hazardous debris or sink holes that you can’t see.
After the Storm Avoid Downed Power Lines
Use Extreme Caution
Fallen trees may have brought power lines down with them. If a tree pulls power lines down onto your home, stay out of the house until work crews remove the power lines.
No Open Flames
Do not use matches (or an open flame of any kind) in storm ravaged areas until you are certain that potentially damaged gas lines have been checked and/or repaired. If you smell gas, turn off the main if possible, open the windows and leave the building. Then report it to your gas company.
After the Storm No Open Flame in Hurricane Ravaged Areas
Insurance Claims
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Once you receive the claim forms from your insurer, fill them out and submit them immediately. If your home in uninhabitable, keep records and receipts of all emergency living accommodations.  Most insurance policies cover these expenses.
Clean Up & Rebuild
During clean up, be sure to wear protective clothing, like goggles, boots, heavy duty work gloves, and hard hats, if possible. Manage tasks so not to overexert yourself during this process. This will be a very trying time, both emotionally and physically. Be sure to pace yourself, drink a lot of water and get regular rest.
After the Storm Remodel Damaged Deck into Outdoor Living Space
The Adkinsons replaced their damaged deck with an outdoor living space
When you’re ready to rebuild, work with your contractor to design and build a storm-resistant structure.
All of us at Hatchett Design Remodel are hoping for the best while we prepare for the worst. Stay safe everyone!

Holiday Lights in Hampton Roads

When it comes to holiday lights, we have a lot of options in Hampton Roads: the Oceanfront, Norfolk Botanical Gardens and Newport News Park. While those displays are magnificent, Hatchett Design Remodel is particularly fond of homeowners who transform their houses in to magical wonderlands for children of all ages. Here are a few of our favorites.

Newport News

The Stern Family Holiday Light Show is a must-see. Swing by 108 Sheffield Way in the Denbigh area of Newport News for a spectacular display set to music. Elvis fans “won’t be blue” about this year’s soundtrack (wink, wink).


The Williford family puts on quite the show at 4028 Woodland Drive in Chesapeake. Not only do you have to see this one, you have to get out of your car and walk through it! Their collection of inflatable Christmas displays line BlowUp Alley. The Woodland Christmas Wonderland is lit up nightly, and they are collecting donations for the Portsmouth Humane Society.


The Sheely Family Lights at 703 Ava Court in Chesapeake is raising money and awareness for the Eliza Hope Foundation. In addition to music and a synchronized light show, the Sheelys have also incorporated video elements into their display. Video clips of little Eliza are projected on the front of their home.

Virginia Beach

A trip down Mansion Cross Lane is sure to brighten your holidays. Over 50,000 lights across 6 houses are all synced to music. And as if that’s not enough to delight, there’s also a snow machine! This neighborhood display benefits St. Judes, so please donate if you drop by.

Holiday Lights Self Guided Tour through Hampton Roads

All of these and many other displays can be found on this map. Sam Sansalone, a local Christmas light aficionado, spent 100 driving hours mapping out the best light displays in Hampton Roads. With the help of his fellow fans, Sam has created a color coded map to help you find the best displays in your neighborhood. Green pins are must-sees. Blues are very impressive. Reds are unconfirmed for this year. Purples are taking 2018 off. Can you really blame them? These displays are a lot of work! Click the pins for descriptions of each display.

Along BlowUp Alley in the Woodland Christmas Wonderland

So pop some popcorn and fill the ol’ thermos with hot cocoa. It’s time to pile the whole family into the car and load up your Google maps for a self-guided tour through Hampton Roads’ best holiday light displays. Drive safe and be patient – these sites are popular. Hatchett Design Remodel hopes your holidays are MERRY & BRIGHT!