Boxwood Opens: “Homes should be as colorful and vibrant as the people who live in them….”

Boxwood Storefront in Alexandria, VA: Colorful, eclectic decor for your home

Walking past the corner of Prince and South Royal, you can’t help but be pulled in by the vibrant, eclectic pieces that fill a store window. Sweet Tea candles, furniture painted in the perfect blues, gorgeous throw pillows, and a plentiful amount of beautiful boxwood plants line the rustic shelves. The home decor shop is rightfully named after these signature greens: Boxwood.

“Our inspiration for Boxwood’s product mix comes from a range of factors including ethical sourcing, materials, colors, and stories,” says owner Leah Donahue. “When we evaluate what to bring into the store, we’re always thinking about how these elements work together.”

The idea of Boxwood was born when Leah and Joanna Szczerban met by chance. Joanna was looking for a new business partner who shared her vision, and Leah was starting an interior design business after more than a decade working in public affairs. It was a match made in heaven and after a whirlwind two months, the pair opened the decor and gifts store.

The one piece of design advice that Leah gives anyone who walks into the store is, “Don’t be afraid of color! I always encourage people to push the envelope and experiment with bolder choices. That and always buy art if you love it. Don’t worry if it matches anything. Our vision for Boxwood actually stems from our belief that homes should be as colorful and vibrant as the people who live in them.”

Speaking of art, not only is Boxwood filled with unique treasures, it also showcases local art. All featured paintings are by local artist Judy Heiser. Her works are intricate layers of acrylic, ink, pastels, and oils on canvas or wood panels.

Did you know that Boxwood has a long history in Virginia? The traditional shrubs have always been a staple of Virginia homes. The American Boxwood Society is actually headquartered in Boyce. A 1970 New York Times article even proclaimed that the state was ‘The Land of the Boxwood.’

Joanna first suggested the name for its simplicity and nod to tradition, while still having appeal to younger families. When Leah decorated the historic Duvall House on Cameron Street, owned by Nancy and Chris Marzilli, for the Scottish Christmas Home Tour, she used boxwood garland on each of the nine fireplace mantles.

Whether you are fans of this cheerful greenery, or are simply looking for that perfect gift or centerpiece addition, you are guaranteed to find it at this welcoming shop.


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Born, raised, and bred in Alexandria, VA, Britt Patterson is a true product of the great state of Virginia. Britt attended Waynewood Elementary (Class of ’96), Carl Sandburg Middle School (Class of ’98) , and West Potomac High School (Class of ’02), she then went on to attend Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) where she majored in Business Marketing and Minored in Real Estate. Britt “officially” joined the family business as a licensed Realtor in 2008 after two years of working the political fundraising field and prides herself on her Alexandria real estate knowledge, alongside her integrity, loyalty, and professionalism as an agent and Vice President for the family business.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.

400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Beth says:

    I’ve been an avid follower of your site for the past six months. I was delighted to see your write up about Boxwood! I went to high school with Joanna so I’ve been following their newly opened and renamed store and wishing them success. I will visit you both on my next visit to the area.

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