2019 CoVa Idea Houses

In 2019, Two Amazing Coastal Virginia Magazine Concept Homes Offer an Irresistible Array of Innovation

by | Sep 6, 2019

Thoughtful decisions about our homes can lead to happier and even healthier living. And Idea Homes provide owners and buyers with lots of food for thought. Top tier magazines like Southern Living, Sunset, House Beautiful—and, of course, Coastal Virginia—embrace the sponsorship of these concept homes for many reasons, including to celebrate regional lifestyles in three beautiful dimensions whether in print, online or through real-time experiences like events and tours.

Idea Houses bring together under one roof the latest trends in architectural, interior and landscape design; appliances and amenities; and more. These houses offer visitors and readers an irresistible array of innovation—from floorplans and functionality, to furniture and fabrics, to finishes and fixtures—along with access to the local resources to bring it all within reach.

Coastal Virginia Magazine’s first Idea House took shape in 2015. Since then, several trend-setting homes have followed until this year when we decided that the only thing better than one Idea House was a pair of them—one in southern Virginia Beach and one in Williamsburg.

With Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Idea Houses 2019, inspiration comes in the form of an appetite-whetting magazine spread, home tours and content-driven destination events that combine entertainment with education while benefiting selected charities. Whether you experience this world of ideas as a reader, from the comfort of your home, or as a visitor, from the elevated comfort of the Idea Houses themselves, you are sure to conclude that if you design well, you can live well.


CoVa Idea House The Blacksburg
Garage Flooring and Organization by Garage Experts

The Blacksburg

A Nostalgic and Hip Home with a Hint of Nautical Combines the Latest in Innovative Architecture and Interior Design

Stephen Alexander Homes

Built by Stephen Alexander Homes & Neighborhoods

Photography by Jonathan Edwards

Like discovering an exquisite seashell right beneath your sandy feet, this year’s southside Idea House 2019 proves that it is possible for breathtaking beauty and accessibility to go hand-in-hand.

The Blacksburg looks exactly as intended: like a farmhouse rooted in place for 100 years but updated for its latest generation of 21st century inhabitants. Situated on a corner lot in the coastal casual neighborhood of Ashby’s Bridge, barely six bucolic minutes from the beaches of Sandbridge, this two-story smart home is nostalgic, hip and a hint nautical. Its exterior color palette of gray and white with an indigo blue front door evokes stone, sand and surf.

This shoreline aesthetic is echoed in the minimalistic landscaping of rocks and sea grasses. In the backyard, stylish seating with a shade sail over the dining area, string lighting, a built-in Bocce court and space for a pool is primed for staycationing.

Stepping through the front door is dazzling, like stepping outdoors on a brilliantly clear day at the Oceanfront with sunlight sparkling off clear water and shimmering sand. The inspired architectural and interior design partnership of Stephen Alexander, Susan Wilson Interiors and Retnauer Baynes Associates shines through every one of this home’s 3,800 square feet.

A crisp, clean palette of whisper-gray surfaces with many nautical miles of white trim and indigo accents is fresh and breezy under soaring 10-foot ceilings. Silver-toned metals and clear glass lend sparkle and breathability. Seven-inch wide white oak flooring with both cool and warm tones expose natural knots and woodgrain suggestive of a weathered dock but begging for bare feet.

Throughout the home, every detail is simplified and streamlined with organic textures and motifs, adding welcoming warmth. Angular geometry is balanced by curves, and classical, industrial, mid-century and island Boho elements collectively breath a deep, relaxing sigh.

This approach to amenitized, but affordable, living is one that Stephen Quick IV—who, together with his brother, Alexander Quick, and father, Stephen Quick III, comprise Stephen Alexander Homes—looks forward to expanding, including through their new nonprofit foundation.

Says Stephen, “We can achieve an upscale feel with more effort on the front side.” But this CoVa Magazine Idea Home’s appeal looks as effortless as fair winds and following seas.


Stephen Alexander Homes
From the left: The Quick Family team: Steve Sr., Stephen IV and Alex

Meet the Builders

Stephen Alexander Homes, builder of the noted Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House, is an award-winning builder specializing in historical architecture with a coastal flair. Having won more than 50 gold awards during Homearama, they are considered one of the most decorated home builders in Coastal Virginia. As a premier custom and residential home builder in Coastal Virginia, Stephen Alexander’s designs provide open, inviting living space for the entire family. Meticulous attention has been spent in the planning of every room in order to create a space that is both pleasing to the eye and functional for everyday living. Their top-quality homes are a step above the competition. Mark your calendars to come see this fourth Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House in September.


Susan Wilson

Meet the Designer

Susan Wilson has been designing memorable homes and spaces that clients and builders love. An award-winning designer, Wilson has the vision to forecast and execute what interior and exterior styling clients desire. Specialities include: model homes, show houses and residential design. She continues to assist local builders with their architectural style, floor plans, interior features and selections. Her style draws inspiration from historical, nostalgic elements and coastal influences as it collides with modern living. Wilson successfully bridges the gap between builders and their clients over the years working independently with each to assist them in developing their “lifestyle” and achieve their “dream home.”


CoVa Idea House Family Room
Efficient Natural Gas by Virginia Natural Gas

Family Room

Beam Me Up

Milled on site, the stained white oak ceiling beams of this open but inviting space establish a horizontal profile and scale repeated throughout the home. A turn-of-the-century farmhouse in Maine inspired their structural appearance. The beams are repeated as a mantel and as pairs of low open shelves flanking the fireplace. White shiplap on the fireplace creates a subtle focal point that recurs in adjacent spaces to create a sense of cohesiveness. Other motifs found throughout the home are also established here in its heart: nubby solid and striped fabrics in white and indigo, accessories and furnishings made of rattan and driftwood offset by clear glass and white ceramics with geometric patterns, green plants with bold leaf shapes and simple sea life references. The adjacent enclosed porch cleverly connects indoors and outdoors through its crisp blue and white color palette, patterns of stripes and lattice and selection of furnishings and textiles that nod in both directions.


CoVa Idea House kitchen
Kitchen by Greenwich Kitchen Center


This Long Cool Drink of Water Sizzles

In complete harmony with the adjacent spaces, this kitchen’s focal point is its white shiplap range hood trimmed with a horizontal band at the base to match the ceiling beams. White and stainless-steel appliances blend with white cabinets, some with glass fronts that read almost like windows and all that boast “pull-out and soft-close everything.” The wall-length expanse of gleaming soft gray subway tile is a simple yet bold backsplash and a perfect foil for the dramatic gray veining in the white quartz island. Stretching to nearly 8 feet long and 2.5 inches thick, this geometric waterfall-style slab with beautifully mitered corners is stylish and functional. The island’s large undermount stainless steel sink and dishwasher, cabinets and drawers and recessed outlets leave broad unencumbered spaces for serving and dining, comfortably accommodating four at rattan stools with blue and white striped seats.

kitchen in Idea House

CoVa Idea House kitchen, The Blacksburg
Tile by Daltile

CoVa Idea House kitchen

CoVa Idea House kitchen and appliances
Appliances by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Overhead, pendant fixtures with slim mid-century drum shades combine with recessed lighting and changeable LED illumination that give the upper cabinets a sense of hovering. The geometric structure that suffuses this house is subtlety emphasized in square cabinet pulls and the industrial profile of the unique touch faucet. A pantry with glass front French-style doors is functional enough for food preparation and stylish enough for service. Its white drawers and shelves, wood-look counter and shiplap-like slat-and-hook system makes it an attractive extension of the kitchen.


CoVa Idea House dining room
Lighting by Progress Lighting

The Blacksburg Dining Room
Lighting by Progress Lighting

Dining Space

Maritime Mid-Century Meets Mother Nature

Like a formal wedding on a sandy beach, this space combines the best of the rustic and the refined. Comfortably seating eight, the painted white table echoes the white shiplap on the accent wall just beyond. Light streams through its quartet of large windows topped only by white gauzy handkerchief valances that draw the eye up to balance the space, but not obstruct the backyard view. Chairs at the heads of the table are upholstered with a fabric whose blue and white geometric motif is reminiscent of nautical knots with a mid-century vibe. On either side, natural rattan benches with a nubby blue and white pinstriped fabric are tailored yet organic and inviting. The rattan is repeated in the large mirror frame over the buffet and in the chargers. Natural wood bowls and a gray washed wood buffet continue the organic vibe, as do bold green palm fronds in white mid-century vases used as centerpieces. Suspended overhead is a contemporary take on an atomic-era chandelier. Its shape repeats the X-motif of the fold-up buffet-bar and the bench’s legs, a little bit nautical and a little bit mid-century. A pair of framed blue and white tie-dyed textiles gives the home Boho style.



Mudroom and Guest Suite

Clean Lines Define the Mudroom and Guest Suite

Beyond the dining space, a clean-lined mudroom connects to the backyard and guest suite. Large format slate-look ceramic subway tiles provide an easy-to-clean floor that is not too slippery. A furniture-style built-in with a shiplap back is painted blue to set-off the warm organic appeal of basket-style bins and wood-look counters and bench seating. Contemporary stainless-steel hooks join cubbies to keep everyone’s clutter contained.

Mudroom and Guest Suite

The tile flooring continues into the adjacent bathroom where the gray-veined countertop, white cabinetry and blue and white striped shower curtain and hand towel continue the crisp theme established in the main living spaces. Pairs of sand dollars and starfish mounted in blue shadow boxes are clean and coastal.

guest suite

In contrast, carpet the color of sand softens the neighboring guest room, a vaulted space suffused with natural light. Relaxed versions of blue and white stripes on the bed linens and upholstered headboard lend a vintage vibe that is pristine yet lovingly warm. Campaign-style washed wood nightstands sport silver metal legs that repeat the X-motif from the nearby dining space while a corner wardrobe combines the washed wood with neutral linen panels to pull it all together. Baskets and white ceramic lamps with hand-stamped geometric shapes do their part to carry materials and patterns throughout the downstairs.


office at Idea House
Interior Furnishing by Esprit Decor


Working Hard and Living Easy

An updated version of a campaign desk—wood with chrome legs—floats atop a textured blue and natural sisal rug in the center of the office space, creating a focal point and an anchor for this airy room. Campaign-style furniture was made to break- or fold-down for ease of travel, including on merchant ships, giving it a maritime flavor. Though it dates at least from the time of Julius Caesar, it is associated with British officers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Small in scale, often with metal corners and strapwork, the pieces are popular today. Their X-frame legs, slim profiles, and blend of materials make them ideal choices in modern homes. Above, a scaled down version of the atomic light fixture in the dining space repeats the X-motif. Behind the desk, a play on paneled captain’s quarters is lightened and brightened with a coat of white paint covering both recessed panels and raised trim that together create a design of repeating squares.

home office in Idea House

Flanking blue walls offer views of the front porch through two tall windows and storage in the form of a pair of rattan wrapped bookcases with glass shelves. A low-profile armchair upholstered in a blue and white patterned fabric reminiscent of nautical knots offers comfy seating for a client or for reading near a natural light source. White gauzy curtains with a band of similar blue and white trim frames the windows. Wall-mounted between them, the bold plant motif is repeated in a trio of white ceramic leaves and, elsewhere, in permanent botanicals. Accessories are a mix of white ceramic, wood and rattan.


half bath

Downstairs Half Bath

Half Bath with a Whole Lot of Style

The inverted color scheme of this stylish space juxtaposes a blue shiplap accent wall and trim with pale gray and white wallpaper. Its geometric pattern of repeated circles with a nod to nautical knots is the ideal backdrop for a round porthole-style mirror over a deeply contoured pedestal sink with perfectly balanced angles and curves. A rectangular light fixture and triangular towel ring complete this room’s vocabulary of geometric shapes.


gathering space

Forward Gathering Space, Stairs and Second Level Landing

The Front of the House Looks Backward and Forward

The office opens through glass doors from the forward gathering space. More than just a foyer, this lingering space affords the opportunity to pause and take in the first stunning sight line through the wide-open first floor. Visual harmony between this space and the office is created by a campaign chest and a large beveled mirror mounted above which bounces light around this airy entry. Atop the chest are accessories that are incorporated throughout: white ceramic with geometric relief designs, wood and bold green leaf shapes.



inside the Idea House

Second level landing, Idea House

To the left, striking stairs lead to the second level. The balusters sport the popular look of contemporary steel, but more affordably. Here, the linear geometry of their metallic cousins is translated into affordable wood painted white with a blue handrail. White shiplap and risers define the stairwell while unpainted treads integrate the natural wood found throughout the home.

At the top of the stairs, another ample gathering space which prevents the bedrooms from being too closely positioned is made to feel lighter and more spacious by appointments that are spare and white, yet with an organic warmth.  A white-washed wood buffet with an inlaid chevron pattern is appointed with white ceramic and glass accessories holding sand and shells. A large photo of blue and white striped cabanas matted and framed in white hangs above.


laundry room

Laundry Room

A Clean Take on Vintage Charm

Too pretty to hide, a glass door with a vintage “Laundry Room” decal affords views into this galley space with its updated old school washer and dryer, a pair of strap-style pendant lights and a bold geometric floor tile that owes a debt of gratitude to import tiles from Italy, Mexico and Morocco. The circular motifs of this gray and white tile are repeated in the drum-shaped light fixtures and large wall-mounted metal clock. Rattan is found on accessories and a pair of square laundry baskets that slip under the heavily veined gray countertop. Clear glass apothecary jars, white cabinetry and a white porcelain utility sink keep it all as fresh and crisp as a starched cotton button down.


multi-purpose room
Entertainment Connectivity by Cox Communications

multi-purpose room in the Idea House

Multi-Purpose Room

Singular Style Defines this Room of Many Functions

In the carpeted multi-purpose room, which is positioned between floors, white shiplap clads the wall behind the TV which is mounted below a double window and above a long, floating wooden bench. A sandy pinkish-coral color is introduced into the blue and white color palette, both in a 1970s “Laguna Beach sunset” mural by Cathy Cox and in throw pillows on the nubby blue sectional sofa. The mural helps to make the large scale of this vaulted space feel homier and more intimate, as does the use of wood for the coffee table, the round game table and chairs, a reclaimed buffet with louvered doors and a rustic marquetry-style diptych that hangs above. Its geometric design is defined by blue, white and sand-tone paint with an aged patina. Accessories bring materials and motifs upstairs from the main living spaces.


children's rooms

Trio of Children’s Rooms

Grown-Up Style for the Youngest Inhabitants

A palette of grays, white and sandy pinkish-coral helps create visual cohesion between the two girls’ rooms and their hall bath, as do repeated materials like washed wood and recurring motifs like bead-and-cove turned spindle detailing on the furnishings. But the innovative approach to application renders each room its own unique retreat. Though both are outfitted with lean floating window seats, one room is painted soft gray while the other is painted soft coral with a washed wood accent wall behind the bed. Across the room, a pair of driftwood and bulldog clip message boards establish balance fabrics that are soft and tactile, with bedcovers that evoke grandma’s house in the country and throw pillows that are a hint more playful.

kid's room


child's bedroom

The boy’s bedroom with its private bath features a crisp blue and white palette. Soft gray walls are the perfect understated counterpoint to an indigo blue accent wall whose white horizontal trim creates a bold striped pattern behind the washed wood bed. Blue and white bedding continues the motif in the form of pinstripes while a washed wood wardrobe and pair of contemporary nightstands warms up the space. Metal bracket-style legs keep the stands contemporary. Mounted on the wall between the dual closets, a blue and white striped oar creates a focal point that balances the visual weight in an unexpected way. The adjoining bathroom is clean and simple with a soft blue and white striped shower curtain, towels and trio of whimsical painted wooden fish creating pops of color within this otherwise neutral white, gray and sand-toned palette.


homeowner's bedroom
Interior Design by Susan Wilson Interiors

Homeowner Bedroom and Bath

Sleep, Steam and Soak in Style

Two stories of windows suffuse this vaulted retreat with light and air. Wooden beams repeated from downstairs provide a hint of rusticity in this refined but relaxing space bathed in soft gray and white. Layers of tone-on-tone white fabrics and textures—from the whitewashed wood and rattan headboard, to the bed coverings and slipcovered reading chair—are timeless and soothing. Wall art depicting seashells and coral in the same monochromatic palette is quiet and calming. The haberdashery style walk-in closet continues the palette with bolder contrast.

bedroom in Idea House

master bathroom
Shower Doors by Inner Space Systems


bathroom in CoVa Idea House

Master closet by Closet Factory

Plush sandy-colored carpet gives way to wood-look porcelain plank tiles in the spa-like bathroom with its private water closet. White shiplap behind the long floating vanity with double sinks and a pair of silver framed mirrors lends a boutique hotel vibe. A gray veined countertop, white cabinets with square pulls and two pairs of sconces with square linen shades are classic yet modern. On an adjacent wall, subtle gray and white wallpaper continues the square motif in a woven-looking pattern. The square is even carried through the towel rings, chandelier and faucets. Commanding a light-filled corner is a massive shower clad in large subway tiles with a mosaic floor in a palette of sandy neutrals. This space-for-two boasts a pair of windows and an array of five different shower heads. Its porcelain tile flows outside the shower to wrap around the deep soaking tub tucked under a large window. White linens and white and silver-toned accessories and hardware keep the look fresh and sparkling.


outside of The Blacksburg Idea House
Landscaping by Visionscapes

patio at Idea House

backyard at Idea House

outdoor space at Idea House

Outdoor Spaces

The Blacksburg Al Fresca

The shoreline aesthetic is echoed in the minimalistic landscaping of rocks and sea grasses. In the backyard, stylish seating with a shade sail over the dining area, string lighting, a built-in Bocce court and space for a pool is primed for staycationing.

The Rose Eleganza

A Stunning Testament to the Happy Marriage of Tradition and Contemporary Trends

Built by Lawson Homes

Photography by Jim Pile

Like nearby Colonial Williamsburg which, at its essence, embodies an intersection of the old and new, this year’s Peninsula Idea House 2019, The Rose Eleganza, is a best-of-both-worlds showcase. Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac on a bluff in the wooded rolling hills of The Oaks at Fenton Mill, just minutes from the heart of Williamsburg and the York River, this ranch-style home with two unconnected second-story spaces, is, as the name suggests, elegant, but with surprising industrial and urban touches. Together, Sindy and Jack Clifton, principals of Lawson Homes, and Trez Robinson of Staged2Sell, have created past-meets-present pizazz throughout every one of this dwelling’s 3,560 square feet.

Even the exterior—part dark gray siding and part stone—celebrates compatible contrasts. A graceful rhythm of arched windows, entryway and carriage-style garage doors creates a harmonious façade.  Gooseneck sconces echo the curves. Tailored landscaping in the front features a bed of Eleganza hybrid tea roses bordered by a stamped walkway and edged driveway for a hint of formality. In the back, the focal point of the stamped patio is its circular firepit surrounded by concentric rings of gray block. The inviting backdrop is deep woods that imbue the space with a rustic feeling of privacy and seclusion.

Upon stepping through the home’s front door, the handsome stone fireplace at the far end of the family room exerts a magnetic pull. The dramatic gold coffered ceiling points the way. A pair of windows flanking the two-sided fireplace provides pleasing sight lines through the enclosed porch to the woods beyond, emphasizing the privacy of this property.

Throughout the home, a palette of grays, black and white with unexpected pops of gold and emerald green is soothing, yet surprising. Burnished gold metals suggest tradition but are all about today, while a mix of dark stained and natural woods are a beautiful balance of formal and casual. Gleaming floors with warm and cool tones and a slightly weathered look combine with neutral tile to ground the blend of past and present.

The first CoVa Magazine Idea House undertaken by Lawson Homes, The Rose Eleganza lives up to its name: Old World elegance expertly crafted into a house for 21st-century homeowners.


Lawson Homes

Meet the Builders

Jack and Sindy Clifton, the husband and wife team at Lawson Homes, have been designing and building both on the Southside and on the Peninsula for over 30 years. Sindy and Jack incorporate their blend of experience and skill into the inspired production of each of their new homes, highlighting spectacular and functional living spaces, state-of-the-art features, creative details and beautiful environments.

Lawson Homes wants to thank our vendors and suppliers for their support, many of which are original members of the Lawson team, during the construction of the Rose Eleganza. We wish to extend a special thank you to Coastal Virginia Magazine for extending us the opportunity to build the Peninsula 2019 Idea House.



Meet the Designer

Trez Robinson, Staged2Sell

Staging goes way beyond decorating and cleaning. It’s about perfecting the art and science of potentializing space, visualization and emotionally connecting homebuyers to the house. Staging makes your house look and feel bigger, brighter, warmer, more loving and, best of all…it makes homebuyers want to buy it. Instantly! Trez’s greatest joy is being able to positively elevate homes in surrounding communities by getting properties to sell quickly and getting the most money back into the pockets of homesellers.


family room
Efficient Natural Gas by Virginia Natural Gas; Interior Design by Staged2Sell

Family Room

Coffers and Cages Go Contemporary

Nothing says tradition like a coffered ceiling … unless it is this coffered ceiling. Scaled up for a bold contemporary statement, these coffers are defined by deep white trim and rich, sunny gold paint. The warmth of this color is a crisp contrast with the soft gray walls and provides a design springboard here and elsewhere, a matte cousin to the burnished gold metals throughout the home. Hung over the sleek gray sofa, a pair of abstract “burst” paintings feature gold, gray, white and emerald green, another surprising signature color of this home. Gold and white patterned throw pillows soften the lines of the gray sofa and matching chairs that “float” just opposite and fill a large basket next to the stone fireplace, a pretty focal point with its glossy white mantel. The coffee and nesting end tables are another beautiful blend of tradition and on-trend design with their white and gray veined tops reminiscent of a European bistro and their thin burnished gold metal legs that skew mid-century modern. This open design is reflected in popular cage-style light fixtures and accessories that flow throughout the house. A plush rug with a graphic zigzag design in white, gray and black injects another layer of visual energy into this space and balances the strong ceiling treatment. Over the fireplace, a square format metal diptych with a calligraphic line plays off the coffers and announces this home’s sophisticated, and occasionally playful, approach to updating traditional style.


Fiberon Decking from Builders FirstSource


Home Sales by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty


A Fashionable Transition between Indoors and Out

Though the fireplace provides a strong focal point whose pull is felt immediately upon entering the front door, the foyer is beautifully, if minimally, appointed, providing a lovely open space to pause. A somewhat traditional black chest is caged inside a contemporary glass-topped console table with a thin burnished gold frame, creating design cohesion with the metal wire cage designs that populate this home. Natural elements bridge indoors and out in the form of a neutral abstract seascape and branches arranged in a white ceramic vase with a bold modern relief design.



Office-study in CoVa Idea House
PlyGem Windows from Builders FirstSource


Getting Comfy While You Work

Through French doors on the opposite side of the foyer from the dining room is an open and airy office-study. Natural light suffuses the space through a double arched window with a low sill. An angled rug announces the casual mid-century vibe of this room. A reclaimed wooden desk with black metal legs and a black Eames-era chair create a visual connection to the look and feel of the breakfast room. Natural wood is repeated in the tapered round coffee table and in the bookshelf set against an angled wall. The shelving unit’s burnished gold metal frame is carried over to a circular wire wall-hanging with an atomic-era sensibility. More geometric unity is created by the prominence of a large circular wall-mounted clock and retro desk fan. A pair of gray upholstered chairs echo those in the family room, but with taller, thinner legs and a slimmer profile. White throw pillows are embellished with organically textured atomic bursts possessing a similar, but softened, energy to the paintings in the family room.



Kitchen, Pantry and Beverage Center

Living Casual in a Tuxedo Kitchen

This tuxedo kitchen sports a black and white color scheme as the name suggests. But an expansive fish scale backsplash in gray and appliances in matte black, which read like charcoal gray, prevent the overall effect from being stark. Burnished gold bar style cabinet pulls, pot-filler and substantial appliance handles with an artisan look warm and soften the space as do the white counters with their gently moving subtle gray veining. White wall-mounted cabinets, some with glass fronts for display, join black base cabinets on the island for clean contrast. The black shiplap trim on the ends of the expansive island help relax the formality of this party-ready kitchen. The island, which easily seats four at sleek black and gold stools, is tucked between white columns that frame the view into the kitchen where the black range hood provides a handsome focal point. Suspended above is a colonial-meets-contemporary black cage and candelabra-style chandelier. The island’s deep stainless-steel sink features a black industrial faucet with burnished gold accents.

kitchen in Idea House

oven in CoVa Idea House
Kitchen by BT Cabinets

kitchen in CoVa Idea House

The adjacent beverage center, situated between the kitchen and dining room, extends the palette of the kitchen and island with white cabinets above and black below, burnished gold hardware and the same countertop. A gray shiplap backsplash repeats that motif from the island, as does a smaller version of the black and burnished gold faucet for the bar sink. Cubbies for wine, racks for glassware and cabinets with glass display fronts puts entertaining front and center. A pocket door separates this space from the dining room when it is needed for food prep.

Just opposite, the butler’s pantry is as functional as it is beautiful. White cabinets, gray-veined countertops and burnished gold cabinet pulls preserve the seamless look of the culinary space. The pantry’s combination of closed cabinets, open shelving, corner compartments, roll out drawers and pull out baskets makes smart use of every square inch.


Breakfast Room, Idea House

Breakfast Room

Transitioning between the kitchen and the enclosed porch, with its fireplace, skylight and wooded backdrop, is the breakfast room which celebrates nature and mid-century modern style in equal measure. Situated beneath a pendant fixture that echoes the style, materials and color of the kitchen chandelier is a live edge slab top table. Its wood grain and wormholes are a warm, organic contrast to the black MCM hairpin legs, black Eames-era chairs and black metal stair railing beyond. Black accessories, like an updated version of a milk jug holding a bouquet of green grasses, sit atop a runner with a black-and-white zigzag pattern. A pair of abstract paintings in a neutral color palette also allude to the natural world in an understated way.


dining room in CoVa Idea House

Dining Room

Feasting on Past and Present

Sun streams into this oversized dining space through a pair of arched windows, while the handsome tray ceiling lends to the expansive feel. A traditional dark-stained wooden table and six cross-back chairs are made to feel more modern by the addition of sleek leather chairs at each end. Overhead a pair of sparkly chandeliers feature bold geometry. A diptych at one end of the room subtlety repeats the zigzag pattern from the family room rug in soft gray tones. On the opposite wall, a pair of mirrors sport gold Laurel wreath frames, but their bold interpretation of this historical symbol is a triumph of modern design. The design of the burnished gold cage-style chargers under layered white porcelain place settings is referenced in the cage candle holders, their triangular motif another nod to the zigzag pattern. In the center of the table, branches with white blooms sprout from a casual and rustic interpretation of a Greek urn, again suggesting the weight of history, but in a light-hearted way.


Theater Room
Entertainment Connectivity by Cox Communications

theater room in CoVa Idea House

Theater Room

Made for Movies and More

Preventing this large room from feeling cavernous is a vaulted “ceilingscape” that renders the space more intimate and touches throughout that are warm and inviting. Sunny gold accents on throw pillows and woven textiles make the sleek white leather L-shaped sectional feel cozy. A sofa table, TV console and desk made of reclaimed wood inject a casual and rustic hominess. Clean-lined light fixtures, ceiling fan and Eames-era desk chair provide a modern contrast. A contemporary barrel back armchair with gray upholstery and nailhead detailing resides somewhere in between while carving out a little reading nook. A pair of floor lamps with tripod-style legs and square white shades say, rather than shout, “movie night.” The underlit onyx sink in the adjoining bathroom functions as a night light, emitting a subtle glow without disturbing movie watchers.


Idea House bedroom

Guest room


lounging chairs

chairs and TV


Children’s/Guest Rooms

Growing Up Timelessly

Llamas, soft pink, gray blueish green and a triptych of contemporary wall art play nicely together in this vaulted front room with its large window and low sill. A white Saarinen-style tulip table surrounded by retro emerald blue-green metal chairs ensures this room isn’t just for sleeping. And signage with positive sayings enables this room’s young inhabitant to step out into the world empowered. Next door, the color palette is black, white and fresh green. Industrial grid motifs play off plant motifs, both leafy and organic and spiny and structural. Black and white bed linens combine grids, stripes and plant silhouettes. The sheet and pillowcase grids are repeated in a pair of black metal wall hangings mounted above the bed, part headboard and part wall art. A white and silver campaign-style drafting desk and an Eames-era desk chair make homework seem like child’s play.  White nightstands and accessories keep the black in check. Upstairs, an L-shaped guest room offers loads of privacy for sleeping and hanging out. A subdued black, white and gray color palette in solids and plaid is soothing and tailored. Upholstered chairs are contemporary interpretations of camp-style chairs for a kicked-back vibe. In the adjoining bathroom, a shower curtain with the crisp appeal of a cotton pinstripe shirt continues the color scheme but with a pop of rosy-red for a hint of warmth.


master bedroom

Homeowner Bedroom and Bath

A Regal Retreat

Combining bedroom, sitting room and spa-like en suite bath, this sumptuous retreat is a world apart. Here, with a view of the woods through a wall of windows behind a pair of emerald green velvet arm chairs, sitting rivals sleeping. Beneath a tray ceiling, a dark-stained bed with a coffered headboard and bench-style footboard looks both crisp and cushy with its cloudlike layers of silky smooth and organically textured white cotton bedding. A dark stained dresser and haberdashery style walk-in closet provide stylish storage. White porcelain lamps bear burnished gold accents that are picked up in wall art and, most dramatically, in the industrial hardware of the French-influenced rolling barn door that separates bedroom from bath.

Master Closet by Closet Factory


Tile by Daltile

shower in Idea House
Plumbing by Premier Plumbing

In the bathroom, a white vessel-style tub is tucked beneath a window into a niche that is crowned by a dramatic barrel vault clad in dark stained beadboard. Luxurious neutral marble tile with subtle veining flows across the floor and halfway up the three walls surrounding the tub. A strip of mosaic accent tile defines the bathing area and is repeated on the floor of the adjacent walk-in shower. There, large square marble wall tiles are punctuated by two vertical “waterfall” insets with a striking chevron design. A triangular built-in bench is nestled in between. Coexisting seamlessly are a double vanity with a light neutral mottled quartz countertop, double tilting mirrors, dark-stained cabinetry and burnished gold faucets and fixtures that skew industrial. Accessories repeat motifs and materials—cage-style and mid-century design, burnished gold metals, white ceramic and natural wood—seen throughout the home.


laundry room

Laundry Room

Working Hard and Living Easy

This galley-style, sunlit space is sophisticated and streamlined. Deep gray upper and lower cabinets flank the washer and dryer, providing ample storage. A deep sink for hand-washing garments is conveniently located closest to the door. Mottled gray countertops look luxurious but are low maintenance. Injecting graphic pattern into this mostly solid-tone space is a magnificent marble floor featuring a grid of gray rings and dark gray bars against a white background. Injecting a bit of humor into this “formal-fab” space is a vintage sign that reads, “Laundry Room: Self-Service/Open 24 Hours/Drop Your Pants Here.”


Downstairs Hall Bath

Downstairs Hall Bath

Magnificent Mash-Up

This surprising synthesis of styles creates a luxurious love child of tradition, spa-like tranquility and trendy industrial modernism. A richly stained double vanity provides both cabinet and drawer space below the mottled neutral quartz countertop. A tall central cabinet separates the pair of white porcelain sinks with sleek square profiles and tilting mirrors above. Burnished gold faucets and towel bars sport a refined pipe-and-duct aesthetic while the neutral floor and wall tiles are more “Zendustrial.” Their large-format subway shape bears organic striations on the floor and dimensional ridged waves behind the angular tub. There, a double row of narrow mosaic rectangular tiles adds shimmer.

Betsy DiJulio is a full-time art teacher, artist and curator with side hustles as a freelance writer, including for Coastal Virginia Magazine, and a vegan recipe developer and food stylist and photographer for Tofutti Brands.

Share This Article:

Related Articles

Special Deal!


Events Calendar




Cova Scene Featured Icon Cova Idea House Event Module2(1)
CoVaTix.com Coastal Virginia's One-stop shop for tickets Faces Of Cova Module
coastal virginia weddings Videos Cova Module