Residing at the nexus of creek and bay, sea and shore, and past and present is the latest addition to Stephen Alexander Homes and Neighborhoods’ “Little Big House Collection.” Here at the Marina Cottages—the last neighborhood to be developed in Norfolk’s charming East Beach—coast and community blend seamlessly at Bar Harbor, Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Idea House 2020.
Setting the tone for this village-within-a-village, whose closest neighbor is Bay Point Marina, Bar Harbor blends the best of turn-of-the-century nostalgia with modern—even mid-century modern—style and 21st century lifestyle. Lots of green space in the form of rectilinear parks and a sound garden will hit all the right notes.
About their smaller homes that live large, principal Stephen Quick IV says, “We can’t control the price of property, but we can offer a million-dollar lifestyle in significantly less square footage.” Staying within 2,500 open and airy square feet affords more opportunities to enhance lifestyle, as is the case with this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home.
Quick IV and his team wanted everything about this coastal modern structure to say “relax.” Huge expanses of glass frame views of the marina both upstairs and down. The open concept living space flows onto a lanai and into the side yard through a broad stretch of glass windows and doors. The free-standing garage, house and street define three sides of this large private space, designed for entertaining.
The utilitarian garage, with a pair of roll-up doors for both front and rear loading, a soaring ceiling, and a mid-century modern shed roof is painted dark gray to provide a crisp contrast to the bright white board and batten siding of the house. The garage sports so much of its own style that it is intended to translate seamlessly into additional living space, AKA party space.
Inside the home, expansive built-in storage—and an attic that runs the length of the house—keeps daily clutter out of site but within easy reach for clean-lined, chaos-free living. Sleek canine quarters are tucked under the front stairs and, just beyond, a half-bath. While square footage is controlled, smart design insures ample space for a separate mudroom and laundry room.
Eight-foot door openings on the main level contribute to the breathable vibe, as does the choice of a tranquil seafoam color for the island top, backsplash and walls in the open-plan kitchen-dining-living space. Though located near the front door, the entrance to the homeowner suite is cleverly offset to provide plenty of privacy. Similarly, a large foyer at the top of the stairs offers stylish separation between media room, bedrooms and bath.
Simplified square-edged trim throughout and Shaker style cabinets in the kitchen, culinary space and beverage center keep the look lean, while dimensional polished nickel hardware adds interest and a hint of polish. Omitting a mantle above the fireplace also lightens the visual load while a trio of flanking 8-foot beam-style floating shelves offers display opportunities. Similar subtle design details on the fireplace and range hood visually unify the two spaces as do board and batten treatments inside and out.
For the low-down on luxury, look down low where you will find on the floors a blend of hardwood, wood-look tile, geometric tile with 3-D illusions, and marble laid in a herringbone pattern. Look for other hints of organic luxury in tile the color of sea glass and glass doors with a texture that evokes both bamboo and rivulets of rain trailing down a window.
For the full 411 on all the fabulous finishes, fixtures, and furnishings, be sure not to miss the Idea House feature in the next issue of Coastal Virginia Magazine.
The 2020 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House is sponsored by Esprit Décor Home Furnishings, Greenwich Kitchen Center and Visionscapes Land Design & Installation Our nonprofit partner is the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.