2020 CoVa Idea House: Serious Fun

Mid-century modern meets coastal cottage charm in an Idea House designed with indoor-outdoor living in mind

by Betsy DiJulio | Sep 18, 2020

Idea House Bay Harbor Featured

If you could have a 16-foot wide “kitchen window” framing a view of boats bobbing in their berths in the sparkling waters near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, you would want that, yes? Of course you would.

And that’s just one of the many inspiring ideas taking shape at Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Idea House 2020. Located in East Beach, Norfolk’s premier coastal community, “Bar Harbor” is the first home to be built in the last neighborhood to be developed at East Beach.

Idea House Bay Harbor

The Bay Harbor

Located at the southeastern tip of this seaside development and bordered by Bay Point Marina, the Marina Cottages at East Beach is the vision of Stephen Alexander Homes & Neighborhoods. This award-winning family business is known for designs that blend classical and modern architecture. Says principal Stephen Quick IV of the 17-home enclave: “It’s a small town.” People here will walk, bike, boat and golf cart everywhere.

Green spaces, charming coastal architecture and turn-of-the-century nostalgia have long attracted homebuyers to the exclusive, but friendly-feeling East Beach community. The Marina Cottages aren’t the enormous and lavish summer “cottages” of the past, but they do tip their hat to that era. Think turn-of-the-century fishing cottage meets mid-century style and 21st- century lifestyle. Says Stephen, “The look is classically based with a distinctly mid-century flavor, but it is still beachy…a melding of coastal and modern.”

A brand-new addition to the Stephen Alexander Little Big House Collection, these cottages will offer single-level living that is highly amenitized and very efficient to own. Essentially, the design team tucked the open-concept kitchen and living spaces of their larger homes into a smaller envelope. Joining the living space on the first floor is the owner suite, a half bath under the stairs, a laundry room off the kitchen and a mudroom.Idea House Sketch

Designed with indoor-outdoor living in mind, the home will feature an out-door living room with string lights and a fire pit. “Serious entertaining capacity baked into the concept of the community” means that the 16-foot kitchen window will actually be a wall of glass with sliders that connects the open kitchen-dining-living space to the outdoor veranda or lanai. Its wood-look pavers will seamlessly, and practically link the two areas. A system of custom open floor trusses —a thing of beauty in their own right, but visible in the ceiling only during the framing stage structurally allows all of this openness.

Though the first-floor suite opens off the light and bright front foyer, the doorway is offset by 22-degrees allowing it to be invisible to arriving guests. Through an 8-foot tall bi-swinging door, the large bedroom adjoins a right-sized bathroom hidden from view by a bamboo glass pocket door. The door reveals a soon-to-be marble walk-in shower with handmade brass fixtures by Brizo. There is a floating vanity with large quartz tops and wall-mounted Brizo one-of-a-kind brass fixtures. A big master closet with “a stupid amount of storage” is also incorporated into the space. Lots of large, strategically placed vertical and horizontal windows and 10-foot ceilings ensure that the space is infused with light while preserving privacy.

A front foyer staircase will lead to a pair of bedrooms, another bath, and a media room (or third bedroom) on the second level. But, there are likely few scenes from movies to compare to the natural views from this media space. Look for more details about the second story, Susan Wilson’s interior design—all the fabulous fabrics, fixtures, and finishes—the 30-foot x 50-foot yard, dog run, detached garage, and more, in an upcoming issue of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

Beautiful Bay Point Marina—with its total remodel and new super yacht berths—is the first stop inside the Chesapeake Bay where the Little Creek Channel intersects the creek itself. And the Marina Cottages should perhaps be your first stop when considering a life- style change, especially if “mid-century nostalgic” style floats you’re your boat.

Check CoVaMag.com and Coastal Virginia Magazine’s social media channels, @CoastalVAMag, for the latest information about 2020 Idea House events.

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


Popular Articles

  • 1
    2023 CoVa Best Of Party
  • 2
    At Home with Virginia Beach Chef Alvin Williams
  • 3
    Searching For Sea Glass
  • 4
    Seafood Mac
    Fresh Starts: 12 New Restaurants
  • 5
    2023 Best Of Readers’ Choice Awards Voting Toolkit
  • 6
    Coastal Virginia Top Docs 2022
    2022 Top Docs of CoVa



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