Illuminating The Coastal Virginia Idea House

The Coastal Virginia Idea House Will Draw Guest In With Upscale Simplicity, Openness And Tons Of Natural Light



A crushed volcanic rock soaking tub? A rolling barn-style pantry board fashioned from a surf board? A laundry room that will have the kids fighting over who gets to help? Sound like a fantasy house instead of a dream house?   It’s not; It’s reality taking shape on a half-acre lot at the North End of Virginia Beach at 35 ½ Street and Holly Road on the 3rd hole of the Princess Anne Country Club.

The 4,000-square-foot, just-shy-of-a-million dollar Coastal Virginia Idea House—a partnership between Coastal Virginia Magazine and Stephen Alexander Homes in collaboration with Retnauer Baynes Associates, LLC—has been described by Stephen Quick, IV, as “a little bit Virginia Beach and a little bit Nantucket, c. early 1900s.”  Combining an “old beachy-beachy” feel with a “stunningly open” floor plan, relaxed-yet-upscale interior, and eco-friendly features desired by today’s homeowners,  makes for a Coastal Nostalgic style that honors the past while remaining firmly grounded in the present.

With framing complete, plumbing roughed in, electrical going in, and furnishings on order, what is eluded to in the rendering is now visible. While Quick is hesitant to reveal too many of the home’s special features in advance of the official unveiling, he was willing to add a few more details to those shared here in recent months.  

A prominent leitmotif of this home is the creation of a generous sense of depth and space. Towards that end, it will be infused with natural light—a key design feature—from no less than 60 windows. A zoned, multi-source audio system will both expand and connect adjacent spaces.

Throughout, for example between the dining and family rooms, a visual separation created by trim detail rather than the structure will “pull the eye in and through.” Similarly, the back porch will, through its use of materials and distinctive approach to interior design, blur the boundary between indoors and out, creating a gracious flow. But a two-layered foam-plus-cellulose approach to insulation will prevent too much of the outdoor air from seeping in, a very green 50 percent improvement over standard insulation.

The sense of simple, uncluttered openness extends upward too, for even the laundry room sports 13-foot ceilings. Three large windows provide sparkling natural light not only for laundry duty, as this hardworking room, with its vintage “Dick Tracy”-style door, doubles as a craft suite.   

In the kitchen, a “rather extraordinary” 10-foot island with a custom finish has been designed to look like a piece of furniture right down to its built-in dining table. A wine and bar area just outside the main kitchen work triangle, invites guests to feel comfortable helping themselves.

And remember that crushed volcanic rock tub? Its faucet gives the appearance that molten metal has twisted up out of the floor and gracefully arched over into the tub.

Stay tuned to   for more stunning interior design and architectural details, the “big reveal” in words and pictures—lots of pictures—and all the scoop about  ticketed tours and a full complement of special events. 

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