2018 CoVa Idea House: York Lane Cottage

The 2018 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House is Refined, Rugged and Real-Life Ready

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CoVa Idea House York Lane Cottage
Photography by Jonathan Edwards

Like sipping champagne on your daysailer, the stunning 2018 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House is proof positive that elegance and a casual, coastal lifestyle need not be mutually exclusive.

The York Lane Cottage, with its turn-of-the-century Nantucket charm and 21st century amenities, is worth every one of its 2.6 million clams. Situated on a cove of Linkhorn Bay in Virginia Beach’s highly desirable Bay Colony, the vibe of this gray-shingled home with white trim and a black front door is that of a 100-year-old house with a modern makeover. Lush, environmentally sensitive landscaping helps nestle this home into its natural setting.

York Lane Cottage, Idea House

CoVa Idea House 2018
Garage flooring by Garage Experts

Inside CoVa Idea House

Just as the perfect beach vacation is both relaxing and rejuvenating, this 4,500-square-foot home is serene and sophisticated, but also sexy and surprising. The inspired architectural and interior design vision of Stephen Alexander Homes and Susan Wilson Interiors go together like sun and sand. And the welcoming foyer establishes the themes that flow throughout.

A soft paint palette of grays, blues and sand with oceans of white trim washes the walls and weaves through fabrics and textiles. For hardwood floors and furnishings, a stain that evokes the look of driftwood is casual, yet rich. Bold but graceful squares and rectangles are repeated wherever possible for a cohesive rhythm. And 90-degree angles unify everything from larger elements like white trim work, wainscoting and three-panel shaker-style doors to small details like hardware and faucets. 

Polished chrome, polished nickel and other silver-toned metals lend sparkle, shimmer and often a modern edge to furniture, light fixtures and a treasure chest of accessories. Clear glass and Lucite open space up—as do open style light fixtures—with glass leaning more traditional and Lucite more modern. Contemporary interpretations of classical styles, especially those with a nautical, industrial or mid-century flare, are incorporated into every livable layer from floor tiles to ceiling fans.

These design themes are ones that Stephen Quick IV—who, together with his brother, Alexander Quick, and father, Stephen Quick III, comprise Stephen Alexander Homes—looks forward to incorporating into other recently acquired properties in this diverse neighborhood.

In the meantime, like roasted oysters perfumed equally of smoke and sea salt, this year’s Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea Home is refined and rugged … and real-life ready.


Stephen Alexander Homes
From 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 over 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.


Susan Wilson Interiors

Meet the Designer

Susan Wilson has been designing memorable homes and spaces that clients and builders love. An award-winning designer, Susan has the vision to forecast and execute what interior and exterior styling clients desire. Specialties 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. Susan 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."


Family Room, CoVa Idea House
The Family Room draws from the surrounding rooms, inviting the spaces from all
around with a focus on the warm, wooden beams in the ceiling and a classic design.

York Lane Cottage
Solid pillars adorn the end caps of the kitchen island shaking hands with the wood
accents seen just a few feet away in the Family Room.

Family Room in CoVa Idea House
Wood accents tie in the space visually. Here seen in the built-in shelving that extends
to form a mantle.

Family Room

Mid-Century Asymmetry Finds Perfect Balance

Like pearls—or oxfords—with a white cotton button down, the classy-casual appeal of a white-on-white color palette is timeless and always fashionable. White shiplap, tile fireplace surround, slipcovered sofa and side chairs and accessories like bleached coral and white orchids keep the look fresh and breezy. The textured fishscale pattern of the fireplace tile creates a shimmer both elegant and organic. Open on three sides, this airy space has its own cozy flavor with exposed beams and a nod to mid-century asymmetry in the form of a slim fireplace mantle and floating shelves on only one side. But the repetition of rugs, fabrics and other materials ensures that this central space flows seamlessly into the adjacent dining room, kitchen and breakfast room. Creating sparkling continuity are a driftwood look and polished chrome console and side table, a Lucite coffee table and pair of stacked cube lamps with white linen shades and clear glass and chrome accessories like apothecary jars and picture frames. Throw pillows and a pair of ottomans repeat the drapery trim fabric from the dining room, while the round shapes of the ottomans sound a pleasingly unexpected note in this home where right angles rule.


Susan loves:

White-on-white color palette. “The layers of white look clean, fresh and coastal, yet elegant.”


Dining Room in CoVa Idea House
Guests will enjoy gazing upon the gorgeous light fixtures or the amazing view looking
out to the pool deck and dock.

Dining Room in CoVa Idea House
Lighting by Progress Lighting. Furniture by Esprit Decor.

Dining Room

Casual Elegance is Served with Every Course

This open dining room stylishly sidesteps stodginess to strike the perfect casual-formal balance. Finely textured grasscloth wallpaper in denim blue meets white shiplap wainscoting below for a jeans-and-white-cotton-button-down contrast that is crisp but not harsh. Continuing the theme of contrast is a gray, driftwood-look dining table with polished chrome partial-wrap legs sporting a sleek, flat profile. Nailhead trim overlays a hint of tradition onto contemporary armless chairs upholstered in natural linen. A white, wooden sideboard that seamlessly blends into the shiplap wainscoting provides the storage of a hutch without the heavy formality of stained wood. Above, a large pair of contemporary sea bird prints are elegantly organic. On the quartet of windows, floor-length, sheer, white panels are trimmed with a band of blue and white fabric with a fan coral design. Suspended from chrome rings on sleek Lucite rods, they have a mamma-meets-millennial appeal. A pair of polished nickel split chandeliers over the table blends classic design with a sleek contemporary material, keeping the look light and airy. Their wavy glass shades suggest sunlight shimmering off rippling water. Underfoot, a luxurious, blue-gray-on-white Oriental rug is soft on both the feet and eyes.


Susan loves:

A pair of split chandeliers. “They allow the room to breathe more so that the eye can absorb the other details.”


Stephen loves:

The openness. “We offer a formal area just inside the front entrance that immediately opens up to other spaces to avoid any sense of stodginess.”


Breakfast Room in CoVa Idea House
If the Dining Room didn't feature enough of a view, this Breakfast Room offers front
stage passes to anyone sitting at this table. The two cozy swivel armchairs offer a
360-degree view of the space, so sip your coffee with guests at the table while
enjoying the delicious view outside.

CoVa Idea House Breakfast Room table
The screened-in porch is just off the Breakfast Room and offers an experience "one
step closer" to nature but with the comforts of inside.

Breakfast Room

Sunny Side Up

Surrounded by windows on two sides—and open to the kitchen and family room opposite—this room is all about the tree-framed view of the cove and the setting sun. But it is less a room than a light-filled space with a kick-your-shoes-off footprint as large as the formal dining room. A white, wooden, farmhouse-style table and chairs with neutral, linen-upholstered seats are likely to be the site of much more than breakfast, while a pair of white, slipcovered armchairs creates a cozy spot for morning coffee, afternoon tea or cusp-of-the-day cocktails. Contrasting topstitching adds a hint of crispness to the relaxed fabric while blue and white throw pillows with a formal print are more about sinking in than sitting up. Set against soft blue-gray walls, the palette whispers of calm seas beneath puffy clouds. A mod stacked cube Lucite lamp base with a square white shade is subtly chic and “sea”-through, while the gray, driftwood-look side table, white coral accents and chrome lanterns suggest all things nautical with a natty nod. Suspended above the dining table, the sleek polished nickel chandelier with its exposed bulbs is a contemporary take on an old-fashioned candelabra; its slim profile avoids obstructing the view.


Stephen loves:

The view and the light. “The afternoon sun makes this the place to be to maximize enjoyment.” 


CoVa Idea House Kitchen
This massive yet sleek quartz-top island accommodates six guests comfortably,
enough prep space to set up a feast and a sunk-in sink that has fixtures pretty
enough to put on this giant pedestal.

Kitchen in CoVa Idea House

Kitchen island in CoVa Idea House
Island top by Cambria Quartz


A Mix of Materials Sizzles and Sparkles

Like miles of sugary beach sand, there is no such thing as too much white in a kitchen. Especially if a long stretch of white upper and lower cabinets serves as a foil for bistro-worthy Carrera marble-look quartz countertops, a graphic backsplash and a thick, 12-foot island whose gray-veined quartz top is boldly breathtaking.  

Despite their traditional origins, the clean lines and recessed panels of shaker-style cabinet doors pair well with both modern and contemporary design making them the ideal choice for this kitchen. Similarly, a soft gray and white palette throughout ensures that the classic, mid-century and contemporary influences all play nicely together. Perfect for this palette are stainless steel appliances, including a massive commercial range (with both steam and convection ovens), side-by-side commercial refrigeration and freezer units, dual dishwashers and a contemporary riff on a farmhouse sink.

Shiplap cladding on the island with driftwood-look trim on opposite ends is repeated in the design of the powerful but quiet range hood. The design of the hood-flanking upper cabinets repeats the faintly nautical X-shaped motif of the island trim. This coastal casual vibe is dressed up a bit with the addition of graceful white cove molding, polished chrome hardware and, over the island, a trio of large sand bucket-style pendant fixtures with white linen shades. Lucite counter stools ensure that this gathering space is as contemporary as it is coastal and as airy as it is anchored.


Susan loves:

The graphic gray and white tile backsplash. “It softens what could be an imposing commercial range.”


Stephen loves:

The island. “It is not necessarily a work space but a gathering space.”


Culinary Space, CoVa Idea House
The only clue that gives this door away is the reflection of the beautiful scenery
outside. Otherwise, one could walk into this see-through barn door on crisp metal
rollers that seem to float in the door itself.

Culinary space in York Lane Cottage

York Lane Cottage culinary space
Photo by Nick Spencer, 360 CoastalVa Photography

Culinary Space in CoVa Idea House

Culinary Space

Prep and Pantry Space Too Pretty to Hide

Just behind the kitchen is a functional space intended for food preparation and storage. But, like pheasant under glass, it is so special that it is dramatically showcased behind a massive rolling glass door with gleaming polished chrome trim. An indigo blue refrigerator-freezer with copper hardware provides a dramatic focal point within the otherwise soft gray and white palette. Continued from the kitchen is white, shaker-style cabinetry, both open and closed, with polished chrome hardware. Similarly, the island’s dramatic quartz countertop is repeated here and on the wet bar. Small hexagon marble tiles create a subtle shimmer across the backsplash, floor and halfway up the opposite wall, while a contemporary chrome, candelabra-style chandelier glows overhead. Between the rolling glass door and the back porch—seemingly made for serving cocktails—is a shiplap clad island wet bar with a stainless steel wine cooler and deep undermount sink, plenty of discreet storage and a million-dollar view.


Susan loves:

A designated space for small appliances. “The separate culinary space prevents small appliances from cluttering the clean, open kitchen.”


Stephen loves:

The fun factor. “We have given people an opportunity to display their culinary passion in a way that friends and family can interact with it.”


Mudroom in CoVa Idea House


Staying Organized with Style

White shiplap wainscoting and weathered wood planks on the floor and on an L-shaped bench combine with wide cove molding and contemporary polished chrome lanterns to hit the rugged versus refined sweet spot. A white cabinet with chrome hardware, upper and lower cubbies, weathered gray baskets and a this-way-to-the-beach sign ensure that hardworking and functional doesn’t mean haphazard and forgotten.


Stephen loves:

The practicality. “This space can be full of all of the paraphernalia of daily life, but it hides it in attractive baskets, cabinets and cubbies.”


Powder Room in CoVa Idea House
Photo by Nick Spencer, 360 CoastalVa Photography

Powder Room

This Enclosed Space Feels Open and Bright

This little powder room has breathing room. Though it is tucked under the stairs, this soft gray-blue pearl glimmers with reflected light from luxe surfaces like small, hexagon marble floor tiles. On the accent wall, wainscoting of rectangular glass tiles bordered with mitered marble strips creates a repeated picture frame motif behind the white ceramic and polished chrome console sink. A glass shelf provides needed storage space, but the open design helps keep the space light and airy. Above, a built-in, marble-framed mirror fills all remaining space to maximize brightness, while a pair of wall-mounted chrome and glass sconces hover between industrialism and modernism. Lacy coral motifs complete the pretty picture whose overall effect is retro-refinement.


Susan loves:

The glass and marble tile wainscoting. “This tile pattern injects shimmer and reflected light into enclosed spaces.”


Stephen loves:

The elegant retro feel. “It is reminiscent of discovering that one original bathroom preserved during a historic restoration.”

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