CoVa Idea Houses 2019

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

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CoVa Idea House

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.

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