CoVa Idea Houses 2019

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

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The Rose Eleganza

A Stunning Testament to the Happy Marriage of Tradition and Contemporary Trends

Lawson Homes

Built by Lawson Homes

Photography by Jim Pile

Like nearby Colonial Williamsburg which, at its essence, embodies an intersection of the old and new, this year’s Peninsula Idea House 2019, The Rose Eleganza, is a best-of-both-worlds showcase. Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac on a bluff in the wooded rolling hills of The Oaks at Fenton Mill, just minutes from the heart of Williamsburg and the York River, this ranch-style home with two unconnected second-story spaces, is, as the name suggests, elegant, but with surprising industrial and urban touches. Together, Sindy and Jack Clifton, principals of Lawson Homes, and Trez Robinson of Staged2Sell, have created past-meets-present pizazz throughout every one of this dwelling’s 3,560 square feet.

Even the exterior—part dark gray siding and part stone—celebrates compatible contrasts. A graceful rhythm of arched windows, entryway and carriage-style garage doors creates a harmonious façade.  Gooseneck sconces echo the curves. Tailored landscaping in the front features a bed of Eleganza hybrid tea roses bordered by a stamped walkway and edged driveway for a hint of formality. In the back, the focal point of the stamped patio is its circular firepit surrounded by concentric rings of gray block. The inviting backdrop is deep woods that imbue the space with a rustic feeling of privacy and seclusion.

Upon stepping through the home’s front door, the handsome stone fireplace at the far end of the family room exerts a magnetic pull. The dramatic gold coffered ceiling points the way. A pair of windows flanking the two-sided fireplace provides pleasing sight lines through the enclosed porch to the woods beyond, emphasizing the privacy of this property. 

Throughout the home, a palette of grays, black and white with unexpected pops of gold and emerald green is soothing, yet surprising. Burnished gold metals suggest tradition but are all about today, while a mix of dark stained and natural woods are a beautiful balance of formal and casual. Gleaming floors with warm and cool tones and a slightly weathered look combine with neutral tile to ground the blend of past and present.

The first CoVa Magazine Idea House undertaken by Lawson Homes, The Rose Eleganza lives up to its name: Old World elegance expertly crafted into a house for 21st-century homeowners.


Lawson Homes

Meet the Builders

Jack and Sindy Clifton, the husband and wife team at Lawson Homes, have been designing and building both on the Southside and on the Peninsula for over 30 years. Sindy and Jack incorporate their blend of experience and skill into the inspired production of each of their new homes, highlighting spectacular and functional living spaces, state-of-the-art features, creative details and beautiful environments.

Lawson Homes wants to thank our vendors and suppliers for their support, many of which are original members of the Lawson team, during the construction of the Rose Eleganza. We wish to extend a special thank you to Coastal Virginia Magazine for extending us the opportunity to build the Peninsula 2019 Idea House.



Meet the Designer

Trez Robinson, Staged2Sell

Staging goes way beyond decorating and cleaning. It’s about perfecting the art and science of potentializing space, visualization and emotionally connecting homebuyers to the house. Staging makes your house look and feel bigger, brighter, warmer, more loving and, best of all…it makes homebuyers want to buy it. Instantly! Trez’s greatest joy is being able to positively elevate homes in surrounding communities by getting properties to sell quickly and getting the most money back into the pockets of homesellers.


family room
Efficient Natural Gas by Virginia Natural Gas; Interior Design by Staged2Sell

Family Room

Coffers and Cages Go Contemporary

Nothing says tradition like a coffered ceiling … unless it is this coffered ceiling. Scaled up for a bold contemporary statement, these coffers are defined by deep white trim and rich, sunny gold paint. The warmth of this color is a crisp contrast with the soft gray walls and provides a design springboard here and elsewhere, a matte cousin to the burnished gold metals throughout the home. Hung over the sleek gray sofa, a pair of abstract “burst” paintings feature gold, gray, white and emerald green, another surprising signature color of this home. Gold and white patterned throw pillows soften the lines of the gray sofa and matching chairs that “float” just opposite and fill a large basket next to the stone fireplace, a pretty focal point with its glossy white mantel. The coffee and nesting end tables are another beautiful blend of tradition and on-trend design with their white and gray veined tops reminiscent of a European bistro and their thin burnished gold metal legs that skew mid-century modern. This open design is reflected in popular cage-style light fixtures and accessories that flow throughout the house. A plush rug with a graphic zigzag design in white, gray and black injects another layer of visual energy into this space and balances the strong ceiling treatment. Over the fireplace, a square format metal diptych with a calligraphic line plays off the coffers and announces this home’s sophisticated, and occasionally playful, approach to updating traditional style.


Fiberon Decking from Builders FirstSource


Home Sales by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty


A Fashionable Transition between Indoors and Out

Though the fireplace provides a strong focal point whose pull is felt immediately upon entering the front door, the foyer is beautifully, if minimally, appointed, providing a lovely open space to pause. A somewhat traditional black chest is caged inside a contemporary glass-topped console table with a thin burnished gold frame, creating design cohesion with the metal wire cage designs that populate this home. Natural elements bridge indoors and out in the form of a neutral abstract seascape and branches arranged in a white ceramic vase with a bold modern relief design.



Office-study in CoVa Idea House
PlyGem Windows from Builders FirstSource


Getting Comfy While You Work

Through French doors on the opposite side of the foyer from the dining room is an open and airy office-study. Natural light suffuses the space through a double arched window with a low sill. An angled rug announces the casual mid-century vibe of this room. A reclaimed wooden desk with black metal legs and a black Eames-era chair create a visual connection to the look and feel of the breakfast room. Natural wood is repeated in the tapered round coffee table and in the bookshelf set against an angled wall. The shelving unit’s burnished gold metal frame is carried over to a circular wire wall-hanging with an atomic-era sensibility. More geometric unity is created by the prominence of a large circular wall-mounted clock and retro desk fan. A pair of gray upholstered chairs echo those in the family room, but with taller, thinner legs and a slimmer profile. White throw pillows are embellished with organically textured atomic bursts possessing a similar, but softened, energy to the paintings in the family room.



Kitchen, Pantry and Beverage Center

Living Casual in a Tuxedo Kitchen

This tuxedo kitchen sports a black and white color scheme as the name suggests. But an expansive fish scale backsplash in gray and appliances in matte black, which read like charcoal gray, prevent the overall effect from being stark. Burnished gold bar style cabinet pulls, pot-filler and substantial appliance handles with an artisan look warm and soften the space as do the white counters with their gently moving subtle gray veining. White wall-mounted cabinets, some with glass fronts for display, join black base cabinets on the island for clean contrast. The black shiplap trim on the ends of the expansive island help relax the formality of this party-ready kitchen. The island, which easily seats four at sleek black and gold stools, is tucked between white columns that frame the view into the kitchen where the black range hood provides a handsome focal point. Suspended above is a colonial-meets-contemporary black cage and candelabra-style chandelier. The island’s deep stainless-steel sink features a black industrial faucet with burnished gold accents.

kitchen in Idea House

oven in CoVa Idea House
Kitchen by BT Cabinets

kitchen in CoVa Idea House

The adjacent beverage center, situated between the kitchen and dining room, extends the palette of the kitchen and island with white cabinets above and black below, burnished gold hardware and the same countertop. A gray shiplap backsplash repeats that motif from the island, as does a smaller version of the black and burnished gold faucet for the bar sink. Cubbies for wine, racks for glassware and cabinets with glass display fronts puts entertaining front and center. A pocket door separates this space from the dining room when it is needed for food prep.

Just opposite, the butler’s pantry is as functional as it is beautiful. White cabinets, gray-veined countertops and burnished gold cabinet pulls preserve the seamless look of the culinary space. The pantry’s combination of closed cabinets, open shelving, corner compartments, roll out drawers and pull out baskets makes smart use of every square inch.


Breakfast Room, Idea House

Breakfast Room

Transitioning between the kitchen and the enclosed porch, with its fireplace, skylight and wooded backdrop, is the breakfast room which celebrates nature and mid-century modern style in equal measure. Situated beneath a pendant fixture that echoes the style, materials and color of the kitchen chandelier is a live edge slab top table. Its wood grain and wormholes are a warm, organic contrast to the black MCM hairpin legs, black Eames-era chairs and black metal stair railing beyond. Black accessories, like an updated version of a milk jug holding a bouquet of green grasses, sit atop a runner with a black-and-white zigzag pattern. A pair of abstract paintings in a neutral color palette also allude to the natural world in an understated way.


dining room in CoVa Idea House

Dining Room

Feasting on Past and Present

Sun streams into this oversized dining space through a pair of arched windows, while the handsome tray ceiling lends to the expansive feel. A traditional dark-stained wooden table and six cross-back chairs are made to feel more modern by the addition of sleek leather chairs at each end. Overhead a pair of sparkly chandeliers feature bold geometry. A diptych at one end of the room subtlety repeats the zigzag pattern from the family room rug in soft gray tones. On the opposite wall, a pair of mirrors sport gold Laurel wreath frames, but their bold interpretation of this historical symbol is a triumph of modern design. The design of the burnished gold cage-style chargers under layered white porcelain place settings is referenced in the cage candle holders, their triangular motif another nod to the zigzag pattern. In the center of the table, branches with white blooms sprout from a casual and rustic interpretation of a Greek urn, again suggesting the weight of history, but in a light-hearted way.


Theater Room
Entertainment Connectivity by Cox Communications

theater room in CoVa Idea House

Theater Room

Made for Movies and More

Preventing this large room from feeling cavernous is a vaulted “ceilingscape” that renders the space more intimate and touches throughout that are warm and inviting. Sunny gold accents on throw pillows and woven textiles make the sleek white leather L-shaped sectional feel cozy. A sofa table, TV console and desk made of reclaimed wood inject a casual and rustic hominess. Clean-lined light fixtures, ceiling fan and Eames-era desk chair provide a modern contrast. A contemporary barrel back armchair with gray upholstery and nailhead detailing resides somewhere in between while carving out a little reading nook. A pair of floor lamps with tripod-style legs and square white shades say, rather than shout, “movie night.” The underlit onyx sink in the adjoining bathroom functions as a night light, emitting a subtle glow without disturbing movie watchers.


Idea House bedroom

Guest room


lounging chairs

chairs and TV


Children’s/Guest Rooms

Growing Up Timelessly

Llamas, soft pink, gray blueish green and a triptych of contemporary wall art play nicely together in this vaulted front room with its large window and low sill. A white Saarinen-style tulip table surrounded by retro emerald blue-green metal chairs ensures this room isn’t just for sleeping. And signage with positive sayings enables this room’s young inhabitant to step out into the world empowered. Next door, the color palette is black, white and fresh green. Industrial grid motifs play off plant motifs, both leafy and organic and spiny and structural. Black and white bed linens combine grids, stripes and plant silhouettes. The sheet and pillowcase grids are repeated in a pair of black metal wall hangings mounted above the bed, part headboard and part wall art. A white and silver campaign-style drafting desk and an Eames-era desk chair make homework seem like child’s play.  White nightstands and accessories keep the black in check. Upstairs, an L-shaped guest room offers loads of privacy for sleeping and hanging out. A subdued black, white and gray color palette in solids and plaid is soothing and tailored. Upholstered chairs are contemporary interpretations of camp-style chairs for a kicked-back vibe. In the adjoining bathroom, a shower curtain with the crisp appeal of a cotton pinstripe shirt continues the color scheme but with a pop of rosy-red for a hint of warmth.


master bedroom

Homeowner Bedroom and Bath

A Regal Retreat

Combining bedroom, sitting room and spa-like en suite bath, this sumptuous retreat is a world apart. Here, with a view of the woods through a wall of windows behind a pair of emerald green velvet arm chairs, sitting rivals sleeping. Beneath a tray ceiling, a dark-stained bed with a coffered headboard and bench-style footboard looks both crisp and cushy with its cloudlike layers of silky smooth and organically textured white cotton bedding. A dark stained dresser and haberdashery style walk-in closet provide stylish storage. White porcelain lamps bear burnished gold accents that are picked up in wall art and, most dramatically, in the industrial hardware of the French-influenced rolling barn door that separates bedroom from bath.

Master Closet by Closet Factory


Tile by Daltile

shower in Idea House
Plumbing by Premier Plumbing

In the bathroom, a white vessel-style tub is tucked beneath a window into a niche that is crowned by a dramatic barrel vault clad in dark stained beadboard. Luxurious neutral marble tile with subtle veining flows across the floor and halfway up the three walls surrounding the tub. A strip of mosaic accent tile defines the bathing area and is repeated on the floor of the adjacent walk-in shower. There, large square marble wall tiles are punctuated by two vertical “waterfall” insets with a striking chevron design. A triangular built-in bench is nestled in between. Coexisting seamlessly are a double vanity with a light neutral mottled quartz countertop, double tilting mirrors, dark-stained cabinetry and burnished gold faucets and fixtures that skew industrial. Accessories repeat motifs and materials—cage-style and mid-century design, burnished gold metals, white ceramic and natural wood—seen throughout the home.


laundry room

Laundry Room

Working Hard and Living Easy

This galley-style, sunlit space is sophisticated and streamlined. Deep gray upper and lower cabinets flank the washer and dryer, providing ample storage. A deep sink for hand-washing garments is conveniently located closest to the door. Mottled gray countertops look luxurious but are low maintenance. Injecting graphic pattern into this mostly solid-tone space is a magnificent marble floor featuring a grid of gray rings and dark gray bars against a white background. Injecting a bit of humor into this “formal-fab” space is a vintage sign that reads, “Laundry Room: Self-Service/Open 24 Hours/Drop Your Pants Here.”


Downstairs Hall Bath

Downstairs Hall Bath

Magnificent Mash-Up

This surprising synthesis of styles creates a luxurious love child of tradition, spa-like tranquility and trendy industrial modernism. A richly stained double vanity provides both cabinet and drawer space below the mottled neutral quartz countertop. A tall central cabinet separates the pair of white porcelain sinks with sleek square profiles and tilting mirrors above. Burnished gold faucets and towel bars sport a refined pipe-and-duct aesthetic while the neutral floor and wall tiles are more “Zendustrial.” Their large-format subway shape bears organic striations on the floor and dimensional ridged waves behind the angular tub. There, a double row of narrow mosaic rectangular tiles adds shimmer. 

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