Ideas for “Idea Houses” may happen differently—but perhaps more intriguingly—than you ever imagined.
In a recent interview, Stephen Quick IV, principal of Stephen Alexander Homes & Neighborhoods—along with his father, Stephen III, and brother, Alex—explained how the process works for their team.
This year’s Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House, the second such partnership between Stephen Alexander Homes and Coastal Virginia Magazine, is called “The Gloucester.” Located in Ashby’s Bridge, a brand new subdivision dedicated to coastal architecture on Sandbridge Road, the home’s feel calls to mind Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket at the turn of the century.
Situated on a 15,000-square-foot lot on a “very green site” that backs up to Lago Mar, the house, which will sell in the low $800,000s, sports 3,800 square feet of living space and at least 50 windows. The home’s story-and-a-half design means that the square footage of the upstairs is “in the roof,” which creates a quaint dormer-lit space with appealing roof and ceiling lines.
Wide plank flooring, nostalgic trim details, a large front porch and Allura fiber cement architectural shingles in a soft coastal color help complete the picture of this home with its bygone-era-meets-21st-century-livability-and-lifestyle. Quick describes the home’s simplified, open floor plan as “clean and simple … classic … with a slight modern industrial flavor over the top.”
Extraordinarily practical with entertaining and lifestyle features built into the hub of the house—and into the screened porch and pavered outdoor living space—this gracious abode features five bedrooms with the master down, 3.5 baths, a large kitchen and a walk-in pantry with a built-in wine cellar. It will also boast eco-friendly features like a ZIP system in which the housewrap is built into the sheathing. “It’s like shrink wrapping the house—very efficient,” Quick notes.
Perhaps eye-opening to the uninitiated is the fact that the ideas for this Idea House weren’t conceived in advance of breaking ground. Rather, as Quick explains, “With a new (house) plan, we spend a lot of time walking through and imagining ourselves living there; the house will inspire us. You have to be in the space in order to determine what will enhance livability.” He continues, “There will be a lot of first-time things for us,” though the home will still offer some of the essentials for which Stephen Alexander has become known.
“The Imagineering Department is working overtime,” Quick asserts. And, here in the pages of Coastal Virginia Magazine, readers will be able to follow Stephen Alexander’s exciting process as it unfolds, leading up to and including the spring unveiling.
Self-guided tours of the home and events to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be announced as the opening date approaches. Stayed tuned in subsequent issues for updates and unveiling of the 2017 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House.