Tasty Bites and Stunning Design at the 2018 CoVa Idea House

I’ve always been fascinated with interior design. Watching HGTV and design shows like Bravo’s Flipping Out have me paying attention to things like the grout between the backsplash and even the placement of staged furniture.

While I am a few years away from leaving the rental world and purchasing a house of my own, that doesn’t stop me from admiring beautiful homes. On Saturday, November 17, I attended a showing of the 2018 Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House. While I mainly went for the food, I was amazed by waterside home.


The stunning house is located in Virginia Beach’s secluded Bay Colony neighborhood. Also known as the York Lane Cottage, this year’s house was built by Stephen Alexander Homes. With 4,300 square feet of living space, including an in-law suite, the $2.6 million home is the most expensive Idea House ever.

If you’re like me, this house would be slightly out of your budget. However, when you attend one of the free open house showings, hosted by Coastal Virginia Magazine, you’ll be able to take a self-guided tour, enjoy local catering and even get design ideas for your own home.

I spoke to several people at Saturday’s viewing who were all interested in seeing the talked-about house. Most visitors were local while some came as far as the Eastern Shore to look around and even borrow some ideas as the renovated or redecorated their homes.

The furniture, décor and other interior design elements garnered a lot of attention. I got major “coastal retreat” vibes as I looked around at the décor, carefully selected by designer Susan Wilson and Esprit Décor Home Furnishings. While most of the house had very clean and refined elements, it was accented by ocean blues that complemented the locale overlooking Linkhorn Bay.

Of course, my favorite room in the house was the kitchen with an open breakfast room. The windows in the breakfast room catch your eye as soon as you walk into the house. A flood of natural light draws you in. I love the water and wish I could start every morning overlooking my pool and the bay.


In the kitchen, Sweetwater Cuisine was preparing appetizers and placing them on the long kitchen island. The island had more than enough room for everyone to gather around and enjoy Sweetwater’s delicious offerings.

The southern-inspired catering company served two finger-friendly appetizers.

The first was lamb shank, served on toasted crostini, with a homemade Bolognese sauce and a wedge of fried goat cheese on top. The pulled lamb shank was tender and didn’t need a ton of seasoning thanks to the robust Bolognese sauce.

While I’m typically not a fan of goat cheese’s tart flavor, my mantra rang true when I tried Sweetwater’s fried goat cheese. I really will eat anything if its fried. Tangy goat cheese is so much better when covered in parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings then fried.

The second appetizer, that I couldn’t stay away from, was the Bourbon Chicken Spring Rolls. When you bite into the roll, you get a slight crunch then are immediately wowed by the bourbon chicken made with a homemade bourbon sauce. For so long, I wasn’t sure if I’ve every experienced a dish with true umami flavors. Sweetwater’s Bourbon Chicken Spring Rolls are the perfect savory bite.

One of my other favorite elements to the house was the “Culinary Space.” Imagine a high-end butler’s pantry, complete with a see-through refrigerator and a sliding glass door. I’d be able to store my potato chips and various teas in style if this was my pantry.

While the house was not for sale, several pieces and furniture and décor were up for auction. Proceeds from the silent auction benefit the Daniel’s Grace Charitable Foundation, a local organization whose mission is to ease the financial burden faced by people and families fighting cancer.

Like I said, I’m a few years away from being able to implement similar design elements in my own home. I did, however, get many ideas for my dream house that I’m building on the game Sims.

For more information on the CoVa Idea House, visit CoVaIdeaHouse.com.

Check out more photos of the 2018 CoVa Idea House in the gallery below