Welcome to the annual Coastal Living Idea House, where our team created almost 7,000 square feet of inspirational spaces just steps from the Chesapeake Bay.

By Lacey N. Howard
September 26, 2005
On the first-floor porch, synthetic-wicker seating covered in patterned cushions extends the interior’s living and dining spaces. “We selected durable outdoor fabrics and furnishings so there are no worries about coming in off the beach and plopping down on the porch,” Allyson says.
Jean Allsopp

Each dawn, as the sun climbs high enough to make the coolChesapeake Bay waters appear bright blue, a pod of dolphins swimsparallel to Norfolk, Virginia's East Beach community shoreline.Their arching backs and dorsal fins break the water's surface, asif waving to early-morning shell seekers.

Behind sea oats and sand dunes rises our Idea House'sthree-story, shingle-clad facade. Exterior shingles painted deepgreen and a wraparound porch supported by sculptural columns callto mind old Norfolk style, hinting at the 700-home plannedcommunity's focus on vernacular Southern style. "Our vision was tocreate a unique neighborhood that would combine the quality ofdesign and architecture with the quality of life we felt this areacould generate," says East Beach managing partner Bart Frye.

The developers' master plan has been years in themaking―transforming a 100-acre urban area badly in need ofredevelopment. "The city of Norfolk wanted to recycle this landinstead of eliminating [undeveloped] green area," Bart says. Theresult, he says, will be a water-focused, pedestrian communitybetween the Chesapeake Bay and Pretty Lake, where a marina serveslocals. "Here, you have a terrific house in a place where you canwalk or bike from home to the beach and perhaps your boat," Bartsays. In addition, there's entertainment, dining, and boutiqueshopping.

To serve families, a Montessori school welcomes children ages 3to 6. Parks grace almost every block. Players compete withknee-high kings and queens on the giant chessboard outside theclubhouse. "The Bay Front Club has a pool and deck area whereresidents can enjoy the sights, sounds, and breezes of the beachwithout the sand―and with a drink, if they'd like," Bartsays.

Order a CD image gallery from this Idea House for only $10.

Checks may be sent to Coastal Living, c/o Mamie Walling, 2100 Lakeshore Drive,Birmingham, AL, 35209. Please specify which version and write"NorfolkCD" in the memo line.

Call 205/445-8654 for more information.