Virginia is blessed with miles and miles of navigable waterways that flow toward the Chesapeake Bay. Waterfront properties along the bay, rivers and creeks draw loads of city dwellers and suburbanites from Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Tidewater area looking for serene rural retreats. This general geographic area is fondly referred to as the Rivah, and we are excited to feature a new category of posts simply called Rivah Living.
Over the years we have shared some beautiful examples of Rivah Living. Remember A Gentleman’s Farm located on the banks of a creek off the North River? Who could forget our Mermaid . . . in Residence’s post? For a great way to share Rivah Living with others, why not try a Midsummer’s Night Progressive Dinner ~ Rivah Style? Hospitality goes hand-in-hand with Rivah Living as we showcased in Hospitality House, Rivah-Style.
Today you, gracious readers, are in for a treat. We are delighted to share a lovely family retreat on Stutt’s Creek that exemplifies Rivah Living at its best. Ellen first visited sCc’s Mathews County second home the night before her trip to Dragon Run and returned raving about it. She said when I laid eyes on Sara’s river home, I thought The Gracious Posse would love to have a tour. Blessedly, sCc graciously agreed to a photo shoot and more.
sCs’s family bought the home next door to this property in 2005. When its matriarch passed away, she and her husband BCC jumped on the chance to purchase this land with its almost 360° views. They took their time planning the property’s transformation from a run-down farmhouse to this distinctive beauty that suits their family’s needs and desires.
Working with Jay Hugo of 3north Architects and contractor Robert Ottarson of Gloucester, Virginia, the shake-sided main house features gambrel roof, oval windows and a cupola, which immediately bring to mind classic New England vacation homes.
Talk about Americana style at its finest.
Deep porches provide loads of outdoor living space 3+ seasons a year.
There’s a place to relax for everyone,
including Bella and the newest member of the family, Callie.
The clean and crisp exterior walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Historic Colors Edgecombe Grey.
The wide dark-stained front door offers a gracious and light-filled welcome.
A close family friend helped sCc with the interior design. The heron painting in the blue-stone decked foyer was commissioned from artist Claiborne Riley.
The lovely cement pots throughout the property (the one below contains a Fiddleleaf Fig) come from Curry and Curry in White Stone, Virginia.
Turn left after you enter to access the main living areas of the house.
The sunroom provides the perfect spot for quiet conversation
or reading year-round.
You can see the rest of the main living area from this cozy spot.
The sunny dining nook across from the open kitchen includes a church pew.
The family room door to the outdoor fireplace and pool is surrounding by niches that feature a portion of sCc’s father’s collection of carved wooden herons and other water birds.
In addition to the wooden carvings, the other focal point of the family room is the painting above the mantel of the F.D. Crockett, one of the iconic Chesapeake Bay buyboats recently featured in Virginia Living.
Shiplap painted in Benjamin Moore’s Elmira White clad walls throughout from the family room,
to the hallways,
and even the lovely powder room.
(paint color on wall above shiplap is Benjamin Moore’s Sea Glass)
The downstairs guest suite flows to the right of the front entrance and includes
this bath filled with a trio of unique finishes: vertical-running tile, wood-like ceramic floor tile and stone shower floor.
to find the master bedroom with breathtaking views.
One of sCc’s favorite finishes in the house is the circular stone tiles covering the front of this upstairs guest bathtub.
Before the main house was even designed, sCc and her husband built this picturesque guest cottage
as their temporary second home.
The open floor plan feels cozy yet spacious and light-filled with
the double-height ceiling soaring above the main floor and the charming oval window.
Its twin hangs on the opposite wall in the open sleeping loft.
Rulers of the Roost
On the other side of the guest cottage from the main house, you’ll find the permanent residents of this bucolic spot.
Princess (a Bantom Cochin on the left with the white bustle) with Raquel, a Red Sex Link, really runs the place.
It’s always fun to check on the treasures they and the other six chickens leave,
especially during this prolific time of year.
Rest, Relaxation and Recreation
Life slows down at the Rivah where sCc’s homestead proves the focus is all about family, friends,
and Mother Nature.
The colorful landscape
designed by Janet Baruch of Richmond allows
sCc to indulge her green thumb and
You can’t help but become a bird-watcher in these parts.
Herons are a beloved sight,
especially up in this tall tree.
Don’t forget a walking stick for leisurely excursions,
where you never know what delights you will find.
And when the weather doesn’t cooperate,
there are always puzzles and board games.
At the Rivah, the old adage rings true:
the family that plays together stays together.
sCc and her husband have created a comfortable and stylish Rivah retreat that serves as a refuge for their children who have long since flown the nest. They return to this quiet corner of the world as often as possible to be restored and revel in the simple joys of life. That’s exactly what Rivah Living is all about.
June 16, 2016