House Crashing: Four A Good Cause

Some of the same folks behind Richmond’s Homearama (who are working with us on our Habitat For Humanity Showhouse – which we’re planning to update you guys on ASAP) invited us to similar-but-new show called the Massey Street of Dreams. Like Homearama, it features custom built homes that are decked out inside by designers & decorators who collaborate with each builder and their team. But this show’s the brainchild of cancer survivor George Emerson, so it’s got a charitable slant in that all proceeds benefit our local VCU Massey Cancer Center. So just like we had fun sharing these eight homes with you guys, we’re psyched to share the four pretty places that make up the Massey Street of Dreams.

The homes are located side-by-side in a new community and (here’s the part where I’m jealous) they’re basically right across the street from water views of the James River. Each house is done by a different builder and a different design team, so they’re all pretty distinct. We love these types of tours because we always find ourselves saying “I liked the kitchen in that one the most” or “I’d take the master bath from this one, but the patio from that one.”

Let’s start with the blue one first. It was probably our favorite kitchen of the group, since it was hitting lots of the trends that we’ve fallen for like gray cabinets, an accent color on the island along with a different counter material, an exposed hood, etc.

The marble subway tile backsplash was a nice classic choice too, and I don’t think we’ve ever met a glass-fronted cabinet that we didn’t like.

The butler’s pantry / dry bar area that connected the kitchen and dining room was a nice transition between the two spaces. The darker gray on these cabinets tied in with the color of the ceiling coffers (you can see that better in the next photo).

We love ourselves a coffered ceiling – especially since it lets this room get away with a dark ceiling color without making the room feel too heavy.

The living room was fairly traditional by most measures, but there were two patterned orange chairs in the corner that added an element of happy-casual. The stone + raw wood combo on the fireplace really cozied up the room.

The house also had our favorite master bathroom, namely because of the giant freestanding tub. This type of tub is similar to the one we’ve got slated for our showhouse project, so it was reassuring to see how awesome it could look in real life.

This nautical kids room was especially charming to Sherry, since she was (predictably) smitten with the egg chair. We both thought the details like the sail headboard (hung from an oar, no less) and the dock cleat hook rail were fun additions.

The teenage girl’s room was designed by – get this – an actual teenage girl. Apparently this high schooler is interested in going to school to be an interior designer so they let her get her feet wet in this space. It was a “Paris meets mustache” theme of sorts with fun details like actual photos of her and her friends, and this idea of a place for her friends to take silly photos against the big backdrop using props like the mustaches on a stick (in the bedside cup).

The second home had a more old world style to it, but the kitchen had one extremely modern feature. See that door to the left of the kitchen?

That’s a prep kitchen! According to the project coordinator of the show, they love sharing new trends in housing, and a prep kitchen is the next big thing. Essentially it’s an area where you can keep things like your toaster and your coffee maker out and plugged in all of the time, without cluttering up your kitchen counters. We’re not sure we’re fancy enough to require a prep kitchen, but if nothing else it’d serve as a nice pantry with a bonus sink.

The house not only featured an open, covered porch with a planked ceiling (a kick you know we’re currently on ourselves) but it also had a DOUBLE-SIDED, INDOOR-OUTDOOR fireplace. How sweet is that? Oh, and let’s not overlook the outdoor TV.

The third house I dubbed as the one occupied by “Richmond’s Kris Jenner.” I don’t know lots about the Kardashian matriarch, but I’ve picked up that she’s got a thing for high contrast black-and-white decor thanks to Sherry subjecting me to bits and pieces of the show. This house was the less in your face version of that, so I mean it as a compliment. It felt upscale, with a lot of white and gray along with some strategic punches of dark brown/black. For instance, we loved the visual oomph of this dark staircase.

This dining room, like the one in the first house, featured a transom window in its doorway, which is always a nice added detail.

The kitchen in this home was definitely the most grand. I mean, look at all of those cabinets. And oh yeah, I couldn’t figure out how to turn that light off in the wine fridge. Oops. Just pretend ET’s in there, phoning home.

We loved the use of dark hardware to spice up the soft gray cabinets.

The breakfast nook off of the kitchen brought in some nice texture in the form of burlap curtains, which we learned was just some fabric that the designer added a black ribbon to with a glue gun. Sherry stood there smiling at them for a nice long time.

This last house was certainly the most decked out of the four – and probably the one with the most distinct style. It was packed with ornate, rustic pieces – sort like things you might find at Restoration Hardware. How great are those giant arched mirrors below?

Here’s the dining room. Sherry always loves a beaded chandelier and I was digging the big cozy chairs at the head of the table… although I could see myself just falling asleep in one after a nice Thanksgiving meal and then dripping gravy drool all over the nice upholstery.

We were both fascinated by the kitchen because it was a layout we had never seen before. It was hard to capture on camera, but picture three identically shaped workspaces staggered apart but parallel to each other – one was a peninsula, one was an island and one was a wall full of cabinets and appliances like the fridge.

In the front sitting room there was this really interesting and well executed paint treatment that looked like grasscloth wallpaper. They even painted it in sections that mimicked where you might see the edge of one wallpaper roll meeting another.

This house featured the new home trend of dual master bedrooms – one on the first floor and one on the second. Here’s the one upstairs (this picture doesn’t do the tufted headboard’s immense size any justice).

The girls bedroom strayed a bit from the rest of the home’s style (well, in color scheme at least). It seems to have been inspired by the chandelier, so we thought bringing in some of the yellow touches was nice, like those lamp shades on either side of the bed.

And last but not least, the mudroom in this home wasn’t styled yet but that didn’t stop us from ogling the mix of materials. The floor tile is what first got our attention, but it was pairing that with powder blue cabinets that made us excited to see how this space was coming together.

Obviously there’s a lot more to see in person, but this is a smattering of what caught our eye. These houses are open to the public Thursday through Sunday, this week and next (Sept 19-22 & 26-29) and all the info is on their website. It’s definitely a great cause!


    • says

      We think it’s meant for flexibility so you can live in a house with young kids (and sleep upstairs with them) and use the master downstairs for guests during that stage of life, and then as you get older and your kids leave the nest you might want to navigate the stairs less, so a first floor master would be preferred (while keeping the upstairs bedrooms available for grown children who might come to stay with their kids).


    • Rosie says

      I like the idea especially since teenagers keep all of their stuff in one room. Us adults spread our stuff all over the house so it makes sense to have a big room for teens!

      It would be great for two teenagers sharing a room too. Closet space, desk space, maybe even room for double beds as a luxury! Also… SLEEPOVERS!

    • Sara says

      I think it’s really more likely a guest suite. That way your guests don’t have to come upstairs and see your messy bedrooms/share a bathroom with your kids.

      As for for cleaning- I would imagine the cleaning lady cleans it! If you can have two masters, you can probably hire someone to clean!

    • Mellie says

      My fiancé’s parents’ house has a dual master bedroom and their house was built in the 90s. The whole house has a really cool layout. My fiancé wanted to live at home until he was engaged so when we were dating, we spent a lot of time there. His parents loved having their master bedroom on the first floor right near the main part of the house, and having lots of privacy, and my fiancé loved having his master bedroom on the second floor and having privacy since he’s well into his 20s, which worked out great for everyone. I didn’t know this was a thing, but I can see it working for so many different uses.

    • Maura says

      I say, if navigating the stairs is getting tough, it’s time to spend a little hard-earned cash on a cleaning service! That is very high on my future retired life list!

    • says

      Dual masters, and more specifically first-floor masters, are becoming more popular in the Richmond area. If the recession taught us nothing else, it taught home buyers that you could not move very two years and needed to plan for the future. By buying a home with two masters, aging parents can use the master on the first floor, while the home owners are on the second level. And then in the future, the first floor master is available for the owners when stairs become an issue.

    • Kris says

      My dad is a custom homebuilder in NC and has been doing “dual masters” for at least 10 years! He has always called it the “in-law’s suite” which I think stems from the idea of multi-generational living. These days I think the idea extends to the younger generation (as opposed to aging parents) as young people may live at home longer after college.

      And like other said, it seems to be morepopular to put the teens/young adults upstairs with the parents downstairs and closer to the main living spaces.

    • Tracy says

      John and Sherry essentially had a dual master in a ranch at House 2. I’m sure these show-houses are swankier, but often a bedroom with an ensuite bath can be labeled “master.” We have two bedrooms with ensuite baths, one upstairs, one on the main level. The main level is the true master – obvious by the bathroom amenities and closet space. We sleep downstairs and our kids sleep upstairs. Have done it that way since the youngest was 2.

  1. Kim says

    Awesome houses! I loved the island in the grey kitchen! It was rustic and modern–right up my alley!! Now if only I had the guts to paint mine that teal color!!!

  2. Moira says

    You don’t have a close up of that mudroom tile, do you? Just curious…it might be the same tile I just put in my foyer.

    • Susan says

      Would you describe that tile as wood-look at all? It looks very similar but just a shade lighter than what my in-laws just put in their new master bath. It’s amazing. It looks so warm and woody . . . but it’s tile. I thought it would be so tacky looking until I saw it in person and I couldn’t get over how great it looked.

  3. says

    I love this post! So great to see different styles featured. I loved the exterior of the blue house, but the interior of the last one. The picture of the mudroom is especially endearing to me since those are the tiles (or very similar) that I have chosen for our mudroom. Yay!

  4. John says

    Nice, but how amazing it would be to see a nice ranch style house. After a while they all look the same. So how about an update on your book earnings?

    • says

      We’d love to see a ranch too! Hopefully someone will do one for Homearama!

      As for the book earnings, here’s the update: we still haven’t reached our royalty point! We heard it could be years, and some authors never reach it at all, so we’re just thankful we had such a fun experience writing it and got to meet so many awesome people on tour.


  5. Kimberly says

    I love these houses but it seems like the first was definitely my favorite. Love the butcher block/pretty blue island with the white and gray. My stomach kind of turned at the term “dual master bedrooms.” Yikes! Too McMansion-ish for my tastes, much like the dual laundry rooms. Although I guess I can see why it would be appealing.

  6. says

    I read that dual masters are the new thing. Many couples are preferring to sleep apart and have their own space. That is sad.

    I love the tub, the one I have planned for our bathroom reno looks just like it. Do you know if it was acrylic or cast iron? I’ve only seen them online and not in person. I don’t want to pay for the cast iron one but don’t want it to look cheap either.

  7. KRB says

    Are all of those cabinets (gray, light gray, blue) painted, or is that laquered/finished straight from the manufacturer? Interesting concept–a painted wood look for cabinets–but I wonder whether you can easily paint them later if the color falls off trend. Seems to me they might go the way of avocado and harvest gold appliances.

    • says

      They seemed to be painted with a sprayer but I’m not sure if the builder did it on sight or ordered them that way. I know certain lines of cabinetry now come painted in different colors like gray, etc (Martha Stewart from Home Depot, Ikea, etc).


  8. Melissa says

    COOL! I have been looking for a cheap solution for my dining room curtains. My ceilings are so tall most options are pricey…. think im gonna go find myself some burlap and black ribbon :) !

  9. says

    I noticed in the stairs picture in the Kardashian/Jenner house, the trim under the steps is similar to the trim under your steps. Will you guys be leaving that white or painting it black like this? It really pops, but I wonder if it only looks good with the stairs being that darker wood color.

    Thanks for sharing these pics, love house crashing. :)

    • says

      We painted ours white to try to blend it in because it’s not our favorite feature (in our hallway it made things feel a little busy). I actually wanted to pop that trim off, but it meets the front of the steps in a way that if we removed it the front of the steps would be out of alignment. Sorry, it’s hard to explain!


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