all photography by Mal Terranova @dust.and.light.photo
Nestled away at the quiet end of Goodspeed Road on Virginia Beach's north end is a home that perfectly embodies the concept of home as a personal sanctuary. Jer and Steph Lopez, a down-to-earth couple with an immaculate eye for style, live here and make everyone who enters feel instantly welcome.
Ummmm Leanne Ford, have you seen this place?!
From the outside, their rancher bungalow with wooden-plank siding exudes a cool '70s vibe. It's unassuming in that it doesn't command attention with grandiosity like some of the other homes on the street, which makes what you experience inside all the more epic. Overlooking a serene lagoon where boaters and kayakers lazily pass by and wave in the warmer months, the resort-esque backyard has a perfectly-sized party pool surrounded by Leanne Ford outdoor furniture in a way the designer herself would probably swoon over. And the beach is just a short 3-minute drive away so visiting water lovers have options. Even for their local friends, Steph and Jer are constantly loaning out their kayaks and telling people to dock their boat to come hang.
Steph showing the goblets she got by bartering her bras in Nepal after she ran out of rupees hahaha
A Roxy Hall original sits on the fireplace in the living room behind a truly massive thrifted antique sailboat replica that somehow just works in the middle of the coffee table.
A Unique Blend of Old and New
When you walk through the front doors, you're met with a space that effortlessly strikes a delightful balance between playfulness and sophistication. "I don't know what my style would be called," Steph said during our tour. "Maybe warm modern with hints of wabi sabi?" She plays with earthy materials all over the place in her decor and design choices like stone, worn wood, and natural fibers. Every room flows together seamlessly, and you'll find oversized everything – from armoires to bowls. The color palette is chic and relaxed: blacks, whites, weathered wood, and tasteful pops of intrigue. Like a chunky seagrass woven basket or a giant Mongolian lamb wool pillow that might turn into Steph's next purse project. She's all about tweaking things, even a fancy $150 bowl that she stripped as soon as she brought it home.
"I love hints of scandinavian and Japanese. I love the whole idea of Japanese living really, it's like super intentional, sleek and simple." There's definitely a lot of worldly influence throughout the home, but nothing that screams where it's from. Everything you look at leaves you wondering where one could possibly find something so cool. "I love hand-touched things. I used to enjoy big box stores and I really don't anymore. So much has changed and now it feels like all the stores are just stamping out the same things. So I've gotten really into thrifting. The art of the hunt for the cool, found object feels like a modern day gold rush to me."
In the laundry room, an old thrifted picnic basket reminiscent of what Matisse might have packed his lunch in for painting in the park sits next to a framed black and white X-Files poster that reads, "I want to believe." It's this seamless fusion of the past and the present that's the home's secret sauce.
A Roxy Hall original kimono piece from the Homebody Collection sits atop Lucca's bedroom shelf next to an oversized Velveteen rabbit drawing.
Elegant, Yet Unpretentious Details
The devil's in the details, they say, and in the Lopez home, the details are delightful. Unlacquered brass accents like drawer pulls, door handles, and sink fixtures add yet another touch of earthy-worn elegance. A beautiful Turkish runner rug in the kitchen introduces a pop of rich red and an opulent atmosphere. Amongst such lux touches, you'd never assume that the oversized planter sitting next to the $500 lamp is an Ollie's Bargain Outlet special. Steph loves the beauty of mixing the high and low - and she's good at it. Hers is a perfect example that true style can't be bought. I can't tell you how many times I've been over and pointed out something I'm obsessed with, like a massive funky organic-looking bowl that looks like artisan stoneware from somewhere exotic, and she says something like, "What?! That's Target. You can have it!" There's something about how Steph arranges items that makes them quadruple in value. Even her signature paper lanterns from Ikea look posh.
The found vintage treasures throughout the home add an extra dose of uniqueness and personality to the overall design. The house is thoughtfully sprinkled with subtle nods to pop culture, like the Animal House poster that's perfectly placed in Lucca's playroom, juxtaposed next to the entrance to a more sophisticated office space. It's the playful design details that I love the most because they mirror the couple themselves. Whenever you spend time with Steph and Jer, you'll discover a plethora of new conversation topics for your next gathering. They're not only in-the-know but also completely open-minded, eager to discuss everything from AI to Twitter wars.
A blown up photograph of Steph's uncle lounging in Palm Springs is displayed in their kitchen. Again, something that cost her less than $100 to create and frame herself.
The Most Genuine of Hosts
You can't enter the kitchen without noticing the amazing fresh vegetables that are always sitting off in a corner of the counterspace. Steph loves preparing food for her family and also for friends. She's constantly making amazingly tasty meals with simple, good quality ingredients. She loves mediterranean especially as the cultural roots of her Armenian show in the kitchen. She's the queen of the charcuterie board and makes even s'mores look like a spread that puts pinterest to shame. (Hint drop for the art show...🔥) She loves to cook dinner for Jer each night to eat in their sunroom after his day at work as a portfolio manager at Sterling Capital. Jer is the ultimate family man- and although this article isn't about him (or loveable Lucca, Steph & Jer's 13 year old daughter) - he's an absolute quality, salt of the earth, human - equally as kind as his wife which seems impossible. He lets Steph do her thing with everything from decor to organization within their household because he'd say it himself, everything she touches is gold.
Speaking of organization, open any drawer or cabinet in the whole house and you'll be in awe of the way it's contents are layed out. Everything has a container and all supplies are accounted for. Whenever Maggie Dave and I come over, the first thing we do is go raid the coffee bar like giddy children where there is a whole pantry of San Pellegrinos, restaurant sonic ice, with stacks of cups, lids, and straws. You walk away feeling like you just paid $6 for a drink out but it was just down the hall from the kitchen. That's how the Lopez's are. Everything is done well and everything is curated for hosting.
The Personal Sanctuary Of It All
While the majority of the house is intentionally prepared at all times for the comfort of their guests, Steph and Jer also appreciate the beauty in a little solitude. "One of my daily rituals is sort of opening and closing the house. In the morning, I'll turn on the coffee maker, turn on the cafe lights and certain lamps, open curtains, you know- the little things to get the house ready to embrace the day. And at night, I'll do the reverse and start closing it down before we curl up for sleep." The master bedroom in particular is the most simple, serene room in the house. It's a place where Steph and Jer go to retreat and rejuvenate. In the bathrooms, you'll find details fit for a spa or resort, as Steph and Jer both prioritize self care and rejuvenation. "I read once that someone said 'create a life you don't need a vacation from.' And that just really resonated with me."
all photography by Mal Terranova @dust.and.light.photo
Join us this Saturday, 11/4 from 4-6pm as we celebrate the opening night of the Roxy Hall Homebody Collection. It'll be at Steph and Jer's house and yes, her famous s'mores will be served. Invite and RSVP info in bio @roxyhallart.
ps- if you haven't yet, check out some of the other home tours! Les and Tyler's Mid Century Modern Marvel, The Watkins' Minimalist Waterfront Oasis, and A Colorful Worldly Bohemian Home with Vanessa Bertini.