Coming home – richmondmagazine.com
The view as you enter the house tells you everything you need to know.
This apartment — part of Westhampton-on-Grove, the mixed-use development which replaced the Westhampton Theater in Richmond’s West End – takes up the entire floor of one of the development’s two buildings. Because there is no shared entry space, the elevator opens directly into the residence. Visitors are greeted by custom hand-painted Paul Montgomery wallpaper, white oak flooring stained a rich dark walnut, 10-foot ceilings, and multi-layer millwork that flanks the lobby doors and windows.
The effect is exactly what the owners, Jeff and Shelley, were looking for.
“I wanted people to get off that elevator and say, ‘Wow!’ said Jeff. “I wanted it to look like the Jefferson Hotel.”
The couple – high school sweethearts of Benedictine and St. Gertrude Schools (now Richmond Benedictine Schools) – knew they wanted to return to Richmond to retire. While they had lived most of their adult lives in Texas, the pull of family to Virginia, including Shelley’s 96-year-old mother, was strong. In 2017, they started working with Scott Garnett of One South Realty, but weren’t thrilled with what was available.
“We needed a 3,000 square foot condo with no stairs,” says Jeff. “This product didn’t exist in Richmond when we started looking.”
The pair eventually caught wind of the Westhampton on Grove project and struck a deal with developer Stefan Cametas. “All we had was a handshake,” says Jeff. “He never put [our unit] on the market.”
Their early engagement was a godsend. The couple worked closely with Mindy Bain, director of Mr. Carter design, which was already designing the interior architecture of the building, the cabinets and the light fixtures, to rethink the floor plan and the style. Just off the entrance, a wine cellar and tasting room now fill the space originally intended for an office. The workspace has been moved to the hallway.
Bain sourced furniture and antiques, enhancing them with luxe fabrics and subtle details to create formal, yet eminently livable spaces. The wall finishes are neutral but offer a silk and grasscloth texture. Window treatments make statements with muted patterns in floor-to-ceiling curtains topped with valances.
“From the start, they said they wanted to wipe the slate clean, bring almost nothing back” from their Texas home, Bain explains. “They really had a vision for how they wanted to be entertained and have company.”
Jeff adds: “We had completely renovated [our Texas] house, so we were well on our way to choosing every button, every color. We asked Mindy for ABC picks, and 85% of what there is is Mindy’s recommendation. I don’t think we’ve ever reached a C.
The couple couldn’t be happier with their new digs.
“Shelley likes to go to all the places nearby: The Continental, Beijing on Grove,” says Jeff. “And I love being able to put on some music and cook dinner for my mother-in-law, with the doors open to the deck and an early evening breeze.”