sneak peeks

12 High-Style Spaces in Virginia and West Virginia

by Caitlin Kelch

Growing up in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, we were only an hour and some change from Washington D.C, across the local bridge from western Maryland, and 15 minutes from the Virginia state line where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet. Being closer to D.C. and Virginia’s horse country, it was often difficult to explain to my NYC friends that I wasn’t a mountain mamma from the “almost heaven” (as in mountain-height) state of West Virginia, but rather an East Coast valley girl from the Shenandoah Valley.

I’m as fascinated by the coastal and colonial homes of Virginia as I am with the farmettes, cabins and former mills of West Virginia. Click through the slide show to see some great examples of homes in these neighboring states that represent some serious style. —Caitlin

*Sadly, many West Virginia counties, families and businesses have been affected by massive flooding last week, including the famed Greenbrier Hotel and Resort. Please consider helping their recovery efforts, if you can, by donating through the Greenbrier’s Neighbors program here.



Jennifer Elsner and her husband David had one directive for the architect remodeling their new Richmond, Virginia home -- build a room to accommodate this chandelier and hammock. The result is a room that is modern and minimal, yet cozy and relaxing. See their entire home tour right here.
The entryway of Jennifer's Richmond home. Renowned sign painter, John Downer, drew the numbers above the door after researching the neighborhood. He created these numbers to fit contextually with the house and its environs.
Jennifer and her husband decided to repurpose the incredible pocket doors in their Richmond home. This one was painted with a surprising pink hue.
The Quirk Hotel, also in Richmond, Virginia, is not just a beautiful hotel space designed for travelers. With a restaurant, rooftop bar, gorgeous artwork, and a coffee bar, the Quirk team also gives locals another place to gather in style. See the full tour here.
The building's original, limestone arches and double-barrel vaulted ceilings give the hotel restaurant a vintage and grandiose feel. These banquettes fit in perfectly.
This blush-hued guest room at the Quirk features art by Aimee Joyaux. Local, Quirk Gallery artists decorate all of the Richmond, VA hotel's guest rooms.
This all-white guest room is so serene with all of its minimalist charm.
This is a photograph of "Fairview," located near the Virginia border in Rippon, West Virginia, taken in 1910. Owners Megan Carpenter and Daniel Gloyd were featured here on Design*Sponge with their Front Parlor Before & After.
Megan and Dan chose a deep peacock blue to add some character to this formerly staid, Victorian room they use for playing music with local musicians.
Chelsea and Matt Bieber's Herdon, VA home was brought together by the addition of this graphic rug. It cements their vision for the home and allows them to stick to a simple formula that works for them -- white walls + warm wood + pops of black. See their home tour here.
The Bieber Family's compact entryway is high on function and style, with often-used pieces artfully displayed.
This West Virginia living room is home to Abby Reese. Full disclosure, Abby is a friend of mine and I always tease her that I feel very sophisticated when I come over and hang in her living room. The mix of styles, periods and textures works so well together that I'm reminded that I should not have slept through Art History class in college.
Abby's entryway is enlivened with graphic wallpaper, artwork and an amazing set of period French doors.
Abby's bedroom walls have always fascinated me. She carefully stripped off the old wallpaper to reveal a fantastic plaster with a patina straight out of an Anthropologie photo shoot.
This sleeping porch on Abby's second floor is the best-kept secret of her West Virginia home. It's the perfect spot to spend summer evenings relaxing and watching fireflies.
This second-floor library in Shepherd's Mill in Shepherdstown, West Virginia was used for accommodations for visiting resident artists by my late stepmother, Patrinka Kelch. The old grist mill was built in 1738 and has one of the largest working water wheels in the US. The property is currently for sale.
The bedroom area of the second-floor mill.
Another view of Patrinka's amazing second-floor space that holds a stunning collection of paintings, antiques and books.
Even Patrinka's shed and outbuilding have primitive, decorative touches that make the mill so inviting.
My daughter's room in our Shepherdstown, West Virginia home. The wallpaper is from Anthropologie and is part of the SureStrip collection, which removes easily with no damage or residue. Since we are renters for now, this wallpaper line was perfect for us. SureStrip papers are also available at York Wallcovering in a variety of patterns.
My bedroom with my sweet twin bed and more SureStrip wallpaper from Anthro. This is basically a version of my teenage bedroom in 1969, if I had been a teen then instead of a two-year-old. I designed the "Gidget" pillow from vintage pieces in my collection for a project with Shutterfly, who has a line of customizable home accessories.
My dining room in shades of red, pink and blue with its statement art print by Minted artist Alexandra Dzh.
Brad and Suzy Lindow "modernized" their Williamsburg, VA colonial with pops of color and kid-friendly elements like their vintage globe collection. See their full home tour here.
We love Suzy's mod-podged door in daughter Savvy's room!
The Greenbrier Hotel, which was sadly affected by the recent flooding in West Virginia, boasts renowned interiors by Dorthory Draper. This photograph shows the entrance to The Draper Cafe, flanked with Draper's famous banana leaf Brazilliance wallpaper. You can learn more about how you can help the flood victims here at the effort spearheaded by The Greenbrier.
The President's Parlour, designed by Draper, at The Greenbrier. The deep-orange coral walls paired with subtle blue draperies is a surprising combination that works so well.
A Draper guest room's bathroom at The Greenbrier.
From West Virginia's fancy hotel to this tiny late 60s gem in Charles Town, West Virginia. Now a vacant property, the former Motor Inn's mid-century exterior always catches my eye as the sun is setting.
This child-sized house in Shepherdstown was built during the summers of 1928 and 1929 as a place where student teachers could work with small children. Known as The Little House, it's a local treasure that is open to the public. The interior is cozy colonial in the southern tradition.
This amazing structure was built in the mountains of West Virginia by designer Lilah Horwitz and photographer Nick Olson. Using repurposed windows, this otherworldly cabin was constructed for $500. This video about the project is worth watching.
The bedroom of the glass cabin built by Lilah Horwitz and Nick Olson is the epitome of rustic charm.

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  • I really like the hue blush for walls (photo n.6) but I am sure it would get on my nerves after a while. I would opt for the lighter version of that shade.

  • The northern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia is my chosen-home so I know what a special place the eastern panhandle of West Virginia is, and how the area is quite a crossroads! I frequently go on day trips to Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, and beyond and always take faraway friends who come to visit. Have you been to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester recently? I’ve been a member for going-on ten years and it keeps getting *even* better and better with new exhibits and garden features. It’s nice having a place so close by that recognizes and celebrates our gem of a region!

    • Hi Lena!

      I haven’t visited the museum recently, but I’ve heard great things – especially in the last month or so. I’m so happy you’re a member! I’ll have to make a trip this summer and join also :)