Wednesday, August 16, 2017  

Coastal Design
Chris Riddick  

Chris Riddick, a 1997 Graduate of the VPI School of Architecture, is an associate AIA member and residential home designer. He and his wife reside in what was his grandparent’s waterfront home, near Saluda. As a result of Hurricane Isabel, Chris and his wife began a renovation and addition process, based on Chris’ own design, which resulted in doubling the size of the home, while maintaining harmony with the surrounding water and landscape. Although he has lived in Richmond much of his life, his family roots lead back to Middlesex County.

From his Virginia Street office in the old Taylor Hardware Building, he graciously sat down with me and discussed his own design philosophy regarding his role in the home design process. He is a House & Home advertiser and specializes in designing new homes, additions, remodeling, and kitchens with an emphasis on sustainable accessible design.

Chris was instrumental in the renovation of the Taylor Building in Urbanna, which now houses a wonderful coffee shop, numerous small businesses and micro-enterprise offices. Having been in the grand old building years ago, I was delighted to see the amazing interior renovations and how much space they were able to utilize.

The owner retained the original pine flooring upstairs and downstairs and added a wide, well-planned modern stairway that connects the upstairs and downstairs. Truly the building now appears much larger than it actually is…a by-product of good design. The small town country store feel of the exterior has been preserved as it was originally, with the addition of a more welcoming entrance. Prior to starting his own design business, Chris worked for architects in White Stone and in Richmond as a residential and commercial designer.

In his mind, good design includes an emphasis on more sustainable architecture that has a reduced impact on the environment. It includes an emphasis on “how we use spaces.” The logical future of home design is in utilizing the latest proven technologies, such as the use of solar films, low VOC paints and flooring along with sustainable living and energy technologies.

The Emerging Trend In Fine Home Building and Additions

Due to the economy, an emerging trend in home design today is the return to extremely well appointed spaces in lieu of size. An example of this is a home currently being built in White Stone, Virginia. The client had a set of plans already but wanted portions of the home to be redesigned, reflecting more how they wanted to use the family home and coastal retreat. Chris Riddick worked with Butch Liverman on this wonderful bay side home, incorporating well appointed coastal elements, built-ins and cabinetry that is breath-taking in scope and design. The wide open, high ceiling rooms bring in the bay breezes. Gorgeous mouldings abound, as well as every conceivable element that you would expect in a classically designed coastal home. Other projects include the restoration and renovation of historic properties and other residential homes, on the northern neck and middle peninsula.

By Karin Andrews – Contributing Writer