A taste of California in Virginia

Published 9:04 pm Saturday, March 6, 2010

Overlooking the 15th green and 16th tee box of the Riverfront golf course at Harbour View sits Michael and Elizabeth Hopkins’s home at 114 Watch Harbour Court.

The home is part of the The Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week and is one of five Suffolk homes to be featured during the week.

“A neighbor of mine asked me to be in the tour last fall, and I was just so flattered,” said Elizabeth Hopkins. “We’ve been here for just over four and a half years, but there’s so much we haven’t finished. It’s inspiring to get the rest of the house finished.”


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This year will be the Historic Garden Week’s 77th anniversary, making it the oldest and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the nation. More than 250 homes and gardens open their doors and gates to the public during the event to benefit the restoration of important historic grounds and gardens throughout the state.

While some Suffolk homes have been featured before, the Hopkins’s home will be open to the public for the first time since it was built in 2005.

The home’s main influences came from the couple’s travels to California’s wine country and Lake Tahoe, as is evidenced in the home’s custom wine cellar, mahogany doors, Brazilian walnut hardwood floors and exposed El Dorado rock.

“We travel out west often, and when we were building the house we wanted something more casual — not formal,” Hopkins said. “We wanted something livable for our family.”

A favorite family’s feature of the home is the outdoor kitchen, which has a view of the Nansemond River and Godwin Bridge.

“We love our outdoor living space,” Hopkins said. “We put in a honkin’ big grille, and my husband does all his cooking out there during the summer.”

Adjacent to the outdoor kitchen is a pool and garden, as well.