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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Where We Live: Smithfield estate on the James River

After working in vacation real estate for years, Keith Aveyard gained an appreciation for the resort lifestyle — so much so that he built a home that embodied many of the elements he came to enjoy during his travels.

“I took a piece of all of the places I’ve been and integrated them into the house,” Aveyard said. “This was meant to be my retirement home, so it needed to be perfect, and it needed to be different.”

Though not a builder, Aveyard, spent three years meticulously planning and building the 4,600-square-foot home himself. He would go into the office and work during the day and then work on his home in the evenings by generator.

“I’ve been known as a MacGyver-type person,” he said.

He chose the 1.5-acre lot in the Lawnes Point area of Smithfield simply because he thought it was the best spot to build a waterfront home.

“I didn’t just want a water view, I wanted a property on the water, and this has a private beach — it’s the real deal,” said Aveyard.

One of the standout features is the first floor, which boasts 1,800 square feet of entertainment space featuring a game room, pool table, theater and LED lighting throughout. It’s an entertainer’s dream.

“Being in the resort business, I entertained quite a bit,” said Aveyard. “I would have clients in from out of town, and they would prefer to stay at my ‘resort’ sometimes more than the actual resort.”

Aveyard is semi-retired and now calls the U.S. Virgin Islands home. He’s recently put his resort-style home on the market.

Additional unique features include a grand, mirrored-back staircase with lighting under the trim. For this design element, Aveyard drew inspiration from the staircase inside the Borgata Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Borgata opened about the same time as Aveyard began construction of his home.

The four-bedroom, five-bath house also features vast windows and terraces complete with panoramic views of the James River.

The views off the top deck from the master bedroom aren’t impeded by deck railing, either. Glass surrounds the deck, offering an infinite-like view of the water.

The decks on the bottom and top floors are made out of 100-percent aluminum, which aren’t only maintenance free, but cool to the touch and waterproof.

Aveyard’s love for the water extends past the magnificent views, however. A 1,000-gallon saltwater reef system runs throughout the house with two display tanks, one in the bottom floor and one upstairs in the living room. The filtration system is housed in a separate room.

Aveyard’s favorite thing about the home was sitting on the back deck watching the bald eagles every day.

“It’s just majestic,” he said.

Visit Keller Williams Elite Peninsula to find out more about the home.

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