Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Where We Live: A Coastal Cape Cod in Governor’s Land

When purchasing a home in the Governor’s Land at Two Rivers community in Williamsburg, you get more than just a beautiful home — you buy into a country club lifestyle filled with amenities such as a private beach, deep-water access marina, top-notch golf course and a diverse neighborhood filled with families, retirees and working couples.

That’s one of the many things that drew John and Lisa Sawin, both longtime Williamsburg residents and owners of a design/build company, to the neighborhood.

The Sawins specialize in unique, high-end, resort-style waterfront homes. John has built more than 400 homes through his company, Innovative Homes of Virginia, and Lisa, owner of Williamsburg Design, has a discerning eye for beautiful architecture and has designed over one thousand homes. Together, their interactive synergy creates gorgeous properties.

It should be no surprise, then, that their home overlooking the harbor in Governor’s Land is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The couple purchased the 4,600-square-foot home in 2015. At the time, they weren’t necessarily looking to move, but an interested buyer saw a picture of their previous home in the Shores of York, which was featured on their business webpage, and offered to buy their home and all the furnishings on the spot.

“It was hard to say no to such a great offer,” said John.

Though they loved their 7,200-square-foot French Country home, they saw it as an opportunity to downsiz, redesign another home and move into a planned community.

Their home in Governor’s Land is situated on the marina and overlooks a lighted channel that leads into the James and Chickahominy rivers. The location has a Nantucket-style feel and embodies the coastal living they love, with just a short golf cart ride to the beach, club house, pool and Tiki bar.

“To have your boat sitting 50 feet from your back door is so nice,” said John. “There’s no other place like this in town.”

After they purchased the home, they took it down to the studs and did what they do best — remodeled and infused new life and art into the home.

They made exterior changes that would fit with coastal Cape Cod vision they had. This included adding architectural details such as brackets and roof extensions. The inside was transformed with texture and color, to include shiplap, stone, antique wooden beams, wainscot paneling and thick crown molding throughout. The mainstay was the heart pine wood flooring throughout.

A downstairs den was turned into the master suite, so they could wake up every morning and have a clear view of the water, a half-bath was turned into a heart pine-sided wine cellar and the entire home was updated with a connected audio and visual sound system.

Among the couple’s favorite spots include an upstairs media room with a retractable 80-inch plasma television and a four-seasons room overlooking the harbor, which features a stone fireplace and retractable vinyl and screen walls. With the push of a button, the room could be entirely enclosed with air-tight, clear vinyl panels; completely open to the outside; or screened-in to allow for the breeze off the water.

“This retractable product allows us to be out here all year long,” said John.

“We spend almost every meal on this porch,” added Lisa. “We have pinched ourselves every day for the past two and a half years. It’s so beautiful.”

Although they customized their home as if it was their last — with high-end furnishings and finishings, the talented couple has the itch to do another house.

“We just woke up one day and had the desire to do another house,” said John

The couple emphasized they would be keeping their social membership at Governor’s Land, because it truly offered them everything they wanted in a community.

With their Governor’s Land home now on the market, the couple is focused on redesigning their new home in the Drummond’s Field neighborhood in Williamsburg.

Visit the home’s listing on the Liz Moore website.

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