Vacation Home, Lake Phelps, North Carolina

For background, Lake Phelps is home to Pettigrew State Park; a bird sanctuary as the park exists on 1,200 acres of land and 16,600 acres of water. Ducks, geese, and swans use Lake Phelps and its adjoining woodlands as a primary wintering ground. The lakeshore provides habitat for waterfowl such as kingfishers, herons, and egrets who seek food at the water’s edge.

David, a birder, asked us to design a vacation home to accommodate two couples, six children, and a mobility-impaired family member. He also provided an image of the Roanoke River Lighthouse, located on the waterfront of Edenton, NC,

The front entry hall divides two private suites and baths for the couples. Each suite provides a private walkway to a rear deck and screened porch. We developed a third-floor “bunkhouse” for the children with a roof-top balcony. A large kitchen with a farmhouse table seating ten and great room with stove and cathedral ceiling are positioned behind the suites to take advantage of the lake views.

The ground floor features a game room, kitchenette, accessible bath, laundry closet, outside shower, and covered parking. A u-shaped staircase and elevator service the three levels.

With a November start date, the 2,300 square foot, three-story home, designed under the 130 MPH Exposure C Wood Frame Construction Manual, will be complete and ready for occupancy by Spring 2020.


Riverfront Addition and Remodeling Project

In progress is the significant update of a client’s childhood home. Judged by other firms as a tear-down, the client, detecting our empathy, commissioned us to restore the house to its original splendor.

A new third-floor ensuite now replaces the former attic, offering a private place to repose, converse, and conduct research. The luxurious ensuite features an experience tub, 2-sided glass shower, double vanity, and large walk-in closet. Combined, the new space, interior improvements, balconies, and patio will enable this home to enjoy another 100-years on the Lafayette River.


Willow Sands Apartments Concept

We're often asked: What inspired your solution?  We want to reply: a distorted reflection in a storefront window; how a skirt floated on the catwalk; or, the rhythmic pattern during a tenor sax solo.  (Not that the preceding are irrelevant as each inspiration leads to an unconscious burst of creativity, but ultimately research, collaboration, and voluminous sketching refine the ideas.)

For example, a property management company located in Richmond, Virginia purchased a 50’s apartment complex situated on the Chesapeake Bay in Ocean View, a coastal region in Norfolk, Virginia.  After engaging JRML for ideas on how to update the property, we visited the site and felt the building’s interior and exteriors were sorely dated and unconnected to the Bayfront site.  

Through historical images and publications, we learned that Ocean View was once a popular resort and streetcar hub, with an amusement park, boardwalk, and swimming beach.  After collaborating, we decided that a blast of 50’s motor court cool was needed to refresh the project.  Our sketches show balconies with bay views, ironic kitsch, authentic detailing, and colorful lifeguard shack vestibules.   We even reintroduced the Atomic font into our signage and branding.

Now rejuvenated and reconnected to its site, only one element lacked: How do we announce the beach access?  After much deliberation, the pergola became the exclamation mark, shouting: This way to the fun and sun!     

After presenting our concept, the owner wrote:  We like the concept!  (I know, concise, right? I mean, we always hope for the gushing review, but we’ll accept the response as validating our effort a success.) 


Lambert's Point Market Renovation


August's project features our renovation of the former Lambert's Point Market in Norfolk, Virginia. The building, close to Old Dominion University, was an eyesore and magnet of criminal activity.

For years we passed the building thinking: “What an incredible makeover and community service opportunity.”  When the For Sale sign appeared we immediately negotiated a contract and embarked on converting the structure into a 4-bedroom, 3-bath private residence.

To avoid prolixity, we’ll focus on two key design elements: Raising the first-floor entry out of the high-risk flood zone, and creating passive privacy.

Originally designed for pedestrians to walk-in off the street, the covered entry’s floor sloped slightly into the store's interior.  As the area could flood, it was important for us to mitigate potential water damage and end the annual rise in flood insurance premiums.

As a conventional wood framed floor would require replacement after a storm surge, we specified a concrete slab, acid-etched and sealed.  The new elevation enabled us to elevate the entry door and porch floor, making the area more private.  An astute observer will notice the planters flanking the entry. These 24-inch tall grass-planted boxes will hinder a nosy passerby’s opportunity to peer into the laminated glass storefront windows.

Together, the two improvements afford the home’s future occupants passive privacy, security, and safety, along with an entry that embodies distinction and imbues a welcoming charm.


4000 Parker Ave Makeover

Colley Avenue Concept

Currently, in its conceptual phase, this mixed-use commercial, multifamily, and parking garage project is being considered for Norfolk's Colley Avenue corridor.  The city's Central Hampton Boulevard Area Plan guided our design, requiring a 50/50 mix of commercial and residential space, plus off-street parking requirements.  

Our thoughts for the project feature a two-story restaurant or brewery anchoring the corner, with a large attention-grabbing graphic visible through the full-height storefront glazing.  Off-campus housing units for Old Dominion University students, and a parking garage accessible from 41st complete the space plan.

A combination of chromatic green panels, light shelves, stucco, and undulating steel bars flanking the parking garage entry provide a striking contrast to the tired properties lining the street.   




Lambert's Point Market Concept

JRML was just commissioned to provide design and construction management for the Lambert’s Point Market renovation, a 100-year building anchoring the corners of Parker Ave and 40th Street in Norfolk, Virginia.  The site is adjacent to Old Dominion University’s campus.   
Additional tasks include market analysis, regulatory, permitting, and study of student interaction within the built environment.

Our feasibility and structural analysis revealed 12-inch thick brick exterior walls, timber and steel beams, brick interior walls, high ceilings and windows, and an old safe.  The site also has a large side yard for off-street parking – a coveted asset.

Engaged in off-campus housing rentals to college students, the client requested a unique design but stressed cost efficiency.  We responded with an industrial style focused on durability, privacy, acoustics, energy efficiency, and security to allay parental concerns.

Our kitchen rendering illustrates restaurant grade stainless steel prep, sink table, and shelving for the cabinetry; a plastic laminate bar top; a recycled gym locker for the pantry; and standard appliances.  A focal point of glittering acrylic cast plastic resin completes the bar front.  

Total kitchen cost: $6,838.00!  A big impact at a small cost.


Off-campus housing design, Norfolk, Virginia.  Old Dominion University.

Off-campus housing design, Norfolk, Virginia.  Old Dominion University.

Norfolk Loft Concept

A bedroom and office for a young professional couple relocating to a Norfolk loft.  The accent wall’s structural column, beam, and building systems were finished in cool grays. Same for the acid-etched concrete floor.  Color laminated drawer fronts and natural wood casework and work surface were selected to coordinate with the artwork.  An industrial feel permeates the entire space.

Industrial Loft, Norfolk, Virginia

Modern Home Concept

Two classical musicians requested a contemporary design for their Chick's Beach site nestled among Live Oak trees on a quiet dead-end street.  A super-edited mantra drove the concept. The sleek exterior features Western Red T&G cedar, aluminum and glass garage doors, brick, and HardiePanel vertical siding.  Inside, the home is open as large expanses of glass enable views to the outside scenery.  Screened porches, balconies, and custom hardscape provide plenty of outdoor living.                                                            

European Romantic Renovation

A broad scope of work was presented to our firm last fall.  The home, a European Romantic located in Lochhaven, Norfolk, VA is slated for an interior and exterior remodel.  

Our design commission includes removing load-bearing partitions to create an open and inviting interior.  We're also creating new baths, kitchen, laundry center, sunroom, garage, and guest suite. 

A new covered entry with columns, brick color, and wood shutters and garage door complete the renovation.

European Romantic, Lochhaven, Norfolk, VA by JRML Associates, inc.

European Romantic, Lochhaven, Norfolk, VA by JRML Associates, inc.

Hurley Residence Renovation

We always say that no matter the style, every home should have a covered entry.  What guest wants to endure rain while awaiting their host?  This home didn't, so we suggested a simple column supported shed roof.  And how can a Tidewater resident enjoy a mosquito and fly free summer without a screened porch to dine, and deck to grill?  Again, this home didn't, so we suggested both.

(A picture's worth a thousand words, that's why sketches are necessary to explore and convey ideas.)

The client was exceedingly happy and approved the exterior living enhancements, along with many interior improvements including a new kitchen, master bath, hall bath and more.  She's also asked us to manage the project, slated for late January start.  

Stop back and visit our blog.  We promise to post progress images.


Waterfront Concept

Currently, in the design development phase, this home is being considered for a waterfront site.  Through photo-realistic rendering, we can accurately convey the home's modern exterior to help the client understand the elevation, finish materials, and color distribution.

Since revisions update both the CAD file and rendering, the client can visualize alternatives until satisfied.  

Renderings mitigate future disappointment. They also save time and money by eliminating costly changes during construction.

Have a project in mind?  Contact us.


Norfolk Waterfront Renovation

One has to see the before to appreciate the after.  The existing home, tired and obsolete, was built on a beautiful waterfront lot on Saranac Ave, in Norfolk, VA.  Having worked with the client twice before, he tasked us with the home's total transformation.

Under construction, the 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home enjoys water views from all bedrooms, kitchen and living area.  Strategically placed windows provide a natural lit interior.  And the large deck leads to a newly built dock.

Redesigned as a Coastal Cottage inside and out, the home is now ready for the 21st century.