Family Cottage Preserved

North Falmouth, MA

A determined client approached with a challenging directive. She was the steward of a family beach cottage overlooking Megansett Harbor and cherished her childhood memories from time spent there. She wanted to somehow renovate the house while upholding the distinct characteristics that made the property so personally meaningful. Tearing it down was out of the question, but architecturally it wasn’t making the grade. In particular, an overhang from the covered porch on the back of the house blocked views to the water from family spaces on the main floor, and quirks upstairs made the property more of a three-season getaway than a four-season home.

Our unique solution was to use an architectural sleight-of-hand to achieve the homeowner’s goals. The residence was preserved and lifted, with a foot of height added to the first floor. The pitch of the roof on the porch was also slightly modified. To the delight of the homeowner, living spaces on the main floor would now enjoy enhanced views to the beach while the lines of the house appeared unchanged.

Inside the cottage, the first floor plan was somewhat altered while being respectful of details that tugged at the heartstrings of memory. A stone fireplace was reconstructed and the general layout of the great room was maintained, albeit with a staircase sensitively inserted to improve flow. Upstairs, the program was completely reformatted for modern living and subtle changes like connecting two dormers captured additional living space without rewriting the history of the house.

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