Harbor Cottage

Vineyard Haven Harbor, MA

This quintessential summer cottage reveals its charms, and scale, slowly. To reach it, you pass under an arbor and between a two-bedroom guesthouse and carriage house/pottery studio. The main house’s wings—one for the master suite, another for a study and screened porch—suggest it was added onto over time.

In fact, the house is new, built on the footprint of a 1950s cape that couldn’t meet the needs of its latest owners. Its setting on the edge of a waterfront embankment was worth preserving, however. Now, skillfully deployed stone and brick anchor the house to the rock outcropping.

The home’s cottage vernacular proceeds from its romantic swooping roofline to its operable shutters and window boxes filled with red geraniums. The sense of romance continues to the ocean vistas enjoyed from its many windows and French doors and its layers of porches, decks, and patios.

An open, flowing plan allows views from the front door to the water, including the Vineyard Haven ferry cruising back and forth and sailboats from a neighboring yacht club. Pottery thrown and fired by one of the homeowners in her on-site studio perfectly personalizes the interiors, which are finished with beadboard, antique beams, and pine floors.