Set in a mid-Atlantic seaside vacation community, the cottage is separated from an ocean bay only by a low spit. The generous windows on the upper two levels capture views of the surroundings. While the home benefits from the views, more direct influences for its stacked design were the confined size and shape of the lot and the need to build a house essentially on pylons to withstand storm surges from hurricanes and destructive tides.
While growing up, the homeowner, cousins, and friends spent summers in the same beach town at the family’s vacation home. Sadly, Superstorm Sandy destroyed the old family home, and the homeowner searched to find a site in the same town to rebuild. This shallow, narrow lot is restricted on one side by a crushed-shell driveway and to the back by a small home. Despite the lot’s small size, the advantages were the proximity to the water and the friendly neighbors in the two adjacent cottages.
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An entry stairway at the side of the home climbs the outer wall to the second level above the garage. The front door opens into a view of the unexpected whimsical space in a delightful surprise. Carefully planned, the living space is all above the garage level.
Because of setbacks and easements, the outdoor living space is limited to the footprint of the home behind the garage and within the home’s pylon supports. Brightly painted beach furniture arranged in a circle makes for an inviting place to watch the last rays of the day together.
The main level consists of a living area, kitchen, laundry room, and to the rear of the home, the lovely shell-pink master bedroom. The living area faces the spit and the water, and sliding doors open for the sea breezes. The height of the room by the front extends through the floor above to the roof. Set back above the living room on the third floor is a den with sleeper sofas that allow it to double as a guest room A window from the den looks out to the living room and through to the exterior windows. It allows for natural light, but the window blocks out sound between the two spaces.
The den’s window looks out to the living room and gains light from the living room’s row of clerestory windows while blocking out distractive noise common when a loft is left open.