TRUE TO FORM
The Roses did not want the cottage to look brand-new when finished; rather, it should fit in with the other understated, mid-century beach homes on that part of the island. For the construction, the Roses hired a friend of the family.
“We joked that we wanted the builder to put his worst carpenter on this job,” Botticelli says. “Seams that aren’t perfect add to the flavor of the architecture. Finding a builder who gets what you’re trying to do is key. You don’t want it to look cacophonous, but to look like it has aged gracefully.
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LESSONS IN RENOVATION
Here are some lessons homeowners might consider before taking on a historic home renovation:
• Look at the house objectively to see what of architectural merit should be saved. The hard truth is that sometimes It is most expedient and less expensive to tear down the original home and rebuild from scratch.
• Make sure you have a plan and a budget before the contractor lifts the first hammer.
• Finally, find out how much or even whether a home can be enlarged. Oftentimes, a historic home can’t have additions.
Herb is quick to credit Botticelli for appreciating the patina of age. “Lisa was veiy good at interpreting that popular cottage vernacular,” he says. “When you look in the cottage, it’s hard to believe that it is essentially a new house.”
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
The original cottage had a screen porch that the Roses converted to an uninsulated sunroom. They preserved the decking on the floor, then framed in large, screened windows that operate on pulleys to hinge open inside and hook to the ceiling. Depending on the direction of the prevailing wind, they can close the window’s on one side to deflect a strong breeze while still enjoying the sense of being outdoors and being protected from the elements.
Because the cottage is small, it draw’s natural light from multiple directions. The Roses underscored the natural light by replacing the standard-size front and back doors with extra-wide models. The sight line from the front door extends all the way through the house and out to the ocean.