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A 1915 foursquare cedar-shingled cottage, nestles into a slope after its exquisite transformation.

The kitchen is revived while still retaining its quality and character. Openness between rooms and a central island with updated lighting and appliances allows a contemporary feel within the original context.

Playing up the nautical theme, a new cable-rail deck with its red-cedar cap reaches out to the harbor with unhindered views and gentle ocean breezes. Storage for kayaks and canoes lies just underneath with easy access to the dock.

Period details were preserved, but only if they made sense. A previous owner, who was a captain in the U.S. Navy, had a rope handrail crafted by his bosun’s mate. A pendant light in the dining room is a family heirloom, and storage for the dining room table leaves was created in a pullout drawer under the staircase.

A partially obscured front porch was widened and enhanced to welcome the occasional visitor. Original features such as green shutters with half-moon cutouts could now be appreciated. An old garage was removed to enhance the entryway and the water views; a period-inspired carriage house took its place.

With beadboard throughout and two-over-one traditional four-square windows, it took less than a year for this slightly quirky home to come back together. Recognizing that good ‘bones’ lay under years of uninspired modifications the clients, together with the architect and interior designer, achieved their original intent.

With owners living in the upper midwest and their interior designer in Virginia, meeting notes and images were sent electronically, making good communication still possible. Quality, craftsmanship, history and the ability to combine seamlessly the contemporary and period details, along with the owners vision and passion, led to inspiring results in their home away from home.