A Selection of Small Homes
This Colonial Revival house draws from the collective architectural features of several earlier period homes. It is easy to see the Cape Cod house influence in the bedroom space under the roof, but by adding to the wall height, that space has greatly enhanced headroom and floor space. Its gable-forward presentation is decidedly Greek Revival, a characteristic further advanced by that period's front door detailing. The style is found everywhere throughout the Northeast and beyond and is the result of a design efforts to get a smaller house to capture some of the essence of a more imposing larger home but maintain the most prominent efficiencies of diminished scale and proportion. Upstairs is a very comfortable master bedroom suite, and two additional bedrooms with shared full bath. Downstairs is quite open with a substantial kitchen and accompanying breakfast room. Good design that looks for efficiency also looks for charm with practicality, and what fills that bill here is a welcoming side open porch tucked comfortably between the main block and side wing.
This house embodies all the charm of a quintessential Cape Cod cottage. From the exterior it checks all the boxes for scale and proportion including its large anchoring chimney and its hug-the-ground simplicity with just one large stone step at the front entry. Its total size belies all that is happening in this incredibly well-laid out floor plan. In its otherwise modest 1540 Square Feet, we find an ample first floor master bedroom suite, a wide-open rear living room/kitchen space and an additional two bedrooms and full bath and laundry on the second floor. Simple charm and extraordinary efficiency have always been the defining characteristics of a properly designed Cape Cod cottage.
One story housing is not a new concept, as early American single floor cottages were common in places like Nantucket where the Siasconset cottage was a staple design. This house mimics those early cottages with its one floor layout and its simple low-profile exterior with windows tucked comfortably under the diminished eaves overhanging the requisite cedar shingled exterior. The interior is bigger than one might guess from its outside cottage countenance. A large private master bedroom suite and two additional bedrooms with bath take up about half the space, while large living room and open kitchen/dining room occupy the rest. A small private study is the lone reminder of its former architectural roots when large families lived in cottages with many small rooms. This one nod to the past affords a welcome place of solitude in a plan that is otherwise designed for modern living.
One of the driving thoughts behind this design was to have a house that is so easy to build and of such outstanding architectural detailing that its value on the landscape would far exceed its actual costs. Its style is story-and-a-half Greek Revival farmhouse. This was a ubiquitous style in the early to mid 1800s and one of its endearing qualities is its overall look of strength and stability earned through its careful application of exterior trim made to look like a structural part of the house. The interior plan has a lot of open space that forms a practical and sensible flow from open kitchen through dining room and through mostly open living room. The house is very bright and open throughout but does have a cozy "getaway" study on the first floor and three ample bedrooms and two full baths on the second floor.