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Seapine Cottage

Harborfront

At approximately 2,000 square feet above grade, Seapine Cottage is just big enough for its single owner, an adult son and a guest. There are five main rooms: open kitchen/living/dining, three bedrooms, and a playroom. A large screened-in porch and a deck expand the living space and provide abundant opportunities for outdoor living. A finished basement with its own peek of a water view provides recreation space and a getaway with a small walkout area to the yard.

This small house with big scale sits on a small site with a big view. It is high above a salt pond and is oriented to look straight through the opening from the pond to Pleasant Bay, over the outer beach, and to the ocean in the distance. The compact footprint still allows for a projecting center bay that creates a bold but shallow entry porch and a steep gable punctured by a single huge window emphasized by equally large shutters with abstracted sailboat cutouts. Elegant S-curve shaped brackets and arch-topped porch piers wrapped with shingles hold up the slightly top heavy, skyward pointing, gable that playfully bears down on them. Together these elements signal domestic welcome in a symbolically strong, but not overwhelming, way—allowing the small house to hold its own as the first waterfront house one sees when entering the peninsula neighborhood of mostly larger homes. The bold Shingle Style character situates the house comfortably above the bold New England seascape despite its small size.

Details like the copper chimney cap and four-light windows with shutters are slightly exaggerated in scale. This lends a pleasing, charming storybook character to the house. Interior finishes were chosen by the client to be reflective of the sweet and gentle sense of repose she sought for her special retreat. It is a retreat that both reflects her personality and feels at home in the neighborhood and on the waterfront.