Looking Toward Nantucket
The Carters favored a timeless
New England style when they turned their humble garage into an inviting
by Pam George
(page 1 of 4)
To all the world, the outbuilding next to a grand home in Rehoboth Beach looked like a humble garage. But the owners of the garage were driven by its potential, what the structure could become.
“We saw it as a cottage,” says Betty Carter. “A garage is nice. But at the beach it’s so much more fun to have a place where people can stay.”
That prospect was even more attractive for Carter and her husband, Al, because their son Scott and his young family owned the big house. By turning the garage into a cottage, they would create a multi-generational family compound, a place where the Carters could enjoy both the beach and their grandchildren.
The Carters already had preliminary plans from Blue Bungalow Designs, an architectural firm in Lewes. To propel the garage transformation forward, the family turned to Gary Munch of Boss Enterprises Inc. in Wilmington.
For inspiration, the couple turned to Nantucket, where cozy cottages clad in cedar shakes sprang up in whaling villages in the 18th century.
The Carters loved the classic look and casual feel of New England cottages covered in cedar and mahogany. Those natural materials also stand up to the elements in a seaside community in Delaware.
Inside the cottage, the couple retained the flavor of Nantucket. But instead of a series of snug rooms, the Carters opted for an open floor plan in the public area of the house, combining zones for seating, dining and cooking.
“We love buffets and casual entertaining in summer,” Carter says. “And in the winter, it’s fun to have people over to eat and watch a football game.”
Because the Carters couldn’t expand the footprint of the structure, they looked for ways to incorporate their lengthy wish list into a scant 1,500 square feet.
By building up, the contractor was able to coax a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath cottage out of the space.
Prioritizing was an essential part of the plan. By trimming the size of the bedrooms, the Carters were able to get two guestrooms instead of one.
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