A Soulful Retreat

A beach cottage should be, above all, a cottage. This one stays true to its roots.

(page 3 of 5)

The upper-floor bath features a checkerboard floor and swiveling mirrors. Photograph by Herbert StudiosIn keeping with cottage tradition, spaces are used for multiple functions.
A granite counter in a cheerful laundry room does double duty as a home office by serving as a computer desk. The jot of a room off the garage is furnished with a futon that offers a quiet place to read or a bed for overflow guests. The big table in the gathering room can be used for dining, board games, crafts and, occasionally, the homeowner’s paperwork.
Giroso says successful designs begin with a meticulously detailed lifestyle profile. “Do we need a place for a Christmas tree and outdoor lighting?” she asks. “Any chance your in-laws might be moving in? Do you bathe your pets at home or take them to a groomer?”
She encourages homeowners to tear pictures of scenarios that make them feel good out of magazines, “even if it’s a magazine about cigars or horses.” Before long, a pattern will emerge, a look and feeling that suits the people who will live in the space.
In the cottage, the priority was creating a refuge for the homeowner, who is an active businessman, and his son. The owner plans to stay in the getaway frequently while the main house is designed and constructed. “He needed a place to escape, to decompress,” Giroso says.
In a small home, open expanses create a feeling of lightness and volume. The designer calls it “breathing space.”
Page 4: A Soulful Retreat, continues...