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Cottage in Historic Middletown, RI

More hidden space was lurking upstairs, in the master bedroom. “The old roofline left a huge area that was unusable,” Erik explains. “By doing something relatively simple–by popping up a dormer–we gained all this square footage, without actually building anything that added to the footprint of the house.”

From the kitchen there’s now an open view of the rest of the downstairs: high-ceilinged living room (“my Sunday spot, with a book in front of the fire,” says Erik); dining room with French doors out to a deck; and a comfortable, shelf-lined library. All are within sight, yet each space is defined. “It’s open, but you can still find a little nook or cranny to hang out in,” Maaike notes.

Or a window to dream out of. Nestled into old land, the newly shingled cottage is settling in, hunkering down, preparing to stay a while. What does a house really hold? A life, or lives. In this case, memories of Spain and Sweden and the Netherlands and France; spin the globe, and it finally stops turning, here where trees meet overhead like a snowy cathedral.

“I know we did it right,” Maaike says. “So many people say there’s such a good vibe in this house. With a new home, you can walk into it, and you can feel that it’s not lived in yet. This house makes people feel comfortable. And that always makes me feel good.”

SLIDE SHOW: Shingled Cottage Tour

Updated Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
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