HOME IMPROVEMENT

In depth rework permits waterside Guilford cottage to turn into ‘fo…

After elevating their 5 kids in a four-bedroom, center-hall Colonial on a lake in Guilford, Jessica and Invoice Rowen had been prepared for a change. Describing themselves as “ceaselessly home hunters,” they had been at all times properties on Lengthy Island Sound, but additionally toyed with the concept of renovating their current house. Someday, after a shorefront home in Guilford, they went for a stroll round that very same neighborhood and came across a dilapidated, but lovely, New England-style cottage. Located in a non-public, coastal setting, the direct waterfront house seemed to be the proper retreat. However it wasn’t on the market.

“About six months later, we had given up and figured we’d simply keep on this house,” says Invoice, noting that they had been looking for a home of their price range with a direct waterfront whereas preserving the sense of house that they appreciated of their present house. “Then, I used to be flipping by the paper, and I noticed that the cottage had come up underneath foreclosures, asking an ‘as is’ value, money presents solely, no contingencies. So, Jess and I took a journey down, and as quickly as we received there, we stated, ‘that is it.’ However we knew that there was a danger that we might not be capable of construct on it as a result of it’s a tough piece of property.”

Moreover plentiful exterior views, the first-floor residing and eating rooms and kitchen are open, and have tender colours and patterns that mirror coastal New England and let these beachy vistas stand out.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

Because the couple already had a relationship with Russ Campaigne, proprietor of Guilford-based Campaigne Kestner Architects, having contacted him about probably transforming their Colonial, they requested him to fulfill them on the cottage. Invoice remembers him saying, “It is a particular place, however it’s a must to be prepared as a result of it comes with lots of challenges.”

“We had been tremendous excited,” remembers Jessica, including that the couple are avid sailors. “The home sat on a 3rd of an acre with no homes on both facet. We had discovered this golden nugget on the water on the town that we didn’t assume was potential for us.”

Besides plentiful outside views, the first-floor living and dining rooms and kitchen are open, and feature soft colors and patterns that reflect coastal New England and let those beachy vistas stand out.

Moreover plentiful exterior views, the first-floor residing and eating rooms and kitchen are open, and have tender colours and patterns that mirror coastal New England and let these beachy vistas stand out.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

In March 2015, the couple purchased the cottage, which had been broken by earlier storms, and began planning, visiting the property frequently to assist with their imaginative and prescient. Throughout this time, they discovered what the method would entail, understanding the dangers and constraints on the house. This was going to be an entire teardown, and whereas they’d considered renovating their current home, constructing a customized home was by no means a part of the plan.

Testing on the location and preliminary design layouts revealed that the property didn’t meet setbacks and different necessities of a septic system. With this realization, the couple wouldn’t be capable of increase the present heated residing house.

Besides plentiful outside views, the first-floor living and dining rooms and kitchen are open, and feature soft colors and patterns that reflect coastal New England and let those beachy vistas stand out.

Moreover plentiful exterior views, the first-floor residing and eating rooms and kitchen are open, and have tender colours and patterns that mirror coastal New England and let these beachy vistas stand out.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

“It significantly impacts shoreline houses, however it might probably have an effect on inland houses as properly,” notes Campaigne, who says that many purchasers come to his agency after buying shoreline houses and assume they’ll increase, solely to be taught they’ll’t. “And it actually broadsides individuals as a result of the state well being code will do absolutely anything to enhance your septic system, however they are going to stop you from increasing the usage of the property should you can’t have a code-compliant septic system. In most conditions, as with this one, you’re grandfathered in and may keep current heated residing areas, however you may’t add to it. You additionally can not increase the present bed room rely should you can not get a compliant septic. It wasn’t zoning that was constraining us, or FEMA for that matter, it was the well being code.”

Whereas the couple was assured the present quantity of heated residing house, Campaigne knew that the Rowens had been hoping for extra sq. footage, having come from a 3,400-square-foot home. Fortuitously, there have been methods to make it extra livable, however Campaigne wanted them to prioritize what was vital for the reason that new home would have a smaller, 2,688-square-foot space.

“We really went by our home and measured the house that we used versus the house that we had,” says Jessica, including that their youngest was nonetheless residing at house on the time and each she and Invoice had been retired, after promoting their medical product firm. “We couldn’t have 4 or 5 bedrooms, we had been maxed out at three, in order that was a change. However we stated, can we make it work and really feel snug right here?  We actually needed an open-concept residing house that had views from each room, and Russ was fairly masterful at creating multi-functioning areas and expansive outside areas that make the home dwell a lot bigger.”

With multiple levels, plus a hot tub, all facing the water, there’s not a bad seat outside the house.

With a number of ranges, plus a scorching tub, all dealing with the water, there’s not a nasty seat exterior the home.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

Nonetheless, sacrifices needed to be made. “Properly, we did have to surrender a house theater,” Invoice laughs. “And storage is hard to get in a waterfront house since you don’t have a basement or usable attic house. However we figured it out.”

Restrictions spur a extra considerate design, in response to Campaigne. “In lots of methods, the constraints might be helpful to the method as a result of it forces the house owner to essentially assume and prioritize. Ultimately, it makes for a greater house that’s extra livable, and actually suits their wants. Plus, should you can steadiness the priorities of your sq. footage, you typically can have higher-quality materials and element comparable to built-ins and extra inventive storage options that actually improve the challenge total.”

Whereas FEMA required the home to be raised 4 toes greater than the present construction, it was raised 9 toes for future resilience. This allowed room underneath the home for a storage, storage and an elevator to convey individuals as much as an open, L-shaped residing house with fire, eating space looking, and kitchen trying over the eating house. The design accounts for each the southern gentle, and takes full benefit of the property’s quiet, dead-end location with sweeping 180- to even 270-degree views.

Together with three bedrooms, Campaigne match two full loos upstairs and a full downstairs in addition to a half-bath within the entrance entry. And since the main bedroom was a precedence, Campaigne made it work by tucking the mattress right into a bay window and making a small sitting space. Closets are environment friendly, permitting for a reach-in for him and a walk-in for her. Elsewhere within the house, closets had been tucked wherever they might discover house.

The master bedroom is an example of architect Russ Campaigne’s thoughtful design, as he used bay-window space for the bed and created a sitting area.

The main bedroom is an instance of architect Russ Campaigne’s considerate design, as he used bay-window house for the mattress and created a sitting space.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

Campaigne’s design introduced one of many three bedrooms downstairs and created a mini residence with a toilet that has entry to a deck, seashore and scorching tub. A pocket door separates it from the primary home, and it acts as each a visitor room, den and residential workplace, with a pullout sofa, tv and desk.

One among their favourite areas is the unheated sunroom off the again with full-glass, winterized, bifold doorways that shut when it will get chilly. “It sits closest to the water and it’s surrounded on three sides by home windows,” Jessica says. “It feels such as you’re on the water once you’re in there. It’s actually lovely.”

In the light-filled second-floor master bathroom, windows are all around and the shore is always just a glance away.

Within the light-filled second-floor grasp lavatory, home windows are throughout and the shore is at all times only a look away.

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

Actually, Jessica thinks they gained greater than they’d to surrender. In essence, they had been beginning fully over. They removed all their furnishings and stuffed two dumpsters. Every of their kids, now younger adults, got a field of their memorabilia.


By beginning contemporary, they had been capable of customise the dimensions of the furnishings to match the house. Jessica labored carefully with inside designer Alicia Kraven on not solely furnishings choice, but additionally finishes and colour choice to realize a tender and beachy cottage really feel. A pure palette indoors allows the water views to be the star. Plus, Jessica needed the colours and textures to honor the coastal New England particulars that Russ had already included architecturally.

“We interviewed a number of different architects throughout that break in between the design-build simply to get an concept,” says Invoice, who was excited to maneuver into the home in November 2018 after breaking floor in the summertime of 2016. “And why we went with Russ is not only due to the gorgeous homes that his staff designs, however as a result of Russ is totally different. He sees issues for the sweetness, but additionally thinks with the thoughts of an engineer. It’s invaluable. He understands the depth of information and engineering that’s required for a home like that to outlive a hurricane.”

The sunroom, which seems to sit right on the water, is one of the family’s favorite locations in the house. 

The sunroom, which appears to take a seat proper on the water, is without doubt one of the household’s favourite places in the home. 

Russ Campaigne / Campaigne Kestner Architects

Talking of storms, ought to an enormous one come by, the inspiration system’s breakaway partitions are designed to break down and never combat the water, however as a substitute “permit nature to basically do its factor,” says Campaigne, who labored with Tom Tolla Development Companies Limitless, based mostly in Guilford.

And, in a method, that’s what’s occurring day by day. Nature abounds proper exterior the home windows with “several types of shorebirds and the altering look of all the pieces exterior,” Jessica says. “There’s a sense of peace right here. It’s a everlasting trip feeling.”

This text seems within the February 2022 situation of Connecticut Journal. You may subscribe to Connecticut Journal right here, or discover the present situation on sale right here. Join our publication to get our newest and biggest content material delivered proper to your inbox. Have a query or remark? E mail [email protected] And comply with us on Fb and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.

Related Articles

Back to top button