Empty-Nesters Purchase Cottage with Downsizing In Mind

Interested in downsizing? A soon-to-be empty nester couple fell in love with this delightful cottage and purchased the home with downsizing in mind. As the renovation project started, it turned into a labor of love for the couple as they envisioned it as their beach-style retirement home. The small corner lot on Belle Island in the Rowayton section of Norwalk was a challenge for both the architect, Michael Smith Architects and Total Care of Wilton, an affiliate of Country Club Homes, Inc.

Exterior of Home Before Renovation

Side view of Home Before Renovation

There was never any intention of tearing down the charming beach cottage, however the owners did want to expand and reconfigure the house. Zoning restrictions and the small property meant going up, not out — but it was very important to all concerned that the house stay in scale with the surrounding neighborhood and maintain a cottage/beachy feel. Including porches, varying rooflines, careful window selection and trim details as well as mimicking existing stone work were key to the exterior design. Inside, Michael Smith Architects used several styles of paneling and moldings to maintain a beachy feel for the cottage.

Exterior of Retirement Home Renovation

Exterior of Belle Island Renovation

Keeping costs down were very important for the owners, and there were several decisions made during design and construction that made that possible. Starting at the top, the roof is a triple laminate asphalt shingle that simulates the look of wood, but with a lot less maintenance, is longer lasting and a lot less expensive. The gutters on the house appear to be copper, but in fact are a brown aluminum 1/2 round — again a lot less expensive, which left money for a real copper cupola. Inside the home, horizontal paneling in 1” x 6” pine plank was used instead of the more costly custom milled shiplap.

View from Living Room to Dining Room

View from Living Room to Dining Room

The first floor has a wrap-around front porch, and inside has a living room with a new fireplace, kitchen and dining room, bath and rear entry. The second floor has a master bedroom that opens to a deck, and a master bath. There are two additional bedrooms and hall bath. The attic or third floor makes the most use of its space with a large family room and access to a small porch. For more photos, visit us on Houzz.

Attic transformed into family

3rd Floor Family Room Renovation

Are you soon-to-be empty nesters?  Quality, affordability and sustainability are an integral part of our design and construction. A unique and special home can be yours with Country Club Homes, Inc. Contact us today at 203-762-0550 or visit us at www.countryclubhomesinc.com  to learn more about our work.