The house sits atop a bluff with vistas of the Shelter Island Sound, the North Fork of Long Island, the Long Island Sound and Connecticut. Our biggest task was to weatherize the summer cottage for year round use. A secondary goal was to further open up the house to the great vistas. Most of the exterior doors and windows required replacement. The biggest windows were site-built single-paned units; one was 10’-6” x 4’-0”, another was 9’-9” x 6’-9”. We had to work closely with Marvin, the window manufacturer, to create insulated glass replacement units that were at the limit of their capability. The house was sided with T-111 marine grade plywood. To emphasize the house’s and site’s horizontality, we chose to install horizontally-set alternating-width barnboard siding. Initial discussions with barnwood salvage outfits showed that the varied species siding was cost prohibitive. Working with a local lumber yard, we sourced wire-brushed western red cedar shiplap boards and developed a two color stain application process that mimicked the weathered barn siding aesthetic at a fraction of the price. On the interior, we removed part of the wall that divided the kitchen with the dining room. This opened up the kitchen to the top of bluff views. The loss of wall area was made up with the installation of full height pull out pantry units and a large island with storage. We had to remove two existing brick fireplaces because both had functional and structural issues. In the master bedroom, it allowed us to replace the masonry with a large door that opened up onto the pool patio and bluff views. In the living room, we pushed the fireplace to the exterior opening up the small sitting area. The relatively simple details greatly improved the house’s usability without diminishing the mid-century modern aesthetic.
Front Elevation - all photographs taken by the Architect
Rear Elevation showing the Stair Tower and Master Bedroom doors that replaced the masonry chimney
Pre-construction view of the Rear Elevation
Kitchen as viewed from the Dining Room
The Studio at the far end of the house