Water’s Edge: Fine Details

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This water’s edge house is situated on top of the dunes overlooking Block Island Sound in a little community of beach bungalows. The village has an appropriately restrictive set of design guidelines which protect the size and charm of the tiny cottages while allowing renovation or rebuilding. We designed a home working within the guidelines to fit into the community while maximizing the owner’s enjoyment of his beachfront location. Because of its small size, expenses were kept to a minimum.

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We created an upside down house in the slope of the hill, so that the house appears to be a single story from the village side yet has 2 stories open to the ocean side.

The Gathering Space on the lower floor has easy access to the very large patio with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit right on the edge of the beach. The major family living spaces blend the indoors and outdoors easily together in this vacation house.

Upstairs are the bedrooms, all with views of the water. The master bedroom has a curved dormer built into its cathedral board ceiling. A combination of square and rectangular windows create privacy and pattern on the street side.

The front door opens to views of the ocean and a quirky angled stair brings visitors to the main living space on the floor below. Because of the stair’s multiple angles, views of the sea appear while descending the stair, which has a compass rose on one of its landings.

The narrow available footprint on the lot avoids the major flood and wind zones which run right through the middle of the property. This is why the large second floor exterior balcony is angled along the water side; it follows this demarcation. The restrictions of the lot led to a happy coincidence where we were able to create an L-shaped house so that most of the rooms have windows on three sides.

Builder: Lawrence Builders

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