on the Coast
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A less-is-more, downsizing trend
among homebuyers has sent
developers, builders, and architects
to the cottage-style drawing board.
The term “cottage” fits neatly into the box of vernacu- lar architecture, with roots in the late Anglo-Saxon, early Norman era when it was used to describe a modest, one-room house built for a cotter and his family who would, in turn, offer their labor. But, as is common with vernacular architecture, the modern use of the term runs the gamut and can’t be held to the
corners and straight lines of tradition.
While most contemporary cottages meet the standards of
the cozy, economical, quaint design that historically defines
them, some higher-end cottage-style homes tend to burst at
the seams with modern nuances and floor plans that, when
strategically implemented, manage to blend enough to at least
compliment the quaint, comfortable, practical appeal of the
On the East Coast, where million dollar beach houses and
inland estate homes in high-end, gated communities are rampant, coastal cottages are slowly beginning to pop up around
them, often just yards away from the more grandiose homes
in upper-end neighborhoods.
“There’s a definite trend happening,” said Bill Harris of
Allison Ramsey Architects, Inc., in Beaufort, SC, the firm responsible for the cottage home designs in the Cassatt Village at
Bay Creek, a resort community near Cape Charles, VA. “People
are focusing on what they really need versus what they want.
They’re less concerned about showing people what they have,
and more concerned about having a well-detailed home that’s
comfortable, with sufficient space and just enough flourish.”