So what do you do if you already own a Connor Home and a Connor Barn...or two?
With a quiet private bay location on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, the question was not whether to build, but what to build? At first the homeowners looked at building a lighthouse-inspired getaway and preliminary plans were drawn up. But eventually they settled on a cottage idea drawn by a local designer and the homeowners came to Connor Homes with these early plans. The Connor Homes design team further worked with the couple to refine the plan in order to pre-build the cottage kit. The end result is a charming and unique cottage that makes use of every square foot of space.
Exterior finishes included natural eastern white cedar shingles on the facade and custom built sliding barn doors of solid pine with a flared shield above to protect the entry from snow and ice. The simulated divided lite windows by Green Mountain Window Company are painted a deep forest green, fitting in this setting.
The main living space is open and centered around a wood stove with dining space on one side and a family room on the other. Adding to the open feel, French doors invite occupants to experience the spacious screened-in porch with views of the bay. The porch, which runs the entire length of the back of the house, has plenty of room for enjoying a meal in the evening after conversing in comfortable wicker chairs. While a light wash finish has been applied to all interior woodwork, the porch enjoys a natural look. Connor Homes built the porch trim components out of locally harvested pine and it was left natural to reveal the characteristics of the rustic knotty wood. White cedar shingles are used for the porch interior wall finish, matching the exterior facade shingles.
The kitchen lies just off the main living area and is a study in efficiency, detail and beauty. The Connor Homes farmhouse-style inset cabinets with their beadboard fronts are painted a clean white. This is beautifully offset by the custom mahogany counter top, also built in the Connor Homes cabinet shop. Stainless steel appliances and a beadboard backsplash and ceiling treatment finished with a light wash convey elegance in a rustic setting. Upper cabinets extend all the way to the ceiling and a floor to ceiling pantry defines one edge of the kitchen while a curved overhang to the counter leads the eye back to the living spaces on the other edge of the kitchen.
Where this cottage really shows off its use of space is in the private rooms. A first floor bedroom with a full bath is tucked to the side of the house. This bath is shared by both the main space and this cozy guest room. Bookcases lining the hall to the bedroom and a coat closet tucked under the stair allow for creative storage space. Walk into the bedroom and you will find a vaulted ceiling with pine beams. A nook above the bedroom door is a stolen display space and occasionally a children's hideaway. French doors leading to a stone patio outside make this a great place to be a guest.
The second floor contains the master bedroom, a dressing room and closet, a second bedroom (or office), a large full bath with claw foot tub and tiled shower, a laundry closet and the utility space. The master bedroom, with a full wall of glass doors, opens onto a railed balcony overlooking the bay. Another custom Connor Homes sliding pine door serves to close this room off from the rest of the house creating a retreat for watching sailboats during the day or stars in the evening sky.
For now this cottage serves as a weekend retreat but may just eventually become the full time residence. We thank our homeowners for allowing us to play a part in this and past adventures and congratulate the contractor, Matt Laberge, for managing and building another wonderful Connor Home.
To view additional photos and floor plans of this cottage please visit our Stewart Hamil Lake Cottage slide show at the top of the page.