Absorb Yourself in the Magic….
This fun-filled cottage stands amidst thick clumps of trees and right near a gorgeous lake. Undeniably, it has a special magical effect that’s unique to the owner and what he wanted when he purchased the property. Take a scroll through these photos and read portions of the story below, and tell us what you think on our facebook page!
For the owner, who had spent boyhood summers on the pond “waterskiing behind a six-horsepower dinghy,” the classic cottage look was important. He didn’t want to reproduce the boxy structure he purchased, but he also didn’t want something showy. One of the first steps in the process was bringing Winkelman to see the rustic, unwinterized camp his parents own nearby. “It was important to him and his wife,” says Winkelman, “that this house not be some kind of palace. They said to make it ‘strong and unique,’ and I think that’s what we gave them.”
From the start, Winkelman had a few foundational features in mind. One was privacy. He sited the rear building—a 900-square-foot “bungalow” that holds a guest suite, garage, and home office—so that it functions as a screen. “You leave your cars on the other side of it,” he says, “then pass through the portico and into ‘camp mode.’” In front sits the 2,600-square-foot main house, which is surrounded by pines and faces the glorious pond. It’s a delightful collection of smaller living spaces tied together with cedar shingles, dark green windows, and a copper raised-seam roof. Those carefully selected materials provide another core feature—extremely low maintenance requirements.
Putting it all together required exceptional skill and craftsmanship. Symonds rigged special jigs along the round, irregular cedar posts that allowed him to cut out precise channels for the screens. The entire porch sits above an air-conditioned basement space, which necessitated a leakproof underlayment. To prevent the cedar posts from wicking water, Symonds devised a flashing-and-bayonet system that invisibly holds the posts above the underlayment, yet still allows them to support the massive roof above. “It was all part of the fun,” Symonds says, “though come February we got a little tired of that cold west wind whipping across the ice.” He and his crew started work in October 2008, and their clients arrived in mid-July to find a finished house—an amazing feat. “Bill pledged to me that we’d be his only job,” says the homeowner, “and he delivered, pedal to the metal, wire to wire.”
The dark red kitchen cabinets are topped with honed Monson slate, and light streams in from a dramatic custom skylight installed above the spreading timberframe. All the details are spot-on—from the accordion doors that open between the dining room and the screened porch to the studied casualness of the spacing between wall and ceiling boards to the spectacular stonework by local mason Phil Shane. Everything was purposefully selected and ideally situated, and that’s no accident.
Clearly, the evolution of the Maine cottage is more than a science. “I like our place in San Francisco,” says the husband, “but this house is magic.”
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