This quaint little cottage sits in a wooded area of Ipswich, MA surrounded by conservation land. The owner received approval from the town to demolish the condemned cabin and build a new dwelling. The scale of the new building and the overall footprint had to match that of what was removed.
From the driveway, you enter the house into the kitchen, which opens up directly into the living room. The dining room is a cozy little space all by itself with a cathedral ceiling, windows all around and a small eat-in bar next to the kitchen. A wraparound, screened-in covered porch is on all three sides of the living room. Due to the quietness and seclusion of this space, guests prefer to sleep here in the summertime.
The low roof lines, shed dormers and cathedral ceilings create a feeling of openness in an otherwise small second floor. The guest bedroom is towards the front of the house and the master bedroom is above the living room with the same spectacular views of the marsh as the screened-in porch. There are two full bathrooms, one on each floor. The bathrooms stack on top of each other; this area of the original cabin was a wood storage shed. We kept a small area for wood storage out front, but having this additional space allowed us to have two bathrooms instead of one on the first floor.
The challenge of this home was to meet the town’s request to match the scale of the original cabin, but also having to meet the requirements of mandated building codes and the client’s wishes. We met these challenges and the owner loves the results.
cozy cottage off the beaten path
Every project has its challenges and this deck renovation had a few of them. The framing beams of the deck were continuous and part of the house framing. Some of the deck beams were rotting and had to be replaced, so a special steel connection was made to securely fasten the new deck beam after the rotten ones were removed.
Not only did we renovate the main deck of the house, the owner wanted to add a roof deck and take advantage of the additional height to see across the wooded landscape below. Custom post connectors were fabricated to minimize the penetrations into the low pitched roof. A two story spiral staircase was designed so people could make their way from the backyard all the way up to the roof deck.
The softness of the mahogany decking and top rail blends nicely with the thin lines of the cable rail system, allowing us to maximize views for a relaxing experience all summer long.
expanding views with a roof deck
The Spot Restaurant in Georgetown, MA was our first project with the Serenitee Restaurant Group. They signed a lease with the building owner and were ready to transform the existing Irish Pub into a new “Local’s Tavern”.
The layout of the dining room was fairly straightforward and there weren’t many options for change, so we increased the windows towards the front of the building to add more light and created a community-table type eating counter that separates the dining room from the bar area. The interior finishes were chosen by Amanda Greaves & Co. and all new light fixtures, artwork, paint and furnishings were installed.
The main bar stayed in place, but we completely redesigned the upper bar storage area, which had been underutilized. We took a large dark cavernous space, cut the bottom half off, and created a open metal shelving system with integrated light fixtures and multiple TVs. All new bar equipment was installed and a new center bar island with a double-sided, twelve beer tap system was designed.
The bar and dining room are considered the front of the house, but the back of the house got a complete redesign also. A new sushi service area is now the connecting hub between the bar and the newly redesigned kitchen. A new restroom configuration was designed to allow servers direct access to a new hidden dishwashing area.
Along with a complete new facelift to the front of the building, the interior redesign creates an inviting place for all to enjoy a good meal in a comfortable environment. This is “The Spot”.
the spot restaurant renovation
warwick mall commercial condominium
While consulting for Richard Griffin, AIA, we were hired by design architects Carpenter & MacNeille to produce the construction documents for the 20,000 sq.ft. addition to the Diane M. Halle Library at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Originally a nondescript brick building, the library was enlarged to house a new technology center with computer labs, faculty offices and an alumni center. A colonnaded porch entrance adds organization and formality to the courtyard facade. The interior is enriched in fine wood paneling and large windows allow light into the space and provide campus vistas from the interior.
endicott college library addition
While employed at The MZO Group, I was the Job Captain for the Caldwell Farm townhouse community in Byfield, Massachusetts. This retirement community has 66 residential units in 23 buildings on a 125-acre site. There are three distinct floor plans to choose from with a range of 2,100 to 3,700 square feet. All of the townhouses have a first-floor master suite which opens onto a mahogany deck. The site has over 100 acres of dedicated open space with a clubhouse, fitness center, and walking trails.
caldwell farm townhouse community
The owners of this home were looking for the more modern feel of an open kitchen. The existing layout had the small dining area separated by a peninsula with upper and lower cabinets. The new design intentionally pushed the peninsula to the back wall, which allowed us to completely open the kitchen and add a central island. We increased the window size behind the sink and opened the back stairway. The increased openness allowed for additional functionality by adding a desk area for everyday use, a decorative hutch with display cabinets, and a larger laundry room in the hallway with more closet space. Witness the transformation with these before and after photos.
modern face lift for an old kitchen
While employed at the MZO Group, I was the Job Captain for the Fairways Condominium project in Haverhill, MA. All of the units in this 55+ community have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a balcony, large kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and a large family room. Each boasts ample closet space, washer and dryer, granite counters, hardwood floors, and garage parking.
fairways condominium community
This house has the traditional detail and finishes of a shingle-style home with the spatial openness found in post-and-beam style construction. Designed with this in mind, the interior is a complex spatial arrangement centered on a large stone fireplace. Using a combination of an open balcony and exposed staircase, the great room expands upward and into all corners of the house. The openness of the interior plan also allows the family to enjoy an unlimited number of views throughout the house to the beautiful wooded lot which surrounds the home. Inside the front entrance there is a clear view into the great room with its open cathedral ceiling and expansive glassed gable wall. Once in the foyer, the kitchen and dining room are to the left and a library, small office and bathroom are to the right. A separate fitness room with an “endless” swimming pool is situated to the rear of the library.
open spaces in a shingle style home
This two-story 3,500 sq ft. contemporary colonial home, rich with detail and strong on function, is designed to allow for both privacy and the ability to accommodate frequent visits from extended family. The house is organized around a central foyer with a quarter curve staircase. Formal gathering spaces are to the front of the house, flanking the entrance. Active, informal spaces for the family overlook the terraced rear landscaping and pool areas. A master suite, three bedrooms, and an office occupy the upper floor.