Woodland Cottage

Woodland Cottage

1001-5000 Square Feet

Firm: Massey Associates Architects

Location: Sawyer, Michigan

General Contractor: Tollas Construction

The tenets of Scandinavian design were an appropriate inspiration for this cottage. They captured the spirit of the site, located just within the wooded edge of the Lake Michigan shoreline and also appealed to the clients’ desire to create a refuge away from their active city life. The form, spaces and materials are all rooted in an overriding attention to simplicity, functionality and economy that guided the design and construction. Sited on a buildable parcel, dictated by the community association, that is not much larger than a standard city lot, the cottage form expresses the compact yet comfortable arrangement of interior spaces. Finished in iron grey cement shingles and board and batten cladding, it harmonizes with the summer woods and stands against the starkness of the barren wintry surroundings. The rectangular footprint was extended as needed with gabled additions that sculpt the exterior; providing simple details and articulation with overhangs, bay window and recessed entry porch. Two over two windows are used sparingly to both articulate the building and open interior spaces to expansive views into the woods.

A two-story screen porch fits under the gable roof form and its openness highlights the indoor/outdoor experience that is the essence of the project. The interior space’s white walls and neutral, earth tone finishes create a sense of calm. Wide plank white oak floors add a natural richness while charcoal porcelain tiles provide a durable material where necessary. Wood veneer and painted cabinets add warmth and provide design continuity. The fireplace, clad in travertine tile, contributes to the cottage’s understated elegance without distraction. Despite strict architectural and material requirements imposed by the community association, this cottage is not the result of regulations but rather a distinctive design that fits its setting while standing apart from its neighbors with bold simplicity.

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