If you’re lucky enough to own waterfront property—especially on one of New Hampshire’s fabled lakes—your house should live up to its location. In this case, our clients inherited the spot from an older family member who’d had a cottage there for decades, and it showed. The structure deteriorated over time, so it made sense to take it down and start fresh.
The owners wanted to preserve the spirit of that old cottage, yet provide a lot more room and a more efficient layout for this house, which is filled with children and grandchildren all summer. The pickets of the curving stairway, for example, are replicas of the original. The wife’s small office, too, is reminiscent of her great aunt’s sewing room in the previous house.
The new house is classic American shingle style; in this setting especially, nothing captures the exuberance of the American summer as well as this nostalgic look. The green shingle roofline—a reference to the ubiquitous camp structures in this part of New England—curves to embrace incoming visitors on the circular driveway, while it bows outward toward the lake in back, providing sweeping views from multiple porches and nearly every room inside.
A massive chimney anchors one side of the house, with fireplace openings at the rear outdoor dining area, the adjacent screened porch, and in front, where we installed the grill. Built with local stones that were shaped as the glaciers receded, it makes outdoor dining and entertaining a treat, even on New Hampshire’s crisp evenings.
A curved, columned porch on the other side juts out from the house, providing 180-degree views of the lake. The upstairs balcony off the master bedroom, reached from a circular outdoor staircase, offers the owners their own private experience.