Concord cottage after
Photo: Bevan Walker
The 12-foot square living room addition is small, but a French door with sidelights, plus large windows, makes it feel bigger.
A few years ago the barn behind Janet and Jeff Bernard's house in Concord, Massachusetts — the site of a 2003 TV project — seemed an unlikely candidate to become a house. For one thing, it was small, with a footprint of just 20 by 26 feet. For another, it was too much like, well, a barn. Inside the 1894 outbuilding there were no interior walls except for a former horse stall in one corner.

Enter Holly Cratsley, the architect who was given the mission of turning this brawny little building into a comfortable in-law cottage for Janet's parents. With the upstairs earmarked for the master bedroom suite, everything else — the kitchen, living room, dining room, and powder room — had to be shoehorned into the barn's existing first floor. Even for a retired couple with modest space needs, that was a tall order.

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