garage converted into a guest cottage, front exterior view
Photo: Keller + Keller

Charming Little Guest Cottage

A fabulous house in a fabulous location can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you know exactly where you'll be spending your spare time. On the other, so do a lot of your friends and relatives.

Faced with just this situation, Marilyn and Brian Thompson, owners of a home just steps from the water on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, cast a fresh eye on a dilapidated garage hovering behind their Victorian-era house. While previously it had screamed "teardown," it now sang "potential guest suite."

Shown: Cedar shingles cured by the salt air, window brackets borrowed from the 1880s main house, a sunny balcony, and a shady elm give the former garage a storybook look.The entry lights and cast-iron front step are salvaged finds.

Architect: Kuhn Riddle Architects, Amherst, MA; 413-259-1630
General contractor (built-ins and balcony): Tom Hague III Building & Remodeling, Brewster, MA; 508-240-1143
Interior and some exterior design: Elisha Beaman House, Amherst, MA; 413-253-3854
Windows and doors: Marvin
Screen doors: Vintage Woodworks
Exterior stain: maibec
Paint: Benjamin Moore's BM 699 Garden Oasis (trim and windoboxes)
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