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Race to the Finish: Cottage on the Cape Idea House

We’re coming down to the wire! Here’s what’s happening at the Cottage on the Cape.

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Racing against the clock while ensuring workers’ safety in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, our designers, contractors, and subs pull out all the stops to finish our Cottage on the Cape in record time.

Precision Tile Work

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Matt Daniels of s Tile Designs carefully cuts out a square for a shampoo niche in one of the four 4-by-8-foot porcelain panels that will line the master bath shower. The large-format panels reflect a modern trend in easy-care, seamless shower walls – but their installation requires patience, precision, and a delicate touch.

Tile: AKDO

Kitchen Design Decisions

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Interior designer Denise Enright and Robin Decoteau, a designer with builder Cape Associates, discuss cabinet designs and finishes at the Cape Associates showroom. Their final choices included a variety of stained wood and laminate styles that fit the home’s ”coastal chic” interior.

Installing Countertops

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Workers prepare to install polished quartzite countertops on the perimeter cabinets of the main kitchen. They will also install a matching backsplash of the same material.

Painting an Accent Wall

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

A coat of eye-catching blue paint turns the accent wall in the ADU’s living area into a bold focal point. What appears to be individual boards are actually MDF panels routed to mimic wood. As the living area wall dries, painting continues apace in the kitchen.

Shiplap: Courtesy of Mid-Cape Home Centers
Paint: Prussian Blue (CW-625), exclusively from the Williamsburg Paint Collection by Benjamin Moore.

Installing Interior Doors

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

One by one, interior doors of select solid white oak are fitted with hardware and readied for installation.

Doors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods
Hardware: House of Antique Hardware

Building the Stairs

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Cape Associates carpenters install treads and risers to complete the staircase.

Stair Parts: Courtesy of Mid-Cape Home Centers and BROSCO

Painting The Master Bedroom

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

In the master bedroom, designer Denise Enright chose a soft-pink hue for the vaulted ceiling that reminded her of the Cape sky at dusk.

Paint: First Light (2102-70) by Benjamin Moore

Painting the Guest Bedroom

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

For the guest bedroom, Enright opted for a cheerful mix of color to create a “bohemian, beachy” vibe that will coordinate with the rugs and bedding to come.

Paint: Trim in Greenhow Blue (CW-655), and ceiling in Green Earth (CW-455), exclusively from the Williamsburg Paint Collection by Benjamin Moore.

Finishing the Loft

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Jason Smith, cabinet maker with Cape Associates, pauses atop his masterpiece: a sculptural ladder that leads up to a reading loft above the second-floor hallway. The cozy hangout is lit with a solar-powered skylight and equipped with multiple outlets beneath the railings so that everyone gathered there has a place to plug in.

Skylight: VELUX

Creating a Cedar Showpiece

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

A cedar windbreak designed by Denise Enright and Cape Associates’ Mike Bremneour features a starfish cut with a jigsaw and router. Installed on one side of the entry porch, it’s a charming reminder of our project’s Cape Cod heritage.

Stain: Watco Teak Oil + Stain, in Hazelnut

Finishing Touches

Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Cape Associates foreman Pete Radke assembles a piece of decorative trim.

Wood Glue: Gorilla Glue

Laying Fresh Sod

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Fresh sod creates a lush setting for our gem of a house. The thin-bladed variety of tall fescue we’ve chosen is particularly drought- and traffic-resistant for a lawn that’s as beautiful as it is environmentally sound.

Sod: “Black Beauty” by Sodco

Finishing the Workshop Floor

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Ishmael Soares, a painter with J.L. Painting of Peabody, Mass., pauses beside the partially completed epoxy floor in the garage/maker studio. The durable coating will brighten the space and make it easier to keep clean.

Floor coating: Rust-Oleum EPOXYSHIELD (shown in Colonial Blue)

Piecing Together the Patio

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Pavers for the back patio are mostly in place. Once completed, a fire pit will be added at the center to create an inviting gathering spot that’s separate from the nearby deck.

Pavers: Belgard

Finishing Touches in the Front Yard

Cottage on the Cape Progress Courtesy Cape Associates, Inc.

Posts are planted to support the traditional white picket fencing that will define the front yard of our Idea House and enhance its cottage cred.

Fencing: Walpole Outdoors

Our Cottage on the Cape will be revealed on August 17, here on ThisOldHouse.com and in the pages of our Sept/Oct issue of This Old House Magazine. In the meantime, watch all new episodes of Idea House Build, to see our progress from start to finish!