What do seven dwarfs, three little pigs, and one granny have in common? They all lived in a cottage. Although you may not envision your next home as something directly from a storybook, there are a lot of reasons to get excited about living in a cottage.
Cottages tend to be smaller than traditional homes, which could be perfect if you are looking to downsize for retirement or building a vacation home. However, you can still achieve a specific exterior look and cozy interior feel with a larger footprint. Cottage living is more about unique spaces and comfort than counting square footage.
If you prefer a smaller layout, that does not mean that you do not have opportunities to get the most out of it. Architectural designers are trained to look for ways to maximize space. Those who are really good at it can create homes that live much larger than their size might imply.
One method to maximize space is to reduce the number of hallways. A lot of square footage is wasted in passageways that are not always needed. Another way to maximize space is to look for places to add storage, or create alcoves for a bit of personal space.
Heading to the cottage often means family time or escape. If your idea of the ideal weekend is to cuddle up with a great book, then you might work with your designer to find ideal areas that do not take a lot of space. A window seat under a dormer window or a small loft above the master suite could work. What about expanding a necessary hallway out a few feet to accommodate a comfy chair? Of course, light is important, so you will ideally want windows nearby.
Even if you want to reduce space, you might need to consider future guests. After all, your cottage is supposed to be fun, and chances are you will want to share it with others. One way to get extra space, and keep the cozy cottage atmosphere is to build a separate carriage house. It might just be a single story, or serve a dual purpose with a garage below and living quarters above. One of the advantages of using a carriage house is that it can be built separately. You might even start with the carriage house and work toward building your finished home while you enjoy your property now.
Cottage-style borrows a lot from the French country look, so shutters, hipped roofs, and other curved elements can be used to help give your home this impression. Go a little further and add arched dormers, circular windows, and curved doorways. Even simple touches like iron accents and window boxes will work.
The idea of building a timber frame cottage comes not only with the expectation of a new home, but creating a unique space to relax, enjoy, and contemplate. The more effort you put into the design of your cottage today, the more you will love living there later. Explore Riverbed’s Cottage-style home designs to find ideas for your future timber frame cottage.
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