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Not Your Grandma’s Beachside Bungalow

Donna Elle Sconset cottage

Turquoise floorboards add a striking pop of personality to the porch bedroom.

“In the front bedroom you can really see the harmony between old and new with the rustic, unpainted wood on the walls contrasted by the dropped ceiling pendant lights that are quite modern,” Elle notes. “It evokes real sensuality and connection.” Moving to the lower level is like stepping into the future. With soaring ceilings and tiled floors, this area represents a real juxtaposition between the old and the new, but somehow makes the home all the more inviting, highlighting the carefully accented historic aspects. Above all, this project was minutely focused on maintaining the charm of the original home by playing off of its unassuming qualities and rich historic nature in a way that creates a livable space for a new-age family with an appreciation for antiquity.

“The home was never ‘cookie-cutter,’ and that’s something I wanted to make sure stayed the same,” says Forgaard. “The floor plan was unusual with a symmetrical design and two bays coming out on either side.” The only thing that changed about this unique floor plan was an addition off the back so that there would be room for an enclosed staircase leading up from the new lower level. Besides that, the originality of the home was preserved by maintaining the unique footprint, gorgeous lines of the house, and, Forgaard’s favorite, the delightful open stud walls—complete with insulation.

Warren Ard of Warren & Warren and Associates, Inc. on Nantucket handled the building process. “It was clear this home was originally meant as just a summer cottage,” Ard says. “You could even see the ground from inside, and there was nothing to keep the bugs out. Our job was to make it a space the family could enjoy year round.” As Elle puts it, “Our challenge was about education and discerning the most effective solutions for the builder, client and myself. Warren was so proficient in his delivery and communication, and Julie and I from the beginning had a clear picture of what the end result would be. We all knew that the process would be about a fusion of minds with my passionate heart to weave it all together.”

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