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Pint-sized Perfection

tiny lot above Buzzards Bay

Photo by: Dan Cutrona

Besides the pool excavation, everything else on the project was done by hand, which included all the footings and foundations for the pool and the surrounding extensive stone work, all of which all had to go four feet deep. “We also had to think creatively about all the utilities,” says Coutu. “We had to get gas out and around to supply the kitchen and the fireplace. We trenched in all the utilities alongside the house—all by hand in a very narrow space.”

A plywood path was built along the right-hand site of the house from the street to begin construction of the plunge pool. “The access on both sides is just 48 inches,” says Coutu, noting that all the houses on the bluff are quite close together. “We removed all the plantings, and went in with the smallest machine we could find, a mini excavator.”

The work began to move quickly, until Mother Nature intervened. “Winter came early,” says Coutu. “We couldn’t get back to the site until March.” Added pressure was brought to bear because the home is part of an association that forbids any construction after Memorial Day.

Despite occasionally frigid March temperatures and a late spring snowfall or two, the crew worked from sunset to sunrise, five days a week shaping the diminutive area into a glorious landscape that opens out to spectacular views of Nantucket Sound from every angle—before the flags waved on Memorial Day. A handsome infinity pool surrounded by sand-colored Chinese granite seating areas and walkways offers cool respite on hot summer days for the homeowners’ happy children. Adults lounge on attractively sited mahogany decks in several easily accessed areas. Delicious summer fare is prepared for lunch and dinners in a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen with grilling options, and a spacious refrigerator.

Softening the hardscape is a bright palette of seaside-friendly plantings, including masses of Nikko, CityLine, and Endless Summer hydrangeas and beach grasses. Beneath the infinity pool, the mitigation plantings spill down the bluff to the beach. A handsome boardwalk winds down to the shore.

Although this is a quintessential summer day paradise, it is perhaps at night when the sun paints the endless sky with splashes of color before turning to cool dark blue that this seaside oasis truly shines. With carefully integrated lighting glimmering in and on the infinity pool and the built-in fire pit glowing warmly, family and friends gather. This big design for a very small place creates memorable moments for this lucky family all summer long.

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