Somewhere Over the Rainbow

An intrepid couple discover what is old is new again with the help of REEF Builders

In the 1939 classic MGM film, “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy attempts to tell her Aunt Em about the mistreatment of her beloved dog Toto. Aunt Em’s advice to Dorothy was to “find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble,” resulting in cinematic history as Judy Garland launched into her memorable rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” 

Finding a place where you won’t get into any trouble is a pretty good place to start when looking for a home for the rest of your life. The dream of finding a quintessential Cape home that can ultimately become a place for your retirement years is not an uncommon one. And we’ve all seen the typical Cape Cod beach cottage from the first half of the 20th century—knotty pine paneling, linoleum floors throughout, small bedrooms, only slightly larger living spaces, and if you were really lucky, a screened-in porch that offered the best spot for sleeping on a hot, humid August night. Connecting this kind of cottage to a home that will offer the comfort and welcoming presence for our later years is not, however, a vision most retirees embrace. Such was not the case for an intrepid set of homeowners, who have created a colorful and creative home that is steeped in the nostalgia of their childhood memories of the Cape in the summer.

The couple purchased their 760-square-foot cottage in 2003, near a north-side beach where the wife had spent summers as a child. For just over a decade they went through the effort of renting it out, week by week, throughout the summer—all the while, knowing one day, they would indulge their desire and transform the home into one that could accommodate them and their visiting relatives for years to come.