River House

A restrictive site facing the Branford River dictated the narrow rectangular footprint of the cottage for a couple who commuted back and forth from the West Coast and desired an East Coast summer home. In order to break up the vertical façade, the first floor is clad in traditional stained cedar shingles while the upper level is painted board and batten siding. Glass door and window placements have been arranged to optimize views to the adjacent river. The plan has a series of projections and overhangs that reduce the massing and gives a sense of scale to the façade.

An open kitchen and living room have been combined to form a spacious space facing the water. Cool marble counter surfaces contrast with the deep mahogany flooring. A painted coffered ceiling unifies the level. The mahogany is continued to the second floor as a wainscot and built-in bookshelves. The master bedroom is orientated at an angle to maximize the views and includes mahogany flooring and a high exposed painted bead board ceiling. A wire guardrail system has been installed to permit opening the large sliding doors without the traditional exterior deck. Long built-in window seats are located throughout the house for reading. A central spiral stair connects the master bedroom to a third floor study overlooking the river.

  • Date: December 23, 2013