Rebbecca Abair envisioned a little cottage as picture-perfect as its view of the sea. Working with the design director at a timber-frame company, Rebbecca kept the design simple, snug and compatible with its Puget Sound environment.
The 800-square-foot main level has an open floor plan. An attached sunroom serves as the dining area. The 350-square-foot loft is her master bedroom and bath. Everywhere, windows frame views of Puget Sound.
Whether your home is by the sea like Rebbecca's, in the woods or beside a lake, here are some tips for making it fit its surroundings.
Let Mother Nature be your gardener.
Choose plants and trees native to your area. They will be easier to grow, require less watering and attract local birds and butterflies. Save existing trees on your property to anchor your new cabin to its site. Talk to your builder or an arborist about protecting trees during the construction process.
Get out there.
Porches, decks and patios make a small cabin seem larger, bridge the gap between indoors and out and just look welcoming. Whether you choose an open deck or screened porch will depend on your local conditions. To extend your outdoor living season, add an outdoor fireplace or built-in firepit.
Wood finishes on your cabin's exterior will obviously look right at home in a forested setting. Combining other "organic" finish materials turns up the charm. How about stone facing for your foundation? River rock along pathways can mimic a dry stream bed. Could you get by with gravel for your driveway instead of blacktop? Rustic fencing ties the look together. A water feature, such as a small pond, could be a lively addition to your landscape. Take a look at organic roof materials like slate and wood shakes—or check out synthetic roofing made to resemble natural materials.