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A charming gambrel-roof beach cottage gets a striking update on Casco Bay

historic gambrel-roofed cottage exterior

This historic gambrel-roofed cottage was completely reimagined by Kevin Browne Architecture, nestled on Cousins Island, an island in Casco Bay within the town of Yarmouth, Maine. Perched on a bluff that gently descends to the waters of Casco Bay, this cottage stands as one of the island’s oldest remaining dwellings.

Originating in 1905, this heritage abode was once the summer refuge of Sir Henry Worth Thornton, president of the Canadian National Railways. Guided by dual aims, the current owners embarked on a renovation journey—to preserve the cottage’s inherent charm while expanding its footprint, crafting a year-round haven for their family. Be sure to check out the “before the renovation” images below!

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Kevin Browne Architecture LANDSCAPE Terrance Dewan & Associates ENGINEER Structural Integrity

historic gambrel-roofed cottage exterior

Before the architects began the project, the existing cottage and garage had endured multiple additions over time, yet their condition remained subpar. When reimagining the primary cottage, the architects began by introducing a gentler gambrel roofline that seamlessly extended to the bayside of the cottage.

historic gambrel-roofed cottage exterior

In pursuit of panoramic water vistas, a spacious covered wraparound porch graced the main level. Minimal alterations were made to the interior, with the owners prioritizing the retention of the original cottage’s lofty ceilings and beadboard walls. Adjustments made were chiefly aimed at incorporating contemporary conveniences.

beach style living room

Envisioning year-round comfort, their renovations prioritized energy-efficient enhancements to transcend the constraints of a typical seasonal cottage. Closed-cell spray foam was integrated into walls, ceilings, and floors, and regular windows were swapped for low-emissivity alternatives. Additionally, the existing heating system was substituted with high-efficiency heat pump units.

beach style living room

Replacing the original 1980s garage, the architects introduced a gambrel-roofed carriage house mirroring the cottage’s aesthetics. Linked to the main house by an extended wraparound porch, this addition seamlessly blends. This idyllic location offers tranquil views of Casco Bay from dusk till dawn, and these homeowners have one of the most idyllic seats on the island, soaking it all in right from their porch.

beach style hall

What We Love: This gambrel roof beach cottage offers a beautifully inspired new layout that is cozy and inviting. Boasting expansive water views, the house provides an ideal haven for relaxation, unwinding, and embracing coastal living. The project team has beautifully reimagined the living spaces with comfortable furnishings and optimized views to ensure that inhabitants can enjoy their revitalized cottage for many years to come.

Tell Us: What details do you find most inspiring in this historic cottage remodel project? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below, we enjoy reading your feedback!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other wonderful home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign in the state of Maine: Get inspired by this inviting Maine beach cottage with an industrial vibe and Step inside this absolutely fabulous getaway house in coastal Maine.

beach style living room

beach style kitchen

beach style kitchen

beach style kitchen with a dining nook

beach style bunk bedroom with a ladder and a loft

beach style bunk bedroom

beach style bathroom with a soaking tub

beach style bunk bedroom

beach style bunk bedroom

beach style bedroom with a large window overlooking the water

beach style sunroom

beach style deck

historic gambrel-roofed cottage exterior

Above: The exterior stain is a clear finish on the Western Red Cedar shingles.

beach style family room

beach style family room

beach style guest kitchenette

BEFORE THE RENOVATION

historic cottage exterior before the renovation

historic cottage exterior before the renovation

historic cottage outdoor covered porch before the renovation

historic cottage living room before the renovation

historic cottage entry room before the renovation

historic cottage kitchen before the renovation

historic cottage family room before the renovation

historic cottage bedroom before the renovation

PHOTOGRAPHER Jack Michaud Photography

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